My husband and I lived in our current home for exactly one year.
When we moved for the first time, it looked like a quiet, generic urban street, just like any other. But we were quickly exposed to the boiling tension just below the surface.
Gradually we started to meet neighbors as we took our daily walk with the dogs. To the great regret of my husband, they often prevented us from making embarrassing chatter about the weather, dogs and other lazy chats. If c & # 39 is something that my husband hates more than iced tea, strangers talk to him and talk useless.
Despite our extreme lack of enthusiasm, it was soon extended to us the great honor of being invited to join the private Facebook group of the road. Although the group was originally created for a specific purpose, it quickly turned into a place where people could express their petty complaints and make passive aggressive comments.
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Hard rubbish left out of a home for more than a day? It is post-worthy. Has anyone managed to spawn on the street? Post-worthy (usually I don't follow all my pregnant friends anymore, I don't need not to ask for photos of children coming to me. I consider it a personal attack). Do people park a little outside the lines of our street where parking is a bonus? Many, many posts must be written (this is also increased by people leaving notes on cars to people who paint their parking lots on the road).
Among these are the completely random messages of the kind your crazy aunt could share on Facebook. At the moment, vigorous Ooshie trading is underway. Who knew that something that will inevitably end up in landfills by the end of the month could cause so much excitement? (Woolworths, that's who.)
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The group's current concern is complaining about the dogs barking under the mask worried about "I'm worried that the dog barks because the owner is injured and can't get up". If you legitimately thought that someone was hurt so badly that they were going to be eaten by their hungry and noisy hound, would you complain on social media or could you slam the door to help them or alert the authorities?
There are certainly many neighbors who publish and comment more frequently than others, who strive to express their opinions on every minor thing that happens in the street. It's safe to say that, in my opinion, these people really need to do a hobby (and maybe I need to do a hobby that doesn't involve constant control of the local Facebook group for laughter). Perhaps a game of bowls, reading a book, resuming knitting, cooking all of Julia Child's recipes from scratch – really everything that will keep your hands busy and away from their keyboards.
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A particularly vocal member of the group made its mission to rate the council until a path was built on our side of the road (apart from the Facebook group, its main pastime seems to write letters to the council). I prefer nature to cement (and I'm also super mean), so I decided to plant the natural strip in front of my house with the natives hidden away.
I think that illegally planting the natural strip could be the toughest (and middle aged) thing I've ever done. As I was finishing putting the last plants, he said the neighbor had passed and said, "You better make sure they are protected."
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My paranoia is making me uncertain whether it was intended as a useful advice or a malicious threat.
Until I understand it I will look at my plants. And my back.
.. (t) annoying neighbors