Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The grass is greener

I live on a fairly busy road, which — like hitchiking or eating Taco Bell late night — has its pros and cons.

The pros are that it’s easy to give people directions, because I live on the busy street. Yes, on it!
Four houses from the blinking light!

Also, I don’t think a burglar could easily rob us blind (knock on wood) because people who know me and my twin sister, Joy, drive down the road everyday and check out our house. Yes they do! I’ve caught them doing this!

(It’s also very hard to get a large truck discreetly in and out of our driveway to load up our things. The burglars would have to walk out into traffic and stop cars in order to pull in and out. It would be a problem.)

The cons of living on a busy road? Just your average early Saturday morning wake-up call with fire trucks, ambulances and police officers wailing down the street to cut through town.

My friend, April, spent the weekend at my house and was not pleased by the sirens, which were particularly bad last weekend. Someone must have really been caught in a pickle.

April lives in a neighborhood that is so quiet deer and foxes actually run in the road and nibble on the front lawn. The only way an emergency vehicle would drive down her street is if the neighbor at the end of the cul-de-sac had a heart attack.

Not our road! We have motorcycles! Buses! Large postal trucks! And Jehovah’s Witnesses! Actual ones on bicycles!

This older woman used to come to our door on the weekends and give us pamphlets on the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
“It’s a widespread epidemic!” she would say, week after week, asking us to choose God instead.

Our roommate at the time eventually collected the all brochures that were piled up by the door and mailed them to her friend. (She told us it was an inside joke and her friend would find the whole thing hilarious.)

Another problem with living on a busy road is that it’s easy to mistake our house for other houses. When Joy and I first moved in three years ago, we had this teeny tiny problem with a rough-looking middle school bicycle gang ringing our doorbell every night.

We’d peek through the window and ask them what they wanted, but they’d run (bike) away without saying anything.
We knew they were at least ten years younger than us, but they were bigger and they were boys and we weren’t very well going to open the door.

One day, Joy called me crying, frustrated and spooked because the bicycle gang had returned and she was home alone. She locked herself in her bathroom as a precaution.

“That’s it!” I said. It had been a week of this foolishness.
“We’re not going to be scared in our own house!”

The next day the gang came back, and I swung open the door.
“Can I help you with something?” I asked in my meanest voice. I made sure to put on heels so I’d at least be as tall as them. And I crossed my arms.

The “leader” (also the fattest, largest kid in the bunch) took a step backwards and the other three boys stared at me wide-eyed.

“Um…does a guy with a beard live here?” he asked.
“No!’ I said. “No! You have the wrong house!”
They never came back.

Getting the wrong house, or driving past our house completely, is a challenge for first-time visitors.
Our road is no place for somebody traveling 10 miles per hour looking for numerical addresses. (If you do this, you will get honked at by a bus. I’ve seen it.)
This problem has been made considerably easier by our WHO DAT flag on the front door. HOLLA!!

It would also not be wise to have a dog (or a toddler) on this busy road because if either were to get out in the front yard, it would not end pretty.
Thankfully, Joy and I are happy not have either of those right now.

On the PRO side, the busy road is nice when you order things to get shipped by mail. There’s no apartment number, no obscure street name. Any delivery driver in this town knows where our road is, no problem.
Also, since it’s a busy road, it’s a very quick drive to get anywhere: the grocery store, the pizza place, the beach, Wal Mart.

(If you need more beer, for example, you can actually buy some and be back before the commercial break is over. If you hurry).

It’s also nice living on a busy road when you throw a birthday party. Or a Memorial Day Party. Or a Labor Day Party. Or a Christmas Party. Or a Superbowl party.
This is not a neighborhood that minds a little noise (see: ambulances, buses and trucks). We have never been called out by a neighbor or had the cops called on us for loud, obnoxious dance parties on the back porch.

I mean, if we had a party on April’s back deck, we’d be joined by deer and rabbits and snakes and coyotes. And neighbors would very well complain if Lil Wayne came on the radio.

Sometimes I fall victim to The Grass is Greener mindset. Like, it would be nice to go to sleep in a quiet neighborhood and not get woken up by automotive traffic.
And those gated communities look so inviting with their gyms and their pools and their pass code that Jehovah’s witnesses don’t know!

But, then again, I like my packages delivered on time. And my late, loud parties. And I have a feeling a homeowner’s association would make us take down our WHO DAT flag. In that case, I’ll take the noise.

-Jenny

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