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  • Gerry

Thought I was the super hero, turns out I'm the super villain

Updated: Jul 5, 2023

Throughout my many years of living in my childhood home, I have seen lots of things. I've watched neighbors move in and out, I accidentally became my own solo neighborhood watch program, for a week straight I waved hello back to the kid who wore a sea captain's hat and waved hello to me first at the bus stop, but nothing could have prepared me for what I realized today.

I was driving back from the grocery store (where I bought sushi for dinner, obviously) and as I was driving up the block I saw a ton of smoke. I'm no firefighter, but I knew something about this scenario wasn't right. As I was driving up my street, my eyes were scanning for the the origin of the concerning clouds around me... and that's when I noticed it was coming from one of the houses. Very alarmed, I slowed down my car and tried to see if the smoke was coming from one of the windows. The smoke continued to hoard the area, but confusingly I saw the window was closed. (Truthfully looking back, this should have been the first sign). There was a woman sitting on the steps to her house and panicked I make eye contact with her. I was literal seconds away from hysterically rolling down my window to ask her if she needed me to call 911 and that's when I turned my head slightly to the left and saw (who I'm assuming was) her husband and child... on the driveway... with a firecracker... And that's the moment when it dawned on me, it's the 4th of July. There was no emergency, I was just stupid. Embarrassed and filled with awkwardness, I quickly drove away.

Now while it may seem understandable from my point of view, I think this interaction seems significantly worse from theirs. Picture this: You're sitting on the porch of your house watching your beloved husband play with your adorable child or you're playing in the driveway with your kid while your beautiful wife watches you both from the porch. Maybe it's the first 4th of July that you're celebrating in this wonderful house you both have bought, maybe you've happily settled into the house already. Everything is great, until this woman drives up the street, stops right outside of your house, scans your entire house, makes eye contact with you both (probably with a completely blank stare, maybe even with a RBF)... And then she just drives away.

Now I fully believe that every neighborhood has the weird neighbor, and it was unfortunately when I pulled into my driveway that I realized that I'm the weird neighbor. In case this story wasn't enough to convince you, don't worry I've got another.

A couple of weeks ago, I was coming home late (about midnight or 1am) from something and my boyfriend was going to be coming over to my house after work. I arrived at my house only about 10-15 minutes before he was going to arrive, so for whatever reason I decided that I was just going to wait for him before I went inside. We were on the phone and I was receiving real-time updates as to how far he was. What's the worst that could happen? Being a good global citizen, I decided that I should shut off the car to prevent unnecessary pollution and got myself comfortable in my seat. In all honesty, I think I was playing a game on my phone while we talked. Point is, I was very comfortable in this completely dark car and was prepared to sit for a little while.

That is, until my neighbor walks out of his house with some older woman. Obviously, I turned and looked at them and watched while he walked her down to her car which was parked on the street, kiss her (on the cheek, I think), and then walk back up the driveway. I made up a fictitious story about what him and this woman were doing together and jokingly told my boyfriend about it. I had to pass the 15 minutes somehow. While he was walking up the driveway, he happen to look over at me and make eye contact. That's when it dawned on me, I'm the weird one in this scenario.

Again, for argument's sake, let's take his POV during this interaction. You walk out of your house where your wife and baby are (probably) sleeping. You might even be in the process of walking your mother or mother-in-law to her car. (For argument's sake, we're just going to ignore the question of why your mother or MIL would be leaving your house at 1am.) Maybe you all just had a wonderful evening together, maybe you don't see her very often. You, being the loving son or son-in-law walk her down to her car, kiss her goodbye, and wave her off as you start to walk up the driveway. That's when you feel someone watching you. You look to your right and find your young adult neighbor who sitting in her completely pitch black car with absolutely no lights on anywhere at one in the morning staring back at you. You have no clue how long she has been there, but she clearly has no intention of leaving the car any time soon.

Anyway, I'll be taking suggestions on how to convince my neighbors I'm relatively normal. Hope you all had a great 4th of July 🎆.

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