In general, I try to be a friendly neighbor. I will greet you kindly. I’ll sign for your mail because you’ve graciously signed for mine. I’ll pet/play with your dogs while you take them on walks. I’ll stand on the stoop and complain with you when the power goes out. I’ll get out with you and your son on a nice day and help you sweep up the leaves on the sidewalks. But ladies and gentlemen, I’m afraid this past month I’ve lost my patience and ability to be a kind neighbor.
The house next door has been sitting empty for a few years now including the past year that we’ve lived here. Suddenly about 2 months ago, we started seeing some activity. One day I saw our neighbor from across the street go inside. Then a few days later a truck was outside and they were hauling out some old antique furniture. And then about a month ago, all hell broke loose. A full renovation had kicked off and it was demolition time. Sitting on the couch trying to watch your favorite show is impossible with the distinct “WHACK” immediately followed by the sound of the wall crumbling in pieces to the floor… over… and over…. and over. The guy in that video at least A) acknowledges how much his neighbors probably hate him, B) was working in daylight hours, and C) was using a power tool to make it go faster rather than a chisel and hammer….. oh and D) was doing ONE wall in ONE room not 5 guys working on the walls of an entire 2 story house!
Luckily, for most days, they’ve quit before I’ve come home. Only occasionally do they work until around 7 or 8 and only once have they actually been demoing until 10:30 at night. A night I seriously considered pulling all of my hair out strand by strand and screaming/crying in the floor in the fetal position. Listening to a demo echo through your house is the closest I’ve ever come to declaring insanity. It makes my eye twitch.
And just when I thought the worst was over, I came home yesterday and opened the back door to let fresh air in the house while it was still light out. Much to my surprise, I was greeted with a layer of siding, drywall, and insulation that had fallen into our yard. Oh HELL NO. I stomped right on over to their house, right into their living room, and started yelling. Perhaps I’m a little low on Vitamin B these days, but I snapped. Last straw.
And you know what’s worse? While I stood there supervising their cleaning of our yard, one of them had the nerve to say “Oh and we’ll replace your window screen.”
“The window screen that we busted. We’ll replace that.”
“You busted our window screen?!”
Ballsy move, dude. Ballsy move.
Upon further inspection, they’d also destroyed our gutter on that part of the house too. Although, given that it’s connected and they’d taken out a wall, I’m not sure if that was avoidable.
There’s a little satisfaction in knowing that our roof runoff will pour directly into the hole in their house. Karma.
I also find it all incredibly ironic that this happens hours after I post about all of our plans for the back area this year – changes to the garden and some colorful upgrades in furniture. Now everything is covered in a lovely layer of debris.
I guess on a positive note, the demo has been done BEFORE we plant our garden, so hopefully we won’t be coming home and finding insulation in our lettuce. Yum!