That is what the subject line of the email read. I had a warm surge of panic rush from my stomach to my face as I envisioned my dog smashed by a car. And then just a racing heart and red face as I rapidly dialed the spineless man who sent the email probably not realizing I would call.
This spineless man would be my neighbor. My seven-year-old dog was barking and his kids could not do their homework. My dog barks. However, he is part human and most of his time is spent with us and having had dogs all our lives we are very conscientious about not leaving him outside to bark.
However, didn’t this inconsiderate neighbor think that maybe we were dealing with a horrible, incompetent contractor who has taken 12 weeks to re-do two bathrooms? A job that was to only take three weeks to complete? A job that started in August? A job that resulted in having to replace our kitchen ceiling? A job that included days without workers showing up with no calls? Ok, so we had to put our dog out so that he wouldn’t attack the workers. Didn’t this neighbor know that we have five kids and on any given day someone was having a crisis? Wasn’t he a mind reader?
Apparently not…I called up Mr. JA and got his voicemail. “Hello, this is Elizabeth James, I prefer to have conversations involving complaints or other sensitive issue in person or at least via the phone. Would you be the neighbor behind us with the wrapped up RV in the backyard or the one with the broken trampoline? I would appreciate a call back.”
I said that…I said it from my conference room at work. He called right back and I was ready to flip on him. To tell him how I am trying my best here…I take five kids to five schools, I am working, I am writing a book, I have 11 books to read before January 5th for my residency. WT%#? However, Mr. JA was not a JA at all…he was laughing on the line and said “Hello Elizabeth, I am not the neighbor with the RV or the Trampoline…”
Well, good thing for people with a sense of humor…because it saved him from a burning ear and me from an evening of regret.
I went from being a Washington, D.C. career woman to alerting my husband via text message that I had quit my job. I sold my Mercedes, fired the nanny, flew off to Nicaragua and found Jesus all in a two week period. Six months later we became an interracial family when we adopted our youngest son. I have gone from staying at home to working mom and back again. My main mission is to keep my kids from becoming strippers and thieves. Spying on Suburbia is my own personal therapy session, my place to feel a bit less insane, as I alternate between accepting and fighting (more fighting) that I live on a cul de sac in vanilla-ville marking the time with each holiday flag I hang from my house.