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How to Get Along With Those Pesky Neighbors

altrendo images / Stockbyte /

altrendo images / Stockbyte /

They say you can pick your friends but you can’t pick your family. Well it gets worse because you can’t pick your neighbors either. Sometimes you have great ones and then they move away or you have the worse neighbor ever and he’s not going anywhere.

The 6 Types
There are basically 6 types of neighbors: the Good Neighbor, the Borrower, the Gossip, the Drunk, the Renter, and the Lazy One.

The Borrower
Though usually nice, the borrower is willing to do anything for you except return your tools, buy their own sugar, or even consider purchasing a ladder. This is not gender specific and applies to everything from eggs to chainsaws. It wouldn’t be such a big deal if he or she ever just once had something I needed.

The Gossip
While handy for hearing any pertinent news of the neighborhood, the problem is, he or she doesn’t deal in “pertinent.” It would be nice to find out what the new construction up the street is going to be or learn what the house on the corner sold for but do I really need to know whose cheating on who and who just got a DUI? Darn right I do but that’s beside the point. Not only does it bother me when told intimate details of stranger’s lives, it makes me wonder what the Gossip is telling them about me.

The Drunk
Come on, we all have one of these in our neighborhood and if you don’t think you do, maybe it’s you. It’s usually a guy who drinks too much beer or the housewife who has what we in my neighborhood call a “Grape Fetish.” Actually, in my neighborhood we have a lot of both and that makes Friday nights pretty fun around here. Luckily for us and hopefully for you as well, The Drunk was also the Renter which I’ll get into next, and is a temporary resident.

The Renter
Mine are right across the street and they are the third version we’ve dealt with. The first ones were the drunks and fought every Friday and Saturday night. At least I didn’t worry about crime in my neighborhood because the police were always right out in front. They moved and then we had the Drama Queen who then moved, and that brought us our current nature lovers. I call them that because they seem to prefer letting the yard go wild. It looks like the plains of the Serengeti after the rainy season over there. There are now more varieties of weeds than I thought were native to this area. It would be politically correct and environmentally sound if they planned it that way, but the massive dandelion infestation shoots that theory down.

The Lazy One
This is the neighbor who starts projects but never finishes them or has to have a neighbor come get it done. The guy can’t change out a light switch but won’t fork over the money to hire an electrician. He or she means well and always has a project on the drawing board; they just need you to come help out. If you know how to plumb, patch, paint or wire, they’ll guilt you into doing it for them. They seem to think every tradesman earns about a six pack an hour because that’s what they pay you for your efforts.

The Good Neighbors
May you all be blessed with good neighbors. I mainly am now and am very grateful. The neighbors on three sides of me have keys to my house and I have keys to theirs. We take care of each other’s pets when needed and watch for trouble. We’ve been here 8 years now and have settled in quite well. I am worried thought that now that The Drunk has moved I may have inherited that title. Since I wrote this column I am now the gossip and now that I think about it, I still have my next door neighbor’s chainsaw hanging in my garage, right next to his ladder I kept when he changed out my ceiling fan. Oh no, I’m the Pesky Neighbor…

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