The Oral Report

Standing up in front of the class was never so much fun!

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Location: River City, United States

The rantings and ravings of a mom of three wonderful girls as she finds new love while working like a dog and shaking her fist at the system. You know. Pretty much like everybody else.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Fred Rogers is Dead (or Please, Don't You Be My Neighbor)

We have a new neighbor. And the promise of even more in a week or so. We've been THOROUGHLY enjoying having the 4-plex and the big basement all to ourselves for the last 2 1/2 months. Sure, sure, the landlords probably don't like it nearly as much when only one apartment in their 4-plex is rented. But, isn't it all about ME?

Our landlords are the sons of a former boss of mine. The general contractor I worked for starting back in 1990. These brothers worked there at the same time (deserting me before I got away...the chickens!), and we got to be pretty good friends. They were like little brothers to me. Which was nice. And when I heard they had been buying up rental property here and there, it was a fact I filed away for the future.

After I left my ex, I called them, hoping that they might have something and be able to cut me a deal. At the time, they didn't have anything available that would work for me and the kids. But later, when Highlander decided to move to River City, I called them again. And they did have something small and inexpensive...and they offered some very reasonable terms because of the connection. As fate would have it, it was in the exact area of town that I would have wished for him.

Now River City is a very large town. Roughly a million residents. Easily the biggest city in our state. And like most cities of this size, there are all kinds of established neighborhoods and sixth-class cities here. The Highlands being only one of those. The politics in the area are quite liberal, and therefore, have caused the Highlands to draw a population rife with artists and society's outcasts. And perhaps has contributed to the area's nickname - "the land of fruits and nuts". Now, it's the exact area of town that I wished for him to live in. Not because he's a fruit or a nut...okay, maybe that last one fits...but because of the politics and because of the art crowd and because of all of the eccentric little shops that are littered up and down the main drag.

In spite of what you might expect in the way of a very liberal, very culturally diverse neighborhood, the area is very affluent. Which is why I've never been able to live in the Highlands previous to this point in my life. And, in fact, I wouldn't be living here now, were it not for the Highlander (who, of course earned his name from this very locale).

As it happened, the lease on my apartment was coming up for renewal, just as the largest apartment in the building in which he was already residing became available. And so, after much discussion, some of it pragmatic, some of it considerably more emotional, we opted to move into the large apartment in this building together.

It's not a decision I've regretted once. I don't believe he has either.

Coming home to this house...to this man...everyday, is, in so many ways, a dream come true. Not only living in a beautiful house that is brimming with character, in a wonderful neighborhood, but doing so with a man who adores me and considers it an honor to treat me like a princess every single day. Don't pinch me. I'm gonna be pissed as hell if I wake up!!

And the kids love it here, too. The neighborhood has a candy shop at the end of the block. That would probably be enough in and of itself, but if not, there's a comic book shop just a couple short blocks beyond that. There are two parks within two blocks, and the house has a big front yard that has been wonderful for playing ball and throwing frisbee.

But, as I said, we have a new neighbor.

And the promise of more soon.

The one that moved into Highlander's old place told him that the apartment was small but all he needed was enough space for his bed and a bible. And when we ran into him (with his part-time kids) later he "God Blessed" us. ::sigh::

My pal, the landlord, mentioned that the couple moving in upstairs next week have a dog. He doesn't think it will bark much, but told me to take it to them directly if it becomes a problem. And he knows to whom he speaks...heh. But...well...::sigh::

I worry...a little...about what is gonna happen to my little utopia. I suppose that's selfish. And more than a little pessimistic. Life evolves. Pretty much constantly. But I've really, really enjoyed the last few months. And I don't like the idea of anyone screwing around with that.

5 Comments:

Blogger Highlander said...

Yeah, I'm not wild about the new neighbors either, baby... but you know that.

My secret plan all along has been to sell a few novels, get a big check, and rent my old apartment to use as an office. Located as it is right across the hall, and having, as it does, its own fridge, microwave, sink, and bathroom, it would have been a perfect place to work in the day.

Unfortunately, would-be agents seem to have disappeared off the face of the earth, and publishers continue to be indifferent to the money making opportunities I am trying to present.

Now, some godhead is in there, threatening to scrape and repaint the walls and ceiling... brrrrr.

I wish the real world would just stop hasslin' us.

1/08/2006 5:50 AM  
Blogger Julia said...

Nothing like a god-bag to ruin your day.

I once had Mormons-on-Mission living next to me. I found that no matter what I said, they took it as an opportunity to save me.

I learned to be politely cold to them.

1/08/2006 11:20 AM  
Anonymous Asshole said...

Not everyone who believes in God is an unreasoning jackass. Maybe this guy will turn out to be all right...

1/08/2006 4:21 PM  
Blogger SuperFiancee said...

H -

I like your previous plan. Where you win the lottery, buy the entire building, turn the old apartment into your office and the two upstairs into student housing for the girls. That would be uber cool. I'm sure things will be fine here. Just different. That's not always worse. Just that it's been SOOOOOO good.

Julia (and you, too, Nate) -

I don't have anything against anyone pursuing happiness anyway they choose that doesn't hurt anyone else. That sentiment certainly includes religion. I DO, however, have a great deal against people who believe themselves to be recruiters.

Now, this new neighbor hasn't done that yet. Boy, do I hope he maintains that trend. And, honestly, I don't have a complaint one about him personally. (Though, H, said his truck is REALLY loud. I've been lucky in that I leave before he does.) Just that it's been really nice having the whole place to ourselves. It wouldn't matter who moved in. It would still make me a little melancholy. Don't think I could be politely cold to someone who continued to make it their mission to save me. Yeah, it's laughable to think I'd get close.

Now, H, would dispute that if some very hot coeds moved in next door. But, then I'd have to shake him awake and smack him around a little...;)

1/08/2006 6:57 PM  
Blogger Ragnell said...

You have my sincerest sympathies, as I live in the Bible Belt and have experienced all of the above mentioned religious types (and worse!). We also periodically have canvassers. On Saturday morning.

If it weren't so damned windy in Oklahoma I'd get the pentacle rug or the Blessed Be rug and use it for a doormat, just to keep them away. But it would blow to a neighbor's door.

And it might make them worse.

1/08/2006 8:51 PM  

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