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My bloggable new neighbours

Remember my next-door-neighbour, Brian? The one who got rid of my wasp nests and mowed my lawn and was just generally competent and helpful and quiet?

He moved.

The landlords then spent the month of February fixing the place up. They painted walls and replaced appliances and carpeting, and things like that. The For Rent sign went up for only a day.

Last night, in the middle of the night, the new tenants moved in. At 3:30 in the morning, GC was up and grumbling about the noise. (It’s a town house – most of the rooms in my house share a wall with most of the rooms in their house.)

At 4:00 in the morning, since he couldn’t sleep anyways, GC went over and introduced himself and asked them to move their moving van so he could get his car out. He then went back to his place to get a few hours of work in before we met some friends for breakfast.

Later he told me about them.

“Their names are Jason and Melissa,” he said.

“Those sound like young names.” I said, “How old are they?”

“Fifteen,” he replied.

I raised an eyebrow.

“Okay, eighteen,” he said.

“Why would kids that age be renting a house,” I mused, “instead of an apartment?”

After breakfast we came back here and ran into Jason out back, still unloading the moving van. His cousin was helping him.

“Are you both moving in?” I asked.

“No,” said Jason. “Just me and Melissa.”

“Oh,” I said.

“And our five kids,” he added.

“Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha,” we chuckled.

“I’m serious,” said Jason, looking serious.

“Five kids?” I asked cautiously. “How old are they?”

“Six, five, three, almost two, and three months,” he said.

Did I mention I share a wall with these people?

My first thought, naturally, was that they were going to drive me crazy with their incessant crying and fighting and blaring TVs and video games and running up and down the stairs and body-slamming the wall.

But seconds later I had my second thought. And it was this: If it’s really, really awful, it’ll probably provide me with some good blogging material.

See what blogging does to you? You develop this weird twisted enthusiasm for whatever life throws your way. If it’s good, you’re happy because something good is happening, and if it’s bad, you’re happy that something bloggable is happening.

17 comments to My bloggable new neighbours

  • You do realise that you’re demonstrating red flag number 7 for blogg addiction, don’t you? Keep up the good work and for goodness sake, stay put!

  • I’ve never had a period in my life where I’ve written as much or as often as I have since starting Salted two years ago. As a result I find myself writing all the time now… like when I’m standing in line for anything I’m writing a post about standing in line. And now, when I’m walking with someone, part of me is listening to them and part of me is writing a post about what they’re saying.

    The thing is I almost never (re: never) write posts about standing in line or what people tell me as we’re walking.

  • nik

    “This is going to make a GREAT story!”

    When you start thinking that, in the middle of events as they’re going down, you’ve reached a bizarre state of mind I’ve been carrying around for years.

    Things started to get really bad when I found myself thinking, “I have a choice between action A and action B. Action B will certainly read better when I write this story down.”

    Literary entertainment value is rarely a good moral compass. I suspect this is why so many writers turn to fiction. It’s safer to make characters do the crazy crap I imagine doing.

  • Stephanie

    Yikes! They would have been 12 when they had their first kid?? And humm, haven’t they heard of something called contraception, or even, abstinence? Wow. I wonder if they ever finished high school. With all the kids and stuff, must be exhausting.

  • Julia

    Yee-ikes. Let’s hope octuplets aren’t born next year.

  • nik: if you instead think to yourself “how would this make me look on the witness stand/in the police report?” you tend to behave more rationally. 😛

    Or in zoom’s case, “what if my neighbours find this blog post?”

    – RG>

    • J.

      I would love to write more about my neighbours, but they both stay at home during the day and if they really wanted too.. they could probably find us.

  • Grouchy – So far I haven’t written anything I wouldn’t want my neighbours to find. (But then again, I’ve only just begun…)

    Stephanie – I suspect they’re a little older than they look. Maybe 25. And I’m not judging them for having a whole bunch of kids. My only concern – so far – is the potential noise factor. Brian had two grandchildren, and I could always tell when they were visiting.

    Ian, Nik and Gabriel – I think we’re all suffering from the same affliction. Nik, I remember you wrote an excellent piece about this some time ago. You said something like (I’m paraphrasing) ‘as soon as you find yourself thinking about how you’re going to write it, you’re no longer fully experiencing it because half of you is already back home in front of the computer.’

    Julia – that would be a blogger’s dream and nightmare all wrapped up into one.

  • Em

    Yikes. Who knows, maybe they’re all little angels? Maybe you can hire them to weed your yard or something…

  • J.

    bloggable new neighbours are nothing to get excited about. It just causes you more frustration than anything.

  • yes, funny how those young names keep getting older. Like a married Zoe. Don’t all Zoes have to be 6?

    It’s not life crappola, it’s blog fodder, it’s a story! Yep, I’ve seen that creeping trait too. I’m thinking its a good thing…

  • XUP

    Oh boy! New blogging material — and think of all the extra time you’ll have to blog since you won’t be wasting time sleeping anymore!!

  • Oh no! Just think of how much blog fodder you’d have if they have a puppy, too! 😉

  • Carmen

    Rabbits…you have rabbits as neighbors!

  • I think seeing the “blog-ability” can mitigate whatever awfulness is going on. Wouldn’t we all rather do-the-thing/grab-the-lesson/write-the-post than sit on the floor in the dark wallowing in misery over whatever craptacular turn our lives have taken?

  • Oma

    I think all writers, not just blogging ones, tend to mine their lives for interesting material. I know i do it too. I just finished watching The Night Listener and it was a little spooky watching Robin Williams do it to his life … and get called on it.

  • I can honestly say my kids have never slammed against the walls…or played loud video games…dripped purple popsicle down the wall….yes.

    I remember when I moved onto Arlington and the rental person told me we had to be quiet during the day because my upstairs neighbour worked nights. She suggested we stay at the park between 9am and 3pm every day. I thought she was joking, but she was serious!