20 May 2011

Wide Open Spaces

When we first married, the Ty-man and I lived in a small apartment in Kennesaw. After listening to our neighbor pee in his toilet every morning, we decided we were finished with close quarters and we bought our first home in Cumming. Four months after saying I do we moved into the freedom of our land, our garage, our grass, our kitchen, our day lillies, our home.

We knew it wasn't permanent. That first house was to be our learning curve. We would figure out how to deal with busted pipes and a backyard full of kudzu and then, we would be ready for the big league. That first house was just that, it was a house, but it wasn't a home. We never painted the walls and we only hung up a few pictures and curtains in one room. We treated that house as our way station.

This house where I'm sitting right now is our home. We've lived here for almost 11 years and it's all ours. It's got paint, wallpaper, pictures, tchotchkes, and the laughter of children. It's all here and it's the reason why, when we moved here, we said This is ours.

And if I had an offer on the table and a pile of money in front of me, I'd leave it all in a heartbeat.

Four years ago, we transformed our ugly, down-hill, hard-packed-Georgia-clay backyard into a grassy oasis. In one corner of our newly-fenced and level, grassy yard, we created a play area that, two months later, housed a little plastic sandbox, picnic table, slide, and play house for our toddler kids. During the construction of this backyard, I was a new mom again. I had just given birth to J-man one month before construction began and trying to nap through all the noise was impossible. But, I was happy because we would finally have a safe place to play.

But our neighbor wasn't happy. I'm not talking about Jodi, I'm talking about the lady on the other side of us. We'll call her B (for bitter). She scowled, she grumbled, and she made our lives hell. When the Bobcat accidentally cut off her cable TV, Ty-man immediately scoured the neighborhood for a Comcast truck, found one, bribed the guy to fix the cable NOW, and gave B five movie gift cards for her entire family as recompense.

And for these last four years, B has refused to speak to us, wave, say "Hello" or communicate in any way. Oh, she'll complain about our imagined infractions to Jodi all day long, but she won't ring our doorbell to let us know about her problems with us. It's been four years of textbook passive-aggressive behavior and I can tell you unequivocally, honestly, and forthrightly that we've done nothing, NOTHING to her or hers.

Two days ago, we had a playset from this company delivered and constructed in the backyard. It is NOT visible from the road. It IS visible from B's front stoop. This means that when she goes into her house, she sees it. It's not in her yard. It's within our property boundaries, inside the fence of our backyard. And B has complained to our property management company. I also have it on very good faith that she is attempting to get the HOA Bully (who is still on the board) involved. She specifically asked for his involvement, knowing what I went through with him two years ago.

When I found out that last tidbit, I had a full-on panic/anxiety attack. On top of taking pot-shots at my kids (which, let's face it, that's what she's doing when she complains about a playset), she's attempting to make our lives hell FOR NOTHING. For absolutely nothing, for no reason whatsoever, simply because we exist, occupy the space next to her, have followed the rules, and have bent over backwards to be quiet, unobtrusive, nice neighbors, she wants to stir up old anxieties.

I'm at a loss. I don't know what to do. I'm pacing the house absolutely terrified that THAT MAN will be within feet of me and mine. I had to call the sheriff on his ass the last time I was near him and then I was worried the moment would end in violence. I don't go anywhere near his part of the neighborhood. There is this barrier of 1/4 mile of streets between our homes and that gives me solace. But to have this woman GIVE HIM PERMISSION to re-enter our lives has me in a panic.

I was never bullied as a child. I didn't experience my first bully until two years ago, at 37. It was, I think, as bad as if I had been bullied as a child. I don't want my children to see me reacting like this, but I can't help it.

Thank God for the Ty-man. He's handling this in a way I couldn't even fathom right now. All I want to do is curl up in bed with back issues of National Geographic and emerge when the smoke clears. He? Is taking care of business.

I'll be OK. This whole situation will be OK. It just has to be. But, seriously? Why? Why is she doing this? Because this playset is all about childhood laughter


and fond memories,

not anxiety, upset, and tears.

Seriously, if she pushes my buttons any further, I may just join a nudist/swinger group, install a jacuzzi where the playset currently resides, and REALLY piss her off with Thursday night orgies.


Dave2 said...

I hate to say this when you've done such an amazing job with those wonderful photos to justify why it's all worth it in the end.


Some people are evil. They take joy in wrecking the happiness of others. When they don't have anything to be angry about, they invent something. When people get ahead of them, they do everything they can to bring them down. It has nothing to do with you or your family. Nothing. She's an evil bitch whose only enjoyment comes from thinking of ways to torture you. All you can do to fight back is to continue to live your lives and be as happy as you can. Because nothing she does... nothing... will ever be able to take away from that... unless you let her.

Look at those photos. You've won.

No matter what she does.

Unknown said...

you need to get all hatfield and mccoy on her ass. Get a book of these lame rules, and start complaining to said HOA guy about everything she does wrong. I mean, it'd only be fair, yeah? Unless she's one of them with the neat perfect yards that never does no wrong. In such a case I advise pranking. Last option is being adult-like and trying to settle the indifference's head-on ;)

HEATHER said...

This coalminer's grand-daughter agrees with coalminer and says let's get Hatfield-McCoy on their asses!
You do know that I can be down there in just about 3 hours on I-75. Just say the word-I got your back!

Grant said...

You just posted because I just posted. Copyblogcat.

Annie said...

Wow. What Dave2 said. And, just to be on the safe side, keep the sherrif's office on speed-dial.

Michael from dadcation.com said...

This type of crap is what Deb and I (more her than me) fear about leaving the city and moving to the suburbs, where HOAs are ubiquitous if the schools are nice and there are no gunshots at night. I can't imagine having some asshole trying to tell me what I can build in my own backyard.

Maybe this person will get cancer and die soon. Or move. Or hit by a drunk driver. I'm not saying I want these things to happen. Just saying maybe they will.

Megan said...

Yes, what Dave2 said. Imagine what her little miserable life must be like. And thank God you're not related to her.


hello haha narf said...

first and foremost, what dave said.

secondly, if you tell me whether this twat's house is on the left or right i'll be certain to pee on her doorstep until she comes out to receive my fist to her throat.

and i have to add a third here, i will need an invite to the naked swinging ho ttub party in your backyard. i'll bring the inflatables.

Patois42 said...

Listen to the Dave. Don't let that woman ever be able to think "WINNING!"

And might I say that's a mighty fine paradise you've created back there.

Expat No. 3699 said...

My next door neighbor, back in the States, is like that so I can relate. Oh, and I call my neighbor C (for cranky)!

Avitable said...

You need an enforcer to come do the things Ty won't? You have my number. :)

Jason said...

Hey Coal Miner,
Stumbled over from Muskrat Dad. This one got my early morning blood boiling. You've got more supporters that you know. And Dave's right, people are evil. Fight back and YES, those pics are the reason. I call it "going papa bear", a version of when my passive mother used to go all kinds of "mama bear" on those that would dare to mess. A single mother of 4 boys going next door at midnight to tell her single father neighbor to shut his jet boat off, 'cuz her boys needed to sleep. GO MAMA BEARS!!!

The Cheeky Daddy

Janet said...

Boy! Do I ever so feel your pain! HOA's SUCK - and I know... We lived in/under one in California and went through hell - but not because WE broke the rules - because THEY broke (every) the rules! It was a bloody nightmare... Honestly, there are times when I look back over the suffering and am surprised I survived the ordeal without having a stroke or killing someone.

I was never so happy to (take the money and run) move away in my life. Although I miss my parents every day, moving to a few quiet acres with only one neighbor has been heaven since we moved to North Carolina. Until 2 months ago... What was once a quiet, relaxing place to be has been turned up-side-down by a family completely devoid of common sense or decency. Their children are the cutest kids I've ever seen (next to my boys when they were that age) so I feel like such a horrible person for feeling the way I do - but honestly, these "adults" need to grow up! And fast - Otherwise, there won't be peace in the valley until they do.

Hang in there and know that the fight/standing up for yourself/always doing the right thing is worth it.