Freaks, Geeks, And Squeaks

This month’s LOL theme is neighbors.

Through the years, I’ve had many neighbors. Nice ones. Nosy ones. Nasty ones. Mean Ones. Annoying Ones. All kinds of neighbors.

Growing up in a very small town, everyone knew one another. Whether we lived next door, on the same road, or two miles away, we still considered one another neighbors. It was the kind of town that you could depend on your neighbors to help you when needed. It didn’t matter if you needed a cup of sugar, a babysitter, a ride to the grocery store, or help working on your car. There was always someone to reach out to for assistance and someone for you to offer your services in return. During my young years, my next door neighbor was my babysitter. Then we moved to my father’s family property and the nearest neighbor was a half a mile away which were my cousins.

After I got married, I moved to an apartment in the city. I soon found that all sorts of people existed in the world. Apartment living was noisy and busy. We once lived on the lower level. A quiet nerdy guy lived above us. We never heard a peep out of him …until he got a girlfriend. Then, they kept us up all hours of the night. Let’s just say we dubbed them “Squeak” and “Squeal”. It was nearly impossible to keep a straight face when we passed them in the corridor. Now, how can one possible go to the complex management and complain that their upstairs neighbors were having wild sex at all hours?! Funny though that we remained friends with our neighbors across the hall. They friended the people that moved into our old apartment, and they just happened to complain about the same thing. Long after we left, our nicknames for them stayed. (And they actually did complain to the management!)

Later, we lived in a condo for five years. We had a neighbor there, that was supposedly an exotic dancer. However, she had men in and out of her residence all hours of the night. One of her regular visitors was a local uniformed policeman. No, he was not answering complaints. He was “spending” time with her. In this same complex, we think there may have been drug dealers as well. Their car lights shined in our windows at night as they moved things in and out during the middle of the nights. And the people below us threw wild parties, and the man was also a wife beater. It was a brand new place when we first moved there but quickly attracted “riff raff” as condo owners rented out their spaces. We were quite happy to leave that place behind.

We bought our home nineteen years ago. It was considered an older established neighborhood. Originally, we were the only young family on our street. It was all older couples. Each house had at least one person retired or staying at home during the day. The neighbors were very friendly and anxious to get to know us. One particular neighbor still had a teenage daughter at home. The weekend we moved in, the parents were out of town and she threw a wild party. Her older sister tried to break up the party and ended up calling the cops and having her arrested. So as we settled into bed our first night in our home, we heard sirens (above the loud music and shouting!) arrive in our cul de sac. We watched through our blinds as the sisters fought and the drunk teenager swung and cursed at the police officer as he poured out a half a gallon of liquor. We watched in horror as they placed her into the car and drove off. We wondered what the heck kind of neighborhood we’d moved into. Of course, at that time we’d never even thought that someday our children would become the teenagers throwing parties in our absence!

We have gotten to know the neighbors through the years. We had one couple that I dubbed as a “bohemian” duo. They were favorites of mine, mainly just because they were colorful characters. Not that they did anything bad. They were very nice people. They just beat to their own drums. I mean she hung out in the yard wearing what I called muumuus. The husband had once been an editor in NYC and moved about as if in a daze most of the time. However, they carried on delightfully interesting conversations. Sadly, they both died at young ages within a year of one another. Others have passed on, and new families have moved in and added to their broods.

Some of these neighbors call in complaints to various agencies for barking dogs, trash cans not placed on the proper side of the house, and other minor annoyances. We used to have a dog that was a barker. The “bohemians” had one as well. We both got called in and received anonymous identical complaint letters about our “ill mannered” pets. The bohemian lady confronted the letter sender and told us who she was. The sad thing was that it was an older woman that we had helped clear her yard after hurricane damages on more than one occasion. Actually, I know a barking dog can be annoying, but I would rather someone ask me if I could control the situation rather than sending an anonymous letter. We now have a well behaved dog and there are many barkers in the neighborhood, however, I am not the type of person to call in and raise a stink over it.

When we first moved in, we were aware of the happenings around us. Now, it seems we are seldom cognizant to what is going on. I have found it amazing as to how nosey people actually are. We used to have a neighbor that would ask us if we were selling our car every time we washed it or would come by to see who was visiting if she saw a strange car in our drive overnight.

When I see people having work done on their homes, I really don’t pay much attention to it, maybe ooh and aah at the completed work, but that’s about it. However, I’ve actually witnessed neighbors going up and reading peoples’ building permits. Years ago, we built a shed. You only have to have a permit if it exceeds a certain size. Being the engineer that Dirt Man is, he built it exactly within the specifications. Upon completion, the city showed up in the cul de sac and set up their tripods and lasers and measured without entering our property. (A neighbor called to alert me that she saw them taking measurements. So I walked outside and watched them.) Off course, we met the specifications, so we never heard anything from them. However, “someone” must have notified them of the building. We have a brick home with one third siding. Last year, we had the siding redone, windows replaced, gutters put in, HVAC replaced, new carpet, etc… Anyway, we did not get a building permit while they were tearing down the siding. You are not required to have a permit until they start replacing siding or other structures. Every single day, the permits and inspections truck drove by our house and turned around in the cul de sac. A certain little old man one street over would come by each day very slowly and scout out the situation. So, the morning that they started replacing the siding, Dirt Man placed the permit in the front window. The permits and inspections never drove by again…until four hours after the last piece of gutter was installed. Someone was really keeping an eye out on our house!

The nosy people aren’t really the neighbors that I know. I like the ones that I know. These are the people that didn’t even tell me when my own kids threw parties while we were out of town. (The kids told us themselves….actually they bragged about it! But that’s another post.) Some I know better than others. And some I like a lot and even do things with on occasion.

I met this one neighbor that lives about five houses down from us through our dogs. We have a Labradoodle, and they have a Goldendoodle. The woman and I started getting the dogs together for play dates. I know that sounds silly, but it is what it is! Anyway, it ends up that she and my husband went to college together on the other side of the state and had classes together there and partied together. Our children even know one another. We had lived only five houses apart for sixteen years, and they had never recognized one another.

Our neighborhood started having block parties a few years ago and this has given us a wonderful opportunity to meet neighbors that we would never know otherwise. It has been both fun and interesting. And for the record, I love my neighborhood, coots, spooks, and all. (And who knows what they think of me…I might be featured on someone else’s blog…you never know!?!)

26 thoughts on “Freaks, Geeks, And Squeaks

  1. fun post,
    you have neighbors upstairs being wild and noisy the whole night time, funny,
    Happy Sunday!
    Happy Mother’s Day!
    U R The Best!


  2. It’s funny how you have so many interesting neighbor situations to talk about. I guess if I think about it, I could probably do the same. I’m really astonished to hear about the building permit situation though. That was ridiculous!

  3. Tonight was prom night for our neighbor’s son. His dad was at work and he was having trouble with his tie, so he came and asked my husband for help. It was precious (as much as anything relating to teenage boys can be considered precious!). =>

    It also made me love our neighborhood even more, though we, too, have the Nosy Parkers and letter-writers. You take the good, you take the bad, right?

  4. Neighbors are like roommates…they can be good, bad, fun or a pain in the rear. I guess it is the luck of the draw. Oh and by the way…I hope you have time to read my new blog. I truly value your opinion as a writer…I think you are awesome. Happy Mother’s Day!

  5. Wow, you’ve come full circle with your neighbors throughout the years. 🙂 Such entertainment!
    Seriously, I can relate to some of your stories. Now, I too, live in a neighborhood where I intend to stay, and it’s working just fine.
    EnJoy Mother’s Day!

  6. Happy Mother’s Day,my friend!
    You look BEAUTIFUL, then and NOW!
    You are such a wonderful friend and MOTHER!
    May this Mother’s Day be one of the best with more to come in years!

  7. Interesting post – you have certainly had your share of colorful neighbors! Having moved country and home many times we have lived a lot of our time in apartments. I always have said apartment living would be perfect, if it weren’t for the fact that you can hear everything your neighbors are doing. There is this natural territorial instinct that afflicts all of us with regards to house and home and can lead to so much conflict and angst. I guess we are all still cavemen at heart 🙂

    Have a wonderful Mothers Day

  8. Sometimes I wish we lived in an actual neighborhood vs. where we live now – we live on a very busy road so there’s no ‘socializing’ with the neighbors like you have in an actual neighborhood. Though I’m happy to do without the nosy ones. 😉

    Happy Mother’s Day! 🙂

  9. My closest neighbors are 1/4 mile away and that makes me so happy. In our old neighborhood there was constant gossip and drama. I much prefer the solitude.

    Great snippet of neighborhood life.

  10. Happy Mother’s Day Suzicate. Now I’m jealous! You have a fun neighborhood. Mine is pretty boring. We used to have the drug dealers but they moved. Now it’s just regular people. Boring. Never mind. Maybe an exotic dancer will move in someplace! LOL!

  11. We had a set of neighbors that would START BBQing at 11:30 pm on Sunday night. We would hear talking and laughter for about an hour then silence. And I thought they were done. But then we would hear laughter and talking, then complete silence, then 5 minutes later, a burst of LOUD laughter talking, then silence, then loudness, then silence. ALL NIGHT LONG. Usually I would wake up to singing. This would go on throughout the week. They would ALWAYS START at 11:00 PM or so. After a few months of this Hubby finally started going over and telling them that they needed to take their parties INSIDE their house. It turned out that they were playing cards (explains the quiet then the laughter). After a few months of Hubby going over we started calling the police. I was so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, happy when they finally moved out. But according to the owner they wrecked the house (ya think?). Was months before the next set of renters moved in.

    Now we have great neighbors. We don’t have block patires. That would be fun. Glad you like your neighbors and neighborhood.

  12. You’ve had quite a collection! I’ve never had nosy neighbours, that I know of, anyway… and the complaints ‘thing’ doesn’t seem to happen in quite the same way in the UK.

  13. Great post! If we had an exotic dancer in our hood, it would provide endless entertainment for everyone. People ARE so nosey, aren’t they? Our current neighbors are so good. We all help each other out. You know you can always depend on them– a great thing.

  14. Happy Mother’s Day Sucicate. I can relate to what you went through for I too live in an aprartment. My neighbors upstairs sound like they are going to come through the floor on me. Thanks for sharing.

  15. We have the best neighbors. On the day we move din they brought us wine and cookies and a Gift certificate to their restaurant…other invited my son over to play the week we move din. Mostly we live by older (much older) people but they are lovely. I really want to have a block party to we can all acquaint and reacquaint ourselves. Neighbors make the neighborhood worth living in.

  16. I love this! I’d love to tattle on my neighbors…but I can’t. Small town and all.
    And I’m already known as the town weirdy b/c I homeschool.

    But, I could tell you things…Oh, I wish I could.

    I really enjoyed this post through and through.
    Thank you. Great idea.

  17. What a journey! I also grew up in a small, rural environment and now live cheek by jowl with a zillion other people. It still shocks me some days …

    I have fantastic neighbors – I was even inspired to write a post about it recently – but I have to say, the kids are growing up all around us and I think we are in for some serious partying this summer. It’s already starting … it should be both amusing and annoying (as well as a glimpse of the future for me and my husband!).

  18. Pingback: … in a Bottle » Blog Archive » Recap of Living Out Loud volume 16: The people in your neighborhood

  19. Oh my, I could never live in a neighborhood that requires permission for everything.

    I did have to recently turning our neighbors dog, I didn’t want to and had put it off for six months. I was hoping me and this dog could be friends, but when she tried to bite me two days ago I couldn’t put it off any longer.

    I hate that I have become “one of those” neighbors.

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