Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Neighbor fight! Neighbor fight!

I am surrounded by neighbors. I know this is surprising, especially since I live in a suburban community, and that would be the last place you'd expect to find neighbors.

Anyhow, neighbors all around all have children. The parents of the second grader are friendly with us. By friendly I mean I've actually conversed with the wife and they've had our daughter over for the night before. The husband and I speak often through a variety of waves and several different levels of smiles from 'bad mood hi' to 'elated thrilled to drive by you today.' I anticipate progressing to a full conversation sometime this summer.

Now, neighbors to the right of us, with the kindergartner, and the boy I totally pegged as 'potential playmate to Turbo and Bear' aren't quite as friendly. In fact, I once spent an entire night torturing the husband until he finally revealed that yes, he did indeed recognize I was a fellow member of the human species and not actually some alien that was just tagging along for some free candy on Halloween. His wife smiles and pretty much ignores me.

So I'm minding my own business the other day, weeding what I hope was the flower bed on the west side of the house, as my HOA shame-letter instructed me to do, when the neighbors with the potential playmate suddenly hail me with a greeting! OHMIGOSH. I did not know what to do. These people never greet me with anything, although admittedly, to be kind, he did start my mower as I pathetically couldn't get it to start... but generally, persona non grata. So I talk. gecause that's what I do when people talk to me, only, shutting off the talk is hard for me, but hey, we all have our faults... I was so confused with the whole talking thing I had to give up weeding and get a beer.

The next day, Drama and second-grader are doing jump rope, hula hoop and an amusing attempt at the pogo stick when the kindergartener and parents come home. The girls ask if the kindergartner can come play, when all of a sudden what does she do but unleash a torrent on the second grader of how rude she was, how even her MOM said she was rude, and she's just rude. Now, I'm tuning all of this out, when I hear 'and my mom said you were rude' and then my ears perk. See, mom's should KNOW to never tell their kids another kid is such-and-such, because they will repeat it, and if mom is friends with other mom, it gets testy. So nothing happened, after letting her friend know her sins, the kindergartner proclaimed that after the park she might play and we all went our merry weeding way.

Soon, while pulling something that's thriving far to well to actually be a planned perennial, the second grader's mom starts walking. I see her out of the corner of her eye and figure she's walking to the mailbox. I take a moment to think this is odd, because it's the dad who always gets the mail *I swear I do NOT watch these people all day, it's just that our routines cross often* and then I realize, quite alarmedly, she's coming over to see me. Most people wouldn't be alarmed, but when your neighbors never really come over to see you, and then suddenly beeline in your direction, it's mildly disarming. Was she going to complain about the weeds on the west side of my house?

So there I stand in my yard, leaning on a rake, trying to act not surprised. She wanted to know what was up with Kindergartner and her kid, and what was said. Now, what am I supposed to do? Say nothing? I just told her. Turns out the kids had a tiff a few weeks back, but the parents had a fit. Kindergartners dad told second grader's dad that his kid was a jackass. A JACKASS ha ha ha. Second graders' dad flipped. Moms talked and then, silence... for weeks. One of the major faults? My Drama spent the night, but kindergartner was not invited... umm...

Now, to prove that I don't spend my days watching my neighbors, I had NO IDEA there was a bit 'thing' going on, or that Drama's sleepover debut was an issue. I think it's a silly fight, but the parents were fighting, and second grader's parents didn't like that the other parents let kindergartner berate their daughter without interfering. I didn't interfere because, well, kid stuff. Plus I had weeding to do. What I thought was interesting was that second graders' dad described me as 'watching and standing guard' which I thought was silly, until I realized that actually, when kindergartners tone got harsher, I stood up and got closer and started listening, which was why I could recount the entire conversation. Good thing I can be stealthy huh? Can't trust those kindergartners... a danger they are, danger to us all...

I predict they will be friends by tomorrow, because there was scurrying between houses tonight reported to me by McRed who thought the whole exchange was funny because yes, our neighborhood is that boring. McRed then informed me that because I rehashed the conversation to the parents, now I'll go back to being persona non grata and NO ONE will talk to me again, which is very likely, but at least the weeding will get done.

Eventually they will get bored of not talking to each other and sort things out, though I imagine some trust has been lost, words after all, were said, specifically, 'your daughter is a jackass,' so there may be some lingering bitterness. But still, that is not my concern. I have only one duty here, and that is to stay neutral so my kids can play with all their kids while I weed.

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