Thursday, May 21, 2009

It's On Like Donkey Kong

An epic battle is brewing against my will. I want absolutely no part of it, but I am embroiled in a bitter conflict that appears to have no end.

Our new neighbors drew first blood, and now, it's on.

When we bought our new house--which, by the by, we adore--we needed to install a gate across the driveway. Where we wanted to place it happened to be a few inches on our neighbor's property. Christopher contacted them and the woman, a young mom of four kids, told him it would be fine. Fast forward a few weeks, past the down payment of the gate and two days before the scheduled install, and our neighbor abruptly tells us no. What inspired this 180 degree turn we have no idea, but among the reasons they gave us, and the fence company, were:

a. our property value will be decreased.
b. our drain tile and foundation will be ruined.
c. our neighbor didn't let us do it on the other side, so there's no way in hell we're letting them.
d. (my personal favorite) my wife said yes, but I'm the man of the house, and I say no.

No kidding.

Now, we were upset, of course, but after careful reflection, we realized they have every right to tell us no. That's not really our issue--if they'd initally told us no, and not given us every excuse, hemmed and hawed, none of this would be a problem.

So, fine, we put the gate farther down the driveway. Yes, it will be a pain in the neck during the winter when Cosmo has to go outside, but whatever. We now know the type of person we're dealing with, and that's that. Let's move on, right?


Monday afternoon I looked out the window to see a painter's van in their driveway. The neighbors are having their house painted and, oh boy, the painters need to get into our driveway to scrape and paint the house. One painter rang the doorbell and told me to move my car, out of MY driveway, as it was in their way.

Did I mention the neightbors never even told us that there were painters coming, and would we mind letting them use our driveway?

Now, normally I'm a very agreeable person. If I can help someone out, I almost always go out of my way to do so. But darling neighbor, the MAN of the house, couldn't even condescend to come ask us permission. Christopher spoke with one of the painters and explained that all we needed was to be asked by the MAN of the house.

That was four days ago. His wife called--I like to think of it as doing his dirty work-- and Christopher calmly explained that he would like the MAN to ask him. Not so.

This puts us in the unique and awkward position of being childish. I would love nothing more than for Christopher to go over there and talk to this guy, man to man. However this guy appears to be a bit of a bully, and Christopher does not want to lose him temper. I can't say I blame him.

I hate this. I just want them to paint the damn house. But since we've moved in, the guy next door has never even looked in my direction, let alone even said hello. I've waved and smiled to the wife, and she doesn't return my neighborly good will. We live twenty feet from each other, we occupy the same breathing space.

I have no idea what we did to piss them off from the start, but goddamn it if they're big enough to even talk to us about it. So, this is how it will be for now.

The last thought I have to get off my chest is this: a true man confronts problems head on, rather than having everyone else do his dirty work and hiding inside his house.

1 comment:

  1. That sounds horrible. Take comfort that you will probably only really have to deal with them for part of year - the rest of the time everyone will be inside. Hopefully things will mellow once their house is painted, until then I'd keep smiling it will probably drive him crazy.