I know I've mentioned this before, but I am technically an Army wife. There was a time not so long ago that I lived on an Army post and the fact that I was married to the military was drilled into my head on a daily basis. Every morning, I heard "Reveille" and every night, I heard "Taps". Some mornings, I heard troops in formation, jogging by my house and calling cadence. I spent four years on post and, for the most part, it was a relatively pleasant experience. Except for the times I ran into asshole neighbor types. I can think of five asshole neighbors off the top of my head. Three of them were men. Two were women.
Neighbor #1 was our next door neighbor to the right. Prim and proper, she was a stay at home mom with two adorable daughters and a narcissistic husband who used to make a point of jogging around the neighborhood with no shirt on. Not long after we met, I could tell she disapproved of my husband and me. I'm not completely sure why. I noticed she cooled off especially on the day her younger daughter asked if we had any kids. I told her that my husband did, but I didn't.
Mom didn't like that answer and insinuated that it was too hard for her daughter to understand the concept of stepfamilies. I'm not sure if she meant that I should have lied. Maybe I should have just said we didn't have kids, but at that time, there was a chance my husband's kids might visit us. How would we have explained them? As it turned out, I really didn't need to tell the little girl the truth. I should have told her we had no kids, even though it was kind of not the truth. The kids never visited.
But after that, Mom was noticeably cold and awkward. Was it really something I said? I was glad when she moved.
Neighbor #2 was our next door neighbor to the left. When we first arrived on post, he had apparently abandoned his quarters. It was obvious that someone lived in the house, but no one was ever home. And oddly enough, no one ever told us what had happened. One day, about six weeks after we moved into our quarters, Neighbor #2, a man I eventually came to refer to as "Shithead", showed up. He introduced himself to me and explained that his wife had just died of cancer. He and her kids from her first marriage had been in San Antonio, where his wife had undergone a failed bone marrow transplant.
Not long after he moved back in, I started to spot his asshole behaviors. He erected a trampoline right outside our bedroom window. He got a labrador puppy and left it outside all day to cry. He was rude and disrespectful to me. One time, he told me that he watched me through my office windows. And he just acted like a pompous jerk, especially toward some of the sexier wives. Not long after his wife died, he took up with some skank and moved off post with his wife's kids from another relationship (a factoid I learned from our post office carrier and local gossipmonger). It was a happy day for me when Shithead packed up his shit and moved. I loved the people who moved in after him.
Neighbor #3 was a lady who lived in a townhouse near ours. One day, my husband was walking our dogs near her house. One of the dogs pooped on the curb. My husband cleaned up most of the mess, but apparently missed a turd. She drove up in her ugly ass green van and parked it in the street. Not in a parking space, of which there were an ample number of, not even in the service lane behind our house, but in the fucking street. She marched up to our door and banged on it.
My husband went outside to talk to her and she immediately launched into a tirade about the stray turd on the curb near her house. She bitched about all the dog owners who neglected to clean up after their dogs and told my husband she would like to shoot them. Then she threatened to call the M.P.s about the violation he had broken by not fully cleaning up after our dogs.
To his credit, my husband calmly listened to this shrew go off on him in his front yard while she blocked traffic with her fucking green custom van. Lucky for her, she didn't get me at the door. I would have asked her which issue she thought the military police would care more about... a stray piece of dog shit near her house or a military dependent threatening violence toward a servicemember with a firearm on a military installation while blocking traffic with her ugly ass van? And then I would have invited her to go fuck herself. Years later, just thinking about that incident pisses me off. I never claimed to be the most laid back bitch on the block, though. I was reminded of that horrible woman today when I ran across an old hotel review I wrote a couple of years ago. A poster with a similar attitude left me a condescending comment that warranted a vitriolic response from yours truly.
Neighbor #4 was a single dad who moved into the house three doors down from ours. From the very beginning, this guy was a bit strange. He had two sons-- one who was about eleven or twelve and the other a teenager. One day, I was walking my dogs behind their house and their dog, a huge boxer, came running out and climbed over the chain link fence. He immediately attacked my beagle. I started yelling and after a minute, the teen came out and grabbed his dog. He muttered "sorry" and put the dog inside. My neighbors pressured me to complain to housing, which I did. They were concerned about their own pets and children. Single dad never did come over to apologize and we ended up with a $200 vet bill that we could ill afford at the time. I suppose we should have sued, but we didn't.
Months later, we moved to a new house because our old one was slated to be renovated. Single dad and his kids moved in a couple of doors down and across the street from us. He and his sons usually left their garage door open about a foot. I thought nothing of it until another neighbor mentioned that she smelled a strange odor coming from their house. Without thinking, I blurted out "I bet that kid is over there huffing." My neighbor said, "Oh my God... he totally fits the profile." They moved not long after that.
Neighbor #5 was a husband and wife who, unfortunately, got military housing when they didn't want it. The couple didn't have kids or pets and the military member was ranked lower than everyone else in the neighborhood. For some reason, this guy hated dogs. He took it upon himself to go door to door to tell his neighbors that he hated dogs and would be taking note of how long we left our animals outside in our backyards.
Not long after we had moved into the new house, my husband got deployed to Iraq. I was left alone in our new house with our two beagles. For some reason, #5's garage door opener opened our garage instead of his. One early morning, my dogs needed to go outside. I took them out and #5 was on his way to work. The dogs barked at him because he was a stranger. He leaned over the fence and screamed "Shut up!" at them loudly enough for the whole neighborhood to hear it (and yes, I did ask others). I immediately started feeling uncomfortable since this guy's garage door opener gave him access to our house.
I sent an email to the housing office, requesting quick service to rectify the situation. I told the housing director about my concerns and luckily, she was very receptive to my needs. I think the neighbor got a good talking to, because he never bothered me again. However, he did continue to annoy the other people in the neighborhood. Last time I checked, my former neighbor was wishing he would move, to the point of contemplating buying bottles of Cristal for the day he moved his sorry ass off post and out of everyone's hair. Everyone in the neighborhood called the guy "DH" for "dog hater". Hmm... I can think of another name using those initials.
These days, I live way off post and have nothing to do with my husband's career. He goes to work everyday and I live out in the country, where most of the time, no one bothers me. We choose homes in rural areas for that very reason. I don't like to feel uncomfortable in my own space and, despite appearances, I don't like to make other people uncomfortable. I hope the next time we move, we find a suitable place off post.