In one of the venomous calls from Moody, she accused me of letting my kids play outside while she and the other moms (Vanilla and Wilson) supervised. My kids were now old enough to play without supervision. I can't help that some people park themselves on their driveways and stare at their 10 year old-ish kids. That's why God created windows and independence.
I later learned that Moody was also upset because Tank had been invited to a kid's lake house for 5 days. Moody was ticked that Chuck hadn't been invited too. The lake house was owned by her good friend, who she doesn't speak to anymore (pattern forming?). The lake house mom (that mom is 'Friend-across-the-street' who still usually invites Tank on spring break with them) was like: "Typical. Nothing you can do."
Moody has not spoken to me since-8 years? All three of her boys are on the golf team with Reg and Tank. Tank tells entertaining stories of their meltdowns and throwing golf clubs and threatening to tell on each other when they get home . . . as high schoolers.
Moody HAS made it her life mission to convince other people to dislike me. A mom actually said to me early on in this saga that people were relieved that Moody was fixated on hating me. Moody usually rotated her hating-focus on a different mom about every year (according to urban legend). Supposedly one of the moms was hated in part for wearing pig-tails. Moody was so busy hating me that she left everyone else alone. ** Insert me taking a bow.**
Enter: Ms. Vanilla. As in, she's never had an original thought. She lives directly across the street from my front door also at the opening of the cul de sac. She has a husband (who is a great guy with a good sense of humor, Coach and I scratch our heads over this - so unfortunate because we would TOTALLY socialize with him, if his wife was not an impressionable poop).
The Vanillas have two kids, their daughter, Vanilla Bean or just Bean, is the same age as Mini. Bean was friends with Mini when they were in Catholic school together.
Moody hated Vanilla prior to hating me. Coincidentally, Vanilla's real first name is the same as my real first name. Moody used to say (in the days when she spoke to me):
We call you good Ernie, and her bad Ernie.
I didn't get it - is it really worth hating someone because they don't do much of anything and (one of Moody's issues with her) because they don't wave at you as they drive down the street? I was younger then and afraid to rock the boat. I was also the new kid on the block. I kept my mouth shut . . . I started finding reasons NOT to hang out in the cul de sac with Moody.
Vanilla and I were never close, chatted here and there. Friendly-ish.
When Moody nominated me as her person-to-hate, she took Vanilla under her wing and urged her to go from being somewhat friendly, albeit vacant, to hating me. Lord only knows what Moody said to Vanilla. I sensed Vanilla was super relieved to be off the hate list and on the good-neighbor list. Vanilla's family stopped talking to us, too. We were no longer at Catholic school so we crossed paths less often.
About 3 years ago, we were out doing yard work. I know, shock. The Vanillas came into their front yard and froze (maybe they were in as much shock as you are), unsure how to proceed. I waved a very exaggerated: "Hi there!" They still sort of stood there. It's THAT awkward and we've NEVER done one thing to them.
Moody's dad was a famous Chicago Blackhawk hockey player years ago. That impressed Vanilla, who probably hoped to score tickets, etc.
Comparatively: the day we met when Moody told me: "My Dad is Mr. Famous" (and I didn't recognize it because I don't follow hockey), I was like: "Oh, my dad's name is Ralph." I thought she was just telling me her Dad's name, vs bragging about having a famous dad. Time to stop claiming: Nothing gets past me.
|I know, you've seen this - but I am pretty dang pleased with my little map.|
To clarify: Mary Ann, and all of her pleasantness, is across from our side-entry driveway (see map), the front of my house faces the cul de sac. So Mary Ann's drama is separate, because life is a freaking party and maybe we should've stayed in geriatric-ville and just put a damn addition on that house.
So, that's the backstory, not as quick to 'splain as I hoped. If you read this you'll be rewarded in the next chapter . . . when Vanilla crosses me. There are also funny singing science teacher zooms on the horizon.
Oh, for 10 years the house behind us was vacant or occasionally rented out short-term. I would often stare at it and hope for nice neighbors to move in, but I gave up.
Have I convinced you that we lost the neighbor lottery, or are you scratching your head thinking - it must be you?