Sunday, July 3, 2011

Not Feeling So Neighborly

My Twitter followers have seen my tweets ranting about a certain neighbor with boundary issues.  I figured it was past time for more than 140 characters to explain the frustration.  Yes, it is relatesd to my blog's topic because the frustration and stress of dealing with this guy is beginning to affect my health.  I don't like being outside much because he always shows up.  I've nicknamed him Boundary Issues because that seems to fit perfectly.  He seems to have no concept of minding his business.

It started innocently enough.  We met a few days after we moved in and he seemed harmless.  One day we came home and he came over to tell us he went onto our roof because he thought he saw smoke.  It was actually steam from the heat, but we thought it was nice of him to look out for us.  Another time, he cut our lawn while cutting his.  Just because. He explained that he used to help the former owner with her yard work - something the former owner did not mention.   Then again, we dealt with her grandson for most of the buying process.  He (the grandson) gave us a heads up about a couple of neighbors, but Boundary Issues wasn't one of them.  At the time he was caring for his elderly mother and busy with her.  After she passed, Boundary Issues seemed to lose it a bit.

Small things began to seem off about him.   He'd tell me one thing and tell hubby another. When hubby and I talked about him, and our accounts were different, we wondered if he did it on purpose or just didn't remember.   He had advice about everything - the best paint, way to care for the lawn and shrubs, how to care for our dogs when he had none, etc.   When the pups escaped one afternoon and went exploring,
he told me we could lose our house because they got out.  I was about done with him then.  He wanted to scare me and it failed.   He told hubby that night that he thought he'd upset me.  I wasn't upset, just beginning to see him clearly.

I was sitting in the living room early one afternoon when the dogs became alarmed and growled while facing a window.  They always growl a little at squirrels, so I wasn't concerned.  I heard a noise at the window and the dogs began barking.  I threw the door open - probably an unwise move considering I just heard a strange noise and my dogs were on high alert - and there was Boundary Issues, holding a screen.   It wasn't our screen, though.  He said he was cleaning in his shed and found extras and was checking to see if they fit our windows before he offered them. He claimed he measured without asking first because he thought no one was home.  He knows I work from home and is outside every morning when the family heads out
on weekdays.  I decided then to let the dogs continue to dislike him.  I wanted them to stay on alert where he was concerned.

I know, some of you think he's just being nice and maybe lonely. Maybe I'm reading too much into his motives.   I'm not finished, though.  Read on and then tell me what you think.

A few weeks ago, we made major landscaping a family affair.  Hubby, the kids, and I took to the yard with the mower, clippers, and other tools to make it pretty after practically neglecting it through the winter.  On Friday evening, hubs and I went to work on the palm tree, pruning and pulling weeds from the planting bed around its trunk. It's near the fence, and Boundary Issues just happened to be outside with a beer and smoke.  He came to the fence to chat and 'supervise.'  He told us how it looked so much better, that we should probably prune more, and continued to hover after we stopped talking with him.  He stayed until we said goodnight and went to go inside.

Weird enough for you yet?  No?  Here's a little more.

On Saturday, Boundary Issues went to hubby and offered his help.  Hubby declined, stating that it was a family project and we had it.   Boundary Issues stayed for a while, chattering to no one in particular about how the Magnolia tree should be pruned back so many feet because the leaves and pods were a hassle.  Hubby said thanks, but no thanks again and went back to work.  He showed up in the back yard with work gloves on and a bag stand in hand.   He said he was there to offer a hand and implied that hubby said it was ok.  I told him we had it and took my bundle o'branches to the curb.   Hubs met me and asked what happend
and told me he'd already declined dude's offer of help.   Turns out hubby was already finished with Boundary Issues and looked forward to him leaving.

This episode ended with Boundary Issues headed out of town for several weeks.  We were stoked!  We could relax in the yard without his presence and not have to worry about not hurting his feelings.

Will the wahm and her family find peace once Boundary Issues returns?  Will Boundary Issues get a clue?  Will the mild-manned hubby of wahm resort to raising his voice?   No voices have been raised, but Boundary Issues is back and pushing every button.  His obsession with the Magnolia tree, no where near his property, continues.  He tried working on me then hubby about it to no avail.  This tree isn't even in our yard, but another neighbor's.  He came over another time to offer to power wash our carport.  When hubby declined, he pushed and asked if I drive the pickup.  Btw, he hasn't power washed anything since he asked.

This morning he showed up in our yard.  He parked his mower and walked away.  We'd been hearing it for a while and thought it seemed particularly loud, but didn't expect him to be cutting our lawn.  We didn't ask, he didn't offer, just did it. It's going to be a long, long summer.

So, what say you - are we reading too much into this?  Is he just lonely and misunderstood?  

And now back to the Casey Anthony closing arguments....

1 comment:

Shelly said...

wow...this dude definitely has issues! I would never do any landscaping or mowing of a neighbors yard unless they asked me or I asked them first. That is rude and totally uncalled for. Dude needs to mind his own business and stay over in his own yard.