Thursday, April 30, 2009

Open Letter to My Neighbor

Dear Neighbor,

Thank you so much for coming over tonight to chat with me regarding my failure to maintain my yard to your exacting standards. Yes, I am extremely aware that you spend somewhere around 46,752 hours a week keeping your yard perfectly manicured, and that compared to yours, mine looks a bastard step-child.

Regarding your inquiry as to what my plans were for my yard this year (which obviously, as my neighbor, you have a God-given right to know), they will be pretty much the same as last year: attempting to improve the hard-pack clay bed the poor lawn sits on, eradication of weeds, and keeping the grass alive.

Your complaint about that you’ve now “…lived next door to [me] for 8 years, and the yard hasn’t changed” isn’t quite valid. I actually have more crabgrass this year to get rid of than in previous years. Your apparent need to point out its current height means you did notice the difference this year, the same as we have. Since the crabgrass loves our poor soil, it has lived through three poisonings since last month. I am terribly sorry, neighbor, that this is not sufficient effort for you, and your demand to know the exact weed killers we have used was part of your ever-so-kind efforts to be helpful.

I will take into consideration your advice to mow and water and throw chemicals around my yard as you do. However, dear neighbor, it seems to me that you’re failing to realize that we live IN A DESERT. And also, dear neighbor, it seems that you might have possibly missed the notices in our neighborhood, right next to the drains, embedded in the concrete, that our runoff water empties directly into the waterways where fish and other aquatic wildlife live.

So therefore, my concerned neighbor, I will continue to water infrequently this summer, keep my grass high to withstand DESERT heat, and use as few chemicals on my lawn as possible. Do not be overly dismayed at my crispy lawn—it is not dead, only dormant. It will revive in the fall when the DESERT heat leaves. I think the local fish will appreciate a little more water, and a few less chemicals invading their homes.

And as far as your parting remark about the “clutter” in my yard, I will be sure to let my children know that their bikes and skateboards and wagons and scooters are a horrible eyesore in this community. Heaven forbid that those items should be seen in a yard that has a family with children.

Once again, thank you for the visit this evening. And regarding your own personal description of yourself as “anal” about yardwork, I can only wholeheartedly agree with you.

Sincerely,

Your Neighbor

P.S. Would you happen to know where I could purchase some pink flamingo lawn ornaments?

24 comments:

Kristina P. said...

I think someone needs a giant Santa globe!!

Maternal Mirth said...

I am thinking Garden Gnomes... an entire army of Garden Gnomes.

Bama Cheryl said...

Well said and absolutely correctly. We had a neighbor (who was burning their old wooden siding and stinking up the neighborhood - which turned out to be legal, btw, after I called the fire department on them) complaint about our "piece of sh*t pickup we park in the driveway and the toys in other neighbors' front yards. Our backyards on this side of the street are small and back up to a ravine. Where else are the kids gonna play? Keep your lawn as you have it. Growing grass in a desert is against nature for goodness sake. Grow cacti and rocks - I'm betting some of your non-anal neighbors do!

C.B. Jones said...

Kill 'em with kindness...


...then smack 'em with mutated fish.

joan said...

Good neighbors are a chance we all take. Sorry for yours. :)

Bex said...

those pink flamingos are at the dollar spot at target! buy them! buy them! put one in your front yard to represent each member of your family!

Nikki said...

Forget pink flamingos, I think you should go for something a little more subtle, geese dressed in adorable little outfits, perhaps you could even dress them up as characters for the Wizard of Oz.

Suldog said...

One word...

Whirligigs!

Grant said...

Last time I owned a house I was commuting 3.5 hours+ per day, working and going to college full time. I also had a helpful nonworking neighbor who liked to mow at least three times a week who dropped by to let me know I wasn't living up to his standards of lawn maintenance. He tried to sarcastically offer to help, and I accepted. It got rid of him for good.

presious said...

I'm sure YOUR yard could be as beautiful as HE wants it if HE would pay the tab to do so! Obviously, he is too busy with his head up his own rear end to keep his attention on his own yard >:(.

You are only too kind to him. I'm a nice person and I will give anyone the benefit of the doubt, but he would work my last nerve!

I truly hope you live your life with your family and pay no attention to this anal, piece of whatever!

Sorry, but this makes me quite the angry one. I'm breathing now...:)

Otter Thomas said...

You handled that better than I would. Of course anything short of assault and battery would qualify as better than my response.

Reticula said...

Maybe I should send you a photo of my yard and you could show him how much worse it could be. I haven't had time to mow yet this year and we don't live in the desert. I've got dandelion puffs growing up above long long grass that's supposed to shade out the weeds if you let it grow, but of course in my yard it doesn't.

My advice: grow rocks. And then throw them at him next time he comes a-callin'.

Ms. Salti said...

I am sooo bringing you pink flamingoes. I think my grandma has some in her yard that she won't miss!

♥ bfs~"Mimi" ♥ said...

That is just awful! Worse, the POLICE even came to my dad's house a few years back because he wasn't keeping his garage/carport clean like it should be. I was horrified!! The neighborhood association had reported him.

Peggy said...

I'm surrounded by older couples with no children who do nothing but yard work. I feel the same way about the kid's stuff...if you don't like to look at it, move! I want more kids on my block anyway!

Small Town Mommy said...

Dude, I should totally send you photos of our front yard. It looks like a bomb site.

Next time your neighbor comes over you can show them the photos and say it is what you aspire to.

Kym said...

Don't you just love people and their ever so "gentle" ways of being neighborly? A few years ago, the lady across the street from me (we live in a rental/homeowners neighborhood of duplexes) who owns her own side of the duplex told me that my son and all his friends were bringing her property value down by skating in the street...and why didn't I own a home instead of renting one...LOL! I just laughed at her and said they are kids....

Swoozie said...

Ley them have it!!

Casey said...

Wow, what a great neighbor you have! Mine just complains about the utilities and doesn't take the hint that I have children to care for.

MLight said...

When we had this house built, the saleswoman for this neighborhood hated anything unusual in other people's yards. She would go on and on about her desire to crack the wings off of her neighbor's hummingbird mailbox. She also wasn't very easy to work with since she was never wrong.

We moved in three weeks before Christmas, and I couldn't find any pink flamingos anywhere. I really wanted to put a flock in our front yard.

Frogs in my formula said...

Your neighbor's comment that they've lived next door to you for 8 years is hysterical. As if they've been observing your lawn and enough time has passed that they can now offer their opinions. Time to get a higher fence, I think.

Jennifer said...

This is the one issue I'm pretty much Libertarian about; I think that unless something in your yard is a safety/health hazard, then everyone else should just keep their damn mouths shut! Not all of us have a penchant or desire for lawn maintenance. (Says I, who likely have the ugliest lawn in the neighborhood!)

Roy Hayward said...

You make me grateful for my neighbours. We moved into our house November of 07. The place had been a rental without renters for a long time, and the yard was all goatheads and dandelions.

I just barely meet safety standards with my clutter and mow down the weeds and the people across the street with the immaculate flowers and sculpted landscaping seem to make it a point to mention how much they appreciate what we have done with the yard.

I try not to laugh out loud. I am from where God waters the lawns, and you mow must to be able to find your car. Living in the desert has been a challenge getting used to.

piecemeal people said...

We have elderly neighbors with meticulous lawn habits and though OUR lawn and garden are a vast improvement over those of the people who lived in this house before us, they still slip us the ol' evil eye now and then and I'm pretty sure we're one dandelion away from a major altercation.

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