Oddness of Smooshing

Most of the time I’m fine. But sometimes, the loneliness really gets to me. It did today. I have a lot of good friends, family that loves me, and you couldn’t create a better ward from the ground up. I don’t have a lot to complain about. It’s just that sometimes…

Today my old neighbor called from my big fancy house. The one I left quietly- holding my utterly smashed heart leaking from between my shaking fingers- that house. It’s on the market now. It’s also legally not mine anymore. The phone rang while I was hauling groceries from a quick stop at the market after our family hike this morning. I was juggling three dirty, tired kids, and about 6 bags of food, with 90 degree + temps in  the house.

My old neighbor was calling not to say hello, not to chat or ask how the kids and I are faring. She was calling, she tersely informed me, to let me know the yard looks like hell, and I had better do something about it. Stunned, my hands full of groceries and a kid pulling on my leg begging for lunch, I stammered. “The yard? Huh? What?” See, I don’t go by there anymore. I go out of my way to not drive by that house. I think for anyone who knows me, the reasons are pretty obvious- so if the yard isn’t getting mowed, it’s not something in my realm of awareness.

I think I stammered something about the house not being mine anymore, and she could call another number if she was concerned- and she hung up. And for some reason, this just really crushed me. I know, in the grand scheme, it’s not important. But she was my neighbor for three years, and she didn’t care one whit about me or my children, only that a house on her street wasn’t looking up to snuff for the neighborhood. Stupid neighborhood. Stupid appearances.

When she hung up, I went to my room and sat on my bed in the dark. I was sad, but I couldn’t figure out if I had enough in me to cry over this. Odd. All I could put my finger on what that I didn’t know one single soul who who I felt had ever been in my boat. And I bobbed along over the surface of the sea.

Someday, if this is ever all behind me, and I have the chance to own a home again, I have learned two things: you get nicer neighbors in less affluent neighborhoods, and that I think a small house suits me better. So I guess that’s something… right?

15 thoughts on “Oddness of Smooshing

  1. Finding blessings in even the most difficult of circumstances is a gift. Tracy, you are learning how to fashion that gift into a thing of beauty.

    Nice neighbors are far more important than appearances.

    I believe the lessons we learn are important, even if sometimes they aren’t as easily learned as we would hope.

  2. I am sitting in stunned silence over your ex-neighbor. The sheer audacity and selfishness of her phone call is absolutely shocking!
    On that note, I agree that sometimes in the least likely of moments we learn powerful lessons. We have also found that having good friends and neighbors around us is far more important that having the house of our dreams.
    Keep your chin up, Tracy, you are amazing.

  3. Tracy, consider the source of grief…….So this woman really hasn’t noticed that you have not been coming and going from your former house all this time? That just seems so ridiculous to me. Where has she been? Try and forget about her call… You are doing great by your kids and soon enough you will be done with school and supporting them fully.

  4. Are you kidding me!? She actually called you about that? Ridiculous! I’m sorry you feel so alone sometimes and I’m happy you’ve found good neighbors where you are now.

  5. Although it may feel like you are the only one who has had these experiences, you are not alone in them. Others have lived through and survived better for it and you will as well. For those who have not felt the sting of loneliness or loss, or the curtness of a former friend, the betrayal of your soul mate and friend, or the helplessness that comes as a merit badge on your single mom uniform, they do have love for you and compassion, and at times no words to express what they really feel for you. Be strong. You are never alone and you are finding your true friends.

    The fancy house had beautiful grass
    and a heartless neighbor who can kiss your
    friendship good bye.


  6. It hurts when we learn that people aren’t what we hoped.

    Glad you found some positives in this
    as you always seem to do-
    squeezin’ those damned lemons to get lemonade.

  7. Yup, she’s a lemon alright.

    I see it as a great mixed blessing that you DON’T have to be the one trying to keep that house pristine and saleable right now. Can you imagine piling that on top of your stresses? I’d tell you to smile inside that you can totally let that one go and not worry about it.

  8. Adding to Em’s mixed blessing comment: you DON’T have that incredibly obtuse-n-onery woman for a neighbor anymore. You are surrounding yourself with people who love and care about you. You are finding joy and realizing blessings in that little house.

    Sending {{{{hugs}}}}

  9. 5 years ago we were in part of your boat. We had to do a Deed in Lieu of Forclosure on our dream house. This was a house we designed and spent 1 1/2 years of our lives, weekend and evenings, building with our hands. I dug the footings myself, with a shovel. We only lived in it for 9 months when our lives imploded.

    We ended up $50,000 in debt. The stress from the mess really did a number on both my and my husbands health. I ended up losing my gallbladder and having oodles of digestion problems from the chronic worry and fear.

    Our marriage survived. It was not pretty and there was tons of resentment to go around. We did not create the mess we found ourselves in.

    Every month we scramble to find $1,000 to pay that months payment on the debt. It will be another 3 years (if the creek don’t rise and God is willing) before we have the $50,000 paid off. A decade of our lives will have been eaten up trying to dig ourselves out.

    Like you, we have learned lessons. Lessons we wouldn’t wish on anyone.

    We don’t know when we will be able to buy another house and there are plenty of days I don’t ever want the stress of owning a home again. I know for sure whatever we buy in the future will be as small as we can stand it because we don’t ever want to have a long term house payment again.

    Stupid, insane neighbors like the one in your old neighborhood? We had those too. They are the icing on an already stressed cake.

    May your ability to let go of the past be strengthend so you can look more hopefully to the future.

  10. Of COURSE the yard looks like crap! That’s what happens. And if she cares, there are certainly options – she can get out her mower, or call a service. It’s not your problem, it’s hers.

    Nice neighbors are awesome. Loneliness sucks. Small houses are good – less to clean.

  11. Madeleine Albright said “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women,” and I’d add that there’s probably a pretty big place next door to that for women who make other women’s lives harder. Not sharing a neighborhood with that kind of woman is a blessing. What a pill.

  12. I’m so sorry you had to endure that on top of everything else in your life! It would have crushed me too. It’s tough dealing with people who have terminal chips on their shoulders. Here’s to a new leaf and a new “little” home, full of love and joy. It may take some time, but it will come.

  13. It’s times like this that I wish I lived closer so that I could walk over to your ex-neighbor and punch her in the face. Hey, I’ll be in your neck of the woods next month–maybe I could do it then?

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