Saturday, May 16, 2009

More Neighborhood Intrigue

I've previously mentioned my neighbor with the three constantly yapping dogs, fried hair, and drinking problem. The dogs have gotten worse lately, and my husband has been tossing around the option of calling the cops and making a noise complaint. For a while I urged against it, because the neighbor doesn't seem to have a lot of good things in her life other than the dogs, and she clearly is unhappy, but it's gotten so bad lately that I started to feel fewer qualms about it.

Thursday night, I went to take a shower around 7 p.m., and when I came back downstairs my husband informed me that he had finally had enough and had called the cops to make an anonymous noise complaint. I was all, "no way." He told me that a police officer had showed up in an unmarked car, and Steve had crept up to the kitchen window and lowered it slightly so he could hear the conversation (we live in a townhouse). Apparently the officer told her that this was the first complaint, and at the next complaint she'd get a fine, and the third would put her in jail. She freaked out and got combative, which, needless to say, did not endear her to the police officer.

We laughed about it (although I still felt a little bad for her) and I went upstairs to catch some sleep. (I try to go to bed around 8pm nowadays to ensure I get at least three hours of sleep before Steve heads to bed and I'm back on Lexie Watch.) A half hour later, there was a pounding on our door. I had been drifting off to sleep, but at this point my eyes popped open. I knew who it was.

I tried to listen but couldn't hear much. She hung around for a looong time, and as soon as she left Steve came trotting upstairs, with Lexie in his arms, to report on the confrontation. Apparently, my husband had answered the door to find our neighbor, reeking of booze. "Didyoooocall thecopson my dogs?" she slurred. "Nah," my husband lied. "We're so busy with the new baby we aren't even worried about anything like that."

So then she proceeded to unburden herself on my husband for a half hour about her sad life. She admitted that the dogs have been louder lately, ever since she adopted a homeless cat; her dogs bark constantly at the cat. She began to ask Steve repeatedly who he thought may have called the cops, and he just kept saying he didn't know. She became convinced (her idea) that it must have been the neighbors on the other side, because she'd complained to the HOA about their failure to rake their leaves. She kept drunkenly asking Steve, "do you think I should go over there?"

Finally Steve ushered her out the door saying, "If I were you, I'd definitely go over there right now." And she toddled off.

We haven't heard the dogs since.


Mo and Will said...

yowza! your husband sounds quite skilled at soothing the angry neighbor!


dcpeg said...

oooo -- I hope she doesn't have access to the internet. . . still, it worked and the dogs stopped. Hope it lasts! It was a good move that Steve answered the door holding Lexie. A woman, even if she's snokkered, should be sympathetic.

nutmeg96 said...

Peg, none of my neighbors know about the blog. And there's a reason our last names aren't on here. :)

I wouldn't have called the cops, myself. I kind of feel bad for the woman, and the dogs are just about all she has. But lots of neighbors do talk about the barking issue -- they echo through the cul-de-sac constantly.

Mommy (You can call me OM) said...

Tell your husband he can come on over to my house and deal with the guy who 'pimps' cars. I'd welcome him with open arms and my husband would give him a Summit Extra Pale Ale.

Mommy (You can call me OM) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bluebird said...

Ooooh, well played! Proops to your hubby :)

Brenna said...

Oh my gosh, we have the same neighbor! Except in my story, she gets drunk and puts her hands down my husband's pants and asks, "Are we doing this?" (!!!!!TRUE STORY!!!!) Your husband is great. I wouldn't have been able to pull off the whole lying to the face thing, I suck at that! Good for him, though.

Anonymous said...

Too bad your husband doesn't have the "guts" to own up to making a complaint that seems to be very legitimate...know that he won't be able to get away with that in a couple of see, hear and watch...I would suggest your husband gain some integrity before then!!

nutmeg96 said...

My husband doesn't have a problem with guts. :) But I must say, it's funny to have an anonymous comment from someone saying we should own up to something by name.

You know, I always stand personally behind my complaints, and all it gets me is a whole lot of confrontation and fights, which just further upsets people on both sides. That's not something I'd like to teach my daughter. Rationally, I think that if you can avoid the fight, it's probably best to do so. And it's not as if this neighbor wasn't 100% aware that she was disturbing the peace every day with her dogs.

Anonymous said...

Right - so what you want to teach your daughter is to be dishonest..
If someone asks you a direct you call the police on me? want to teach you daughter to NOT tell the truth..instead so No..why don't you go and talk to the neighbor???knowing full well that it was you who called the police!!
I was not questioning you, but your husband...
He did not tell the truth!!
But that is not any different than any other person in our world, including presidents, CEO's etc, at least he is in good company

Anonymous said...

I agree...but what is the fact that Mo and Will..and several others...applaud the fact that he was dishonest..and we wonder why those in charge lie????
It starts at home with your kids...
Honesty is still the best policy!!

nutmeg96 said...

And the anonymous commentor continues to hide behind anonymity -- the very sin s/he chides my husband for. How about you come out from behind the curtain and set a good example for all of us, hmmm?

Personally I don't expect you to do so, but it seems that you are going against your plaintively stated value system by being anonymous, and I wouldn't want you to set a bad example. ;)

I think my four month old daughter will not be traumatized by the experience nor will she become a big fat liar for the rest of her life.

And honesty isn't always the best policy -- you'd never tell someone they looked fat in an outfit even if they asked you straight out. You'd never tell someone you had a crap time at their wedding even if you did. There are just times when telling the truth is counterproductive, and arguably, this is one of those times. How productive would it have been to incite a drunk, potentially violent woman while she was standing right on the doorstep? This was the reason the complaint was anonymous in the first place.

I'm sure we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one. But I don't doubt you'll want the last word. Go ahead -- I'll let you have it.

Anonymous said...

You can be honest and gracious at the same time...but I don't think you would understand that. Again, I don't fault your husband for the complaint, it sounds like it was called for...even the fact that he called the police without leaving a not a bad example, but when asked a direct question, he did not tell the truth..he could have said...yes I did, I am sorry, but your dogs are really loud and I felt I had no other choice ( which is cleary true, or he would have knocked on her door, before calling the police )...Which I don't blame him for..all I am saying is that telling her the truth would have been the RIGHT thing to do. He could not have felt that threatened by her if he let her ramble on for 1/2 hour...if she was that dangerous, he should not have opened the door in the first place and put your 4 month old daughter at risk!! Your right we will just have to disagree on this one..just know if the dishonesty is a habit with your husband, it will come back to bite are right about one thing...this event won't shape your daughter, but if your husband lacks integrity on small says a lot about a man..
Little girls need Dads who tell the truth even if there is a personal cost...I will remain behind the curtain..again..that is not what I am being critical about in this is the fact that your husband was dishonest!!
I will say, I am not the neighbor with the loud dogs~~

nutmeg96 said...

I apologize for piping in after I said you could have the last word, but I need to clarify something.

On a macro level, I (and my husband) agree that it is important to be honest and to set that example. But in this situation, you really are telling us that we can't be anonymous, because if the person asks everyone in the neighborhood who did it, the person who did must answer honestly. This is why I focused on your choice to be anonymous here. And I disagree that maintaining your anonymity in our situation is anything to be ashamed of. I think that having a screaming match with a drunk woman would have been a MUCH worse example to set, were our daughter old enough to be absorbing these things.

In the end, we're really satisfied with the result. Our neighbor now simply keeps her windows closed, so the barking doesn't bother anyone anymore, and we get the added benefit that the closed windows keep us from having to breathe in the cigarette smoke/animal-waste (because she doesn't walk the dogs -- they "go" in the house) stench that emanates from her house and invades ours when the wind is blowing in that direction, which is often.

It looks like we'll have to agree to disagree.

Jane said...

Steve did exactly the right thing. Anyone who shows up drunk at their neighbor's doorstep has forfeited the right to have a sane, logical and honest discussion. If I were holding my baby daughter in my arms -- granted, a little difficult these days -- I would recognize that my first priority is her safety and security. Angering a drunken neighbor would not have been the responsible thing to do, given the situation.

And Megan, you are totally on point by chastising "Anonymous" for calling Steve out for wishing to remain anonymous. By definition, Anonymous obviously accepts the fact that anonymity is sometimes the way to go.

Hmmm...I wonder if "Anonymous" might be the neighbor on the other side of Drunken Homeless Cat Woman.