I like to think of my family as good neighbors. We keep to ourselves, but we aren’t reclusive. We wave to the people on our block. Mike snow blows the sidewalks. I get the neighborhood gossip from the old ladies. We keep our lawn nice and our Christmas lights are taken down the week after Christmas. Our girls have yet to break someone’s window and our dog hasn’t attacked a small child. I’d say we are doing good.
Well, one of our neighbors had a different opinion. Here’s the back story.
The great blizzard a few years ago was horrific for me. At the time I had a 6 year old and 6 month old. My husband traveled and was clear across the country. My 6 year old had pneumonia and I spent the evening into the next morning at the ER. Mike couldn’t get home because the airports were closed and I was left with a really, really sick kid, a 6 month old who insisted on getting in my sick kid’s face and a pile of snow in my driveway. My father-in-law dug me out but those helpful snow plows buried me back in. Luckily, my neighbor was really kind and offered to dig me out again. Nice guy. I thanked him every time I saw him and told him what a huge help that was. Well, he must have forgotten.
Several months later we noticed our “friendly” neighbor was acting strange. He was angry. At us. He would glare at us and went so far as yelling at my husband from across the street calling us “snobs.” Now, I’ve been accused of being many things but never a snob. What is his deal?
We soon found out. Picture this. It’s a lovely spring evening. My husband had just come home from work and I greeted him in the front yard. We were inspecting our newly planted flowers. We have become so domesticated. Angry neighbor starts yelling/mumbling/slurring loudly at us from across the street. Oh crazy Walt. He’s yelling at the tree again. He starts walking down his driveway towards us. Shaking his finger he yells, “You know what you are?”
Here we go. It’s finally happening. I’ve been waiting to confront him and put an end to his odd behavior.
“What are we Walt? I’d love to hear your opinion of us” I say.
“Oh really Walt? Enlighten me. Why?”
“Not so much a thank you for shoveling your snow!”
Wait. What did he just say? Is he crazy?
He keeps walking towards us mumbling but I can’t hear what he’s saying.
So I walk towards him.
“You know Walt. I’m really sick of your accusations. Who do you think you are talking to us like that?! You know damn well I have thanked you repeatedly. Apparently you were looking for a monetary reward. That won’t happen so give it up!”
Oh I’m fuming. I can feel my face reddening. My Irish temper is going. I’m getting loud and the other neighbors are coming out to see what’s going on.
He starts yelling. “You people think you’re too good for everyone! You people are no good snobs!”
Now I’m almost across the street, I’m rolling my sleeves up. I’m going to tear him up.
I feel Mike grab my arm.
“Jess. Let it go.”
“No way! He’s talking about my FAMILY!!”
Pulling at my arm and leading me up the driveway, “Not now,” Mike says.
Walt continues yelling.
“He’s being a jerk Mike! I can’t ignore that! Why should I let it go?”
“Because he’s drunk.”
Oh. I did NOT pick up on that.