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1.Several years ago my now ex-husband and I bought a house next to a couple we went to church with. Happy to be aquainted with our neighbors-we tried to develop a stronger friendship with them and help them out at times. They decided that they wanted to add on to their garage, and asked us if we would mind if they stored their small 16-foot fishing boat on the small strip of land (about 15 feet across) between their driveway and our house.

Although we were not thrilled about having their banged up boat on our property, we graciously agreed to let them place it there for a few weeks while they were adding onto their garage. In addition, we let them store a motorcycle in our garage.

Needless to say, the work on thier garage was done in a few weeks and the boat was never moved-even though they were quick to get their motorcycle out of our garage! For the next several months my husband asked them repeatedly to move the boat but they never did. Eventually we were so annoyed with it that my husband and his friend picked up the boat one evening around midnight and moved it to the neighbors front yard! I figured that would be the last of it. But, it turns out that our church-going neighbor was in his garage smoking pot and had seen my husband and his friend move the boat. He was so angry that my husband had the nerve to move his boat off of our property that he actually threatend to beat my husband up!!!!

2.These same  at one time fixed a mutual friend's car and over-charged them by $100.00. They then held the car keys hostage until my friends paid them. When my friends questioned my neighbors about being over-charged, the neighbors replied that they had written checks out for the money so my friends had to pay! Then the neighbor had the nerve to complain that my friend's car leaked oil on his driveway.

3. Eventually these lovely neighbors got divorced. Of course, when the neighbor lady found out I was getting divorced, she came over and told me I was going to hell because of my divorce! I guess her divorce was holier than mine!   neighbors0802-00

A little over a year ago, I moved into a new apartment with the cousin of a friend, who I’ll call Anna. Our building consisted of two floors, each housing only one apartment, so the couple downstairs were its only other residents. Our landlord had told us about the other tenants and had made it clear that the woman downstairs, who I’ll call Samantha, managed the property in his absence. Basically, rent was to be paid to our landlord; all other inquiries and concerns were to be directed to Samantha. Our landlord also told us that Samantha’s much older boyfriend, who I’ll call Frank, had just moved in with her, an "experiment" of sorts.

Anna and I were very quiet, private people. Were we to run into our neighbors in the entry hall downstairs or in the basement laundry room, we would say hello to them; but we didn’t go out of our way to strike up conversation.  We were a bit annoyed when their hospitality bordered on harassment. When I put my key in the front door, one of them would usually swing open their apartment door and say hello or show me a new purchase, inform me of a news item, etc.

At first, I just assumed they were lonely people who were looking for companionship, as our landlord had told us they lived a very quiet life and were usually home when they weren’t working. In the beginning we managed to politely dodge nosey questions and establish boundaries. I’m not usually the sort of person who even gets to know her neighbors’ names, but I knew that such close quarters would make it difficult to stay away from Samantha and Frank.

One Monday night Anna informed me that Samantha had invited us to dinner the following evening. I wanted to be on good terms with them, mainly because I suspected that Samantha was capable of making a great deal of trouble for us, considering her nosiness and her position of authority as building manager. I was, however, worn-out from working two jobs, and I had been looking forward to my first night off in two weeks. I told Anna that I would probably pass and perhaps invite them to dinner later, thinking they would understand on such short notice. When I realized that Anna, who was a bit shy, really wanted to go, I didn’t have the heart to make her go alone. I came home from work the following day and prepared to put in a load of laundry, since dinner was scheduled for 6:00, which was an hour away at that time. Samantha had gotten off work early and informed Anna that we would be eating "as soon as your roommate gets home." I thought it was very rude for her to announce, rather than arrange, for us to eat earlier than previously agreed. I knew that they would have heard me come in, so Anna went down to the apartment while I went to the basement to put a load in the washer.

When I knocked on their door five minutes later, I could hear Samantha’s loud mouth chatting away, so I knocked again. It was only after Anna informed her that it was probably me at the door that Samantha shouted for me to come it. When I walked into her living room, she said, "What are you doing here?" I began to worry that perhaps Anna had misunderstood Samantha’s invitation, so I started to say that I just dropped in to say hello. After staring at me coldly for a few minutes, Samantha said in a very off-handed manner, "Oh, you can stay for dinner." I told her that I appreciated the invitation but that I had so much to do since I would be working every night for the rest of the week. Before I had finished talking, Samantha started putting flatware around the FOUR plates she’d set on the table. It became clear to me that Samantha wanted me to know that I could only stay because she had SAID I could stay.

With Anna held captive in the kitchen, Samantha rambled on about her shopping habits and past decorating mistakes while Frank offered me some wine. I refused the first three times he asked me but finally caved in under his persistence. When Frank started to open the bottle of wine, Samantha stopped talking to/at Anna and scolded him. He explained that he and I wanted wine, but she said flatly, "I am drinking iced tea." Apparently, he thought she had been informing him that she didn’t want any wine, so he continued to open the bottle until she firmly repeated, "I said that I am drinking iced tea."

Embarrassed, he offered me some rum from his own personal stash, but I declined. Anna ended up bringing down soda, because he didn’t have any on hand and Samantha wouldn’t let anyone have any of her precious cheap wine.

The night went downhill from there. Throughout the course of the meal, they argued, discussed their sex life, and insulted one another. Frank got slobbering drunk, and Samantha never took a breath except to belittle Frank and start marital spats she found cute and amusing. She prepared a Caesar salad with chicken on the side, because Anna was a vegetarian. Anna and I froze when she chose to serve herself first and after passing the dishes to Frank, announce that we could take whatever was left, as she had taken all she wanted! They left only the smallest strip of chicken and about a cup and a half of salad.

To make matters worse, Samantha moved the bread away from us so that we had to ask her for a slice each time. When she cut the cake Anna had baked for dessert, however, she ate greedily and talked with food in her mouth. The worst part of the night -- aside from their sex stories -- was when Frank informed me that their bed was right under mine, so he could hear everything that went on in my room. He winked and added that if I ever had anyone over, he'd beat on the ceiling and whoop and holler for me! I heard a lot of noise from their room on a regular basis, but I always tried to mind my own business. I would have never admitted to any knowledge of their personal life!

We returned to our apartment vowing to avoid them whenever possible.   Interestingly enough, they broke up later that year, and we couldn’t even hear our television as Samantha threw all of Frank's belongings out the back door ­ even glass and appliances ­ into the rain, shouting so everyone in the neighborhood could hear her. I’m so glad they’re no longer my neighbors!   neighbors1115-00

Page Last Updated May 15, 2007