Friday, July 18, 2008

Hen Row

So my childhood girlfriend just moved into the apartment next door to me. She’s a sexy singleton, who’s also a very nice girl…we’ll call her Charlotte. Anyway, our little fourplex is now solely inhabited by women. The landlord’s daughter, let’s call her Huffy, lives in the front unit. Next to her is our resident Golden Girl, we’ll call her Bea. And then there’s Charlotte. And lucky me on the end, furthest from the street.

It’s a great little complex and I love my neighborhood—which is part of why I haven’t moved in nearly 6 years. Oh yeah, and my rent is only $950 a month. A steal.

The apartment next door used to house this nice Christian couple—a woman in her mid-fifties and her socially awkward, ten years-younger husband. The husband was sort of like our faux superintendent. He took out the trashcans and brought them back down the driveway after pick-up. He watered the communal hedges along the fence. I think he even changed Bea’s outdoor light bulbs a few times. But then his wife decided she wanted a divorce, leaving us with a vacant apartment and new caretaking responsibilities.

I have tried to be watchful of the property’s duties, but given that I come home later than the other tenants, the trashcans are usually always curbside or back in their usual spot before I have a chance to take them out or bring them in. I water my plants, but the community hedges are closer to the front units, so I’ve never dragged the hose up to give them a drink before. The only other thing I’ve fixed in my 6 years there was a burnt-out light in the laundry room. I never call the landlord for anything. And because of this, he once told me I was the best tenant ever and that he loved me.

Soooo it came as a big surprise when Charlotte told me his daughter had bad-mouthed me to Bea. Apparently, Bea (who could talk your ear into the fetal position) was telling Charlotte that she and Huffy discussed chores when the Christian couple moved out and somehow my name came up in a question (such as, “Maybe Melissa watered those hideous hedges”) and Huffy said, “She Never Does ANYTHING.”

The fact that Bea passed this information on to Charlotte makes me think she agrees with it—and I feel that it is all completely unfair because no one ever asked me to do anything! I would be happy to take out the trashcans if they weren’t already on the street when I got home from work. And I could definitely water more than just my plants if I knew when the dang things needed a little H2O.

What I really think here is that the landlord’s daughter hates her life and is angry at the world. Maybe she resents me because I’m gone every weekend at my darling boyfriend’s house and she’s in her apartment, with her kids, and no boyfriend or husband, with the curtains drawn. (Bea told me once she saw “cat doody” in Huffy’s windowsill. I don’t even wanna know what that place looks like inside.)

Instead of throwing a dozen eggs at Huffy’s front door, I instead went to Lowe’s. And bought a bunch of flowers to plant in the sad little bed between Charlotte’s and my apartment. And last night when I was beautifying the property, Huffy came home. She walked past me in the driveway with her daughters and I gave her my biggest look-at-me-not-
doing-anything-now-beeyatch smile and said hello. And today after work I’m going to go buy a little sprayer gun attachment for the garden hose. So I can water the communal hedges…and maybe accidentally shoot Huffy in the face.

9 comments:

Nilsa S. said...

Gossip is such a nasty thing. Sounds like Huffy not only needs a shower, but if her windows are open, you might want to spray a few times in there, too.

Diz said...

Thats my girl...keeping your side of the "street" clean. You rock!

Wow, that was awkward said...

Perhaps Charlotte and Bea are the clever and cunning ones. They plotted a sneaky way to get you to fix up the place without ever having to ask you directly.

Next thing you know, you will find yourself doing their laundary.

semichrmd said...

Sounds to me like huffy needs a garden hose of her own - ahem....

Anonymous said...

Do onto others as you wish them to do onto you. Be a bigger person, and KILL them with kindness! It is rewarding.

thecoconutdiaries said...

It sounds like "Melrose Place" only without any guys. Aaron Spelling taught us that the best way to manage your problems is by throwing the other person in a pool. Preferably while someone is wearing a white t-shirt. You got a pool?

You've Got To Be Kidding Me said...

You are my hero.

brookem said...

that's frustrating that if she had a problem with anything, she didn't just address it with you and be done with it. why let it fester?

you handled it in a much more mature way than i would have, i think. good on you for that!

geekhiker said...

The serious comment: Ugh, it's no good when bickering with the neighbors, especially in such a small environment. I only have one neighbor, so it's important that we at least tolerate each other. Still, take a deep breath and count your blessings that you're not living next to a (very bad) amateur rock band. But maybe she'll lighten up at some point and you'll all become one happy little community.

The non-serious comment: Yeah, yeah, blah "my neighbor sucks" blah blah blah... tell us more about this "sexy singleton" friend of yours... ;)