I’m a new homeowner, and it took me less than a year to realize that well–the people who live around you are the absolute worst.
Growing up, I always heard my parents groan whenever they heard someone mention “neighborhood association,” but their level of hatred and contempt for the self-appointed residential street police is something that you have to experience to fully understand. And back then, neighborhood associations only consisted of a $50 yearly fee, a phone directory, and a meeting once every few months. Nowadays, we’ve got Facebook pages, email blasts, and Nextdoor app networks to wade through on a daily basis. I gave these people my contact info a month or so ago when a serial rapist was running around Tulsa. Now, I’ve opened Pandora’s box. The neighborhood nazis have got me trapped into their endless threads of pointless minutia for life.
In honor of this vicious slap in the face of the harsh reality of suburban living, I’ve decided to list out the top seven most annoying neighbors that I have, and that quite possibly you have too. Check them out after the jump.
1. The Perpetual Remodelers
Initially, you might be excited when you notice that eyesore of a residence across the street is finally being gutted. But first comes the POD in the driveway that won’t move for at least 10 months. Then comes a bevy of construction workers with awesome mullets who enjoy listening to Papa Roach on blast. Next, the hammering of shingles on their roof–no later than at 6:30 in the morning.
2. The Old Crazy Lady
If a elderly woman stops you while you’re mowing to show you a picture of her dog, you’ve most likely run into an O.C.L. If the person next door comes over to talk about a tree you share and doesn’t leave for thirty minutes, you’ve got an O.C.L. on your hands. If you post on Nextdoor or Facebook about a sectional you want to sell and she comments “no thank you I dont like sectionals bad for your posture anyone have a microwave there giving away there are to many stray cats on are street” well, chances are this O.C.L. has left a bizarre, incoherent, un-punctuated and misspelled comment on LITERALLY EVERY SINGLE THREAD on the page.
3. The Neighborhood Watch Guy
This guy takes it upon himself to organize a street surveillance team, tasked with patrolling the streets every day between 7 am and 10 pm (you know, the peak time for break-ins and robberies). This guy is quick to send out emails, fliers, memos, and social media posts about any suspicious activity, and often starts these updates by mentioning the race of the potential perp. “Suspicious Activity” includes (but is not limited to) people who ride bikes sans exercise attire; men who take walks without children or dogs; anyone with facial hair; or anyone wearing a hoodie.
4. The Control Freak Lady
So, there’s a time and a place where the hugely bitchy busy-body queen of the ‘hood comes in handy. For example, when old hippies park their ancient RV in their driveway for weeks at a time, or when little kids idiotically lay down flat on their skateboards and glide on hilly streets. Sometimes, this lady is a huge asset–namely when you’re ticked or worried about something, but are too sheepish to do the confronting yourself.
But okay lady, there’s no need for you to ask if I’m carrying a poop bag for my puppy. I’m allowed to occasionally have friends over after 9:00 pm. I’ll weed-whack my yard as soon as I get a cable refill, sheesh!
5. That House Littered with Toys
Kids are a lovely thing, obviously. I’m not some kind of psycho grinch, and I plan on knocking out a couple in a few years. But let’s all be cool and keep our Fisher-Price collection confined to the garage or backyard after playtime hours. I mean, it just seems reasonable.
A few years ago when I was a new ogle, I wrote this defending a family who was fighting their neighbors over a treehouse in their front yard. I officially want to totally recant this entire post. Have you driven by this house before? It’s a mess! On one of the most expensive and most beautiful streets in Tulsa, the most prominent house is surrounded by jungle gyms, sandboxes, slides, lawn furniture, gnomes, and a cheesy picket fence. The LEAST distracting thing in their yard happens to be the treehouse in question.
6. The Overly Proud Alumni
The little garden flag is cute. A full-sized flying flag can be tasteful in the right situation. But combine those two with a windsock, a painted curb, a lawn sign, a license plate, a stepping stone, and a doormat all dedicated to the school you graduated from? Seriously man, add another hobby to your repertoire.
7. The Creepy Recluse
This house looks condemned. It’s probably ensconced by weeds, overgrown trees, and five stray cats. Children circulate rumors about whoever lives there, usually accompanied with scary story about how some kid’s bones are hidden in the house’s walls. You’ve contemplated going over to make sure the person living there hasn’t died or anything, but decided not to because you’re secretly afraid the rumors your kid told you are true.
Follow Chelsea on Twitter at @xCawoodstock