Last week at the grocery store, I ran into our old neighbors. Unfortunately, it wasn't with the car.
When we bought our current house, these people had only lived in it for 4 months. Through their realtor we found out that the husband (Chuck) had had some heart problems and his doctor told him, "No stairs, no mowing the lawn, and no fast food." So they had to move to avoid two out of the three.
We took full advantage of this information by only paying two thousand dollars more than they paid for it. I know they took a bath on the transaction. I felt a little guilty for practically ripping off an sick old dude and his wife, but all's fair in love and real estate.
About six months after we moved into our house, we got new neighbors next door. I was outside, playing with the dogs when I saw an older couple waving at me from across the fence.
"Remember us?!" a witchy haired crone hollered, a sack of greasy fast food in her claw.
"It's us! Chuck and Cindy! We sold you your house!"
I was instantly bewildered. The house next door, except for less square footage and one less bathroom, is an exact replica of our house. The not-so-secret information their former real estate agent played in my head. Why would they buy a two story house with a big yard? Why, when they had almost the same thing less than a year ago? Why?
I was wasting time wondering about these issues when there would be a whole host of others to contemplate in the years to come.
For instance, why would they rip out a perfectly good fence, tear up the grass next to the driveway, then fill it in with gravel?
Answer: So they could pull their truck up that extra 10 feet to the back door. I think they were afraid the Wendys, McDonalds, or Hardees they ate almost every day would get cold if they had to carry it too far. Also, I don't think they wanted to get any inadvertent exercise.
Answer #2: So their beautiful golden-white Labrador wouldn't have the joy of romping in a big back yard, but would instead be locked up in an 8x8 pen. Wouldn't want the dog to get any inadvertent exercise either.
I didn't get why they even had a dog. I never saw him play with it. Cindy was afraid of it, so he never never got to come in the house. I know not all dogs are spoiled rotten like ours are, but they never brought him inside. They had a perfectly good garage that they didn't even use. They could have put the dog in there when the weather was bad (ie; the ice storm that poor dog endured one winter). Sure, he had a makeshift plywood doghouse inside his pen (giving him even less room to exercise), but it killed me to see him laying on top of it everyday lonely and bored.
So bored in fact, that he barked incessantly. At first, Chuck would yell out the kitchen window to tell his dog to shut up. Over time, that apparently took too much effort as he eventually hooked up an intercom system, pointing the speaker out the upstairs bedroom window to yell at the dog.
Oh, and the dog wasn't neutered either. When I asked Chuck one day if he was planning on showing the dog or breeding him, Chuck looked confused. I pointed out that his dog wasn't "fixed" and I wondered if he was a show dog or was he planning on starting a puppy mill. He got pretty defensive. I started anonymously calling Animal Control about the barking.
I tried to be somewhat friendly with them, but when he casually referred to the renters across the street as "Ni***r Whores", I washed my hands of them. The bumper sticker on his truck of Calvin pissing on the word "France" pretty much sealed the deal of my immense hostility toward them.
I was so damn happy when they finally sold their house and moved. They said they were moving to Las Vegas, and all I could picture was that sweet dog dying of heat stroke in their backyard.
But they didn't move to Vegas. They moved across town. And now I'll probably run into them all the time. Last week "broke the seal" so to speak.
I was nice to them. No sense in being a bitch just for the hell of it. I save that for my husband.
They were pretty excited to see me and the girls.
"Chuuuu-uuuck! Come see your kids!"
Excuse me? "Your" kids?! I know she was trying to friendly and her statement was sort of a "Oh we think you guys are great/your kids are great/we care about you" kind of thing, but it made my blood boil. I didn't like her familiar tone.
"I don't like you!" I wanted to scream across the grocery store, "I think you're a couple of racist, lazy animal abusing fucks! I hate you I hate you I hate you!"
But I didn't. I mentioned that we were in the process of selling the house, and Cindy nodded, "I know! I saw the sign!" (if it's not apparent by now, Cindy yells everything).
Then, without thinking I asked the million dollar question, "Wanna' buy it?"
We shared an uncomfortable chuckle, after which Chuck rolled away in the handicap grocery cart contraption, basket filled with pizza rolls, sausage and whole milk.
For Your Scrapbook
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