I guess it all started a few years back now.
My neighbour, this 70-year-old woman, was quite nice to my children. Her house is behind ours. My children used to run up to her place for cookies and treats and whatnot. She would return from spending the winter in Florida with t-shirts for them. We were most grateful.
Then, one winter, she told us that her granddaughter (with boyfriend in tow), from her daughter whom she hated, was going to be living in her house over the winter and if everything went well they could stay permanently. Spring came. Summer came. She came back. She asked how they were. We saw neither hide nor hair of them and told her so. Well, she was going to kick them out: they had spilled pop all over the carpet and hadn’t cleaned it up, they didn’t pay the oil or the power bill, and they just all around made a huge mess. Whatever. They didn’t bother us and they were quiet.
Three winters ago now, after that incident, her son moved in – with his son. Again, she requested we keep an eye on the place and then she left. There was constant traffic, parties, drug-runs, cops at my door looking for her grandson, etc. She came back and asked how things were and I told her – as I thought we had such a great relationship. I was wrong.
Shortly thereafter, her son is dumping gravel up my driveway to connect it to his. You see, my driveway has a ‘license to use until the bitch is dead’ attached to it. But it was never to be used and never was (and was grassed all the way up). I came outside as he was spreading it and asked him what the hell was going on and the exact words out of this 40-some-year-old man were, “You made me look bad in front of my mom. I’m not confrontational so this is my way of pushing back.”
I talked to her on the phone and yelling ensued. She spent an hour defending her son and grandson telling me that I had told her all lies, to which I responded that she was just covering up for her lot. Her exact words? ”Well…wouldn’t you?”
Fine. So you’re using my driveway. Meh. But then he starts driving his dumptruck on my lawn while continually spreading out gravel until it’s 16-feet wide. Then he comes down in front of my children and rips out a tree on my property with his excavator (to which I have a photo and his shit-eating grin on his face). My children have been traumatized, no joke – talking about it on a weekly basis ever since.
Since then, more trees have been cut down. More of my yard destroyed. Two cars have died and so did my practice last summer – it seems we didn’t get the memo about the economic downturn until a little later than everyone else. I felt it, along with other business owners in the area and have been feeling it ever since – often times wondering where the next dollar will come from.
Lawyers were called, papers were sent, all to no avail. To hire, it would have cost me close to $20’000 and might have taken 3-5 years. His advice, and I appreciated it, “Sell your house and save your money.” We’d talked on selling it and so that’s been the plan ever since. The market being what it is, it’s been hard. No house sale, more crazy neighbour behaviour – to the point where my wife and children are not safe outside.
Just two weeks ago, R.D., a 19-year-old, raced up my driveway doing about 80 km/h, burned a 180 at the top and came flying down. Apparently, he failed to realize during his laughfest and pointing at me that his car has this thing on the back that identifies him. It was his mommy’s car. He got a $700.00 fine.
So what’s it all about? Again, I try very hard to look at the patterns – the reasons. My neighbour wasn’t sweet, instead manipulative. Those other two close friends we had left our lives last year, too. A reason this all happened: to harden me the fuck up. The reason my house won’t sell: we haven’t found the one we’re looking for. The reason my business semi-flopped for 8 months: to teach me not to live beyond my means and the next house we buy will facilitate everything we want.
My house will sell. My life will move on. And I will never be the same again.
My Dad often asks me if I think I made the right choices – moving 5000 kms away from home, buying this house, starting my own business, etc. There are no bad decisions – the only bad thing is inaction. A wise person told me that.