i need a "grunch" category

Like Dorothea's.

Yesterday's mail brought an anonymous note from "a neighbor" complaining about the appearance of our backyard. Seems likely it came from the people directly behind us, whom we don't know well. The neighbors on our street all know us by name, and would have no problem either signing such a letter or--more likely--knocking on our door to ask politely for us to clean something up.

It's made me extremely grumpy this morning, for two reasons. First, I know we've let the area behind the pool get messy (the kids use it as their "fort" and I've tried to ignore it entirely), so I feel guilty about the appearance, which of course makes me defensive. Second, and more importantly, I hate this kind of cowardly anonymous approach. I'm pretty sure it comes from the same people who regularly prance around naked with their curtains open, providing visuals not much more appealing to us than our backyard is to them.

The "grunchy" part of me wants to make a big sign for the backyard inviting anyone who has a problem with it to show their cowardly face at our front door, because we don't respond to anonymous letters. But the fact that I feel sheepish about letting the kids see that response means that it probably isn't a wise idea, and I should wait 'til I cool off before deciding whether to respond directly.

Yes, of course we should clean that area up (not a pleasant thought given the sub-freezing temps and healthy coating of snow out there). But I so don't want to give them the idea that this kind of un-neighborly approach is effective. <sigh>




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This page contains a single entry by Liz Lawley published on December 8, 2002 10:19 AM.

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