Every day that I wake up I try to greet the world with a smile. Some days I am not as successful as other days, but for the most part I consider myself a nice person. I don’t cut people off in traffic. I have never been in a fight. I have never bullied anyone by calling them ugly, fat or anything else derogatory. Clearly, this is only true if you take out my teenage years when I called my mother “mean”, but I like to pretend those years didn’t happen. What I am not is my angry neighbor that I see every morning!
I have a dog named Mushu. Note a prior blog about him: A Dog Really is Man’s (or in this case woman) Best Friend. Mushu is the sweetest dog I have ever seen and very social. He is the dog that does not tear up the yard, but goes to poop in the woods so that he can have his privacy. He only barks when someone comes to the door and not just at any random time. He goes up to strangers, drops his ears and wags his tail to say “I am so cute and you know you want to give me some love”. Mushu is the dog who is the happiest spending his days with his chin on your knee just looking at you in adoration. He is perfect.
My angry neighbor, is a grown man, is the exact opposite…he is a jerk. He is the guy who growls at small kids and puppies. If he is not snooping the neighborhood through the blinds then he is outside working in his garden to make it more…something. What is he really doing out there? I am totally confused because the only thing I see is the same bushes I have in my yard that the association planted and maintains, but I digress. Yep, I live across from “that guy”. The guy who has a list of the association rules and makes sure that everyone follows them. He takes pictures of trashcans left out past 5pm on trash day and emails it to the association asking them to impose a fine. He sets up a video camera to make sure that he does not miss one person accidentally missing picking up after their pooping dog. Yes, I am lucky enough to live next to “that guy” or more commonly known as “Jack Bottom “. (If you are wondering if “Bottom” stands for something, then yes, you are right!)
Earlier this week I took my dog out to go pee and who was I greeted by? Angry neighbor Jack Bottom! Mushu was not on a leash, but under my command while peeing across the street on an open lot. Jack Bottom came outside and looked at me and said “why don’t you put that dog on a leash!”. I just looked at him and said “okay”. Now, let me explain to you that when I say “okay”, it doesn’t always mean I agree or will comply, but more a response of acknowledgement. Of course, true to form, when Mushu heard Jack Bottom’s voice he went over to greet him and make friends with his tail wagging as hard as it could. Jack Bottom (okay, it is time that I publicly announce that “Bottom” stands for “Ass”) snaps at me “This is the reason that he needs to be on a leash so that he does not just walk up to me”. I just smiled and looked at him as said “What does it matter? Who is he hurting?” My new friend (sarcasm) looked at me and yelled “You think you have issues now? I can make your life hell and you will have bigger issues than me”. At this point I wonder when Jack turned into Vito Salvarito and had I missed the mafia moving into my neighborhood last night? I found myself struggling to contain the alternate personality my mother likes to call “The Spawn of Satan”. If I had not grown up in an environment where you learned how to have an emotional poker face, I think I might have challenged Vito Jack Bottom to a smack down! The words “Did your mother not love you” coming close to slipping through my lips!
Jack has now officially tried to put rules on a person who prides them self on breaking them. I found myself in a state of confusion on what had happened to this guy in his life to make him be so uptight that you could…oh, you get the point…and wondering if it was worth challenging him on his resolution to make sure that Mushu was walked on a leash? For the next hour I found myself stomping around my house bitching to the temporary roomy about “that guy”. That angry neighbor guy across the street who was pissing me off. That guy who was threatening me like he just came of the set of the Sopranos. That guy who looks through his blinds daily to make sure I did not break the rules (fyi, I am still breaking that rule). The angry neighbor who I would stew over until I found myself venting over my blog. Yep, I was living next to “that guy” and so I officially decided that I would become “that girl”. What is “that girl”? I think it is self explanatory
To “that guy” who spends his days wondering if he will catch me out in the wild living on the edge with Fido off the leash….I will be “that girl” who becomes the thorn in your angry neighbor bitter side as I will walk my dog with a huge smile, love for life and a penchant to break rules! Why? Because I can happily and you will forever remain my angry neighbor!