"I should not talk so much about myself if there were any body else whom I knew as well."
-Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Don’t be a Litter Bug

Didn’t your momma (or kindergarten teacher) teach you anything?  Well, it’s a good thing that I feel perfectly comfortable teaching your beer drinking butt a lesson or two. 

Wait, who am I talking to?  Let me tell you.  I’m hanging out in the living room with Alex yesterday afternoon when I notice a car stopped in the street in front of our house.  Naturally, I keep an eye on it.  Finally I see a guy struggling to get something out of the back seat of the car that is dropping him off.  I don’t recognize him and that just makes me more curious about what he is doing in front of my house.  Then, I see him pick up a case of beer and shut the car’s rear door before it drives away.  That leaves me watching some stranger holding a case of beer, standing in the street of my neighborhood.  Then, he leans over, picks up a Mt. Dew bottle off the ground and… wait for it… tosses it into my neighbor’s front yard across the street.  Hmm.  Surely this isn’t the end of his plan.  Then he takes off walking up the driveway of the house in the corner.  Yep, he left the Mt. Dew bottle exactly where it landed after he tossed. 

Before I continue, do you recall 4 or 5 years ago when another neighbor was hanging out and revving (VERY loudly) engines at 11pm on a Sunday night?  It was a regular occurrence, but 11pm on a Sunday night was really pushing my buttons.  Drew was deployed and it was just me and the girls here.  I heard one of the girls stir and laid in my bed thinking, “So help me, if they wake my kids up…”  Then it happened.  I was suddenly in the front yard, in my bathrobe, yelling over the engines for them to stop. 

Back to the original story… as I watched this stranger strut up a driveway with a case of beer in his arms, I suddenly found myself with the front door open.  Yep, I totally stepped outside, and said, “Excuse me.”  He didn’t turn around.  I said it louder, “Excuse me!”  This time the beer toting stranger turned around and looked at me.  Then I said, “You can pick up that bottle, since that isn’t your yard.”  I can’t blame the guy for looking a little confused.  There was no more conversing, but he did turn around, walk back to the bottle and manage to pick it up without dropping his beer.  He did turn his head and look at me unbelieving as he was walking away. 

I felt momentarily embarrassed for having scolded him, but the more I think about it the more I think that I wasn’t being so unreasonable.  If I had been thinking more slowly then I probably would have walked across the street, picked up the bottle myself and followed him to the door of the house he was walking toward… all the while being marvelously calm and composed… then I would have said, “I think you accidentally threw this trash in someone’s yard.”  Yes, I may have felt more satisfaction over that approach. 

I’m not sure than anyone can accuse me of being passive aggressive.  I’m pretty much just aggressive.  I say it like it is.  Sometimes my words and actions are carefully thought out, but sometimes it just happens.  For the record, my neighbor who used to think that revving engines at all hours of the day and night was perfectly acceptable is now quite peaceful.  He and his friends still drive loud and/or fast cars, but they no longer hand around revving engines in the neighborhood just for kicks.  Does my method work?  Perhaps.  Do my neighbors think I’m a bit off my rocker.  Perhaps. 

I was texting Sasha yesterday afternoon and told her about it all.  She said, “I would have done the same thing!  His momma should have taught him some manners.”  I obviously agree, though I told her that perhaps we shouldn’t be giving each other advice right now.  She’s 6 months pregnant and I’m obviously hormonal in some way.  Our husbands might forbid us to talk to each other if we encourage each other too much! 

Are you afraid of me now?  Don’t be.  Just don’t be rude.  I’m not the neighbor that is going to call the city because you haven’t mowed your yard in a week, but I am the girl who is going to point out if you are just being a jerk. 

I better get Alex strapped into her stroller so that we can help Drew get the pool ready to set up.  If we have any random trash when we are done then I think I know a great place to put it.  Ha ha. 

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