2015 update: I bought just about every string of Christmas lights I could find on clearance last year to add to our outdoor display. Shit just got real for this year, y’all.
We live in a quiet neighborhood of mostly elderly people. The only two houses within eyesight on our block with outdoor Christmas lights are ours and our next door neighbors, who I’ll refer to as “Bad Neighbors” in this post. Bad Neighbors like to decorate with tacky dollar store shit, which is fine if you mix it in with actual real decorations that cost more than a buck, but that’s just about all they use. I should add that those neighbors are in their 60s, which doesn’t imply tackiness necessarily, but the Granny Christmas Decoration slice is pretty much all they have on the Semi-Tasteful Christmas Decoration pie chart now.
Relations were okay between us and Bad Neighbors until about 18 months ago. At least, as okay as they can be when we call Bad Neighbor Man “Creeper” because he would feel the sudden urge to exit their house to smoke in their driveway, which is about 5 feet from ours, at exactly the same time I drove into our driveway. Every single time. Things were as fine as they could be when Creeper made me feel weird with a couple of really off putting comments. We got by and spoke when necessary. That changed when a pine tree sliced off about 1/4 of our house 18 months ago.
We were away on a cruise for Spring Break when straight line winds made a huge pine tree part of our interior decor. When we returned and it became clear to the Bad Neighbors that we were pretty much going to get half a brand new house out of the deal, things went bad.
The very first thing we had to do, before we had even hired a contractor, was to replace our mailbox. It was blown away. And by that, I mean it was nowhere to be found. Bad Neighbors installed a brand new mailbox the very next day even though theirs was fine. E asked them if we could run an extension cord to their house to run our alarm system until our electricity was cleared to be turned on again and Bad Neighbor Woman refused. We were staying in a hotel, all our worldly possessions were in the house, there was still a huge slice in our roof and an outer wall was partially missing and she denied us a plug in.
That’s when I stopped speaking to Bad Neighbors.
Bad Neighbors bitched at the contractor and made nuisances of themselves on several occasions. Insurance moved us into a rental house after a few weeks, conveniently right across the street from our damaged house. That was awesome because we could keep close watch on the repairs and Bad Neighbors, who seemed to grow increasingly irritated with our renovations each day.
Bad Neighbors bitched about debris that wasn’t even on their property, they bitched about the yard, they bitched about the lawn guy accidentally running over a newspaper that didn’t even get into their yard and which he mostly picked up. I took to leaving our doors open during the renovations as much as possible so they could see all the new, shiny, pretty things going in and blasted my stereo system while I was doing work on the house myself at every opportunity. It’s safe to assume I didn’t play the Smooth Jazz shit we still hear from their house every Saturday night. Slayer, Korn, Rage Against The Machine, and Marilyn Manson were played often that summer. I think I even hate played some Limp Bizkit out of spite.
Bad Neighbors installed a privacy fence shortly before we moved back into our mostly new home complete with a much larger and nicer deck. I took to sitting on the deck and talking badly about them very loudly every chance I got. I still do. They do not speak to me but have spoken to E a couple times over mail, etc. I have a speech stored in my head and plan on delivering it if they ever do speak to me again. I know this will shock you but the speech isn’t very Christian.
Now to the part where you may call me Overlord. We have several huge pine trees in the front yard and we added lights to them this year, which we’ve never done before. Bad Neighbors had already decorated their yard when we decorated ours. Bad Neighbor Woman noticed our added decorations and was back in her yard at 10:00 on Saturday night, adding lights to their already tacky display.
Oh, it is fucking ON.
The kids are even in on this now. We were finally finishing our Christmas tree last night (I’ve been sick, E has been out of town) and Landon said “Mom, close the blinds so she can’t copy our tree!” I have taught them well. So damned proud. Tearing up.
What is any rational woman left to do in this situation? I’m not sure because I’ve never been called rational but I used every damned extension cord in the house, bought another one, and put up 1200 more lights in our yard this morning so Bad Neighbor Woman will be surprised when she returns home from work after dark tonight. Is it safe? Probably not. Will it blow a circuit? I’ll be disappointed if it doesn’t.
Bad Neighbor Woman: I have nothing but time on my hands. I can do this shit all day long for the next three weeks. Bring it.
And the rest of you may call me Overlord.