Quite a few people commented on my you capture post, asking how planting a bush could annoy someone. I can completely understand your confusion, as I'm sure most of you don't live next door to a weed whacking freak who has clearly inhaled too many lawn chemicals. Since our last incident of The Mayor offering to buy ChemLawn for us, we've had a few run-ins with him offering us sage lawn advice. One such piece of advice involved telling us that we shouldn't bother planting flowers or bushes because they just promote weeds, and we need to focus our time on lawn upkeep. The day after he told us this, I went out and bought the bush and several flowers to plant around it. I also planted the bush directly opposite the junk truck he keeps in his driveway (this man has a garage, so it's just obnoxious), keeping in mind that he'd told us that he plants bushes to block offensive views.
This year, to shut him up, Shane spot sprayed all the dandelions, so we didn't have a single dandelion in our yard. We do have clover, but I think clover is pretty and also it's good for the grass.
Wednesday night, Shane, Luke, and I headed out for a walk. The Mayor was meticulously inspecting his front lawn. Shane said hi and asked him how he was doing. His response was, "Boy, you don't see a single weed in MY yard." This was my last day of school, and I was already pretty fired up from this goodbye, so I tersely said, "I really don't see what that matters!" The Mayor's response was to say, "Wow," so Shane calmly said, "We've discussed before that I'm not putting chemicals on my lawn." The Mayor said, "I've been breathing them in for 70 years, and I'm just fine!" It was on the tip of my tongue to disagree with that, but Shane just said, "You're entitled to your opinion, and I have mine," and we kept walking. Weird side note, The Mayor is not actually 70, he's in his 60s, so apparently all those years of breathing in chemicals have caused him to forget his own age.
Fast forward to Saturday night. Shane went outside to leave for his poker game, and the neighbor was outside madly flinging dirt around his front yard for inexplicable reasons. Before Shane could say anything, the neighbor said, "You have a bad attitude, young man!" and turned to these random people walking past with a baby in a stroller and said, "This young man over here has a bad attitude!" If you know my husband, you know he is very calm and level-headed. I am absolutely the antagonistic, hot-headed one in the relationship, and he is always reminding me that loving is better than fighting. Oh, but my calm husband? He lost it. He told The Mayor that how dare he accuse him of having a bad attitude when he was the one making comments when Shane was outside trying to enjoy an evening walk with his wife and child, he told him we don't live in a neighborhood with a convenant and that maybe the mayor should move to one, he told him that he made sure to get rid of all the dandelions and that the day the mayor put up a for sale sign, he'd gladly pour every chemical in the world on our lawn just to get rid of him, and he said that from now on, if he has nothing nice to say, he doesn't want to hear it. Through this all, The Mayor just kept repeating, "You have a bad attitude, young man." The Mayor is hugely religious, so Shane asked him if he thought a green lawn was all it took to get into Heaven, if treating people with kindness didn't mean anything, then Shane told him not to worry, though, despite his rudeness, he'd still keep him in his prayers. At this point, The Mayor stalked inside, and then I made out with Shane for giving him such a verbal beat down. Okay, I didn't really make out with him, but I applauded him for saying his part, but still keeping his cool much better than I would have (seriously, he didn't swear once!).
The thing about our neighborhood is that most people work and have small children, so actually, the majority of lawns are just like ours with a smattering of clover, but everyone has flowers and lawns are kept mowed. The other neighbors have also adopted the nickname of The Mayor for this man. Unfortunately, he keeps his lawn like a golf course and has never been able to understand that for some people, there are more important things in this world than having a meticulously kept lawn. The most we can do now is shake our heads, keep planting flowers, and just hope that this means that he'll leave us alone! Truthfully, I'm pretty happy about it because this means I no longer have to endure him calling me young lady or Mrs. Shane.
So, there you go, the story of the bush to annoy our neighbor. I'm thinking of planting a whole row of them...