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Baitball Blogger

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Current location: Seminole County, Florida
Member since: Sun Mar 18, 2012, 10:16 PM
Number of posts: 35,657

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New backhanded comment from a neighbor, who is probably pro-trickle down economics.

I do my best not to engage in conversation with my neighbors because our differences are so great that I think it's only fair game to keep them at a distance. It's for their sake, you see, because everything I hear and see is grist for the mill. And believe me, what I don't see, my security cameras do.

However, this becomes particularly difficult to avoid when I'm working in the front yard. Since I have lived here, people have approached me whenever I gardened in the front yard and all too often what they say just reminds me that I'm living in an alter reality.

For example, in the nineties, I was new in the neighborhood and was planting aztec grass in the front yard when the president of the HOA walked by and said that a new developer was showing interest in developing the undeveloped phase of our community. He said that he had already spoken to the older neighbors and there was agreement that there wouldn't be an annual meeting that year because it was best to just continue with the same board since all the main issues were already known and it would facilitate negotiations with the developer--and, anyway, we had a late meeting the year before.

I didn't know it then, but that was my introduction to being marginalized in a community that was run by the good ole boy system. For several years, I let my hubby hack the bushes in the front yard just to avoid similar curt and incomplete conversations.

But, I did decide to take the job back when the bushes began to look like the Blob. By that time, I had a garden concept that I wanted to try. I imagine it looked like massive work as I began to pull out some of the unnecessary bushes. It was enough to attract the attention of a neighbor who never approached us in the years that she lived across the street. But on that day, she finally approached. I saw her walk towards me, all giddy and happy just to ask, "Are you moving?"

Really? Two, three years as neighbors and that's the best she could do? I wanted to say, no, I love to garden. It's the best way to purge the excess salts my old body tends to accumulate. Comes from growing up in the tropics, where the heat opens the pores like thousands of loose spigots. I wanted to say it, but I was polite and just smiled and said, no.

I wish I could say she was the only one, but another neighbor kept driving back and forth until she finally caught me on the edge of the property. She asked the same thing. "Are you moving?", sounding a little bit too hopeful.

Geez, what do normal people in normal neighborhoods usually say to each other? I've forgotten.

Then, today, I heard a new one. Hubby and I were working on a project, edging the property, which was only difficult because of the heat. Some guy walks by and thinks we want to know that "we're cheating our landscaper out of a couple hundred dollars." He said it twice, which means he could have compensated for the flat voice that told me he wasn't kidding. I just know that if we had said that we don't have a landscaper, he would have had a few names on the tip of his tongue.

So there you have it. That was a new one, but a perfect "tell" of a Republican community. People only see you in terms of what you can provide to them or their friends in the business community.

So, my father was wrong. People, mostly Republicans, do not respect you if you do things for yourself. Nope. If you work your own yard, paint your own house, clean your own pool...you're cheating trickle down economics and are a blight on their landscape.

PS: Then there are the very pleasant surprises. Like the neighbor who was kind enough to let us know that there was a rabbit family on our property. That's how I remembered it back in the apolitical neighborhoods where people were kind just because it made them feel good.
Posted by Baitball Blogger | Sun Jul 9, 2017, 09:10 PM (19 replies)
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