Going Hard On Softball

, , , , , | Friendly | October 11, 2019

(My husband served three combat tours in Iraq as a convoy driver and suffers from very severe post-traumatic stress disorder as a result. One of his triggers is strange people showing up to our residence unannounced such as salesmen, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc. When he is medically retired from the Army we buy a house on a long private driveway/road that has five other homes along it. The driveway is pretty secluded and leads to the shore of a large pond at the end. The driveway has several large, “NO TRESPASSING,” “NO SOLICITING,” and “PRIVATE DRIVEWAY” signs at the entrance due to the fact that the residents do not want to be bothered by strange callers. My husband really enjoys living there and has even made a really good friend with one of the neighbors, a Vietnam veteran with equally severe PTSD. This is what happens when a teenage girl decides to go door to door in the neighborhood to recruit players for the softball league that she is on. The doorbell rings multiple times as if someone is leaning on it.)

Husband: *starting to freak out* “There is someone at the door and there is a strange car in the driveway! Answer the door for me!”

(I am working on my doctoral dissertation in the family room level of our split level and I walk upstairs to answer the door.)

Teenage Girl: “Hi! Are you the mom? I am with [Softball League] and I am recruiting middle- and high-school-age girls to play on our team–”

Me: *cutting her off* “Excuse me. Did you not see the “no trespassing” and other signs at the beginning of the driveway? You are not welcome here. My husband has PTSD from the war and you are upsetting him. Leave now!”

Teenage Girl: “Yeah, that’s what the guy at the end of the road said and he was really angry. He started screaming at me to leave, but our coach told us to go to every street in this section of town to try to get players for our softball league. I didn’t think that the “no trespassing” and “no soliciting” signs applied to me because I am recruiting for [Softball League].”

Me: “Does your coach know that you just broke the law by entering private property that has been posted multiple times? Furthermore, there are no children on this street. With the exception of the state trooper that lives next door and my husband and I, everyone on this street is over the age of 55.”

Teenage Girl: *shoves a brochure into my hand* “Just take this brochure; you must know some teenage girl who wants to join our softball league. You and your neighbors are just trying to hold our team back. The people on this street really need to be more patriotic and support your community!”

(I realize that my husband has let [Vietnam Veteran] into the house through the sliding glass doors on the upstairs deck, and I hear him and my husband start to curse at the top of their lungs.)

Vietnam Veteran: “Are you stupid, young lady?! We lost brothers in two different wars trying to defend your freedom to have your stupid softball league! Don’t accuse us of not being patriotic unless you are prepared to enlist in the armed forces the day you graduate from high school like both of us did. We almost died for your freedom and we have the right to live in a place where people can’t bother us! This is private property. Leave now!

Teenage Girl: “But we don’t have enough people for our softball league!”

Me: “How is it our problem? You are trespassing on private property. Leave now!”

(At this time, the state trooper neighbor has heard the commotion and has come over.)

State Trooper: “Are you guys okay?” *to me, my husband, and [Vietnam Veteran]* “I saw a strange car in your driveway and I heard yelling.”

(I explain the situation to the state trooper neighbor and he pulls out his badge.)

State Trooper: *to teenage girl* “I am–” *states full name and title* “–and you are trespassing on clearly-marked private property. You have upset three of my neighbors, two of whom are veterans with quite severe PTSD. You have been asked to leave multiple times. Get off of this property now or I will be forced to issue you a court summons for trespassing!”

Teenage Girl: “But our team! We can’t have our league now!”

(I hand the brochure that was forced into my hand to the state trooper. The brochure has a number for the girl’s coach.)

State Trooper: “I am going to call your coach and tell her that you trespassed on private property and tried to bully someone into recruiting for you. Do I have to arrest you for refusing to leave?”

(The girl turned white, got in her car, and left the property. My state trooper neighbor called the girl’s coach, who was not very happy to hear what her player did to recruit for the league. Apparently, several girls from the league took it upon themselves to canvas every street in the small city that we live in to get girls to play in their league when they found out that the league didn’t have enough players. The coach told the state trooper that one girl was almost arrested for trying to force her way into the home of an elderly woman just to try to talk the woman’s granddaughter into joining the softball league!)

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