Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Crone Next Door

After reading The Single Girl's post on her "nosy neighbor" I got to thinking about my erstwhile gem of a neighbor lady...

As soon as the ink was barely dry on our renter's contract at the house of horrors, our land(slum)lord gave the five of us college students a sickly, sweet smile and said, "Be nice to your neighbor lady. She'll call me in two seconds if you're doing something she doesn't like."

We should have known then.

The day we moved in she was sitting on her screened in porch with her 5 small, yapping dogs, watching us.

She came over to introduce herself, we'll call her Bette because you better believe we weren't sorry to move away from her.

The very first thing that came out of her mouth is, "I called _______ your landlord and found out about you. I'm just glad you're not illegals who will play their 'taco music' until 2 in the morning or druggies or Africans. One black guy who lived in your house grew pot on the second story balcony. (This is foreshadowing because we actually had a roommate that would attempt that a year later, but he wasn't a very good botanist). Anyway, I just wanted to let you know I'll be watching you."

I swear this is a direct quote.

Needless to say, our liberal arts college minds were blown by this narrow-minded, bigoted, little old lady. I don't think any of us had ever heard anybody refer to minorities like that out loud. We were white-bread, protected kids from the suburbs. We were in shock.

As it turned out, we had some pretty wild parties there and Bette never said a word, mostly I think because at least we were white and weren't going to steal from her.

Bette had lived in the house her grandfather built around the turn of the twentieth century and she knew at least 60 years of gossip for every house on the street. She was more than willing to share her stories which kind of fascinated me as an historian and bugged on the level that it just proved she had about 70+ plus years of snooping and gossiping under her belt. God only knows what horror stories she told the next people who moved into our house.

Probably that we had a suicidal cat and had love lifes more complicated than Melrose Place...

to be continued...


Green-Eyed Momster said...

I can't wait to hear more about her. She reminds me of a female Clint Eastwood character in the movie Gran Torino.

Yikes! It's hard to believe that people can live like that. I hope I don't end up like her. She was probably just bored?