So this happened today:
The above picture is our house. My absolute favorite shade of blue, a unique that I have only seen in a few houses.
This morning my husband told me to look out the window across the street where the new neighbors had moved in about a month ago. This is what I saw:
Yeah they’re painting their house the same fucking color as ours. Fairly similar 1920s home, blue with white trim. Did I mention this is the same couple that we left a little welcome gift on their front porch with canned goods and a note that they never even bothered to thank us for? Did I mention that the previous owners were the ones who moved out because their fertility treatments brought them twins AND their adoption went through all at the same time (so they needed a bigger home, while we saw our whole world fall apart in both fertility and adoption right around the same time this spring)?
Yes I know there’s no law around painting your house the same color as your neighbor across the street, but it’s fucking tacky. I mean at least choose a slightly different shade, for fuck’s sake. It reminds me of when I was a kid and every time my sister would buy something my mom would buy the identical item, making her nuts everywhere they went. When you live in such close quarters in an inner city neighborhood, the norm is to respect the aesthetic and to not do things like let your yard get all overgrown or, in this case, single white female your neighbor across the street by painting the house the exact same color, taking away so much from the uniqueness of each home by carbon copying it.
So yeah it’s another reason why I’m ready to get out of here. To get out of the city but no longer feels like my home, that has very few inklings left of the town I grew up in, not as much in an aesthetic way but more in an attitude. Now maybe I sound like my grandmother, but I’m seeing an overwhelmingly different attitude in my neighborhood from when I bought my house 11 years ago. I’m not saying it’s all bad, but I definitely don’t feel connected anymore.
Maybe I’m just seeing things more clearly in my 40s and I did in my 30s here, maybe I’m less optimistic, but when I arrived I knew that something happened to me I had a safe place to go. Now if something were to happen, it’s a crapshoot at best. And after spending three years volunteering in the schools as a reader and seeing how the little black boys were treated differently then the other kids we read to, being punished (while a blind eye was turned to the boys with him when they all exhibited the same behaviors) by not letting the child get to spend time with a reader? Even in that diverse of a school I don’t see it is a place we could send our child. After 11 years in this neighborhood, the cafe across the street I used to do all my business meetings at is now run by someone who literally just took it over so he could make money (doesn’t live in the neighborhood, can’t even make drip coffee right, stripped the menu and has a soulless stare and attitude to match). After 11 years in this neighborhood, I hear people complaining that we live in a food desert, when I literally live 4 blocks from a Safeway and have three natural grocers and a Fred Meyer within a mile and a half. After 11 years in this neighborhood, I have found that people on our street are so rude when it comes to parking and blocking people’s driveways that we had to pay $180 for the city to come out and paint a yellow line perpendicular to our driveway to keep people away from it. Just yesterday, a construction worker from two houses down literally parked in the street blocking both mine and my neighbor’s driveway and was going to get out and just leave it there until my husband and I both called him out on it -and of course he had the nerve to give US his favorite hand gesture as he peeled out to go park 100′ away in an open spot. And those who know me know how many times we’ve had these crazy mofos pulling this kind of crap.
I digress at times, but I feel like every week there’s one more reason telling us it’s time to get ready to go somewhere new, to find that spot of land and build that little house, far away from here where we can hopefully be a family of three… finally. It may seem like we’re running away but we know we are running to something… It’s just not materialized yet.
But I know one thing – if 2018 is not our year, it’ll never be our year. It’s time to seize the fucking day.