Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A New Neighbor for Your Consideration

Here are all the salient facts that I can gather about Danica, a neighbor of mine who I've been meaning to bring to your attention. What finally told me it was time to blog about her is that last week (and all the time we've lived here), Danica had golden hair and a black car, and this week, she has black hair and a gold car. I saw that and thought, "Yes, it is time." As I've said before, it can be hard to contruct a coherent narrative about people we see intermittently, who aren't our close friends. This list represents my best attempt to get a fix on Danica. She lives with her husband and three kids in a ginormous place a few houses down from us. A little semi-private lane leads off from our cul-de-sac, and Danica and family are down there.

  • Danica has a gold and diamond ring that looks like the Confederate flag. Because of this, I think of her as The World's Oldest Living Confederate Widow. Though she isn't a widow and she's not old. She's not even Southern. She grew up in, like, Ohio.
  • Danica has the raspy voice of a longtime smoker. She's very trendy and is forever in the process of opening a boutique with a friend of hers, and telling me that I have to come to her trunk show. Speaking of trunk, she is prone to wearing things that have writing on the butt. She is petite, and prettyish.
  • Also speaking of trunk, Danica frequently tries to sell me things out of her car. Not drugs, usually clothes. The first time this happened, I was in the street watching the kids ride their bikes, and she careened to a stop next to me. Her van's side door opened and she hollered, "What size is Laura? I just got all this stuff on clearance at The Children's Place but none of it will fit my kids." Her van was JAMMED with clothes. So I thought, "Fun!" and gamely took a tunic top for Laura, giving Danica four dollars that I had in my pocket. Later I realized that Danica smokes all the time, and in her car too, and that everything that goes in that car smells like it. So that was the first and last thing I bought out of Danica's car.
  • Danica is a registered nurse at a children's hospital. She works only on the weekends, long shifts, while her real estate investor husband keeps the kids. So she is not dumb, but many of the things that come out of her mouth do not make sense. Like. . .
  • Danica told me, right in front of her then four year-old daughter, that her daughter "is terrified of black men, especially black cops, but really any black men. She has nightmares about them." I said, "Huh, I wonder where she gets that?" And Danica said, "I know!" Good grief. She will go on and on, saying the craziest, or nastiest, or most innapropriate things you can think of, barely letting you get a word in, while you think, "Are you on cocaine?" I am omitting many terrible or merely surprising things she has said to me, because it all starts to blur.
  • Danica is a party girl. She likes to go out with her girlfriends and get cray-zay. Matt and I once went to a party at Mindy's house, next door, and heard from the assembled company that Danica likes to make out with her girlfriends in bars "to get attention." Mindy is sort of in the same party orbit as Danica, and I often see Danica dropping Mindy off late at night.
  • When Mindy's husband died suddenly a few years ago, before we lived here, Danica practically adopted her and did everything for her. Mindy told me that she had never even written a check before, had never done anything for herself, and that Danica would come over and get her out of bed every day. It sounds like Danica basically kept her alive during that time.
  • Danica's oldest son, who is Laura's age, has Down Syndrome, and though he is a sweet kid, he is a handful. He likes to try to escape from their house. She spends a lot of time taking him to different therapies, and I have sometimes thought that a lot of her somewhat-abrasive personality could be because she is operating at the limit--the limit of what a mom can do. Or, I feel a lot of compassion for her, because of all that she's got on her plate. And now she has a one year-old. That said, her parenting method, with all her kids, is screaming. Sometimes mixed with yelling.
  • She drives though our neighborhood too fast. It scares me. You can hear her yelling before you see her car, and the car is long gone before the sound dies away.
That's Danica in all her complexity. So reader, how should I refer to her on this blog? Labels can be so handy--in fact, I now refer to Frenemy Neighbor, Conspiracy Guy, the Mystery People, Normal Neighbor, and Pretty Neighbor by those labels IN REAL LIFE. And of course, these titles remind you guys who these people are. World's Oldest Living Confederate Widow might be a little long. Maybe Juicy Neighbor? Raspy Neighbor? I need ideas. And moreover, what do we make of this person? She doesn't fit easily into any one category. And I do love to sort people. But you know that.

And I am piggybacking on Keely's Random Tuesdays, to try and justify the haphazard nature of these tidbits. Go check it out.



Keely said...

No justification needed!

Um, what's a trunk sale?

I'd go with 'Sketchy Neighbour'. Or 'Trunk Sale Neighbour'. Or 'Cannot Pigeonhole Neighbour'.

....okay, those suck.

Kelly said...

She sounds very interesting. Wish I had a clever name to contribute...but I am looking forward to hearing more stories about her weird ways!

Amy said...

I seriously think you may have the most interesting conglomeration of neighbors on the planet! Somehow, I hadn't heard about this one. She sounds like a really interesting person! With all she has going on, I'd probably be doing some yelling, too.

How about Fast Lane neighbor (driving/partying) or Stressed Neighbor (she sounds like she might be) or (LOL) Naughty Nurse Neighbor? Well, I think that's enough from me!

Sprite's Keeper said...

How about Square Peg? She doesn't seem to fit into ANY hole!

Becky said...

Heh, I like Square Peg. And Fast Lane. Matt is suggesting Confederate Mom.

Keely, a trunk show is when a designer, or a store, gives a preview of their stuff to an invited group of people before it's available to the general public. Though I think this woman's boutique probably looks like the unholy offspring of Frederick's of Hollywood and White House/Black Market.

David said...

OOOOH: fun! I love the nickname challenge.

I tend to go with first and last "names," to get in more than one attribute.... How about "Smoky Battleflag"?

Shangrila said...

LOL-"Fast Lane" gets my vote. Or "Crazy Cocaine Lady". Or "Smokey McScreamsalot." You're too funny!

The Dental Maven said...

How about Puff Danni. She could use P. Danni for short.

Jane said...

Chalk up another vote for "Fast Lane Neighbor." Although "Trunk Sale Neighbor" also has a kind of seedy, mysterious vibe.

Kate said...

Hilarious! I love that she wears both Juicy butt pants and a Confederate ring. My vote is for Fast Lane.

Michele R said...

I was about to judge her for being a smoking mom but then she had me at bringing home the bacon, caring about neighbor lady and Special Needs child. I then forgot about the crass comments and screaming. I am impressed that she has a secure and I’m sure not easy job, 3children, a husband and still manages time for her other interests during the week (and more income) and going out with girlfriends. She is Super Lady in my book. Maybe Fast Confederate Lady.

Sara said...

I think Matt's Confederate Mom keeps with your theme.

David-You give a lot of bang for your buck with any nickname.

Kate inadvertently made my favorite: Juicy Butt Pants

My word verification is 'lowbrei' which made me think Lowbrow Mom.

Dave said...

Junk Trunk Neighbor? (Try saying that five times fast.)

Rebel Yell?

I can't picture what a "Confederate ring" would look like. I mean, does it have a Confederate battle flag on it?

Becky said...

Yes, BTM. Like, the top of the ring is a rectangle, cast in the shape of the Confederate flag. There are little diamonds along the stripes. I looked all over the internets for a picture of a ring like it, but alas. And I don't think I can sneakily photograph her hand.

So I LOVE Rebel Yell. And Fast Lane. But "Trunk Show Mom" has a certain something. How about Rebel Yelling Mom?

And Michele, you're right. She is juggling a lot. I think I would be her biggest fan, except her racist attitudes are a constant thing, more than I really indicated in the post (though I guess the Confederate flag ring might be a clue). So there are major cultural differences between us. But I am interested in her and what makes her tick. She's just one of those difficult people, you know?

Michele R said...

That would definitely be a shadow over the other things she has that sound like positives. Informative for all the Hollywood screenwriters to note that she was not raised in the South.
--Michele in Atlanta