Thursday, September 29, 2016

Still crazy after all these years

I’m working from home from now until Nov 4, when I go in for the last time to turn in my badge, laptop, parking pass, and corporate credit card, used maybe twice in the 10 years I've had it. 

It’s a gorgeous, sunny, fall day: warm but not hot, with a clear blue sky. I have windows open all over the house to let the air in. A while ago the doorbell rang. When I went to answer it, I saw to my dismay that it was my crazy neighbor, S: the aging drama queen with the overbleached blonde hair who drinks a bit and spends her days in velour sweats and slippers. I have good relationships with all of my neighbors except her. Depending on her mood, I'm either her best friend or "the meanest woman I've ever met!" She clearly has some issues. If I were to guess, I'd say she has borderline personality disorder. With her was a guy from the crew who has been trimming her trees out back: two beautiful but huge, destructive live oaks whose roots caused me to have to remove my swimming pool, and whose saplings constantly threaten my fence. Trees which, although they’re on her property, I’ve had to pay to have trimmed when the branches were on my fence and in my yard “because that’s on your property”. She and this guy had apparently decided since he was trimming her trees, he might as well also trim mine. He refused to give me a price at first, pointing out branches that in his opinion needed to be removed. I kept asking "How much?" and he finally smiled and exclaimed: "$675.00!"  I said "Forget it, I’ll get my own estimates". Then S said, “But your tree is blocking the streetlight!”  I walked across the lawn with S and the tree trimmer and looked at the tree on the east side of the yard, and the 3 big branches he’d have to trim to make the streetlight clearly visible. “How much to trim just those branches?” I asked. He smiled and said, “$675.00, but I will also trim the other tree!” The crew has done a very poor job with the live oaks out back, so although I’d consider having them trim back the branches that were partially obscuring the light, I wasn’t about to have them do anything else. I said again that I wasn’t interested in having him do anything except remove the branches which were obscuring the streetlight, and I was not paying $675 to have that done. The guy protested, “But $675.00 is a good price!” and added, “I’ll let you do 2 payments!” I said, “Forget it, I don't have $675.00, and even if I did, I wouldn't spend it to have 3 branches trimmed; I’ll get my own estimates."  

To my astonishment, S then began walking around and yelling, “See, you only care about yourself! I’ve noticed you have money to spend on a new roof, and money to have your fence pressure washed and restained, and who knows what else you’re doing, but it's clear you only want to spend money on what you want to have done so you can sell your house. YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT MY SAFETY!”  

I thought 'You've got that right', but since she's clearly nuts, I didn't say it out loud. 

The guy then said, “You name the price! How much will you pay?”  I looked at the 3 big branches he’d have to trim and said,  “$200.00”. He said "No way!" so I repeated, “Fine, I’ll get my own estimates.” S stomped off, continuing to yell things at me all the way back to her house. I looked at her and muttered, “Always a pleasure, S”.  

The guy then said he’d remove the 3 branches for $375. Still too high, but the branches did need trimming, and it would be over and done with, so I wrote him a check. It took one of his workers 10 minutes, tops, to do it.

The streetlight is now clearly visible. As to whether or not that will make S feel safe, I have my doubts. If she follows her usual pattern, though, the tantrum means for the next few weeks I'll be free of having to deal with her. Selling this house can't happen soon enough.


Lisa :-] said...

Neighbors suck. I know you say you have a good relationship with most of yours, but I HATE neighbors. If I had my druthers, we would live out in the country on at least an acre of land, just so I would never have to interact with my neighbors. But since our retirement finances indicate something more like living in a 55-and-over mobile home park, I guess I'm not gonna see THAT dream come true. :(

emmapeelDallas said...

I've always been an introvert, and the older I get, the less I feel the need for any sort of regular social interaction. Definition of good relationship with my other neighbors: we keep our lawns neat, wave, and say hi if the situation calls for it. Also, I always say yes when they request I get their mail when they're going out of town (no biggie for me). I was so happy when my boss said I could telecommute because it removed me from all the office politics. Re the 55 and over mobile home park: maybe we'll be neighbors. Seriously, Lisa, there is NO affordable housing for those of us who haven't saved at least a million bucks.