Earning Those Tokens

The other day I came home and found Jay in a rather excited mood.  He said something like, “you’ll never guess what happened?”  I tried to think of all the things Jay could have been exposed to that day and compared them to all the things I thought he might be excited about.

“Our wretched neighbor died?” Nope.

“Our wretched neighbor is selling her house?” Nope.

“You kicked the wretched neighbor’s wretched dog?”  Kicking a dog wouldn’t make me happy.

“Oh”.  I’d run out of ideas and knew I was just going to start getting more specific with guesses.  Guesses  that would involve delightful scenarios like the wretched neighbor being injured in some non-fatal way or perhaps guesses that involved run-ins between her and the police, animal control, someone from an institution with a padded van or maybe men dressed in black who mysteriously showed up, tossed her into the back of an unmarked vehicle’s trunk and sped away.  I could picture myself standing on the porch and waving my little hand like I was Vir Cotto saying his final good-bye to Mr. Morden. (Geek reference, it’s a bit over the top and cruel, but you’ve probably guessed I’m not overly fond of  this woman.)

To recap a bit, about four years ago the wretched neighbor lost her wretched little mind and decided to scream at me over the fence then she finished her scream-fest with a threat of calling the police.  She’s adorable, really.  I was appalled and angry.  I’m not the kind of person people tend to yell at (when I’m not driving) and I’m definitely not the kind of person you’d call the police about. I’m the human version of beige.  Who can get mad at beige? I mean seriously, we’re decent neighbors.  We’re polite, quiet and try not to bother anyone.  In that moment where she threw her gigantic fit from behind a fence, she earned my undying ire and the title of “wretched”, which for the purposes of writing for a mixed audience is the shortened version of a more descriptive title that’s more fun to say.

Jay finally busted, “she apologized!”

“For destroying our fence?“ No.

“For throwing debris all over our yard?” No.

”For the dog being off the leash and charging to attack you every time you go outside?” No.

Again, I was running out of ideas and was going to start listing things she should apologize for like watering her lawn in a drought at noon several times a week and being a bad global citizen, for voting for the wrong political party, for being insane, for that haircut or maybe for using valuable oxygen.  I was left with just staring at Jay.  “She told me to tell you she was sorry for yelling at you that day.  Apparently, she suffers from insomnia and the dog behind her had set her off, so when Sam barked she lost control.  Anyway, she said she was really sorry for that.”  Hrm.

Four years later she’s sorry? Really?  I still don’t know what to do with that.

Sure, she owed me an apology, but I gave up on that about two weeks after the incident.  By YEAR FOUR I hadn’t exactly moved on, but I was content in my utter disdain.  Why now?  I mulled that over a bit along with trying to decide whether I had to accept that apology.  I mean, it’s been FOUR YEARS.  Jay and I discussed it along with my group of friends.  Since we’re all a cynical sneering lot, we all came separately to the same conclusion.  Clearly, she’s attending a substance abuse program and her sponsor instructed her to make amends with the people she’s harmed.  Bless her heart.  My wretched neighbor isn’t just a wretched neighbor she’s a wretched alcoholic crazed loose cannon who is trying to get better Now she’s taking that difficult first step by apologizing to the people she wronged… through their husbands.

Well, we wish her well on her journey to sobriety!  I’ll try to grimace out a supportive smile next time I’m forced to look at her.  Maybe she’ll get a token.

One thought on “Earning Those Tokens

  1. Charla Doughty says:

    God, grant me the serenity to…(fill in the blanks with your own choice of poetry)…4 FREAKIN’ YEARS??? Who the f@#$%^&*k cares about her insomnia. She has been WRETCHED through out the entire time since that incident. But, as I laugh (not quite rolling on the floor), I can only say that she has provided the fodder for many an amusing story.

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