Much like family, you don't get to pick your neighbors. You get what you get and you try to get along and if you don't get along you have no choice but to suck it up and try again because in this housing market no one is really moving anytime soon. I mean, you could sell your house, pack up, and move if you don't like your neighbors, but it's really a huge hassle and there's no guarantee that your new neighbors will be any better.
I've been mostly lucky. When I first moved in, I had an arty single mother of a babysitting teenage girl living right next-door. When she moved away (sigh) I got a scientist who studies bacteria and his significant other, a vet, and their really nice cat and three dogs. I love the vet because she shows us cute pictures of animals on her phone and also drives around with a medical torso thing in her car. It's art, don't fuck with it. (it really is art, she wants to somehow suspend it from the ceiling. In the meantime is resides in her car to amuse and confuddle people. Or it's just really heavy and she's as lazy as I am. Hard to tell.)
|Lord, I was born a rambling Torso...|
On the other side is a grumpy but nice older guy and his adult kids who wishes I would care more about gardening and my lawn but would still rescue me if I screamed really loudly, which is really reassuring and is a major benefit of living in a neighborhood where the houses are close together. An open window and a good neighbor beats a security system hands down. (Note to grumpy guy: I can accidentally see someone in your house's porn if I look out my living room window after 10pm. It's rather vanilla and uninspired, according to a couch-surfing lesbian friend who alerted me to it. Personally, my eyesight isn't all that good. I can't judge without more information.)
I also have a nice guy across the street who helped me catch my guinea pig when my mother accidentally dropped the cage and it ran under the minivan. The insolent pig planted himself in the exact center of the 6" tall space under the vehicle where no one could reach him. Neighbor Tim saved the day.
|Slippery and Wiley Creature|
A few houses down is a guy who somehow or other got involved in something that resulted in a SWAT take down I got to witness (totally highlight of that week) but he either moved or stopped doing things that resulted in a bunch of people wearing bullet proof vests talking to him through megaphones and pointing high powered rifles at his house. Either way whomever lives there now is nice and quiet.
I had some less than ideal neighbors across the street who had a lot of people living in a small space. They were very nice people except that they kept thinking that I had called the police on them for child endangerment or abuse or something and they kept coming over to talk to me about it. I had not called anyone, nor had I ever seen or heard anything to make me want to call the police on them. I got tired of defending myself, especially because I knew they didn't believe me and I knew that they were probably psycho. I didn't particularly care for potentially psycho neighbors thinking I had turned them in for beating their children. I also didn't particularly care for having neighbors that I thought might beat their children. I was glad when they moved.
They were replaced by a young couple who gutted the house and have been fixing it up for months. They are nice. They work hard. He is an architect. She is a cute blond who helps replace large picture windows without swearing. It turns out that they are prone to having very large parties that get very loud, with a bunch of men sitting about 2 feet from the front window, staring intently at something below window height and yelling "Yah, BOYYYY!" at the top of their lungs. There was also some yelling of numbers and comments about a big girl. They actually yelled so much that the people I don't know who live two houses down started cheerfully yelling back at them at 9:30 at night, while my children are supposed to be going to bed.
There are some benefits to winter, like people closing their windows. At least I don't have to worry about making a noise complaint. Apparently someone who lives nearby calls the police about all sorts of things, if you believe the alleged child beater who moved away and the guy who woke up to find SWAT on his front yard. It's nice to know that I don't have to be the bad guy on the street, someone else is more than happy to do it for me.