Friday, July 31, 2009

Behind Closed Doors & An Open Window

First, I want to start off by saying that I adore my neighbors. I honestly do. The strong sense of community is one of the key factors that keeps us in our home. There are definitely times when I regret not having a garage or a driveway, and there are moments when I am envious of the community pools, brand new parks and the smooth stroller-friendly sidewalks of the suburbs. However, we have proximity to local restaurants and coffee shops, and very neighborly people all around us. Our neighbors have become a large part of our social network. We share backyard bar-b-q's, celebrate the birth of babies, gather at block parties and support each other in the face of tragedy. Most of our neighbors have small children and if we or our kids are bored all we need to do is open the doors of our homes and step out onto the sidewalk for an instant play-date.

I must admit there are times that I do wonder what is going on behind the doors of our neighbor's renovated Victorians. How does the mother of three girls under the age of five manage to host such lavish parties- pouring beautiful pitchers of sangria and serving HOMEMADE ice cream sandwiches? Where does she get that kind of energy? Is she always Martha Stewart? And how about our organic, whole grain-eating neighbors? Do they have a secret stash of ho-hos and beef jerky in their pantry? Do our lovey-dovey always newly wed friends ever bicker?

Well last night we got a little more information about the neighbors across the street than we ever wanted. She is a renter who moved in approximately six months ago. An average looking, conservative 30 something, single mother with a four year old daughter. When she first moved in we were excited to learn that it was someone with a child. Dave rushed over when he saw the moving van pull up and offered his help with hauling furniture, her boyfriend thanked him, but turned him away saying they had plenty of help already. A few days later I saw her as I was heading out to take Zack to preschool. I gave her a warm "hello" and asked her about her daughter and tried to make small talk. She received me coolly and appeared to be in a rush. We said goodbye, and that was the last I have spoken to her.

Yesterday, I arrived home after running some errands with the children in tow, it was about 6:30pm. Dave was watching from the window, and came out to greet me before I reached the door. He told me to turn around and look across the street. I did so, and was instantly smacked in the face with a larger than life image of a buck naked woman in the throngs of passion with an equally naked man. Yes, this single mommy and her boyfriend have one of those monster big-screen TVs positioned directly in front of their living room window, so that anyone walking by can look in and see very clearly whatever they happen to be watching. Usually it is Dora, or the evening news, but not tonight. Nope. Tonight was something SPECIAL. Hard core porn. Now let me remind you that it is 6:30 pm, and everyone was outside enjoying the evening. Pretty soon we had a group of adult neighbors looking on at the unexpected display of x-rated material in shock. We giggled like school kids, one of the guys actually got out his camera promising to leave a photo in the offending neighbors mailbox as a discrete reminder to close their blinds. We scratched our heads and hoped that their daughter was at her father's home. Finally the crowed dispersed.

I never would have taken this woman as the "type" to enjoy x-rated movies, or who would be so careless as to leave her blinds wide open for the world to see. My guess is that there are all kinds of things going on in all kinds of houses that I would rather just not know about.

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