Author’s note: This post is the first in a two-part series. This particular post was written in the moment and is relatively uncensored, so if you live near me, please do not become offended. Remember this is the *first part* of a two-part series, so please read the second part of this series before concluding that I am a deeply flawed human being.
All the places I’ve lived, I’ve only experienced one bad neighbor, Mrs. B from my childhood. When I was a kid, I just thought she was an old, cantankerous bat who had nothing better to do than to listen to our phone conversations on the party line we shared and to complain about the noise coming from our house.
In retrospect, I can see her point of view. With seven kids in the house, she had to keep a vigilant ear to the phone to catch it disuse; otherwise, she would have never been able to make a call. And I am almost positive the noise level rose exponentially the day we moved in. We Pinkstons were a rambunctious sort, and we didn’t go to bed early, either.
Other than Mrs. B., I’ve never experienced a neighbor that didn’t like me. Most of my neighbors didn’t even know me, so they had no real reason to dislike me. You can imagine the quandary I’ve been in trying to figure out why my neighbor of the last four years, who I’ve barely spoken to besides a passing smile accompanied with a “Hey!”, has taken to hating my guts, and more specifically my dog’s guts.
This past Sunday evening, the kids and I come home to find our little Sophie in the pet carrier on our front porch with a this note secured under a brick on the top of the carrier:
What about my dogs? Why is Sophie in this pet carrier? (Read this post to find out why the pet carrier was on the porch in the first place.)
I marched into the house and called the police, not thinking I’d actually talk to anyone because it was 9 o’clock at night, but talk to someone I did. I couldn’t believe the heinous things coming out of his mouth. The officer told me that Sophie had bitten some man in the neighborhood and when the officer tried to “apprehend” her, she nipped at him, too.
What?! I couldn’t believe it. Sophie barks, but she’s a terrier. Terriers bark. She has never bitten anyone. What the heck did the guy do to her? She must have been scared.
After getting more details from the officer about what “my neighbor” was saying, I had a pretty good idea who wrote that note. It had to have been Her.
I went to bed hoping that a good night’s sleep would help me make sense of all this the next day.
Who can sleep when they are that stinking angry? I can’t! I tossed and turned all night. I got up, did a load of laundry, and went back to bed to read until I fell asleep. I woke up moments later troubled and mad. I got up put the clothes in the dryer and then read until I fell asleep again, only to wake moments later troubled and mad. This went on all night.
The next morning when my husband got home from working overnight, I ranted to him while I narrowed the perimeter of our invisible fencing and changed the batteries in Sophie’s collar. This whole business was inconceivable to me. In the last three years, we have had scads of kids in our yard and adults coming and going, and Sophie has never bitten any of them.
After he took a shower, I ranted to him some more while I ordered a set of dog training DVDs. That guy must have been walking his dog (Sophie does have little dog syndrome and feels the need to assert her superiority in the presence of big dogs. The least I could do is get that under control.) or did something to frighten her?
I was furious, so I do what anyone else who is really angry and has nowhere to throw their rage. I go to a social network, namely Twitter, and pour out my venomous threats: “Oh, it’s on like donkey king lady. Have u not seen The Wizard of Oz? Dorothy wins… and her little dog, too! #stinkingmad”
And then I immediately felt bad because all the teenagers I teach in Sunday School follow me on Twitter, so I followed it up with “Sorry about that last post. Excuse me while I put my goody two shoes back on.”
I know. That didn’t sound fully convincing, and I probably should have waited a little longer before expressing my remorse until I actually felt remorse.
I tried going about my day like nothing happened. Yeah, it didn’t work. There was nothing that I could do to stop my mind from dreaming up scenarios where I not only enact revenge, but I also made a memorable theatrical point in ultimate Bette Davis style.
This is how it played out in my mind:
Scene 1: I would lay low until the flying monkeys (a.k.a. Her kids) come over to play. As previously instructed, one of my kids comes in and tells me the flying monkeys have crossed the boundary into Oz. I walk the flying monkeys back to the Witch’s castle telling them that they can’t play at my house any more because our dog is too vicious. I knock on the door, and when Wicked Witch opens, I hand over her flying monkeys saying, “I’m sorry but your children are no longer welcome to play at my house for fear of my vicious 10 lb dog tearing them to shreds.” I turn as if to walk away, and then as if remembering something, turn back, “Oh, and if they come over to my house again, I’ll call the cops on them for trespassing ” shooting her a large smile, quickly turning my back, bending slightly at the waist, smacking my butt, lifting my foot in a sassy hind kick, and with a wink, walking off triumphantly with a little swag.
Scene 2: My kids alert me to the flying monkeys in my yard as mentioned above. I grab a glass of water before escorting said flying monkeys back to The Witch’s lair. When The Witch opens the door, tell her frankly, “Keep your monkeys in your own yard,” and then fling the glass of water at her and stand back looking astonished. When she screams and demands to know why I did that, I will stand dumbfounded and explain, “Why didn’t you melt? You’re supposed to melt. The plan was that you melt.” I walk away shaking my head muttering to myself that maybe tap water isn’t pure enough and that maybe it should have been filtered or bottled spring water. That’s about as pure as you can get. Yes, most definitely spring water next time…
The predicament had me in such a rankle a zit popped out on my chin. Medicating it throughout the day gave me opportunity to stew over the situation.
Further on in the day, my mind did turn toward other more important issues. We had a bazillion different activities going on in the afternoon, and I needed to hammer out a plan.
But that didn’t mean it was over. Oh, no, not even close.
To be continued…