Thursday, February 10, 2011
Living On the Corner of Busy & Busy
So, the Square Toothed/Mountain Man Clan live at the corner of a busy intersection in Crazy Town, USA. A year ago, we began a painting project that took about 40 million years to complete and involved a smattering of four letter words from time to time. Words like, "Ouch!" "Du-Uh!" "Aack!" and the like. However, the end result gave us the exterior we always wanted and taught us the pros and cons of corner living.
Pro: Need attention? No problem, simply perch yourself precariously on a ladder twenty feet from the ground. Add sun in your eyes, a full gallon of paint and an ample behind, and you've got yourself an attention billboard. You'll never feel so poplar.
Con: The expectation of Validation. When I am out in my yard, or on my ladder, for that matter, people driving by become slaves for validation. Who doesn't want to be recognized? And since half of the town drives by on any given day, that is a lot of validation to be handing out whenever I'm outside. The difficult thing to explain to friends driving by is that, not only do I have no idea what kind of car you drive, but you are driving by at 30 mph, waving like a madman honking all the while... and well, under those circumstances, I think I'd rather pretend not to know you.
Pro: No need for directions. Living on a busy residential corner means everyone in town knows where we live. I simply say, "The olive green house on the corner of ______ &_______." People are like, "Oh! I know that house! Are you the one on the ladder all the time???" Seriously, it's awesome, in my neighborhood I'm like Norm on Cheers...everyone knows my name...or at least, where I live.
Con: I work from home. When not writing Diary of a Square Toothed Girl, like all bloggers, I am writing a book, and when I'm not slaving away on that, I run an interior design firm out of my home. Needless to say, working from home requires balance. There are interruptions that people who work in offices never have to contend with--things like: neighbors dropping by, non work related phone calls, laundry just screaming to be put in the dryer, and well, Facebook. Now the Facebook thing is more my own problem, but still, there's no boss here but me to get on my case about it...maybe I should hire someone...
Pro: Police Stops. At least once a week, usually on the weekend, a police stop can be witnessed on our corner. We've seen disturbances where drivers have stopped to yell at one another, fender benders, drunk drivers,you name it, we've probably been sitting in our bay window watching it. In fact, one winter, on the icy roads, there were so many crashes at our intersection that the 3rd time I called
9-1-1, the operator said, "Hi Lisa, got another one?"
Con: Bad Music. For some reason, stop signs bring out the loudest and the worst music in passing cars. Bass pumping, polka blaring, nasty, awful, loud and annoying music can be heard during the morning and evening rushes. Why can't someone who listens to Vivaldi loudly drive by???
Pro: Meeting New People. In my life, outside my home, I masquerade as an extrovert. In reality, I am an introvert--I think of myself as someone who loves people, but equally likes to be alone and protects my personal time with the dedication of a prison guard. If I don't do it, no one will. I am also a person who likes the outdoors and working in the yard. This is a problem living on the corner. Yard time (in my mind) is personal time, but to people passing by, this is an invitation to stop to chat. And they don't even have to be people I know. I like to meet new people, so I stop to chat, but I also like to work and get my work finished, so I've perfected a little trick to cut myself off from the masses--and I'm not going to reveal it here, just in case you are driving by...waving.
All in all, living on the corner is a great blessing. I'm not sandwiched in between two loud neighbors. I meet new people all the time. I see friends driving by daily, who kindly wave and share their love of horn honking. I never need to be worried about being robbed because what kind of idiot tries to steal from a house where all the cops are driving by?
Living on the corner is a joy. I always feel like I am being watched out for, and in some way, taken care of simply by people paying attention. Just this morning, I'd dropped off the kids at school and was sitting in my toasty warm car--reticent to return to my cold house. I had put my head over the steering wheel to gather my thoughts for the day and to offer a little prayer. Just then a man walked by with his dog, who saw me and thought something might be wrong. He knocked on my window and asked, "Are you o.k?"
"Just one of those days--I need all the help I can get today!" I said.
"O.k. then," he said, "Just checking in on you."
What more can one human ask for, than a fellow human's mindful kindness?
I might have met him on a quiet street, but today, he was walking past my corner.
Yep, corner living rocks.