Thursday, December 13, 2012

We Have Good Fences

We have neighbors.

On the one side is an elderly couple who are much better gardeners than I.  They eat out only on Thursdays, after the Mrs. has her appointment at the beauty shop and on Sundays after church, both times at the Dairy Queen.  They have a little dog who is yappy and whose name may or may not be Max.  Either the dog or the man is named Max, but I'm at a loss to recall which.  They are only seen during the spring, summer and early fall.  There is no sign of their existence in the winter months.  And that's all I know about that.

Oh, and they have a cat whose name is definitely Molly.

On the other side we have Tom and Sue.  They are very nice, as well.  They are quiet - no wild parties or raucous family gatherings.  They are just nice.   Very nice.

And we drive them nuts.

That's not entirely accurate. Specifically, I drive Tom nuts.  He's got ideas.  About stuff.  I seldom greet his ideas with the reverence they are due.

We'd only lived here for about 2 hours when we pretty much had Tom figured out.  He came over just as soon as we finished unloading the big furniture and said he was sorry he'd not been over sooner to help out.  He commandeered Randy for a long "get to know you" discussion while Katie and I continued to haul boxes into the house.  Katie and I kept walking right past them and sometimes right between them while Tom commiserated about how sorry he about not getting there sooner to help out.  Finally, I hollered for help from inside the moving van claiming to have a box that was far too heavy for poor little me to lift on my own.  Tom excused himself and went back home so Randy could help me.

Thanks, Tom.

A few months later, Randy and I were outside doing some Saturday afternoon yard work.  Sue, who is a very sweet lady, came over to say hi.  We were chatting neighborly while Tom continued to wash his car on the other side of their yard.  He looked up, saw us, and began gesturing wildly and calling Sue's name.  She looked over at him, slightly exasperated, and asked what he wanted.

"Sue!  Did you forget?  You haven't done your hair or put on makeup today!"

Stunned silence.  Stunned.

Finally, I yelled back, "Well, hell, Tom!  Randy hasn't even taken a shower yet!  And he doesn't even have any hair!"

Tom grumbles a lot when I'm around.

To his credit, Tom really likes the holidays. He likes to decorate for them, anyway.  Every year he adds to his wintery white-bread wonderland.  More lights, more trees, more grazing reindeer.  And music.  This year the whole thing blinks in sync with music.

We put up a wreath.  This year, there are lights on it.

Last night, I was walking home from the track, across the school parking lot.  Tom was out in the front yard tweaking his trees.  He looked up.  I waved.

"Hey!" he said.  "You wanna borrow some decorations?"  He does sort of a benevolent glower so that you are sure not to miss the oh-so-subtle hints he drops.

I made a big show of removing my ear buds.  "It looks great!" I said, giving him a goofy grin and a big thumbs up, pretending to totally misunderstand his meaning.  "You're doing a great job!"  As if he lived for my approval.

Tom grumbled and went back into the garage.

Good ol' Tom.


dyan said...

I bet you're Tom's favorite neighbor ever!

Lori said...

I love that..... thanks for making me laugh... I was right there in the story with you too!
I hate men like Tom, you handle him well.
glower... yeah I bet.

spookyrach said...

We still can't believe he actually said that bit about the hair and makeup. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

You have to go over there now wearing curlers in your hair and cold cream and ask to borrow a power tool. You know you have to.



Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

I think we know several Toms. lol You won't be surprised is Sue *snaps* one of these days will ya?

Vic said...

We live next door to a version of these people too. Maybe it's part of the "equal and opposite" that keeps the world turning.

Monica said...

This is the most small town of your small town stories. Which makes me need to question if there is another option for dining out other than DQ? And Tom takes the cake. Sheesh. I'll bet I could blow his mind within the first 30 seconds of our conversation. With my non-fixed hair and non-make-upped face, of course, as always.

spookyrach said...

LJ - you KNOW I gotta do that.

Mindy - yep, I figure Sue for a snapper. Fer sure.

Vic - I think you are probably exactly right. haha!

Monica - aaaaah, I see you are quite, quite familiar with small town Texas. Yes, DQ is the ONLY option on Sunday, but Thursday they could do the other hamburger joint or the surprisingly good pizza place. And I've no doubt - NONE - that Tom would be totally floored after 30 seconds of conversation with you. All you'd have to do is introduce yourself and tell him what you do for a living. ~snerk~

Monica said...

That was exactly the conversation opener I had in mind. In the kindest way possible, of course. *ahem*

Send your surprisingly good pizza place our way, please.

spookyrach said...

Oh, of course. The kindest possible way.