So. Five months into this new Owning a House experiment, we have vaulted past the small potatoes painting disasters and drilling holes into fresh walls and into a brand new realm of confrontation: Neighbors. Not the original neighbors. The neighbors in the brown and red townhouses are awesome with their mowing of everybody's lawn and the serving of fruit fondue and that one neighbor next door who totally rescued us the night we locked ourselves out. I'm talking about the new neighbors, the ones who moved into the set of blah townhouses across from our front window. And while the ones directly across from us are only mildly annoying with their perfect yard and the parties they throw without inviting me (what is up with THAT?) the people next door to them are true culprits. The ones who live across from K. The ones who are building a TWO STORY PLAYHOUSE IN THEIR BACKYARD.
Okay people. I live in the city. I love the city. I am not terribly fond of noise (oh, the Knarr! (You pronounce 'Knarr' like a pirate, by the way.) How I miss the nightly motorcycle revving!) or random weirdos roaming around at night or anything like that, but I feel relatively comfortable with my small amount of space. I have a postage stamp-sized yard surrounded by a fence. On the other side of that fence is another postage stamp-sized yard and then another townhouse whose front window looks directly into mine. What I could not deal with is a window that looks directly into a TWO STORY PLAYHOUSE. (I have to crane my neck to see the playhouse out my front window, but I'm betting that K is not going to be thrilled when she gets home from her business trip.)
So I'm walking past K's door and down my front walk when I notice Neighbor Guy building the roof on the playhouse. (Actually, I noticed him way before that, but I was trying really hard to ignore him. But, seriously, it's impossible to ignore. It's a TWO STORY PLAYHOUSE.) So he says "Howzit goin!" all cheery good-neighbor like and I say "Fine, thanks" and eye him suspiciously. I had just finished a hasty instant messenger conversation with Phillip at work about the merits of passive aggressively displaying our disapproval of the building project. (While I have no problem being nasty to, say, little sisters, I'm terrified of being nasty to strangers. Because then they won't like me! And everyone has to like me! Especially people who can see into my bedroom!) I wasn't planning to passively aggressively suggest anything (as I was lambasting the entire Passive Aggressive state of being in my IM conversation), but it just came out!
"So!" says I. "You tell K you were building that?" (See how I didn't even mention myself? See how coy and unassuming I'm trying to be?)
The Neighbor Guy said, "Who?"
"K," I pointed. "The woman who lives across from you."
"Oh!" he grunted and swung his head to see K's living room, a mere 10 feet away. "I'm pretty sure she knows!"
"Hrmm!" I frowned with no small amount of FORESHADOWING as I unlocked my front door and disappeared upstairs where I could tremble with the after effects of BEING SLIGHTLY OBNOXIOUS. And I swear he giggled as I let myself in. "Oh those pesky neighbors," he's thinking to himself. "So what if they don't like my playhouse? What're they gonna DO 'BOUT IT! KNOCK IT DOWN? I DON'T THINK SO!"
(And we won't becase we are big fat weenies.)
C, who lives on the other side of us (we can see into his kitchen. It's pretty) is a big important architect and knows things about building codes and who owns what. C says a TWO STORY PLAYHOUSE is probably illegal in a plot of land like ours. He says the actual townhouse probably takes up all the legal building space. He says it's most definitely illegal to build it so close to the fence. The fence we OWN. Unfortunately, C only raises hell when the neighbors are actually his (see: brothel next door). K and Phillip and I... the most I see us raising is our tiny little weakling fists.