maybe i don’t like people

or maybe i’m just a bit stressed about this wedding stuff, not to mention dealing with ugly people a LOT lately. anyway, the man in our neighborhood, who i’m sure is nice most of the time, who decided to cross me a minute ago probably thinks i don’t like people.

that’s the thing about deciding to be nosy and make everything your business. it involves strangers, and you never know what mood they’ll be in.

take this nice man for example. we’ll call him Bill. looks like a Bill. wearing a USA sweatshirt, driving one of those ugly cars – you know the ones, those cars that only the people who own them think they aren’t ugly cars – so probably not a pretentious man, because if you’ll drive an ugly car like that, then you’re not afraid of what people think of you. that’s good, i usually like those people. in fact, i’d probably like to have Bill and his wife over for a barbecue sometime. except we don’t like each other now, so it’s not probable that we’ll ever socialize with Bill and Mrs. Bill. not that we socialize. anyway, i digress. Bill had no idea what mood this beautiful stranger would be in when he made my business his business.

so the HOA has apparently decided that the gates to the community are to be closed 24/7. fine, i’m cool with that. it keeps random people from driving through the neighborhood and using their cars as weapons to destroy our house. doesn’t keep the people on foot out, but hey. no one ever wanted to get into a neighborhood on foot.

anyway, i still don’t have a clicker for the gate, because i haven’t lived here very long. i had the clicker when i used to be the one coming in after the gate closed, but i turned it back over to Frank when i quit working. but i do have a code to enter when the gate is closed.

so i went to the gate when i got home from the post office, and i waited for 5 minutes behind the guy in front of me who couldn’t get the gate to open for his code. he finally gave up, and i took over the control panel. i kept entering the correct code, and the gate wouldn’t open. mind you, it opened for me at 1:00 today when i got home from my massage. anyway, i tried several times, and then the guy in front of me, who was now in line behind me, he and i had a discussion about how the code for the gate doesn’t work. he drove off to the HOA office, and i stuck around, on the exit side, waiting for someone to come through. i don’t think that’s unreasonable, considering that it’s my house (ours), not the HOA’s, that the HOA is keeping me out of. not to mention the $109 a month that we pay to make sure the gate works.

so a car exited, and i entered, and they recognized me and waved, and i waved and smiled. then i passed another car, and the man in the driver’s seat (Bill) looked at me as if i were an alien. and he did that whole crane-your-neck thing, stopped his car in the middle of the street, far from the gate, apparently deciding whether he should follow me and eject me from the neighborhood for being a bad girl who enters at the exit gate.

well, i’m not a big fan of being looked at like i don’t have a right to go to my own house, so i, too, stopped my car in the middle of the street, about a hundred feet from Bill’s car. Bill got out of his car and met me about halfway. Mrs. Bill stayed in the car, which was good, because you know how shrill things can get when two ladies argue. just check out IMAO lately and you’ll see what i mean. so here’s how my first conversation with Bill went. yes, there is more than one conversation.

BILL: [looks at me like i'm not good enough to be in his neighborhood]
SARAHK: [calmly at this point] yeah, the gate code doesn’t work. that’s why i had to come in the other gate.
BILL: yes it does!
SARAHK: well, it doesn’t right now. i just tried. i couldn’t get in, and neither could the guy in front of me.
BILL: [accusatory] what code do you have?
SARAHK: [affrontedly] what code do you have?
BILL: [argumentative] i’m not telling you!
SARAHK: [arguing back] well, i’m not telling you either! that’s bad security!
BILL: [just assume the whole rest of the conversation is argumentative] well, * i * live here!
SARAHK: [mad now] so do * i *!
BILL: oh yeah? where?
SARAHK: XXXXX XXXX Lane! [should have added, as if it's any of your business!]
BILL: well! you don’t have a clicker??
SARAHK: no i don’t! my husband bought this house before we were married!
BILL: well, Julie [changed name to protect the uninvolved] can give you one, all you have to do is go over to the office!
SARAHK: yeah, well i haven’t had a chance yet, i haven’t been here that long!
BILL: well the code works! my wife used it an hour ago!
SARAHK: good for her! i used it around 1:00 today, and it worked then too! but it doesn’t work now! [at this point i'm to the boiling point, so i'm headed for my car before i call him a big fat doodyhead]
BILL: well, if it doesn’t work, i can call Julie and tell her!
SARAHK: well, ya know, i could do the same, but i don’t carry her number with me!
BILL: well. i don’t mean any offense [you don't??]. it’s just that a couple months ago i saw about 8 teenagers walking through the neighborhood, and they were just looking for empty houses!
SARAHK: [calmly now, though still steaming mad] well, i’m 29 years old. and i live here. and if the gate doesn’t work, i still have a right to go to my house. and if that means coming in through the exit, that’s what i’ll do. the HOA doesn’t own the house. they don’t get to keep me from going home to it. [should have added that the 8 teenagers probably didn't drive through the gate if they were walking the neighborhood. there's a good chance they walked in on foot. on the SIDEWALK!] [also should have added that it's 5:30 in the afternoon, so i must look extremely stupid if he thinks i'm going to vandalize empty houses at 5:30 p.m.]

at that point i got back in my car and drove home and stomped into the house. in a few minutes the doorbell rang.

i knew who it was. and i opened the door. proceed to conversation #2.

BILL: the code works. we just entered it, and it works.
SARAHK: [absolutely stunned that this man came to my door just to say nanny nanny boo boo, i got the gate to open when you couldn't, must mean that i live here and you don't.] well, good for you.
BILL: we put in the right code.
SARAHK: congratulations! 4747? [code changed so none of you drive through our gate and plow a car into Bill's house.]
BILL: [looking confused that i could actually have had the code right. after all, i don't live here.] that's the code we just put in.
SARAHK: me too. it didn't work for me. that's great that it worked for you and your wife. maybe it works sporadically! it didn't work for the guy in front of me either! he finally drove away to the HOA office!
BILL: [looking ever so confused that i wasn't the lone idiot being kept from her house.] well...
SARAHK: and you know what? i don't think that it's unreasonable, if i live here, and you see that i do, that if the gate doesn't work, and i can't get to my house, i shouldn't be able to find another way in! it's my house!
BILL: [who has come and rang my doorbell simply to tell me that he and his wife, who are sooooo special, can get into the neighborhood when i could not] hey! back off!
SARAHK: [i'm sorry, did you just come ring my doorbell, and now you're telling me to back off?] and i don't think i should be treated as if i'm not allowed in here!
BILL: i wasn't trying to offend. [well, i wasn't trying to be pretty, it just happened!] it's just... well, you have out of state plates...
SARAHK: [ignoring his true point that if i have out of state plates, i must be an out-of-state stalker coming to drive my car into someone's house] well, i'm sorry i'm a Texan. [they would never treat me like this in Texas, btw.]
BILL: i can't even talk to you! [throws up his hands in the air and walks off the porch.]
SARAHK: you know what? i'm a woman. we're irrational. you should be used to that.
BILL: well, anyway, the code works.
SARAHK: that's great.

i finally just closed the door.

i'll bet Bill and Mrs. Bill aren't going to invite us to their Tuesday night Bunco game.

23 Responses to maybe i don’t like people

  1. This afternoon, I had an experience with a neighbor that was both good and bad. I got a call from the little, old lady that lives behind me telling me that a smoke detector at my house was going off and the fire department had been out to my house twice. I rushed home (I only work about a mile away) and rushed into the house. There was no alarms going off and no fires or smoke (and no firemen.) I was about to call the fire department to find out what had prompted them to come out. Another little, old lady neighbor walked into my yard to tell me that she had been the one that called the FD because she had heard my smoke detector going off for about 15 minutes (don’t get me started on the whole “why did you wait for 15 minutes” thing. I manageg to hold my tongue on that one.)

    A little background is in order. I had a smoke detector that wsn’t working properly. It would go off at odd times, then the alarm got to where you couldn’t hear it unless you realy paid attention. Last Saturday, I replaced it and threw the old one away.

    Fast forward back to today. The second time that the FD came, they figured out that the alarm was coming from…that’s right…the garbage bag siting outside. They opened the bag and disabled the alarm. I have no idea why the woman couldn’t have figured out that the alarm was outside and not inside and why it took the FD two trips to figure that out as well. IF the woman had taken a minute to think, “Gosh, tht alarm is loud. I don’t think it could be inside,” it wold have saved me a panicked trip home and two visits from the FD. I appreciate that she called them in case it had been a real fire, but geez, use your head next time.

  2. I can’t even talk to you

    or anybody else, I’m guessin.

    what a dork

  3. We were on vacation in Florida at the beginning of the month. On the plane there, we got to talking to a guy going home to Florida. He was complaining about how much trouble he had getting home from the airport the last time, etc. etc. We were telling him that in the lovely Western state we are from, airport shuttle drivers will take you to your front door if they have the time. He said, “Well, this is Florida. We are not the state of nice people. We are the state of gougers.” True story. Even though we had a lovely time in the beautiful state of Florida, I did notice that common courtesy to others wasn’t practiced as much as in the West.

  4. Just a word of advice, never never never, answers the door unarmed when you are home alone after you have this sort of run in. A gun is a lot like a good hug, you dont need one until you really need one, but even if you dont they still feel good.

    Any freak that would ring your door bell after any sort of confrontation is a very big danger, to him self and to others. I am glad that it got taken care of without anyone getting hurt.

    And I dont see who someone could not get along with you.

  5. good point dagamore, you may live in a gated community but do you *really* know some of your neighbors? how people react to different stresses is very telling of what kind of person they are.
    I liked your women are irrational comeback, its funny ’cause it’s true. glad it didn’t get physical, you’d have had to sick the cats on him while you got mr. shiny for your protection.

  6. what makes you think i was unarmed?

  7. Here’s what you do. Google Bill and find out if he’s had any runins with the law. If so, be sure to let his employer know.

    Get some filthy magazines. The nastier, the better. Fill out the subscription cards for Bill. Be sure to check “Bill me later”. Mrs. Bill will be surprised when she checks the mail.

    Hopefully she will divorce him. Recommend some lawyers, so she can clean him out. As he leaves the complex, you should be waiting at the gate. Spit on him and then point and laugh. Bill will cry.

  8. why did mrs. bill “use the gate code an hour ago”? what…she doesn’t have a remote???

  9. What sort of dummy would come to your door after having an argument with you? The kind that’s lookin’ for an earfull…

  10. What sort of dummy would come to your house after having an argument with you?? The kind that’s lookin’ for an earfull…

  11. I’m shocked. Our gate works all the time. Except for the other night when you and Frank tried to get in. So it must be a SarahK thing for gates not to work!

  12. I’ve never been a big fan of gated communities–they’ve always seemed a bad idea that spread from California (they were all over Colorado in the late 80s). It’s not like neighborhoods w/o the gates are continious riots and anarchy–and they are such a pain to have visitors in and out of.

    Still if you and Frank like them, more power to you! Choice is what makes things interesting.

    (Your neighbor sounds like a busy-body frankly, and anyone that would stop a car in the middle of the street to confront someone in their car is too confrontational).

  13. Did you really refer to Frank as your husband already?

  14. Well he should know better than to mess with Texas!! I guess he’s getting an ex-lax laced fruitcake for Christmas then?

  15. Ha! I wouldn’t have let him get a word in! And, I would have said to his face, all the things you said in italics. I hate neighbors. That is why I live smack in the middle of 13 1/2 acres and my driveway is 2/10ths of a mile long. Anyone who dares to answer my door better be willing to take home a pinkytoe full of lead!

  16. yeah walter, the one gated complex rto lived in was scary. the gate was usually broken, and when it worked it mainly just gave the drug dealers time to hide when the police showed up.

  17. I hate neighbors. I especially hate neighbors when they have a problem with something, and rather than talk to you about it, they call some authority. My last house, I had a neighbor like that. One morning, I woke up to find a city worker hammering a sign into my yard to tell me that if I didn’t elimiate the blackberry bushes from my yard, the city would do it for me for a fee of $200. This was when I was the ONLY house in an entire neighborhood that was part of the city, because of assinine incorporation rules. And it’s not like the city had a roving vehicle driving around looking for code violators. Pretty clear that someone had to have actively called up some authority and lodged a complaint. So after the blackberries were grudingly removed (even though every other yard on the block was crawling with them), annoying neighbor makes some snide comment about how we *finally* cleared up those illegal bushes. Funny that.

    Next house I live in will be out in the country, outside of any and all regulatory agencies apart from the state itself. And no neighbors!

  18. Sounds like “Mr. Bill” is a real jerk! He may need a TEXAS REAR KICKEN! Do I need to go round up the posse?–Just let me know!

  19. I never saw a point in Gated communities

    With all the technological leaps made in the field of Landmines I figure gates are a thing of the past!

  20. hahaha, SarahK, that story made my day.

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  22. He’s just a Bill that thinks he’s the law.

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