Thursday, May 31, 2012

Yelling at the Neighbor

Yes, that is what I did today. And if you ask how often this happens I would say never before. Today was the first time I ever yelled at a person I hardly know. I am usually polite with people. And I do consider myself a reasonable person. I also believe that whatever arguments may arise between civilized people should and can be resolved in a civilized way. Well, apparently, not everyone can be reasonable. To make the situation clearer for you, let me give you a bit of a background.

The trees and bushes in our garden got a bit overgrown in the past years and so in the past few months my husband and I have been doing some trimming here and there. We do not have a gardener, only a few guys who come over every couple weeks to mow the grass, that's all. So most of the real gardening responsibilities, like keeping your plants from overgrowing, fertilizing the lawn, pruning fruit trees, etc. falls on our hands. I guess, we are sort of happy to do it, long as we find the time.

Since I decided to plant a vegetable garden this year we needed to do some extra cutting, cleaning out all the old brush and debris along the fence. That strip of dirt between the fence and the lawn was where I wanted to plant tomatoes and other goodies. So together with my husband we cut off a lot of branches that were hanging over from the fence creating a lot of shade. As you can imagine when you do a lot of trimming there are trimmings which must be dumped somewhere. Since there was no place to store all those branches and dry leaves in our yard we moved them across the driveway where there's empty land, a lot adjacent to ours that the owner plans to develop sometime in the next few years.  There are trees and bushes growing on that lot too, no one cares, particularly the owner. We thought it was a good spot until we could get all that cleaned up little by little - we only have one trash can for yard waste which is picked up once a week. Little by little all that pile would disappear.

Well, that did not sit well with our neighbor. To be frank, there are a lot of things that don't sit well with him. Ever since we moved here it seems like the only conversations we ever had with him were when he would tell one of us how this or that was not good or not nice. For a small man he sure complains a lot. (A little side note here, my definition of a 'small' man is not merely judged by height, anyone narrow-minded and petty would definitely end up in this category; although in this case, sadly, it's both). He already complained to my husband about that pile to which he got a reasonable explanation. My husband assured him that with time that pile of trimmings would be gone. It was just due to the limited capacity of the yard waste bin, that's all. Besides, all that stuff was not in anyone's way, not blocking anything.

Well, today our neighbor decided to bring this pity-party to my door - as soon as I pulled in he came out with his petition. Those who know me personally, know that I am far less gracious than my husband. I will listen as long as I see that I am getting somewhere in the conversation. After a few minutes of listening to this whining and complaining I understood it was a waste of my time. He kept rambling that all those branches were a fire hazard (like if they are in our yard they are not!) and that the pile attracted coyotes (yikes!) and that it was simply not nice, just as if he would throw their baby's dirty diapers across the driveway (I wonder, in which world do the dirty diapers equal the tree trimmings and dry leaves?!) I tried reasoning with him in return to which I got the same old whae-whae song. So I simply said to him that if he had a problem he could take it up with the owner of that empty lot.

I thought the conversation was over. Boy was I wrong. He stormed away, went and got his rake. Came up the driveway and began raking all those dry branches back across the driveway and into our yard. That totally freaked me out. That's when I yelled at him. I said I was going to call the police if he didn't calm down. He was invading onto our property. I didn't know what else to do, so I called my husband (my hero and my stronghold!) Thankfully, he was close on his way to home and he intervened in time. I don't know what he said to him, but a few minutes later this loser finally backed off.

I guess, I don't have to worry about talking to him ever again. Not in the near future anyway. And certainly not until he apologizes (which I don't think is ever going to happen, he is way too small of a man for that).

And how was your day today?