Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Howdy Neighbor

Remember Gladys Kravitz, the nosy neighbor on Bewitched? She is my neighbor now.

Mrs. Kravitz hasn’t liked me much since the yappy poodle and I moved in and I threw a housewarming-slash-college graduation party. The celebration did get a little out of hand, but it’s not like my friends get drunk and turn my deck into a disco more than once or twice a year.

Kravitz has kept an eye on me since, and I tell ya, two years of being the quiet neighbor who keeps to herself does not undo one loud party.

It’s crazy coincidence how every time I go outside, Kravitz needs to top off her bird feeder. She acts surprised to see me, then the inquiries come. “I’ve meant to ask. Are you working?“ “What does your lawn guy charge? He isn’t there very long.” “You must have a very large family?”

Every time I imagine she might like me something happens. Last night I took my coffee to the deck and called a friend. Kravitz appeared in her back yard and waved. Progress!

Suddenly I heard commotion from below, yelled “Oh #%$! I’ll call you right back” and started screaming “Coco NO! Drop it! NO! Drop it!” as I tried to run down the stairs. But I couldn’t run down the stairs, as I’d just finished two days of hard physical exercise and the muscles in my legs did not work, so I turned sideways and hobbled down the stairs, still cursing the dog.

Coco had a baby robin in her mouth. Mother and Father Redbreast were in panic mode, also screeching and squawking and swooping at the poodle.

The dog dropped the bird. Not intentionally. I managed to grab her collar and pick her up before she could catch it again.

As I limped toward the house I noticed my neighbor’s back side, bent over her flowerbed as if she hadn’t noticed a thing.

This is why Gladys and I will never be friends. My friends would have said “What the hell are you doing now?” or “Why are you walking sideways, you fool?” as they raced over to help.

Then they would have joined me for coffee, and waited, to make sure the little bird could fly.

Gladys Kravitz, if you ever put down your opera glasses long enough to read something, and happen to find this story, I apologize.

Let me make it up to you. I’m having a party next month. A big one. You can have the first deck dance.


  1. Deb, I know that neighbor. In fact I think I live with one just like her. My mother-in-law watches everything from her bedroom window and her daily walks with the dog. Then asks me if I know such-and-such about so-and-so, whom I don't even know exists.

    Good piece. Keep it up!

    1. Thanks Dave! My mom was a lot like this too. I think a lot of it stems from loneliness, but the behavior is still challenging to deal with!