Monday, August 3, 2009

Weeds, Glorious Weeds

I came home from swimming lessons today with the kids and, as is my habit, checked my mailbox. I found a little packet from a "neighbor" inside. Let me quote the letter, as written, poor grammar and all:

This property is a eye sore to the neighborhood. please clean it up! the weeds and flowers are out of control. if you are overwhelmed. please ask your neighbor's or church leaders for help. we have decided to give you a few days before we contact the city and start filing complaints. thanks for being a responsible neighbor.

Yes, someone actually left this in our mailbox, along with a pamphlet from the city ("weeds cannot be higher than twelve inches") and some photos of our home from the street, taken from inside a car.

Well, suffice it to say that I was shocked and appalled. And really annoyed. For so many many many reasons. There's the passive-aggressiveness. Then the patronizing-ness. And the high-and-mighty-ness. And the insulting-ness. And the fact that we do not have 12-inch high weeds in our yard. What we have is a yard that does not conform to the idiotic golf-course aesthetic of our white-bread-eating, American-Idol-worshipping, ATV-riding, pious-church-going neighborhood. Allow me to illustrate.

Exhibit A:
Exhibit B:
Exhibit C:

Here's the thing. I think I know who sent this to us, bless her little heart. She calls the city all the time on people (despite her own city code violations). She even turned my neighbor and friend, a wonderful parent, into DCFS because she didn't like her potty-training techniques (said friend then picked up and moved because she couldn't stand to be in a neighborhood where people would do such a thing).

So this is my plan. I'm planning to put the letter (just the letter) back into her mailbox. If I'm wrong, no harm done. She'll just think some crank put a letter in her box. If I'm right, she'll know that I know it was her. 

Passive-aggressive, meet passive-aggressive-ER.


Montana Blakes said...

Ahh! I'm sorry you got a letter like that. I like your remedy for it though and will be waiting with baited breath for a sequel on the passive-agressiveness going around. I like your yard. Can I hire you to come do mine? :)

CSIowa said...

I love it! I have to say, though, it could be worse. Be thankful that your neighbor didn't take it upon herself to rectify the situation herself. My next-door neighbors recently had twins. Every time I walked past their yard on my pious way to church on Sundays for the past few weeks, I would think, "I should go pull those weeds for them." Then I would forget about it for the rest of the week. I finally took my daughter over there a couple of weeks ago and we pulled all the weeds out of four small beds, just to be nice so they could stop thinking about how they weren't getting around to it. Think what an effect such Christian action would have had on YOUR yard!

SCS said...

I am available for garden consultant work, even in the wilds of Montana (I LOVE telling people what to do). And to quote Barbara Kingsolver, there are Christians and then there are Christians.

JAMES said...

This is the part I find the most galling:

"please ask your neighbor's or church leaders for help."

Is this a command? What if you don't have either (neighbor's or church leaders)? Or what if the same neighbors are the complainers? Are you really supposed to reach out to these people?

Holy Guacamole.

SCS said...


Yeah, I don't know what makes me madder, the fact that the writer is a hypocrite, or the sheer condescension of the tone. Holy Guacamole indeed.