Friday, May 1, 2009

The Fun in Dysfunction

Okay, if you haven't read my post, 13 Bits of Info about My Mystery Neighbors, maybe peruse it for a moment. We'll wait right here. It contains important background intel about the Mystery Folk, who lately keep coming up in cul-de-sac conversation.

Last week, one glorious afternoon, Hank and I were out in the street flying a kite. It was a Dora kite, and as I struggled to get it up in the air and stable, I found myself yelling, "Go Dora go! Fly, Dora!" completely unselfconsciously. And Hank was chanting right along with me. We got her going and flew her for a nice long time.


While out there, I knew I was a sitting duck for any craziness the neighborhood wanted to throw my way. And sure enough, Conspiracy Guy ambled down his driveway to speak to me. "Do you know those people up there?" he asked, gesturing toward the Mystery People's house. "No," I said, figuring that saying "no" was easier than explaining how I'd tried to engage the wife in conversation a couple of times but had found her completely uncommunicative, and had now written them off and instructed Laura to avoid their house like it was Chernobyl.

Conspiracy Guy said that his little girls--who are five and three, and who are at my house so much that I call them the Foster Children, but that's another post--went up to play with one of the Mystery daughters. That's odd in itself, because the youngest Mystery daughter is 8, but she is always looking for playmates and I guess the age difference doesn't matter to her. And odd that he let them go, but then he doesn't really know where his kids are a lot of the time. (That came out sounding bitchier than I meant it to.) Anyway, so CG said that when his little girls came home, they said that Mystery daughter's stepdad had said that Mystery daughter is not allowed to play with them OR WITH LAURA anymore. Huh? This is filtered through two children, so it's hard to know what was said or what it meant, but Conspiracy Guy was coming to see if I had any idea what that could be about. I do not.

I told him that Laura had only ever played with the Mystery daughters a handful of times, and months ago (around the time I wrote that first post). Somehow, with the intuition that kids have that a person or a situation is slightly off, Laura doesn't want much to do with the daughters. A couple of weeks ago, the youngest Mystery daughter wound up in our backyard along with CG's girls, and her au pair, a young Thai woman, came looking for her, but it didn't seem like she was in any trouble for being back there. So who knows?

CG then went on to regale me with stories of trying to have some interaction with the parents, with pretty much the same results I got. They had a little girl's bike out with their trash, and he knocked on their door to ask if he could take it. The wife wouldn't come to the door to speak to him, but just had her daughter open the door, while she leaned down from upstairs to grunt her approval. The wife is staying home now, with their one year-old baby and the au pair, but we never, never see her or the baby outside.

Then, yesterday, I was chatting with Mindy next door, and she said, out of nowhere, "I wonder if they're still fighting?" She meant the Mystery People. I said, "What do you mean?" and I was thinking, "I swear, do you people KNOW that I have a blog, because somehow it works out that when I'm thinking about a post, you bring me fresh gossip." Mindy said that the Mystery daughters, who really are starved for attention, were down at her house, and said that their step-dad had moved out while the wife was pregnant, and had moved back in after the baby was born, several months ago. Mindy, who has lived here a long time, offered that the guy is "mean," and said that she used to hear him yelling at kids who happened to traverse his backyard. Then he had it fenced in. And once at swim team practice, I heard him say to his stepdaughter, who was swimming laps, "You're not tired! You're just a wimp!" And it was not said in a loving way. So yeah, I would agree with "mean."

Now I'm just randomly gossiping to you guys, as though you live over the back fence. I am tacky, sorry! I can't really shape this into a coherent narrative for y'all, but all this was to say that the Mystery People keep coming up lately. AND they've been keeping a car parked in our cul-de-sac for weeks. It's the car the au pair drives, and I have no idea why they can't park it in their driveway, instead of basically in front of OUR house. I was putting up with it because I thought it belonged to a friend of CG's, but now that I know it's the Mystery People's, and that it's not a temporary thing, I'm going to open up a can about it, because it's against all kinds of HOA rules. So yes, I am about to become that neighbor. Will keep you posted.

Thank you as always for your time and attention!


Camp Papa said...

I will renew my counsel to keep Laura and Hank away from mystery guy. And if you need me to conduct an Alabama mediation session with him, you know how to reach me.

Jane said...

I love those pictures of Hank with his kite. He is turning into a real little man!

Jenni said...

okay, hank is super cute. and you should rename the myatery people the creepy people. i bet they subscribe to some weird religion or something. also, i heart your neighborhood gossip.

Amy said...

AWESOME post. I was just thinking though, wouldn't it have been cool if we could be known as The Mystery Daughters? Anyway.

Yeah, weird. Weirdness personified. It is fascinating to me, but makes me sad too. Like, they are probably really unhappy people, and you wonder why.

I feel better knowing that you are on the job, though! And Hank is such a little dude!! What a cutie--Nate keeps asking about him, we can't wait for y'all to be here!

Michele said...

I so love hearing about your neighbors. They are the quirkiest people and I'm saying that in the nicest way because I don't want them to move to my neighborhood.

Okay, so, totally off topic but how's Hank doing on the whole potty front?

Keely said...

Okay, Hank being the cutest little guy EVER totally distracted me from how weird your neighbours are. But they're WEIRD.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

Golly, Becky. I'd say those Mystery People are up the creek. If that annoying car ever disappears? Note the time and date and call in the law.

Seriously. Something's afoot.

Wendy said...

Your neighborhood is so much more interesting (and possibly sinister) than mine.

Michele Renee said...

I swear I had the hairs on my neck stand up when I read your post. It was like a scary movie. They are beyond strange. Are you saying that their car is on a completely different street than theirs? Meaning it is on your street which is a different street address? I'd be a callin the police to report an abandoned car. And how dare Mystery Man tell CG's girls (ages 3 and 5!!!!) about who's not allowed to play with who. Other thought: are you completely tempted to be all Harriet The Spy with a notebook on them? I would.

Coffee with Cathy said...

I love Crazy Neighbor gossip! Please keep it up, since my neighborhood is relentlessly normal and boring. No, really, it is.

Drama Queen Jenner said...

I love how hard he seems to be concentrating on the kite.