Living Next to a Terrible Person


Reading time: about 3 min.

We live next door to a bonafide terrible person.

It started about 6 years ago, two years after we moved into the house. We knew family members of our home’s original owner still lived in the neighborhood, including some of his children and grandchildren. He seems to have been a good man.

Then there’s his sister, Joyce.

About 6 years ago, she had a big family party at her place, complete with bouncy castle and tents for the adults to sit under–but all in the communal land behind us. We’re at the back of the subdivision, so we have direct access to the communal area, especially since we don’t have a fence.

I want to go on the record here that I have nothing against loud parties, visitors, bouncy castles, or tents

What I do have something against is public urination. That is, I looked out my kitchen window and saw a man whip his ding-a-ling out and take a piss on the evergreen that were on my property line. They were in a serious state of decline and we were trying to figure out how to deal with it. Letting it become a public bathroom was not an option.

So I popped out into out backyard and wandered back to the tent to see if I could speak with whoever was in charge–I was introduced to one of Joyce’s daughter. But before I could tell her what was going on, Joyce came barreling out of the house and I still remember most of what she said:

This used to be a nice neighborhood before you moved in! People like you shouldn’t be allowed to buy houses! (note: everyone in this story is white)

When she took a pause for breath, I told her that I had observed someone urinating on our property and that was unacceptable. She ranted a bit more:

Why does it matter, they’re dying, and you’re not doing anything about it! You shouldn’t have been allowed to buy a house! Get off my PROPERTY (except said like proPITy).

Then her daughter dragged her inside and nodded at me.

There have been other incidents, like with our (ex-)arbor-vitae–heavy snowstorm in March made the one bordering her lean over her yard and instead of waiting for the snow to melt and see if the branch sprang back up, the next day she was out there with a chainsaw and her son and between the damage they did and the debris left around the communal area of the grass, not to manage what was on my grass, she cost me $3,000 in tree and debris removal.

She’s called County on us at least twice, once because P. hadn’t mowed it yet and another time because she didn’t like the weeds that were growing in what used to be azaleas bushes (we pulled them because they were dying). I’m working on a wildflower bed under my bedroom window, because County only writes up what they can see from the road.

Then there was the time our rep on the County Council came by because she emailed him about us and it was clear he thouggh she was a crank, but he did help us get a bunch of rebar pulled out of the ground–they’d used rebar to hold the arbor vitae in place when it wa small instead of the usual stakes and…never removed them.

She blows my trees leaves back onto our yard. In the summer, she power washes her driveway and sidewalk at least once a week. If a plant isn’t performing to her strict specifications, she has it taken out.

When I was getting in home nursing care, she told off one of nurses from parking in the street in the space between out driveways. She told the nurse that’s she’d been on the grass and she thought that sprinkler heads were damaged, but she’d called the sprinkler company and luckily there was no damage. It was all bullshit–she can’t stand for anyone but her kids to park in that spot. And there was no damage to the lawn and she doesn’t have sprinkler heads there. No one has them between the sidewalk and the street.

But tonight. Tonight. It is super rainy and blustery out and we got our recycling week confused, so when it blew over, stuff ended up in the street. And we didn’t notice because we’re fucking working, both of us.

The door bell rings twice. As I’m getting up I yell out that I’ll get it. Two knocks, then two more. I open the door.

It’s Joyce and she’s here to tell us that out trash bin blew over and our trash was all over the street and when I tried to thank her for letting us know, she slammed my glass door in my face.

Which is when I lost it. I told her to never park in my driveway again (she literally drove over to tell us this), to never come on my property, and when she told me to call the cops I told her this was a two way street and she’s alway been the instigator.

And then I told her to fuck off.