Honestly, it didn’t start out this way. I moved into this idyllic enclave with wide-eyed wonderment and childlike longing for the kind of neighborly closeness and camaraderie that I knew was possible from my fierce devotion to Melrose Place in the early 90s (yes, the classic years: post- Amy Locane, pre- Lisa Rinna. Bitch, please.).
That’s right, friends, I did not come in with guns blazing, a’ la Amanda Woodward – plus I could NEVER get a handle on that awesome overbleached, messy sex-hair she rocked, no matter how I tried – nay, I fancied myself more the Matt Fielding of this strange new Utopia…the gentle, humble, selfless, quiet, gay Social Worker that everyone would pull for (granted, I am neither gentle, nor humble, nor selfless, nor nor quiet, nor gay, nor a Social Worker – but this MY blog, betches.). I was nice to everyone. Warm. Complimentary. Hospitable, even – inviting virtual strangers to “drop by anytime,” which, as you can probably gather, is a torture akin to Eyeball Acupuncture for yours truly.
But determined as I was to live in harmony among my peers (because let’s face it, chaos can’t stop lovin’ me), I floated in upon gossamer wings – a peaceful pixie angel alighting in a limpid pool of unicorn tears, my goodness beaming brightly upon my neighbors like so much disco glitter. It was fucking exhausting.
And indeed, several months went by before the trouble started. In fairness, it was likely because I was hobbled by a broken foot, emotionally leveled by unfathomable personal deception and wallowing in self-loathing misery most of that time. Translation: I never left the house, and thus had very little opportunity to offend anyone (it’s a numbers game with me).
But when Spring rolled around, I slowly began to dip my newly un-casted toe in the pool of the living once again – strolling the neighborhood with my responsibly leashed dogs* while making dramatic, exaggerated shows of picking up their poo and jauntily dangling the full shit-sacs for all to see as I made my rounds, lest anyone think me inconsiderate or cavalier.
*In fact, my leashes and poo-bags and muzzles singled me out as a priggish Mrs. Grundy – smugly parading my prissy ass about like a bustled Victorian school marm lost at a Vegas piercing convention. Leashes? Totally uncool, turns out. Talk about a goddamned backfire.
So imagine my surprise when, one summer evening, I passed the usual driveway-kegger raging on my street (6 drunk, fat dudes in plastic chairs, poised to scout the local talent. It’s SUPER classy.), and, bracing myself for the usual grunts and nudges of cro-magnonesque appreciation that, as a woman, I live for expect and upon which I base my entire sense of self-worth unblemished moral superiority, was met instead with the following: “Oh, is that the BAD neighbor?” What. The. Fuck. Bro. Surely, there was some mistake. And I happen to know I was having a Good Ass Day – certainly worth a mention from some drunk fat dudes, anyway. They were simply referring to someone else. Right?
I successfully deluded myself until the following evening when, on my walk – clear on the other side of the development, far from the Driveway Douchenozzles – I encountered a swingy-skinned middle-aged-plus woman skipping down the road with her wildly age-inappropriate attire and loose, deranged dog, and asked her politely if she could leash or grab him as we passed. She did, but made sure to hiss at me ominously, “EVERYBODY KNOWS ABOUT YOU….”
First of all, harpy, SUPER sexy bucket hat (said no one, ever). And secondly, HUH? What is it that Everyone Knows? I had no voice to question her, so great was my shock. But it got me thinking. What DO they know? Seriously. As I did a mental rundown of likely personal infractions, my panic mounted in proportion to the list….Do they know about my unrelenting crush on Jeff Goldblum? Do they know that I almost never wash the pot after I make pasta? Do they know that my boobs are fake? Do they know that I watch the Disney Halloweentown movies at least once a month, year-round, and that they comfort me, unfailingly? Do they know that I used to collect little pieces of foot-skin as a child and keep them in a lavender velour box, sometimes snacking on them months later (hey, don’t knock it till you try it – that shit is DELICIOUS)? Do they know that I groom my lady parts sunny-side up on the living room floor so I can watch Vampire Diaries concurrently and imagine that one (fine, both – who am I kidding?) of the undead teen Salvatore brothers might come along and make the sadistic agony of undercarriage waxing, like, totally worth it? Do they know that when my doorbell rings, I always pretend I’m not home? Do they know that if I am sick or sad, I sometimes blow my nose in my shirt if the tissues are too far away? Do they know that my heart is perfectly fucking broken by missing my chance to have children? Do they know that when my cat gently kisses my eyelids, the sweetness of it makes me cry? Do they know that despite all my posturing and profanity, I truly and profoundly care what they think of me?
Meh. Probably not.
But whatever it is they do “know,” these neighbors of mine, I consider myself royally rogered. And somewhat unfairly judged – I’m not gonna lie. But I also understand that the only choice or chance I have is to whip up some crazy sex-hair, open a can of Amanda Woodward Certified Whoop-Ass up in this heezy, and sit my curvylicious ass down on the Iron Fucking Throne of Neighborhood Drama, its reluctant – but reigning – Queen.
So bring it, bitches. I know where you live.