Tuesday, January 31, 2012

First Impressions

"I am so sorry," I cried to the young man.  "I didn't mean to hit the car.  I just wasn't paying attention, oh my god, I'm so sorry."

My frantic apologizes clearly made the young man uncomfortable and probably a bit worried about what kind of crazy lady he was dealing with.

"I can't believe I hit the car," I half-way screamed.  "Is it yours?"

"No it's my dad's," he said calmly.  

"Oh geez, seriously I am so sorry.  Here's my information," I told him as I stuffed the note that I had scribbled seconds earlier.   "I have to run, but you and your dad will know where to find me, I am your new next door neighbor."

2 Hours Earlier
The kids had the day off from school, so I realized there would not be a  lot of unpacking and organizing today.  And I was kind of okay with that.  I surrendered to the chaos and we played and made paper snowflakes to decorate the new place.  Some of us didn't get out of our pjs, it was fun.

Then I got a phone call from Tim telling me that I had to jump through a few more hoops to make sure the closing (that's right we hadn't closed on our other house yet) went through.  And I had to go to several different banks for several different reasons, like right at that minute. Or all would be lost.

So, get dressed, get kids dressed, search through boxes for new checkbook, yell at fighting kids, scrape off snow on the van, trip over boxes, break up sword fight between bigger boys, look for boots for kids, find checkbook, yell at fighting kids again and again, beg kids to stop fighting and "work it out," buckle up, back out of driveway and crash into neighbor's parked car.

I hurriedly looked for something to leave a note, found it and then couldn't figure out what to say.  Seriously. I started with "Nice to meet you, sorry I crashed into your car.  Here's my number, call me ###=###-####."  I crumpled it up because that sounded like a weird pick up line.  I started to write something else and then realized I was running out of time.  

And that's when the young man pulled up and told me it was his father's car.  

It's really too bad, I had such high hopes of having a better start than the last time I moved into a new neighborhood and had to call the cops.


Tim and I had just moved into our first house together.  We were so young, in love and hopeful about our future.  I had only lived in Michigan a year and was still getting to know the area.  I was so excited to make our house a home.

But two weeks after we moved in, things in my sweet little suburban utopia went downhill.  Tim went out of town for a weekend with the guys and I was left home alone.  No big deal.  I turned on Lifetime (back when I watched Lifetime, ugh) and watched a good old disturbing movie about some woman being attacked.  Lovely.  

Then I heard noises outside.  Then strange people were lurking around out front.  Teenage people.  I sat for about an hour peeking out the window like the Bewitched neighbor Mrs. Mrs. Kravitz. She knew something was going on, she was right.

Teenagers in a well-to-do community scared me more than anything. Wealthy Less Than Zero type entitled kids looking for a high wherever they could get it, I was sure they were going to break into my home.  So, I called the cops.  Five minutes and literally eight cop cars later, a bust was made and I was feeling proud.  

I called Tim and told him of my great civic duty.  "I think I might be nominated to president of the neighborhood watch," I boldly told him.

The next day a knock on my door.  Oh good, I remember thinking, a neighbor is coming to thank me.  When I opened the door, I got quite a surprise.

"Are you the lady that called the cops on my son?  I'm your neighbor and I'm pissed, you've ruined my son's life."  

There's no real cute wrap up to these stories or happy endings.  Except, thank god for insurance, the closing went through and we are officially DONE with the house and the old new neighbor's son's life wasn't ruined.

The end.

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