Thursday, July 29, 2010

I did not think I was one of those Types of Neighbors (Part 1)

I must confess that at first this blog was going to be an out right rant, however; I had to remind myself that I was a seasoned whiner and, therefore; above that sort of behavior.  I usually read the newspaper and wonder in amazement at the petty disputes over property.  I marvel at the stories of wealthy citizens of our community complaining about the constant roar of leaf blowers in their park-like expensive neighborhoods. (My goodness, don’t these people have anything better to do?  I know if I had their type of money I certainly would.)  Occasionally my neighbors will complain about how someone keeps their yard, or the number of cars one has parked on the street, but by all accounts I thought my small well-kept quiet suburban neighborhood was somewhat tolerant.  In hindsight I was mistaken.

My first clue was a small one.  When we first moved into our neighborhood and my husband and I were introduced around - we were introduced has “the couple down the street with the teal colored door.”  (Ok, nice way to know exactly where my house is.  Guess everyone really likes the color.  Think again.)

Neighborhood Modern Art
Then the second clue that perhaps my neighborhood was a little “uptight” happened quite a number of years ago.  A local artist (who happens to live behind us and by the way is amazingly talented) placed one of his sculptures in his front yard.  By the commotion he caused in our suburb you would have thought that this sculpture depicted shocking and disgusting imagery. (It did not. The sculpture was red, and was made up of large geometric spheres and shapes.  Quite nice actually if you like modern art.)  What all the brew-haha was about was that he had the nerve to place something so large and so different in his yard.  I listened to my neighbors complain and criticize, but did not participate in this type of chatter, because quite frankly I appreciate fierce independent streaks (especially those that are artistic or creative in nature.) 

Another inkling (of uptightness) came a few years ago, when a house down around the corner painted the trim on their home a bright golden yellow.  The neighbor chatter began once again.  (Oh, how shocking!  Didn’t these people know that the trim color was too bright and unacceptable?)  I am proud to report that this time (when I heard the neighbors talk) I stood up for the color-misguided house painters.  I am not sure of my exact words, but I said something to the effect that usually people hide their individualism inside their homes, and that it was refreshing to see someone express their creativity outside.  (That remark instantly stopped all conversation.  You could have heard a pin drop.)  I found out then that my tolerance of exterior individuality and expressionism was not the norm.  (Oops – the veil covering my rebel attitude has shifted, and my true self is showing.)

Now this brings us to the most current drama in our neighborhood.  (And guess what?  It involves us.  Surprised?  We were.)  We should not have been surprised because, those “ creative issues” in my suburban neighborhood over the last 17 years, should have been a warning.

I would have liked to tell you that my family expressed its individualism on the outside of our home, but alas that is not the case.  (I would have been proud about that.)  No this drama involves something much more mundane. Unfortunately you will have to wait for my next posting to see what commotion we caused and how we responded.

Please stay tuned for part two…

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