The Mouse And The Mid-Sized Family Vehicle

, , , , | Friendly | July 30, 2019

Bit of backstory: I’ve always been very quiet and shy, so my parents affectionately refer to me as “a little mouse.”

I had just gotten old enough to learn to drive. Before my parents took me out in their car to practice, my dad first wanted to make sure I was tall enough to reach the pedals — I am rather short. 

When we were out in the driveway, we ran into one of our neighbors. He saw that I was getting in the driver’s seat and questioned if I was old enough. My dad rather proudly stated that yes, I was going to learn how to drive. 

Then, my neighbor said, in a tone of condescension, “Oh, no, not another woman driver on the road that we’ll have to watch out for.”

My dad just stared at him. 

I replied, in the most cheerful and innocent tone I could manage, “Well, I think I can do a better job than some of the men.”

He didn’t say anything else. I put the seat and mirrors back to the position they’d been in before and headed back into the house. My dad came back in a minute later, laughing. He said to my mum, “Well, she’s not a little mouse anymore, that’s for sure.”

It was only afterward that my mum informed me that my middle-aged neighbor had to go to a driving lecture because the police had caught him driving recklessly.

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Driving Them Away Via The Driveway

, , , , , | Legal | July 5, 2019

(Our house is on the corner of the street, so it is very common for people visiting our neighbors to park in front of our house. I don’t mind when they park in front of our yard, but recently, I’ve been having problems with one particular car getting parked forward enough to be in front of our driveway. They are just an inch or two in front of the drive, and one of my friends who is a cop says that it is unlikely to get towed or even ticketed for just that, so I just deal with it. I do keep a lookout to see if I can catch the person who owns the car and try and talk to them about it. Then, one day, I come out to find the car a full two feet in front of our driveway, blocking me off from getting to work. Thanks to some brick walls along the edge of the drive, there is no way for me to cut around, so I call the police. They arrive about twenty minutes later, after I’ve already called into work to explain the situation. They look at it and then head around to knock on a few doors to see if they can get the driver to move the car before getting a tow truck called out. None of the people who answer claim the car, so a tow truck is called out. By the time it actually arrives, I am an hour late for work and rather steamed. The tow truck gets hooked up and they are loading up the car, when a man suddenly comes charging out of one of the houses across the street — which happens to have a completely empty driveway — screaming about them moving his car.)

Man: “That’s my car! What do you f*****s think you’re doing to my car?!”

Officer: “Sir, your car is blocking this man’s driveway. If you will move it, we can let you off with a ticket rather than impounding it.”

Man: “F*** you!”

(He tries to shove the cop, and ends up being wrestled to the ground, swearing the entire way. He ends up being arrested, and his car is towed off. However, that isn’t the end of it. About a week later, I get a knock on my door, and I answer to see a woman I vaguely recognize from around the neighborhood.)

Woman: “Hey! A**hole! You got my boyfriend arrested, you dumb c***!”

(She then hauled back and tried to spit at me, but she didn’t get enough force, leaving her standing there with spit dripping from her mouth and onto her shirt. She spun around and scurried away at that, but then, a couple of days later, we found our front garden torn up and insults written in lipstick on the side of our car. We contacted the police, mentioning the prior incidents, and they eventually sent out a unit to investigate. I watched as they went and knocked on the door of the house across the street, and I got to see this lady try and take a swing at the officers and end up getting hauled off. Like boyfriend, like girlfriend, I guess.)

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Anxiety Is Your Neighbor

, , , | Friendly | July 1, 2019

(One of my neighbors is an older woman whose husband died suddenly a few years ago. She fell and was injured shortly afterward, so I volunteered to take care of her dog and do some other tasks around her house while she recovered. Since then, she usually invites me over for tea and a chat every so often. Last year, my father’s girlfriend brought us to the Big E — a fair with lots of different forms of entertainment, vendors, and really good food — and my neighbor called me over a few days after.)

Neighbor: “So, how was the fair?”

Me: “Oh, it was so fun! They had a huge petting zoo, and acrobats…” *talks about the various things we saw for a bit* “I had some really good clam chowder and frozen cheesecake there, and I also got this nice little pack of aromatherapy bottles for my aunt.”

Neighbor: “And what did you get me?”

(I think she’s joking at first, so I give a half-smile and a bit of a chuckle, but her face remains stony.)

Neighbor: “You didn’t even think of me, did you? You know, I treat you like a daughter and you don’t spare me a second thought.”

(She launched into a small diatribe about how selfish I was, while I sat there feeling very flustered, guilty, and uncomfortable. But part of me also felt like this wasn’t fair at all, because she knew I didn’t have much money of my own and that the aunt in question had been a big help when my mother passed away. Her death had also been very sudden, and since I was young at the time, it left me with a few issues, primarily low self-esteem and trouble standing up for myself. I bought my neighbor some tea around Christmastime to try and mend things, but she continued to throw in passive-aggressive comments every time I saw her, even as she asked me for help with things like setting up her new cell phone, and guilt-tripped me if I hesitated to agree. Eventually, I started seeing a therapist, who told me I shouldn’t have to put up with that, and has steadily been helping me become more assertive. I still see the neighbor occasionally — I can’t completely avoid her, since I live at the end of a dead-end street and have to walk by her house just about every day — but I’m at least getting better at turning down her requests without feeling like a terrible person. I also found out that the apparent cause of her change in mood was that my dad’s girlfriend is the niece of a friend she had a falling-out with; I guess she decided to take it out on me?)

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Barking On Brand

, , , , , , | Friendly | June 30, 2019

I live on a small residential road where the mailboxes are on houses and the mail carrier walks down the street to put the mail in each box. Out for a walk on a nice spring day, when a lot of people had their windows open, I saw the mail carrier going up to one of my neighbor’s houses.

This particular neighbor has a pair of lively Labradors who think every human they’ve ever met is their friend but announce this fact with very loud barking. As the mail carrier walked up to the house, I heard the dogs go off, and then over top of them my neighbor shouting, “IT’S JUST THE MAILMAN! WOULD YOU STOP BEING A DOGGIE STEREOTYPE?!”

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You Gotta Be Kid-ding Me

, , , , , | Friendly | June 28, 2019

(I’ve recently moved into a house that I am renting with a few other housemates. Most of the other houses in the area have families living in them, so it isn’t uncommon to have a bunch of kids running around the area. On this day, I am unloading some groceries from my car when a few kids run past. Suddenly, the kids dart in and grab the bags that I haven’t picked up and run off with them.)

Me: “Hey!”

(The kids run to one of the houses a few doors down, so I drop the bags I’ve already picked up back in the trunk, shut and lock it to prevent a repeat, and then run after them. They’ve already entered the house by the time I get there, so I pound on the door. A lady answers.)

Me: *with an attempt at a polite smile* “Hi. A couple of your kids grabbed some bags from my car while I was unloading, so I’m here to get those back. I think–”

Lady: *screeching* “How dare you?! You accusing my boys of stealing?! They wouldn’t do that! How dare you?!”

(I have zero tolerance for the type of people who resort straight to shouting, so I pull out my phone and punch in three numbers, before holding it up so she can see.)

Me: “I was willing to write it off as childish mischief. Do we need to treat it as actual theft?”

(The lady glares at me and looks like she’s about to slam the door in my face, so I take a step forward, putting my foot over the threshold. She actually growls, before stepping back and picking up the bags from where they’ve been dumped on a side table, just inside the door.)

Lady: “Fine, if you have to have them so bad.”

Me: *in the most disgusted tone I can muster* “They’re mine, b****.”

(I then stomped off, leaving her to gape after me at calling her what she is.)

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