Monday, July 12, 2010

The Writing Is On The Wall Window

Okay. I am convinced. It is not me. I am not the crazy one. Nope. That honor belongs to one of my neighbors. I mean, I sort of new that she was a nutbar, but I thought that I might have contributed in some way--through something I did or failed to do-- to any drama that may have occured. Now I know. It's her. It's not me.

One of our neighbors is selling their house (thanks be to God). It has been on the market for a while. They have reduced their price, but as far as we know, they haven't had any serious interest. Interestingly, the For Sale sign coincided with a marked increase in my prayer time. Every time I see it, I offer up a little prayer that it will sell quickly and that a normal family will move in. (I know we are not normal. But it would be good if the family moved in understood that no one is really normal. Also, it would be good if they didn't think they cornered the market on mad parenting skillz.) My prayers have even gone so far as to include a neighbor that we could, oh, I don't know, be neighborly with. I may also have requested a little girl Mary's age so that she doesn't continue to think of me as her Cruise Director--solely responsible for finding her fun.

Anyway! While I was off getting a hair cut on Saturday, the Nutbar's husband, who isn't really a nutbar himself--who does, in fact, seem to be a nice guy, albeit a rather spineless one--knocked on our door. When my beloved answered, the Nutbar's husband (henceforth referred to as NH) rather sheepishly stated that he had a favor to ask, and further stated that he wished he didn't have to ask it.

Now, it is my opinion that if you wish you didn't have to ask something, well, you probably shouldn't because A) you are not convinced about the thing which you are asking and will wind up looking like a wishy-washy fool, or B) you really don't have any right to be asking in the first place.

So NH asked if we would mind wiping off the writing on our windows because even though we "made our own way in this world, as had they," evidently the people coming for a showing of their house had not. Whatever that means. In my case, I took it to mean people that would be just as high maintenance as the ones living there now. Who knows, really? This was all Nutbar's doing poured through the filter of her husband's mouth.

Let me back up. A few weeks ago, I finally got around to cleaning up and organizing the mudroom. In that time, the children discovered that we had Crayola window markers. These write on windows and come off easily. We haven't used them much--mainly during football season. Anyway, they were spirited away with much whispering and planning. Sean had his name written in big letters on his two windows. Maggie had drawn flowers, rainbows, and other things of that ilk, along with a few sayings and several names (including those of her friends and cousins) drawn in fancy, curlicued handwriting. If I had my druthers (control freak that I am), they wouldn't have done it (because that sort of thing, even though easily cleaned, gives me hives), but they are kids, it was harmless, and that is, in fact, what the markers were designed for. There was nothing offensive on the windows. And nothing was going to stay up there forever. Most things had been up a week or less. While you could see the writing on the windows from the outside, short of being able to read Sean's backwards name, you couldn't really tell what the rest was. Mostly what you saw were hearts and flowers and rainbows.

So. Enter NH on our doorstep asking my beloved husband if we would clean our windows off because they have a showing. My husband asked NH if he thought our windows detracted from the appearance of his house and NH's response was "no." My husband--who it should be noted, has a very good spine and is in no way wishy-washy--replied that our daughter would have a fit if we cleaned off her windows while she was gone. After all, her cousins had just written their stuff only a few days earlier. He stated that he would be willing to open the blinds so that the writing wouldn't be seen as easily. A nice option, I thought, considering we didn't have to do anything. (Let's not even get into the fact that we couldn't imagine asking something like this of neighbors ourselves when we were selling our house.)

When I got home, Patrick debated about whether he should tell me because he feared that my brain my ooze from my ears I might get upset. In fact, I laughed. I was so taken aback by the request that at first I thought he was joking. My next impulse, and the impulse I acted on, was to take the window cleaner and some paper towels and go clean the windows.

"No way am I letting them blame the loss of the sale on me!" I muttered. "Boy howdy does Nutbar ever have some brass ones," I thought. Although I probably didn't say "boy howdy" and I'm fairly certain that whatever I might have called her in my head, "Nutbar" would have been a very large step up.

I cleaned off Sean's windows and then headed for Maggie's room. And there I stopped. I refused to clean off the flowers and rainbows and hearts and names. The more I thought about it, the crazier and ballsier the request seemed. I furrowed my brow, scratched my head, listened to my conscience, and then I turned around and left Maggie's room without touching her windows. They'll get cleaned in a few days. When we're ready.

It did enter my head, because I am evil, to take the markers and draw a giant arrow using all the upstairs windows and have it point to the neighbor's house. On the downstairs windows I thought I might write "Nutbar!" Of course I didn't, but it has been fun to contemplate...

It's been a long time since I've had any neighborhood blog fodder, which, while not so great for the blog, has been pretty nice for, you know, living. We have sort of kept our distance from certain folks, which has kept any drama to a minimum. I can only hope that my prayers will be answered in short order.

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