About 5 months ago, I received a letter from the San Diego Water District telling me that a complaint had been made from a neighbor that I was using too much water on my lawn. I was told, in the form letter, that unless I cut back on my watering, I would face a fine and higher water prices.
The letter started me laughing, because just 5 days before receiving the letter, the San Diego Water District came out to the house, at my request, to check and see if there was anyway that I could cut back on watering and not lose my plants and/or lawn. The Inspector told me that, in actuality, I was not using my full allotment of water, and, if I found plants were dying, I still had more minutes to water.
I called the department that sent me a letter, as the letter indicated I should do if I disagreed with the intent, and left 4 messages to have them call me back. I never heard from the department.
At the time I wondered which of my neighbors had become a member of the “water police” and although I could narrow it down I had no idea who was the culprit. I almost forgot about the entire situation until about a week ago when the following took place:
I became a widow in September of 2009. During our time in San Diego, my husband and I purchased a house and had a “handyman” take care of those things that neither Bob nor I could do. After he died, (Bob, not the handyman), there were still things that needed doing, but since I was on a much smaller income I could no longer afford to call the handyman when the need arose.
It just so happens that my daughter started dating a gentleman in July of 2009. He is very handy around the house, and although he and my daughter are no longer “an item”, he still comes to see me and we share a cup of coffee in the morning with my foreign language students. While here, he fixes little things that need repair – like replacing the batteries in the smoke detectors; like replacing the wiring on a lamp that was burning hot; like putting a pool cover in the pool and on the rollers so that we could swim later in the season, etc.
He arrives at his work about 5:00am and takes a break between 7-7:30am. Since he works up on the base near our home, he can be here in 5 minutes for his daily cup of java.
Due to torn rotator cuffs caused by lifting Bob out of his wheelchair, I have had physical therapy 3 times a week for months, and my appointments are on Aero Drive starting at 8:30am. My friend is usually gone by 8:00am. My students leave the house to catch the 35 bus at 7:35am.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because five days ago one of my neighbors called this man’s boss and said she didn’t know what was going on but that his car is in my drive-way everyday from 7 to 9 a.m. and she thinks he should look into why he is here? (I can’t help but wonder if this is the same “water police” neighbor.)
I have to ask what business is it of hers that he is here every day. Should I be flattered to think that she thinks that a boyfriend of my daughter is interested in this 71 year old widow?
Or should I be pissed off to think that she has reported this “infraction” to a 56 year old man’s boss? If she thinks that he is derelict in his duties, doesn’t she realize that if that were true his boss would be aware of it and would handle it?
This man works a 10 hour day, 5 days a week and often on Saturday too. What the hell is she doing up at 7:00am every morning and snooping in my driveway. (She did have the license number of the truck in the driveway.)
I don’t remember any of my neighbors offering to take out the heavy garbage containers on Monday’s. I don’t remember any of my neighbors asking if there was anything they could help me with to make things a little easier. (That is not entirely true – several of the women that do not live on my block have asked if they could help me.)
This man makes it a point to be at the house early to take out the trash on Mondays, and frequently swings by at the end of the day to bring the containers back into the yard so that I do not have to tax my shoulders with the additional strain.
Lady, if you are able to read this, let me tell you as succinctly as possible to mind your own f – – – ing business; if you want to know why a truck is parked in my driveway in the morning – or into the night for that matter – ask me. I would tell you, and probably invite you in for a cup of coffee too.
I try to have my students speak to as many Americans as possible so that they get the experience of speaking English no matter what time of day it may be. And…be careful with your next complaint, because it is not beyond me to retaliate by taking you to court and suing you for defamation of character, thus I hope, assassinating your character in the process.
I’ve become used to the phrase “big brother is watching”, but I don’t have a “big sister” and if I did, it certainly would not be you.