Hitler & Himmler: The Disadvantages of Neighborhood ‘Communities’

Every neighborhood has one–at first they seem friendly and welcoming and you think “aw, how nice. We are going to love it here” but just as you are discussing why this move was a good idea, your door bell rings…

“Hi. I need your email address, home phone and cell phone number”

It seems harmless–but what you don’t realize is that this information is key to their success. It is how they stir trouble and make everyone believe that they are in the know, and you are in the know nothing.

In Vancouver, her name was Robin. Robin would walk around the block about 15 time every evening with her dog Jazz and she would frequently stop at houses gossiping about the unfriendly Russian neighbors over the fences. She would bribe people with her sangria concoction and always make nice with the dog owners in an effort to create an “in” club. We were in the in club, and whenever we tried to not get involved, it was obvious that being in the in club was really the only option in dealing with Robin and the neighborhood politics. She came over a lot, asking if Zoey wanted to come out and play (no, Robin was not a 12-year-old child, she was a 40-year-old woman), in addition to waking us up at 11pm to talk about the hot commodity that was our friend “Steve.”

When we first moved to Jacksonville, her name was Rose. Rose outcast us right after she got my email and phone number. We chose not to participate in the Christmas Caroling practices that started in October–that was our first mistake. Our second mistake was only buying 450 pieces of Halloween candy, forcing us to turn our lights out and make ourselves scarce at 8pm. This neighborhood was THE PLACE to be on Halloween, and apparently being open for business all night is expected. Rose stopped sending us emails when we didn’t attend the neighborhood banquet dinner–thus we never got notification that it was ‘required’ to purchase luminaries and display them prominently on our porch, sidewalks, and driveways. On Christmas Eve, around 4pm, the entire neighborhood was outside setting up their luminaries–Bryant and I had two of our friends in town, so we all happened to walk out around that time to go for a Jacksonville evening stroll only to receive multiple threatening looks because “where were our luminaries?” Rose asked us lots of questions, said “didn’t you get the email?” No Rose, we didn’t, probably because you chose not to send it. So at 6pm, we snuck out to the common area of the neighborhood and stole luminaries–yes, I stole them. Because we were the ONLY house in the neighborhood that didn’t have any–so while the other houses were lit up all festive, ours was dark and lonely.

Our current community: we call them Hitler and Himmler. I was not the creator of the names, so I can not take credit. Himmler acts as President of the Social Commitee–even though it is a commitee, and there are no positions. Himmler is like Mr. Heckles-female version-times 100. Hitler was the President of the HOA, we outsted him at the annual owners meeting. We thought, Himmler would then rest on the sidelines, now that her husband wasn’t running things anymore: WRONG. She sends me an email at least once a day–and this week asked my husband if he could meet with her one-on-one to discuss the HOA financials. Himmler yells when she’s talking to you–calls everyone “idiots” and is the meanest neighborhood queen bee I have ever met.  Himmler hates Franny and Zoey, and always yells at me about playing with them outside and not having them on leashes. She claims that she is the official neighborhood policeman, sounding the alarms every time someone puts up orange or green curtains instead of the required white–she argued with me that what I thought was my back patio is actually my front patio. Himmler is also hearing impaired–I realize this is a disability, and I do feel very sorry for her, but I think it makes her meaner. Its like she feels like she has to compensate or something so she just screams at everyone and is in constant email communication with everybody. Himmler is in full operation even though her husband, Hitler is like a ghost now that we impeached him.

The point of this: Apartment buildings may be the better option. Trailer parks, cabins in the woods, loftstyle buildings where no one cares who their neighbors are…you WANT to live there.

My 2nd point: NEVER give out your email address and phone number to your neighbors when you first move in. Thats like giving your phone number to the drunk bar guy who insisted that you were the most beautiful woman he’s ever met–he proposed marriage and seemed pretty stalkerish, but hey sure you can call me!

On Saturday we are having a “Rock Party.” It isn’t a party at all, more of a work day. We are moving rocks into the water feature because a few of the older neighbors thought that it was a safety threat for small children. It is only 3 feet deep, but apparently, little kids could fall in and drown. If I had it my way, I wouldn’t be involved in the Rock Party at all, but I gave them my email and phone number so I really don’t have a choice.

My Starbucks Twin

For the past few months, I’ve been irritated by my Starbucks visits…yes, its true, IRRITATED. While I enjoy my coffee, and the overall experience, I am frequently greeted with this:

Haven’t you already been here today?

At first, it wasn’t that big of a deal, a little rude, because what if it was my 2nd visit, what is it to you?! But then it started getting more personal…

Soy Latte right?

Uh WHAT! No, that has never been my drink, soy? what! What is this? I corrected them, every single time, and replied with “Ok, seriously, I come in here almost everyday, I always get an iced toffee nut non-fat latte.” Baristas would laugh, look at me weird, and then say, yes, thats right, toffee nut non-fat latte, I knew that. Then, on a Wednesday, Denise and I were standing in line for our coffee and I was asked again:

Barista: Have you been here this whole time?

Me: No, I just got here

Barista: Oh, but you were here earlier.

Me: (insert anger) What is this? No, you guys always ask me that, no, I wasn’t here earlier. Whats going on?

Barista: You know what it is, you look just like that one girl–(turns to other barista) you know who I’m talking about? She gets the soy lattes.

Me: A soy latte? What the crap? Who this chick! Give me a name!

Barista: Robin I think, right? Yes, its Robin. Seriously, she looks just like you.

Other Barista: So, do you want your usual? Grande Soy Latte? (he grins)

Denise: I’m so happy right now I could dance.

Me: I’m pissed.

And so it began. My Starbucks twin “Robin” would come up at social gatherings, and very frequently when Denise and I had coffee together. We’d talk about what we thought Robin was like, and what would happen if we just saw her walk in…would there be a freaky friday moment? Would she look nothing like me? Would she be an asshole? I tried mixing up my schedules a bit, going to Starbucks a little earlier, since it was clear that Robin would always beat me there. Nothing. Always just missed her –thats what they would tell me.

Fast forward: a few weeks ago, I tweeted about the woman who lost her home in a fire, someone retweeted, and @robinrasmussen replied offering to donate some beauty products. Logistically, our plan to meet up failed, and the fire lady received an abundance of donations from elsewhere, thus, I never collected the makeup. @robinrasmussen and I continued to chat over twitter-bonded over our love for twilight, discussed thai restaurants, and then YESTERDAY, it hit me.

@robinrasmussen likes coffee…her name…Robin. I clicked on her Avatar and felt like I was looking at myself in the mirror. Her picture was of her, in her car, with Ray Ban looking sunglasses, dark long hair, it was crazy. I yelled for Bryant to come look, explained my theory, he looked at her avi and said “Oh my god! Its you! Seriously. That is you!” I DM’d Denise, same reaction “OMG ITS HER!”

So I asked her. @robinrasmussen do you go to the Starbucks on biddle? Do you drink soy lattes?

Her response: YES!

Its true. I found my Starbucks twin, and we’ve been twitter-friends this whole time. I’m less irritated, and less tormented. And apparently, @robinrasmussen has also had the same kind of experience on her Starbucks visits…so I don’t feel like I’m crazy at all.

I found the best sunglasses/car photo that I had of myself so that I could show you the resemblance.  See below, and prepare to be amazed.

Robin:

Me:


Question: What are necessitites?

Do you have a list of what you personally consider “necessary” and “important” and how do you prioritize them?

Just curious…today I was annoyed by how many times people misprioritize (is this a word?) They put weight on something that really isn’t important or necessary at all, and completely ignore the things that deserve attention. I do this too. All the time.

My List? I don’t really know. Have to chew on it for awhile.