Dear Neighbor Lady…

Is this Day 5 of NaBloPoMo? Jeez. Are we having fun yet? It has served one purpose thus far. I’ve corrected my time/date stamp and so now it’s actually correct! Amazing. Too bad nothing else is. Well, except my letter writing, which continues today and is sponsored by: Milk Bone Dog Biscuits…

November 5, 2007

Dear Neighbor Lady,

I’m sorry I don’t know your name, although there’s no real reason I should. I’ve seen your house on my walking circuit for the past couple of years now, and outside of its very verdant landscaping, its situation at the end of the block, and what must be a spectacular view, it blends in with all the others. And I’ve only seen you outside once in all that time, carefully avoiding making eye contact as I passed, even though I was ready to say hello and smile, practicing good neighborlyhoodness.

Of course, that was until you attached the sign to the front of your garage door.

It only took a few seconds to glance around and notice that you had just finished adding upgrades to your driveway and the retaining wall surrounding the rear of your home. Although the stone, which appears to be a type of limestone is new and attractive, it isn’t something I’d choose (the flecks of ore that glisten in the afternoon sun are a bit gauche), it is an improvement over the concrete and stucco that it replaced, and I’m sure your neighbors appreciate the added value to their property and have already checked with their realtors to obtain comps and analyze possible gains that they may brag to one another about incessantly.
What was she thinking?

What exactly were you thinking when you wrote that sign? And what grievous error had someone committed? Surely it isn’t the eight million service and delivery people who crawl in and around our area throughout every day. Or the landscape maintenance trucks. I’ve noticed they only park alongside the curb, and never in a driveway. Was it the errant traveler, looking for a particular address who became lost and needed to use your driveway to turn around? And if so, did said lost soul make the mistake of turning the wheels of his car at a standstill, thereby making black rubber skid marks on the pristine stone intricacy of your driveway?

I’ve wondered as I’ve walked by, and imagined you out there, down on your knees, compulsively scrubbing at the marks. Wait. No. I’ve gotten that wrong. Standing over someone you hired to scrub away the offending black marks.

In any event, clearly, you antagonized someone out there in the world. Someone who just couldn’t let a sleeping dog lie. Someone who just had to pick up that bone you threw in your driveway. Someone who came in the night, in the dark, and most likely had their particular brand of fun marring the perfectly arranged stones in your driveway. How could you not know that there are people in this world who live for those opportunities? Who thrive on what you may as well have just invited them to do.

Perhaps a better sign might have been: “To the Jerks in the World. Please vandalize my new driveway. I paid so much money for it, and it’s so beautiful, I think you should break your neck to figure out a way to destroy it. Please hurry.” Yes, your neighbors might have thought you crazy, just as they most likely do because you put a sign on your garage. But still.

It must have been a mess, because I can see where the sealant has been eaten away by whatever caustic substance was used to remove whatever the vandals poured on it to damage the stone work. I imagine it’s paint, as it’s a favorite of the stupid entitled as*h*les adolescent pranksters who toss it out of their cars at night onto the freeway so oncoming cars can drive through it, not realizing they have, and then the next day when it’s too late, find a Jackson Pollack design all over the wheel area of their cars. That is, of course, less harmful that the ones who throw large rocks from their cars into the windshields of oncoming traffic. But still.

And then you put up the second sign. I’d have never known anything had happened if the first sign hadn’t been there, because the driveway actually looks fine. The stone looks as stone should; it’s coarse and not very shiny. You know, like the stones in the roads in Europe that have lasted hundreds of years with all kinds of traffic and weather, war, and general use.

What were you thinking? And how long will you leave the sign on your house, causing everyone to wonder what you’re really about?

Take it down, and give yourself a rest.


A neighbor.

p.s. I certainly hope that you do not have a bumper sticker adhered to your car that cautions others to not tail gate.





10 responses to “Dear Neighbor Lady…”

  1. What was the rest of the second sign? I am really curious what she was urging the person to do.

    That’s pretty funny though, reminds me of the person who put the sign up on his car that said “No radio in car, don’t bother breaking in”, only to find his window busted and a note that read “just checking”.

  2. Mike, I’ll try and get a shot of the rest of it on my walk today. It’s a bit scary whipping out my camera because I think she sits at a window near her door. God forbid that I step on her driveway…

    Jerry — exactly.

  3. People no longer look at a house as a home but an investment..the neighbourhood isn’t a gathering of friends anymore…It’s sad really..and why I prefer the country life..which is getting harder and harder ot comeby…

  4. Uh-oh, her next step is never taking out the trash and stacking the newspapers in large piles throughout her home.


  5. this is one letter you really should post

    go on, I dare you…. 🙂

  6. Robert, I do agree with you about a home being an investment — especially here in San Diego. Real estate prices have gone through the roof in recent years, so it has become easier for people to purchase something, live in it a couple of years to fix it up, then sell it. But the area I live in isn’t an especially neighborly one anyway. People are on the curt side, stay to themselves, and are very outspoken about any and every thing. I’m not exactly warm and fuzzy myself, but I am a good neighbor. And I like the idea of living in the country, too. Just not around here. The whole fire thing is scary.

    Hey Scott, We joke about that around here because I save things, too. Last night when I walked by her house, all the lights were off and it looked a bit deserted. I do think she lives alone, but the house appears to be spotless. Maybe I could get her to organize mine. Just without the signs.

    nursemyra — there have been a few times I’ve thought of mailing someone a note, but I’ve gotten them twice, and it never feels right. Once we had just moved into our last house, and we received a Christmas card with a welcome and an accompanying snide comment that actually asked us to not do something the former homeowners did. HuH? What an ass…I spent time over the years we lived there wondering which of our rotten neighbors sent it.

  7. I know… I’m a few days late and a couple bumpers stickers short.

    But I do have this yugo (not in bad shape) that has a bumper sticker which states: if you don’t like my driving, call 1-800-eat-shi*


    No, I am not often cranky.

  8. You are too funny. Carol

  9. sauerkraut — I love the bumper stickers. I have had urges over the years to stick some ripe ones onto my own bumper, but it wouldn’t exactly fly with my former profession. So I’ve always had to live vicariously through others.

    And Carol…that’s pretty slick ending up with a comment on my site signed by me. I’ll have to discuss this one with you…

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