Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Nosy Neighbors: What Can You Do?

Quick, name the 1 thing that sucks the most about spring and summer.

That's right, mowing the lawn. I know, I know, some people actually enjoy it. But those are probably the people who own fancy riding lawn mowers and don't have anything else to do on the weekends. If you own a push mower and you would rather be playing WoW, them mowing is not fun at all. The atmosphere at my house concerning how the yard looks is fairly relaxed. We like it to look nice and don't want it to be trashy, but at the same time the yard is never going to be mowed twice in one week and will never win the "nice lawn" award. It's just not going to happen.

Right now the grass is roughly 6" high. It hasn't been mowed yet this year and is right on the verge of needing it but doesn't actually look bad yet. The first mow of the year is always the hardest; we try to prolong it as much as possible because once you start you have to continue to mow regularly until the grass dies. But now we have been thrust in the middle of a lawnmowing war.

We have a new neighbor. One of those sweet, innocent-looking old ladies who reminds you of your grandmother and always ends up being hateful and a trouble-maker. She has lived next door approx. 2 months now and in that time she has paid to have a privacy fence installed in the back yard, has paid someone to come in and do landscaping, has planted a row of hedge between her house and ours, etc. She obviously enjoys being outdoors because she is always out in the yard inspecting everything. As expected, her yard has been mowed several times this season already by either a family member or maybe someone she pays. Either way, she does not mow her own yard, it is done for her.

Two weeks ago, I had my first contact with the grandma next door. I had seen her out in the yard on several occasions before, but had never made eye contact or tried to speak to her in any way. On this particular day, I had just pulled into the driveway with Marshall and Dillon (twin nephews) who I had gone to pick up so they could spend the weekend. We got out of the car and she was at the edge of my yard attending to the newly planted hedge. I accidentally made eye contact and she waved. She sweetly said "hello" so I said "hello" back to her. Then her face peeled back to reveal the demon lurking beneath the surface and fire flew from her fingertips as she said "your yard is starting to get a bit high, needs to be mowed". This was 2 weeks ago, trust me it wasn't high enough to be worried about. But because her yard had been trimmed neatly down to a mere 1/4 inch of grass, she expects our yard to be the same so that it pleases her.

Well, because of all the rain and the laziness (and because we were annoyed that this old lady is obviously going to be a pain-in-the-ass) it hasn't been mowed yet. As I said earlier, it's approx. 6" - which is not too tall for a yard. We are nowhere near having a shaggy yard. But I'm afraid we may be headed that way. Last night the doorbell rang, it was the demon lady from next door. She came over to inform us that we need to mow our yard because she saw a snake in the grass and she doesn't believe we want snakes in our house, therefore we need to mow our yard immediately.

Are you kidding me? I highly doubt she saw a snake in our yard, she just wants the damn yard mowed. If she did see a snake it's not because our yard is unruly but because we live in a brand new subdivision that was nothing but fields and woods 18 months ago. But, I don't believe she actually saw anything. She just has nothing better to do than pay someone to keep her yard pretty and then be upset because nobody elses yard looks the same. She's obsessed with our yard and has apparently convinced herself that we are ignorant bastards who have no intention of ever mowing our lawn and so it must be her duty to continue informing us that it needs to be done. Gah!

What she doesn't realize is that by complaining and making an issue out of this, she has shot herself in the foot. Yes we're slow starters when it comes to the first mow of the year, but we do mow. And we like our yard to look nice. But now that it's become an obvious issue for the nosy neighbor next door? Well, somethings got to be done about that. So, help us decide. We cannot refuse to mow the yard, because the city probably has some sort of ordinance that they would eventually ticket us for. We can always just wait a few more weeks before mowing, but she might file an official complaint between now and then and she would think she won. So, what can we do? I'm thinking that we mow the entire yard except for the strip next to her yard. A suggestion last night is that we go out and gather garter snakes to put on her patio and in her yard so that she quits using that excuse. We could accidentally mow down her hedge. Or we could refuse to weedeat around our side of her privacy fence and let the fence get all overgrown. What do you think? Any other ideas?


Scott said...

I thought about just punching her in the face, but then remembered I don't like jail. :(

A said...

Why don't you just mow your yard

roseykrh said...

What a brilliant idea! Did you see the sentence where I said a combination of constant rain and a bit of laziness had put us behind?