Wednesday, March 21, 2012

An Inarticulate Letter

Dear Neighbor,

No, I did not answer the door when you knocked this morning. Yes, I was home and know you knew.  I decided that would be best for both of us, especially since my children were watching.

I understand that in the 2.5 years we have lived here we have not come out of our house often, and when we did it was usually to run to the car and buzz off to an appointment.  I have, on occasion, knocked on your door for various reasons and introduced myself, but am not sure you have ever told me your name.  I know you are older and probably set in your ways, and I have attempted to provide grace for that.  I was even able to brush aside the typed note you left on our garage door less than two weeks after we moved in, making sure that we knew how we tended to our front lawn affected your property value.  The fact that you ignore me when I say hello, and barely turn your head when I wave, has all been brushed aside until recently.  Your recent rudeness is inexcusable.

Allow me to introduce myself. I am your neighbor. I am a homeschooling, full-time working, mom and wife.  And I have two special needs children.  My oldest is incredibly special, and her needs come from having a younger sister who screamed in pain for two years of her life.  My youngest has an immune system disorder that keeps her from eating food.  Eating food will give her any range of symptoms including profuse vomit, diarrhea, shock, lethargy, and seizures.  All of the crying and screaming you have heard is not because I am a bad parent; in fact, I have a sick child.

I understand that our front yard is not kept to your liking, and that you do not understand why we spend all of our spare seconds in the backyard tending to gardens and chickens that are most likely driving you crazy.  But I most certainly wish you would direct your rudeness somewhere other than my husband.  He is the last person you should be throwing stones at, and that is why you are very lucky I did not open the door today.

Your comment about mowing the lawn 'just this once' was insulting in more way than you could ever imagine.  You see, he works 24-7 in an effort to provide an income that allows us to buy the two very expensive foods that my toddler eats. (That's right I said *two* foods).  Any minute he is not helping with household duties he is wondering how we can save more money, because she is currently in need of some surgeries, therapies and procedures that we cannot afford.  The lawn has gone unmowed for 3 weeks because the lawn mower broke. It required the time to go to the store, get the part, then the tool, and then fix it.  Let us not forget that we don't have the money to buy the part to begin with and quite frankly money spent on a large cleanly mowed lawn that is not usable or even edible seems incredibly ridiculous in our lives right now.  But for the sake of our neighbors and his desire to have a nice home he works very hard through his exhaustion in an attempt to keep it tended. 

We know it is you that have mowed our lawn twice now.  In most situations this would be considered helpful, and if you did not purposefully leave large clumps of grass, mow at different heights, and then leave grass and trash all over our driveway to clean up as a passive aggressive statement of your frustration, we may be inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt.  This creates more work and irritation for my husband, and is actually illegal, so if you don't mind keep your lawn mower to yourself.

Due to years of stress and complete sleep deprivation, my point may not be entirely clear:  leave my husband alone and stay off our lawn.

In closing, I would like to acknowledge that you say you are moving and putting your house on the market. We have seen you load up trucks but you are still here. We hope you have a change in attitude at your new location, but one thing is most definitely certain - you have never been a neighbor here.

the woman who lives next door

(note: letter not actually sent.)


  1. How bizarre your neighbor is. I recently read a book suggesting that this type of neighborhood isolation was uniquely chronic in Arizona. I think it is a more widespread problem.

    James T. Allerton

  2. Ha! That would NEVER happen here....we don't have lawns. :-) Sorry for the weirdos, come live with us!

  3. Wow! Reminds me of my parents' neighbors in Texas -- that is to say terrible! I always just thought "how can our lawn be the. Biggest. Problem they have ever encountered!?" Glad they are moving away from you.

  4. Goodness as if you dont have enough to deal with , what a great letter, you should have sent it to him,,
    Love Suna and Mitchy XXxxxx

  5. Seriously, some people's lack of ability to see beyond themselves and their own selfish needs is astounding to me! I'm so sorry you have to deal with that! I will be praying that you can give it to the Lord and be free of that burden even before they move. <3


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