Here's the deal. Several months ago I was (ahem, not employed yet and) standing in front of my storm door talking on the phone with my mom. I was spying on something unfolding at the house across the street. There were two cop cars parked and a few of Richmond's Finest milling about the property. I saw one go up to the house next door, and then one of them spied me and headed my way. I got off the phone hastily and met the officer on the porch. He started asking me questions about the guy who lived in that house, but unfortunately I was still pretty new to the area and didn't know anything about him, except that he rarely mowed his yard. It seems that he had been missing from work for a couple of days and his coworkers were worried about him. There was a lively conversation going on across the street between a cop and missing-man's next door neighbor, who apparently knew stuff.
Maybe 3 or 4 weeks later, a Dumpster (yes, it's capitalized) was parked out on the lawn and folks were going in and out, obviously doing some 'cleaning' - aka getting rid of all this guy's crap. And he had a lot of it, and it was mostly old and junky, as best we could tell. This went on for a couple of months, and then there was a lull.
But not for long! Soon, new activity started up. We had figured that the family had taken a break after cleaning it out, and were now fixing the place up to sell it. This continued to be our assumption for several months. I realized that we were seeing different people going in and out. And on one particularly disturbing evening, there seemed a whole congregation of folks, mostly middle-aged, being led by the nose by this one girl in a pink shirt. She appeared to be about my age, and she appeared to be throwing a tantrum. A loud, whiney, stamping, door-slamming tantrum. I wasn't sure what was going on, and I didn't really want to know, either. I told Brian about the whiney pink-shirt girl later.
Mind you, there had not been a for sale sign at all appearing on this property.
Fast forward a couple of weeks, and we're in August, maybe. Brian and Kyle and I are hanging out when I see the throng, again accompanied by Whiney Pink Shirt Girl, on much better behavior today (and, if I remember correctly, wearing a different pink shirt). Apparently she is HOTT, though, so the guys refuse to believe my story about her previous episode.
Not too long after that, Brian and I were heading out somewhere. By the time I'd made it to the car, Brian had struck up a conversation with a guy across the street, who had been working on the house. From him, we learned a few things: he had bought it cheap and had spent the past 4 months fixing it up.
To give to his daughter after her wedding.
Which is now-ish.
I tried not to hate the whole clan immediately. Because really, we don't know the circumstances. Maybe he bought it to fix it up and sell it to the newlyweds at-cost. Maybe they all bought it together. Maybe he's a super-hardworking guy who grew up on the streets and made something of himself and he's trying to take care of his children as best he can. Maybe we misunderstood, and the couple actually bought it but he found it, and he's fixing it up.
Whatever, all I could hear at the time was 'blah blah blah I'm giving my kid a house.' And all I could think of was that tantrum I'd witnessed. And how she probably doesn't deserve it nearly as much as Brian and I do. And how she and the new hubs probably both have great jobs where they get paid more than I do for doing less work, whereas here we are, devoting ourselves and our youth to great causes for not-much payback and the economy is tanking and that even though we are very responsible with money, who knows when we'll be able to afford to furnish our rental home, let alone purchase one, and not to mention that they're DINK, riding on daddy's coattails coasting through the early years which by the way are supposed to be TOUGH. No fair no fair no fair.
And then after a few days I got over it. I have no idea what they're like or what they've been through or what they may go through in the future, and compared to many, my life is charmed, and I just needed to get over myself.
I even got to the point where I was no longer feeling the twinge of jealousy every time I left my house, and actually looking forward to having them move in and wondering what I might bake them. Neighbors! Yay! Fun!
Until today. When I got home and saw that their old windows had been replaced. That, my friends, made me want to cry. Because my windows are drafty and horribly inefficient in extreme weather, but painted shut at the top so as to prevent being able to enjoy mild weather. (This also prevents being able to take a number of energy-saving measures, and may also prevent us from escaping, if there ever were a crisis during which we would need to exit via windows.) I have spent more than a year agonizing over my windows and how much I hate them, and how much it sucks that my landlord is a well-paid bachelor who doesn't have to think twice about the cost of oil or rising electricity, so why the heck would he dump in a bunch of money in new windows just to satisfy the tenants? (PS, all in all my landlord is great. It's just...NO, I don't want to split the costs with you of fixing up YOUR HOUSE.)
For some reason, this whole window thing is poking holes in my styrofoam cup of neighborly love.