Nosy Neighbors

There was an interesting event in our lives this week. I must preface this with the fact that I watch way too many crime TV shows. I love Criminal Minds, CSI, Castle, you get the picture.

We live in a townhouse that is on a cute little cul-de-sac. There are only a couple of buildings with a few duplexes sprinkled in. You would think that in a small little community with so few units that we would all be one big happy family. That’s not really the case. We’re cordial with one another, maybe some Minnesota nice mixed in, but mostly we keep to ourselves. There are a couple of other families on the street that have elementary age kids that play with our kids but, even then, we adults really don’t interact much. The most interaction would be the monthly newsletter that reminds us to keep garbage containers in the garage and to shut garages doors as much as possible to prevent pipes from freezing.

So, we’re sandwiched in between 2 units. One side has a younger couple that just moved in last year and we really haven’t said more than hello to. We were actually a lot closer to the people that they bought the townhouse from so that was a bummer when they moved. The other neighbor is a single mom to a teenager. We’ve only spoken on about 3 or 4 occasions in the 4 years we’ve lived here and she seems like a pretty private person. I totally respect that. She’s quiet and based on our limited discussions, basically works from early in the morning until the afternoon and then comes home. In fact, there are times when she might get home right after we do and she will pull into her garage and begin closing her door before she even shuts the car off. I mean, at that point, I’m wrangling 3 kids into the house after working all day so I am completely okay with not making eye contact and having to say hi. Either way, I respect the fact that she keeps to herself. In fact, in my mind, since I watch too many crime shows, she’s probably in the witness protection program and is keeping a low profile. Totally okay with me, I don’t want the drama on our cul-de-sac.

I’m no Nancy Drew super sleuth but I do tend to notice weird details. I find that I am even more aware of things since we’re literally connected to our neighbors. So, imagine my surprise when I leave for work yesterday morning and notice her garage door open, with the garage lights on. The ceiling lights and not the garage door opener lights. I could see the bulbs reflecting off of the windows on the car. I thought that was weird because she usually leaves super early, well before we do, and always closes her garage door. I took a mental note and started my day. So, at the end of the day when we were getting home, I notice that the door is still open, lights on. So, my inner-Nancy kicks into gear. How would I know if she perhaps had left, but just left the door open? I notice a large chunk of snow/ice behind her right tire (see weird details right?) and make a note that if she were to leave, she would back over that and then no need for me to worry anymore.

Well, I’m leaving for work this morning and notice that chuck of snow/ice still sitting there. The car hasn’t move,  the door is open, with the lights on. Is she trying to buck the association system and show them the pipes won’t freeze? Maybe she’s being held hostage in her own home? Maybe there was a carbon monoxide issue and, well, you get the picture of how my mind was working at this point. Hubs was home studying today so he went over to her unit and knocked on the door twice and rang the doorbell twice. The dog barked but she never answered. This is not too uncommon. We’ve had her mail before and gotten no answer so we’ve had to just put it in the mailbox to be redelivered to her. She’s a really private person I guess. Well, by that point I’m totally thinking the worst possible scenarios. It’s not carbon monoxide since the dog was still alive. I mean, leaving the garage door open is not a great idea to begin with since it’s only one measly door between you and a burglar. So, at the very least I would feel better knowing that someone wouldn’t be trying to snoop in around her garage. If I have to be selfish, I don’t want to deal with her pipes bursting and causing any damage to our unit. That’s chaos we don’t need to add to our life right now.

So, hubs, being the good hubby he is, called the non-emergency police line and explained the situation and they said they would send officers over. Well, not too long after, he’s sitting in the living room and hears the police banging on her door. You know, the police kind of banging that rattles the windows and makes most people feel like the swat team is waiting outside. I should mention that the walls between our units are pretty thick- or she’s super quiet because we hear hardly anything from her home. I’m completely sure she cannot say the same thing about us. The next thing he hears is her yelling “who the <naughty word> is knocking on my door like that??”. Well, after all of that worry, she’s alive. Shortly after that, her garage door was closed and we went about our day. So, we (really I), in our 30’s, were the nosy neighbors today. Those neighbors I always thought were old people that watched out the front window as if that were a large screen TV. So, I’m turning my inner-Nancy off for a while to get back to reality. It beats the alternative of being the neighbors who smell something funny before it’s noticed that she hasn’t been around. See, my wild TV imagination? Maybe next time she’ll answer her door when we bring her mail over.

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