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What the Hell is Going on Next Door?!

When I was younger and just slightly less foolish, I used to mercilessly mock my own Mother and maternal Grandmother for being “nosey.”

(Not often to their faces mind you. . .mostly behind their backs. . .perpetuating a “gossipy” cycle of discussing another’s business while they aren’t in your presence.  Remember that drug commercial where the kid screams “I learned it by watching you, Mom”?  Yeah.  That’s apparently how being a bit of a busybody happens.)

We lived in a small town and everyone knew who’s check was good and who’s husband wasn’t. . .

There wasn’t a ton of action, but apparently enough to keep Mom and Ma-maw chatting through a daily shared meal or visit.  They were never mean or rude. . .They just seemed to be trading shared observations or repeating things they “heard” and as best as I can tell, they didn’t go around broadcasting it to others – which is a valuable lesson for a budding busybody to learn.

I’m not sure where they sourced ALL of their intel, but I do know they were keen observers.  We lived in the town, on a corner lot.  My Mother’s home on one side of the street, my Grandmother’s on the other.

There was always a parade of folks walking by just begging for my Mom or Grandma to discretely peer out the curtains to watch them.

Every time there was a small flutter of activity on the street outside, my Mom would got to the window.  And I would roll my eyes and laugh to myself at how silly it seemed.  After all, she was continually TELLING me to “worry about myself and NOT worry about what everyone else was doing.”  Yet, it appeared to me she was consistently doing the exact opposite.

Flash forward about 20 years.

Here I am, at home all day trying to get by with the pets and the 18-month old. . .

And what am I catching myself doing with alarming frequency?


Looking out the windows, peering out the peep-hole, cracking open a second story window so I can eavesdrop.

I justify this nosey behavior by saying it’s for “safety reasons.”  And sometimes, that’s true.  If there’s a lot of uncharacteristic noise in our alley, I should have a little look-see.  Right?  We live in a CITY rife with drug problems and folks looking to steal and damage property!

Right. . .

So a few nights ago, about dusk, I peered out my back door, and noticed this:

crime scene

I realize my photos are very poor, so let me explain:   This is Christmas Tree Guy’s deck and those are a bunch of dust covers for high-end handbags strewn about the deck.

Odd.  Very odd indeed.  I made a note of the time and kinda’ forgot about it while we had dinner and prepared Mac for bed.

But later that evening, I looked out the door AGAIN, and I realized the dust covers were STILL there and now it was raining all over them.

Christmas Tree Guy and his fiance are young and busy and sometimes there’s some random stuff tossed into their outside environs but as a lover of designer hand bags myself, I realized, there was barely a snowball’s chance in hell I’d throw the dust covers all over my back deck and allow them to be rained on.

Something seemed off.

Crime Dawg Deni was on it!

I shut the door and went racing to the basement to find Chris who was busy with his 25 minute brushing and flossing bedtime ritual.

“I want you to look at the neighbor’s back deck.  I think their house was burglarized.”

Chris rolls his eyes, floss wedged between his right rear molars, and gives me a look of resignation.  He can apparently sense my excited urgency on this one and sighs while he agrees he’ll take a look.

I’m hot on his heels while he flosses every blessed tooth no fewer than 12 times.  I go on and on and on about the evidence.

“I heard their back deck sliders a lot maybe about 3 or 3:30 this afternoon but I thought maybe it was the dog walker.  But I wonder if it was someone breaking into their house.  I mean, I haven’t seen them in days.  Maybe they are still out-of-town for Thanksgiving and they have their dog with them and someone stole a bunch of stuff?  But why would a criminal toss all the handbag covers on the back deck?  That seems like to would take a lot of time and I’d think you’d want to get out quickly if you are going to burglarize a place.  I never heard anyone except for the sound of the back door.  I didn’t see anything.  But don’t you agree it’s odd to have all that stuff just randomly strewn around your deck?  I mean one of them is a Burberry for gawd’s sake.  BURBERRY!  And they are out there in the rain!!”

“OK!” Chris says in an exasperated tone.  (I’ve clearly ruined his tooth brushing).  “I’m going to go look right now.”

I know he thinks I’m just being insane.

He opens the back door and walks onto our deck.  I anxiously peer out the door mentally preparing my rebuttal for when he returns and tells me I’m ridiculous and to stop being so damned nosey.

Except when he returned to the kitchen, he AGREED with me!

“Yeah, that’s weird.” He says.

“Well do we call the cops?  What do we do?”

Chris wisely suggests perhaps we should call Christmas Tree Guy first.

I grab my iPhone and start scrolling through the contacts.  It’s then I realize I no longer have Christmas Tree Guy’s phone number because the phone crashed after I failed to sync it for about 6 damned months.

“I don’t have his number!  Stupid effing phone!”

“It’s ok Deni, why don’t we just knock on their door then?”

Right.  Good thinking.  My heart is pounding. 

We very quietly sneak out the front door since Mac is sleeping and knock on their door.  No answer.  But I can see the lights on and the TV and I can also see their dog.

“Well NOW WHAT?!”

“I think we should go to bed,” Chris says.  “They must be around.  Let’s just see what happens.”

This is a very unsatisfactory conclusion for me.  But I really didn’t want to call the police if nothing was wrong.  I mean, our City Police are BUSY.  Plus, I certainly didn’t want a bunch of sirens and activity outside our house to stir up the dog and wake up the kid.

Every day, I checked on the dust covers.  They were still strewn about the deck.  Yet, I’ve noticed Christmas Tree Guy’s cars have been moved so I know they’re around. (nosey, nosey, nosey).

Still I wanted answers DAMNIT!

Last night I got them. . .Chris ran into Christmas Tree Guy. . .

Turns out their one-eyed cat peed ALL OVER her purses!!!!

Frankly, I think that’s an even worse offense than burglary.

No Responses to “What the Hell is Going on Next Door?!”

  1. I call it neighborhood watch, and it is a safety thing! Sigh, my old neighborhood was much more interesting than my current one.

  2. hahahahaha, we are kindred spirits! we have a BIG picture window in our living room, where my computer is set up, and I watch EVERYTHING that happens on our street! I am SO the nosy old lady on the block! I am also the cranky old lady on the block when the 20-somethings on the corner shoot off fireworks and wake up my kids. (and I’m not talking 4th of July and New Year’s here – it is almost NIGHTLY during the summer – it’s WEIRD)