A little over a year ago, my family moved from our townhouse into a single family house. We lived in the townhouse for 9 years and, overall, we had great neighbors. Specifically the houses on either side of us and we knew that when we moved, we’d probably not find neighbors as good as them.
We know how lucky we were. And we remember it. Every day.
When you move from houses that are attached to houses that are not attached, it not only puts physical distance between you and your neighbors, but it also creates a bit of a personal distance. We all live in our own little bubble and I swear, I haven’t seen the family that lives 2 houses down from us in about a month. That said, we have gotten to know our neighbors within our immediate vicinity and despite our differences, we all have one thing in common.
We all hate the same house.
Maybe hate is a strong word. How about we all dislike them immensely and with great passion? Sounds a little better. Anyway, the reason we all can’t stand them is because they’ve essentially written the manual on how to be crappy neighbors. And, because I’m nice and thoughtful, I figured I’d share that manual with you guys in case you ever want to make your entire block dislike you (which you might, so consider this a PSA).
It’s a pretty easy process, and as long as you follow these steps, you’ll put yourself on track:
1. Be unfriendly. Never smile, wave, make eye contact, acknowledge or do anything that would remotely look like a friendly gesture. Forget small talk; that’s not for you. Nope, for you, it’s essential that you deliberately and purposefully ignore everyone.
2. Be noisy. Especially at inappropriate times, like midnight on a Tuesday. How are you going to make everyone dislike you if you’re not yelling at your spouse or revving your engine late a night, while people are trying to sleep?
3. Be flagrant with your smoking. You smoke and everyone needs to know it. For you, it’s not enough to sit on your front steps smoking. Nope, you need to take that into other neighbor’s garages and leave your cigarette butts in front of other homes.
4. Never control your dogs. It’s not enough that your incessantly yappy dogs bother you. They have to bother the whole street! So make sure you have them outside, where they can serenade the whole block but also make sure that you don’t put them on a leash so they can shit in different yards. Variety is the spice of life, amirite? And as a bonus, never clean it up, either. You consider that a gift!
5. Let your kids run wild. And make sure you’re not watching them, either. It takes a village, isn’t that what they say? Well, to you, you’re not actually part of that village but it’s totally okay to let your kids run loose and let the village take care of them while you’re inside doing who knows what. You need a break, after all.
Remember, you can balance all of this out with making sure your lawn is mowed, your trash isn’t strewn about, and you only have a few house calls from the local police (which might or might have to do with the drugs you might or might not be running out of your garage. I don’t know, though. I’m not here to judge how you make a living. If you can afford your mortgage, then have at it).
Okay, so in reality I know that my neighbors could be much, much worse. But this kind of behavior takes a lot of getting used to and I have a really low threshold for bullshit, drama, and people who don’t watch their pets, children, and have a blatant disrespect for others around them. And to be fair, it’s mainly the mom. The dad is an okay dude and the kids are necessarily horrible. I know they’re doing the best they can.
I just wish they’d be quieter.
And corral their dogs.