Remember the good old days?

We used to have these neighbors next door. There were so many of them crammed into that house I never could tell exactly who lived there. Long-Haired Guy, Shirtless Guy, Mustache Guy, Skinny Girl, Other Girl, etc. So many. They had a band and played Nirvana songs during the day. In the mornings I enjoyed watching a variety of Walk Of Shames parading past my front door. I would stand on the porch and drink tea, and a line of girls and boys would tromp by, wearing their ironic Linda Ronstadt headbands, and I would sigh deeply and remember what it was like to be 22.

At night, they'd leave the blinds open upstairs and as I drove up the driveway from a late night grocery store visit, or a trip to my critique group, I could see into the master bedroom which was furnished with a mattress on the floor, a GIANT Bob Dylan poster, and one listing green plant.

They were careful to never play their music too late at night, they always stopped to chat with the kids when we were playing outside… I was entertained and eventually charmed by the house full of hipsters. And then they all moved away.

The replacement neighbors seemed exciting enough. There were a couple kids close enough in age to a couple of my kids that I had daydreams of everyone playing kickball and eating popsicles and… yeah, no. The dad was a screamer, the mom never said a word. They moved away before I could snoop enough to know if there was something really wrong over there. 

Then other people moved in. A huge family, which again, made my hopes soar. But no. They never came outside. Ever. Well, no… they came into the backyard to scream at their pitbull whenever she barked. And once we talked to the dad because the pitbull knocked part of our fence down when she decided to try to eat our dog. (Not that I blame her. He *is* very annoying.)

Now those neighbors have moved and a new set of folks has moved in. They moved in under cover of darkness (from like 9 pm to 2 am the other night) so I'm not sure who they are or how many of them are in there. I almost ran over a young 20-something dude as he stood in my driveway, smoked a cigarette and talked to himself with frantic hand gestures. So, that's encouraging. This morning I awoke to find a string of half-full Diet Dr. Pepper bottles lining the sidewalk. This means they're health conscious, yes? Better than a string of half-full Four Loco cans, right?

You know, when we bought this house in this neighborhood, we bought it because the houses were sort of big and we're fairly close to downtown. Prime real estate for growing families, right? Or… not. Maybe we just live next to the one cursed house. Maybe WE'RE the nutball neighbors no one wants to live near!

I guess I better go make Mr. Talks To Himself In Other People's Driveways some cookies or something, but honestly, I'm a little scared to go over there.

To be fair, he's probably a little scared to come over here, too. Maybe he was in the driveway trying to work up his nerve to come say hi to the three tornadic children and the lady with the accidental bouffant hairdo. I mean, I could see how that would be disconcerting enough to require a cigarette and a pep talk.

Anyway, I love my house. I love that we overlook a small pond and that the wildflowers are gorgeous. I love that we can hear the train go by, but not so loud we have to shout. I love watching storms roll in over the trees. I love that we're fairly close to the city, and close to parks and taco shops and all the necessities of life. But I really do wish someone else with kids would move next door. Or that the hipsters would move back. 

I miss you Long-Haired Guy, Shirtless Guy, Mustache Guy, Skinny Girl, Other Girl and the rest of you. Please come back! You were so tidy and nice. I will buy you a Linda Ronstadt poster. I promise.

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