Is anyone interested in the things that are pissing me off today? No? OK, then, well I’m telling you anyway.
My asshole neighbor. I have several asshole neighbors. But today it is the one that never speaks to us unless he has something rude and/or ignorant to say. We’ll call him Asshole. We have had ongoing “issues” with him regarding property lines. It started approximately 15 minutes after we moved in and he approached my husband and said, “so, mr b? When are me and you and Asshole Jr going to cut down these walnut trees?” To which mr b responded, “? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ?” Apparently, Asshole didn’t like the occasional leaf or walnut landing on his property. Of course all his shit landing ion our yard? No problem. Next up was the ravine out back. Our property is pie-shaped and the “point” is a small ravine. From the time we moved in, we have seen Asshole and company dragging Christmas trees, cuttings, yard debris, etc back there and dumping it. We never said a word, because we don’t care. It’s all biodegradable and it’s unusable land. But once, when he saw mr b doing te same, he raised holy hell. Mr b told him it was out property and he tried to claim that our pie-shaped property had a wedge cut into it from the side, despite the existing property “pins”, and very conveniently including the exact area where he was dumping shit, but we were not “allowed”. Mr b pretty much blew him off because we know he’s wrong and we don’t’ give a shit. Over the years, he has yelled at my dad for 2.6 grass cuttings going over into his grass, told us we can’t be friends with his dog, badmouthed us to the neighbors and been a general dickhead. Then, early this spring, he pulled the property thing again. So we shelled out the money to have the land surveyed. And lo and behold. Not only were we right about our property, it was actually about a foot wider into his side. Heh. He was all out in the surveyor’s business (turns out it was someone he knows) and we heard him yell “bullshit” at least once. Our reaction? A silent “suck it”. Because the new measurement puts his stupid shed too close to our property line than is allowed and if we wanted to be dickheads like he is, we could make him move it. But we’re not dickheads. Finally today, he approaches mr b and starts out with friendly small talk and then suddenly says, “you know, mr b, I don’t mind that you’re putting that there (mr b was spreading some grass cuttings in the ravine area). I mean, I don’t mind it.” Um, I’m thinking you do, or you wouldn’t be having that conversation. And then he goes to talk about how he understands and doesn’t mind that we had the land surveyed. But that you know, his pin used to be right there and now it’s been moved. Yeah. BY THE SURVEYOR!! I’m not sure exactly what his deal was or what he was trying to get at, but again, he can SUCK IT. When mr b just turned around and walked away, he tired to be all friendly again, offering mr b some blueberries and cherries that he is growing. Uh – no thanks, freakshow.
The embezzler. AKA The asshole that nastily called out mr b in front of a group of people and accused him of deliberately not paying him for something. Which is bullshit, since we tried to pay, but were put of and then he never showed up at the places he was supposed to show up at. And then we forgot. And it was very little money and an innocent mistake. And if he had simply reminded mr b, it would be a done deal right now. But he acted like mr b was a criminal, which is not only untrue, is amazingly ironic given that this very guy was in charge of money on behalf of some very innocent people and it strangely kept disappearing. Hmmm.
Mr. b. For not getting that I love his family, but I sometimes just can’t make our schedule work. I don’t want to drive over an hour all the way to the other side of the city to attend a 4th of July party, just to drive home at the exact time that all the drunks are also on their way. I have a serious phobia about being on the roads during the drunken holidays. It scares me shitless and I feel that one party is not as important as staying alive. It’s not just July 4th – this is an ongoing issue. It doesn’t help that they are often very last minute with stuff,. And while I am spontaneous as often as possible, I have a schedule that often is not conducive to spontaneity. And it’s not like he always wants to go and I don’t. I see them as often as I can –and I repeat – I LOVE THEM. There are plenty of times he doesn’t want to or can’t go somewhere. But sometimes he gets a bug in his ass and likes to have someone to blame. That someone would be me.
Oh – also? He’s car shopping. And it’s killing me. Because he is a “foot in the door guy”, meaning that he starts of affordable – look at this – this is only xxx dollars – we can afford that. And then it starts inching up, because “if we’re going to go xxx, we may as well go xxxx and if we’re doing xxxx, we may as well do xxxxx and so on. Oy.
The dog. Because he just farted. In front of the fan. That is blowing on me.
Mr. b again. Because he just informed me that the boy needs medical forms filled out from the doctor. For camp on SUNDAY. And I am expected to be the one to lok like a groveling asshole and make a special trip all the way out of the way to the doctor’s office to try and get them to drop all the unimportant stuff like sick children, so they can fill out our forms. Awesome.
The girl. For WHINING. SO. GODDAMNED. MUCH.
The boy. Or maybe it’s me. But wither way, the boy has very convenient stomachaches. Like every night that he doesn’t feel like going to sleep. I have no doubt that he is really feeling it, but he is a serious hypochondriac. And I get frustrated with him. And with myself, because sometimes I should really be more sympathetic and comforting, but dear god, it’s like clockwork sometimes. And sometimes he might really be sick, but he’s “boy who cried wolf”-ing me to death.
Prudence (of “Dear Prudence”) For this letter:
Dear Prudence,My daughter is in her late 30s and lives a day’s drive away from me. She recently brought her two young children for a visit. Since her husband had to work, she brought along a single girlfriend. When they arrived, my daughter announced that she and her friend planned to go out partying on the nights they were here and to leave the children with me. (OK – it was rude of her to just assume that her mother would take the kids. She should have worked it out in advance) I was disappointed not to see more of her but gladly took care of my grandchildren. My daughter and her friend stayed out very late barhopping and came home drunk both nights. Then they left the next day without saying goodbye. (and this is definitely wrong) My daughter called to say she’d had so much fun that she and her friend were planning to come back with the children during the summer to do it again. I told my daughter that while I’m always happy to see her and the children, she should plan to stay in a hotel if she wants to party all night. (totally within her rights) My daughter hung up on me, then wrote me an e-mail saying she would not visit again and accusing me of being judgmental. (she’s either overreacting or there’s more to it that we are being told here) If I’d behaved like my daughter, my mother would have set me straight quick; she called women who act the way my daughter did “sluts.” OK, grandma, this is where you lost me. Times have changed and sometimes women – especially ones with busy lives and busy husbands and kids who live far from their mothers and have no built in babysitters need a break. And sometimes that break means having drinks and staying out late and being silly) In trying not to be judgmental like my mother (oh no, not at all), have I created a monster? (we’re working the woe is me really hard now) What, if anything, should I do now to repair our relationship? I love my daughter and want to see my grandchildren. (perhaps not writing to a major media outlet and implying that your daughter is a slut might help.)
—Sad and Perplexed
Dear Sad, (I’m ready Prudie, rip her a new one!!)I’m trying to figure out whether this trampy persona (what??) is new and out of character or whether this is just the latest excrescence of her usual conduct. (What??) Any married woman who dumps her children with their grandmother so she can barhop all night is someone with behavior(?????), marriage(WTF?!?!?!?!?), and alcohol problems. (WHAT THE HOLY FUCKING FUCK?!?!?!?)
If you always let your daughter get away with murder when you were raising her just so you wouldn’t be like your mother, then you made a terrible mistake. But she’s all grown up (at least chronologically), and although she apparently lacks judgment and self-control, she’s also a mother now. It sounds as if those kids are going to need comfort and stability, so you don’t want your daughter using them as pawns in your relationship with her. (LALALALALALALA, I’m not listening) Call her and say you are sorry your last conversation ended the way it did. (for being such a fucking bitch and most likely telling her she is a slut because she probably had two fucking nights out with a friend in the past five years, you miserable harpy) Don’t back down about her behavior—what she did is simply not all right. (suck it, Prudence!) Explain you are not calling to pass judgment (spare me), but because you are concerned about her health and safety (oh PLEASE) and you wish she would talk to you about what’s going on in her life. (so you can tell her how messed up and slutty it is)
—Prudie (who can go suck a big fat one)