Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Oh, to be young and stupid again, when moving every year was somewhat fun…ugh. The BF and I, after four years in the same place, are moving in a few weeks. We pick up the keys to our (temporary) new home this weekend, in between hitting the Sounders match and buying new couches.

Over the last few years, we’ve done our best to not get to know our neighbors, and have instead assigned them various nicknames to identify them.

First we have Mister and Missus Married with Three Kids. The Marrieds owned the house next door and have recently vacated the premises in order to sell said house. They’re quiet neighbors, and Missus Married shepherds the kids off to church every Sunday while Mister Married likes to brew beer in the bathroom. This last one is an assumption-the BF saw beer brewing equipment scattered all over their yard last summer.

Behind our house (and by “behind”, I mean DIRECTLY behind; we have no backyard), are three townhouses. When we first moved in, the townhouses were occupied, from left to right, by the Invisible Couple, Screaming Family, and Jeff and Tamara.

The Invisible Couple became Ken and Barbie after a few months, when we heard the male half of the couple calling the female half Kendall. The male half was dubbed Barbie because of his slightly…effeminate affectations. (We never said we were politically correct). Alas, they moved out about a year or so ago, selling the place to Starcraft Dude. Starcraft Dude likes to sit out on the patio. He is incapable of making a phone call without first cracking open a PBR and lighting up, then he commences talking about various video games. The BF, being the nerd that he is, overheard him talking about Starcraft, hence the nickname. Starcraft Dude lives with his girlfriend and one other guy, who looks so much like him that sometimes I think they’re the same person.

Screaming Family earned their unfortunate nickname the summer we moved in. They fought constantly. Screaming Family is made up of Screaming Mom, Screaming Dad (who turned out to be the Boyfriend and not the Real Dad) and Screaming Kid. You had to feel a little bad for the kid, what with Mom and Fake Dad always at each others throats, but sometimes…well, he was a bit of a brat. When Screaming Dad moved out, finally, Real Dad moved in, and Screaming Kid was much happier. They were the proud owners of two Siamese, one of whom was named Boss. This prompted the BF to adopt an outrageous Asian accent whenever Boss Kitty showed up on the back deck to torment Demeter (my extremely territorial cat, see next example). They eventually moved out as well, and have been replaced by people who are completely unremarkable. They are the best kind of neighbors.

Jeff and Tamara were the only neighbors we knew by name right from the start. They actually introduced themselves to us, and we ran into them a few times at the grocery store. They were quiet and unobtrusive, their one fault being to own a giant black cat named Aaron, which we dubbed The Panther. Demeter went ballistic every time The Panther pranced around on our back deck, and the screen in the living room window is about ripped to shreds because of The Panther attempting to claw its way through to get to my cat. Jeff and Tamara eventually moved out, taking their offending creature with them, to be replaced by Landlord Guy, the owner of the townhouse. He’s since moved on as well, renting it out to some people we rarely see, except for their son, MC Wannabe. Wannabe enjoys rap battles on his back patio with his friends, where he reigns triumphant not because he can keep a beat or has sick rhymes, but because he’s the loudest.

Which brings us to our last neighbors. These people actually live two houses up from us. They enjoy having parties in their backyard on any day that’s even remotely sunny, which is nice for them. Not so nice for us. They aren’t particularly loud, but between our house and theirs is a set of four townhomes, the kind where they’re set up two in the front of the lot, two in the back, with the garage entrance (and a lot of empty space) in the middle. Which means there’s no sound buffer between us and the occasional maniacal laughter that wakes me up at one in the morning. Also, they like to have their parties on Sunday nights. But this isn’t their worst offense. They have a tiny beast we call Yap Attack, a black Pomeranian that will.not.SHUT.UP. EVAR. We’ve begun interpreting the constant barking as “Kill me, kill me, I want to die, someone kill me now.”

Four years ago, we’d moved into a house, rather than an apartment, with the thought it would be quieter. More private. Ironically, our new apartment is far quieter and more private than our house could ever be. Sigh.

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