A few years ago, a thirty-something couple moved into the house behind us. They had two girls under age five and another baby on the way. When the mom told me that her husband once danced and sang on a table, I assumed she was indulging in nostalgia rather than foreshadowing.
Until festive lights went up in the backyard. This was followed by a disco ball, loud music, and the chanting of “Drink, drink, drink!”
Another neighbor called and asked where the frat party was.
My husband Andy is an amazing cook. He won until the year of the potato. I snuck in a potato flake cake from a 50s recipe. My chocolate crushed the competition – including my husband. The following year, the hostess split the competition, creating two different categories: one for savory items, one for sweets.
My mother loved being pregnant. When I was 10 and she was pregnant with Baby Brother, she gave up alcohol and cigarettes without complaint. Same thing when I was 11 and she had Baby Singing Sister. She rarely threw up and was always cheerful.
Some people shouldn’t have pets. Take my family. I had anywhere from 3-7 siblings when I was growing up. There’s no way a parent will notice a listless cat needs a vet visit when they don’t even know that child #2 has a chipped ankle because they’re busy bandaging the road rash of child #4, dragged an entire block by the dog they never had the time to train. Eventually, the ill-trained dog will be sent to the local doggie death center. The children will cry. The dog will be replaced by a bunny. Raccoons will eat the rabbit because it was left outside.
When we get new neighbors, I usually take them a plate of baked goods. If they’re lucky, the newbies moved in between October and December, which my husband dubbed “Baking Season.” Baking Season starts with cream cheese sugar cookies shaped like fall leaves and moves onto maple cream pie, apple pie, maple sugar rugelach, and candy cane meringues.
The new neighbors usually bring back an empty plate and sexist mouthful of compliments. “You’re a fantastic cook! Your husband is so lucky!”
You know what’s great about having dogs? Especially big dogs?
I can walk any time without fear. If I’m restless (or pissed at my in-laws) at 10 PM, I grab my dogs’ leashes and away we go. When I’m flanked by 70-90 pounds of dog flesh, people will cross the street to avoid me.
You know what’s not great about having two big dogs when walking 6 miles a day?
In honor of Father’s Day, I’ve compiled the following timeline for a few of the worst best moments and realizations that my a Dad with too many children might have experienced. Here they are, in chronological order:
Finally being able to afford a three-story house, complete with a lovely oak bannister along the stairs.
Rejoicing as there is now enough space for your growing family (i.e., you can stop fights by putting each kid in solitary confinement).
Andy is not the most outgoing guy on the planet. He’s perfectly polite and even warm if you greet him, but he will not go out of his way to meet you. Andy had lived in his townhouse for about 5 years before I moved in and we got married. He said hello to exactly one neighbor. Continue reading Neighbors (#113)