I love my neighborhood. The majority of families on my street are friendly and helpful. We’ve been through hurricanes together, survived marital squabbles, conquered a flu epidemic, and dealt with a bout of head lice that kept everyone quarantined and scratching their heads for months.
There is a cozy feeling of unity among us, and I’m fortunate to live in such a peaceful community. But it wasn’t always this way. I once lived next to psycho neighbors who snipped our Christmas lights, poisoned our plants, and filmed us whenever we ventured outside. The day those whackadoodles moved was the day I did a little happy dance in the yard as their U-Haul pulled away from the curb.
They say fences make good neighbors. This is especially true if you’re dealing with any of these characters on your block:
The Nosy Neighbors. These people spy on the comings and goings of everyone on the street. They know what you ate for dinner, who your favorite drinking buddies are, where your kids spent the night, and how much you spent to sod your yard. A ten-foot fence isn’t high enough to keep their nose out of your business.
The Partiers. I love a good party, just not at 3:00 a.m., right outside my bedroom window. Loud karaoke, swimming pools, and cheap booze do not mix.
The Trash Collector. This neighbor’s yard is the eyesore of the street. His property is a graveyard for broken-down cars, rust-bucket boats, and dilapidated trailers, all hiding in grass that hasn’t seen a mower since the Clinton administration. If you’re looking for a used stove or refrigerator, you’ll find plenty on his front lawn.
The Noise Maker. Oblivious that some people actually need sleep, this guy starts revving his diesel truck well before the sun comes up, eliminating the neighborhood’s need for alarm clocks. He also mows his lawn, trims the hedges, and pressure cleans the house before you’ve had your first sip of coffee. Somebody needs to slip a Valium into this joker’s cup of java.
The Pot Stirrers. These troublemakers have too much time and alcohol on their hands, and they thrive on stirring up trouble. Their goal is to pit neighbor against neighbor and husband against wife by spreading lies and nasty rumors. Obviously they missed their true calling—as scriptwriters for Telemundo soaps.
The Pet Hoarders. Forget stamp collecting. These people collect unneutered dogs and cats, who roam the streets and mate faster than mice in a pet store. These flea-infested pets howl and bark all night, keeping the entire block awake.
If you have neighbors like this, my advice is that you install air gun turrets on your roof and keep watch with night vision goggles and an infrared scope. Welcome to the neighborhood!
(This post originally ran on Menopausal Mother.)
About the author: Marcia Kester Doyle is the author of the humour book, Who Stole My Spandex? and the voice behind the popular blog, Menopausal Mother. Her work has appeared on The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Humor Outcasts, In The Powder Room, Beyond Your Blog, Felicity Huffman’s What The Flicka?, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, and Midlife Boulevard among others.Find her on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.