Let’s provide some background here.
In the early summer of 1006, we were doing some yard work/pruning out front. There’s not much to work with, but we were trying to tidy things up a bit. There was this scraggly bush/vine thing growing right at the border of our house and BigSexyGlenn’s. I trimmed back the dead parts hoping to get some new growth going.
About a month later, I noticed that the big tree in our front yard was about to start hitting cars parked out front. This would impact JewelrySlut, me, and BigSexyGlenn. I pruned back the lowest branches.
2 hours later, BSG (can’t spell it out any more), was pounding on our door. Not knocking, mind you, absolutely pounding on it. I answered and he just started screaming at me. Something about trimming the bush from a month before and how I more or less ruined his house and life. Before I could even open my mouth to apologize or try to figure out what I was even apologizing for, he stormed off.
That’s typically how BSG communicates. Every few months, he comes over, screams at me and then walks away; usually leaving me with my mouth open, staring in wonder at the trees. (I think I’ve mentioned all this before, but it’s worth repeating).
It turned out that when I pruned back the tree, I opened up a little beam of sunlight that happened to hit his dining room. This is what made him angry. He thought the bush I had cut a month prior was blocking this sunlight. It had been the tree. This proved that he was an ass.
To try to calm him down, I bought a little fruit tree and planted it in front of his house. Several months later, while installing a drainage pipe in front of our houses, the scraggly bush was removed all together.
The little fruit tree died. He over watered the shit out of it.
It’s now March of 2008 and this whole escapade could not be farther from the front of my mind.
Until Friday that is.
CrazyAnne came by to let me know that BSG had accosted her and demanded to know when the next board meeting was. He planned to attend to see what the Homeowner’s Association would to remedy this situation.
I was confused.
I typed an email to BSG:
Anne stopped by my house just now to let me know that you were possibly interested in coming to the next HOA Board Meeting to discuss having the HOA pay to replace the shrub that I trimmed in the summer of 2006.
I’m somewhat confused and even a little upset that you may be uncomfortable with coming over and talking to JewelrySlut and me about this. I’m not sure what we could have done in the nearly 3 years that we have been neighbors to give you such feelings. I can’t think of any other explanation why you would want to make this an issue for the whole OurNeighborhood community to handle other than that there is something we have done to upset or offend you.
I know that the pear tree that I bought back in 2006 didn’t survive the drought, but not much else planted in this area in recent times has done all that well. I also recall that you had purchased a replacement tree or bush last summer. On several occasions, you commented that you would come by so we could plant it. When you never came by, I figured that you had taken care of it on your own. I never imagined that this could get to the point where the HOA, as a whole, might need to be involved.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be buying some plants for the spring and summer, and, at that time, I will gladly pick up another small tree for your yard if that is what you wish to be done. I’m not sure how well it will hold up considering the water restrictions in place, but, to try to settle what obviously remains an unresolved situation, I will gladly do it.
Should you wish to discuss it with the Board and seek additional restitutions; the next meeting will be held on Tuesday April 8. It will likely be held here at my house at 7:00. If you wish to bring this to the Board’s attention at that time, please contact Carol to make sure it gets on the agenda.
I truly hope that you are able to accept this offer and see that closure is brought to this situation. As I stated above, I am concerned that our family may have done or said something to you that has left you offended or upset with us. If there was anything done or said, I can assure you that it was purely unintentional and meant in no way to upset you.
Lastly, will you be able to provide your agreed-upon share of the costs for the tree removal that was done along our shared fence last fall? I think we agreed that we would pay half of the bill and that you and HorsePig would split the other half. The total bill came out to be $800.00.
Please feel free to come by at any time to discuss this. Whenever we’re home, our door is always open.
I was actually a little upset when I sent the message. Not because he was being an ass, but more, as I stated, because he wouldn’t come over. We really try to be good neighbors. We share walls and have a kid who likes to make noise. We’re very conscious about it. When we hung the new kitchen cabinets and were drilling and hammering, we made sure to go over to his house and “warn” him in advance so we would not disturb him were he busy.
He wrote back:
My house is not the same. The Rose of Sharon that you pruned away was probably part of the original landscaping. Its was a slow growing plant that produced edible flowers (didn’t know that until it was gone) and provided me shade and privacy from the time I moved in in 1990 to 2006: sixteen years.
In the spirit of being forthright and honest, I still can’t fathom why you would cut it without first consulting with me as it was in front of my house. If a branch offended your line of sight, you could have removed it. It was pruned (they do not require pruning) and then destroyed. Your remark of “I guess I got a little carried away” was illogical to me.
I was incredulous that a new neighbor would take such license. There have been all kinds of transgressions here at OurNeighborhood regarding the yards but it generally has been of the variety where an occupant plants offensive things or has a lot of “junk” in the yard. But a “live and let live” code exists in our court probably because the policing function of the HOA has been virtually non-existent.
Finding a replacement for a mature shrub is difficult and I guess that is why I am so upset. A new small tree or shrub to replace the Rose of Sharon will just remind me of how ineffective it is in providing the privacy and shade I once had. The fact that I turn 65 this summer also probably has something to do with as well. I want the situation fixed and not have to endure a slow remedy,
You may remember that I mentioned this is the second time such an assault has been done on a plant in my yard. A crabapple tree was taken down many years ago “by mistake” and the tall replacement tree that is now there was a poor one. I will have to find an old picture to show you the full foliage and shade that I used to enjoy. It made my place quite distinct and comfortable and now much of it is gone.
I will get over it. Did not intend to circumvent you by going to the HOA; just exasperated. I knew Ann would come to you.
I will pay for the tree in the rear because I agreed to. I just wanted to take care of the front of my place before doling out the money for something that really was not a problem for me.
PS: I hope this explains my actions. I have never been this upset about something connected with my home or living at SF. My home is just not the same. People can now look in and the afternoon sun pours into the dining area. With that said, you have otherwise been a very good neighbor; what would I have done without patience and your ladder (smile.)
I had JewelrySlut read it to me because I couldn’t even look at the computer.
Does the word asshole come to mind? Or does crybaby asshole more fit the scene?
Holy mother of God. JewelrySlut and I reacted differently to his message. I saw it as “fuck him. Nothing can ever heal his hurt. Ok then.” JewelrySlut reacted differently. See, while you can take the girl out of Jersey, you can never take all of the Jersey out of the girl. She’s ready to buy some Aqua Net, put on some acid-washed jeans, and curb stomp him. I, for once taking the high road, refuse to answer the email or engage the man in any conversation. There’s nothing I can say that will not land me in trouble.
It’s fun, isn’t it? This is a grown man, and a college professor at that, behaving like a petulant child.
The kicker? On Saturday, we were out and about in JewelrySlut’s car. I was parked between our empty spot and BSG’s spot. He had someone over at his house doing carpentry. The worker’s truck was in his spot. He took his car and pulled in perpendicular to my car and our spot. He blocked me from leaving and JewelrySlut from returning. I think I had to physically restrain her.
Speaking of fun:
Tomorrow is the Buble show down in Charlotte.
14 days from now, I’ll be sitting on a plane at ATL, waiting to take off for Puerto Plata!