Monday, June 23, 2008

Like living in a soft drink commercial

When I got home from work Friday evening, my neighbors were outside working on their yard, and one of the kids was actually playing on the trampoline. He was all zipped up inside the netting, bouncing away for all he was worth. Of course, he's a teeny-tiny thing, so he wasn't making much of an impact, but he seemed to be enjoying himself, and it was pretty cute, I must say. The cuteness must have had some sort of effect on my shriveled raisin of a heart, because I felt moved to smile and give a big wave hello.

You know the cheesy commercial where everyone is "paying forward" smiles, and lending hands, and oh, isn't the world a better place when we're all nice to each other? Well, it was kind of like that.

The girl instantly came over to the fence for a quick chat, like she'd just been waiting for the opportunity. We chatted very briefly about the heat and the mosquitos, and then Pudge and I went on back inside. A few minutes later, there was a knock on my front door. It was my neighbor.

"My husband wants to know if it would be okay with you if he goes ahead and mows your front lawn, too, as long as he's mowing. I told him I couldn't see why you'd mind."

I laughed. "I can't think of a single reason why I would object, if he really wants to. Thanks!"

He mowed AND weed-eated the front yard. For the record, my sidewalk and driveway haven't been weed-eaten since LAST summer, when my neighbor on the other side did it for me once. ("I hope you don't mind...I went ahead and did your edges." WHY WOULD I MIND? I HATE weed-eating.)

I'm not sure if they were just making a friendly overture, or if I truly seem old and decrepit and in need of help (they are SO young), but hey...whatever the reason, I'm not turning down free lawn mowing, even if it is just a gesture of kindness toward a sad spinster lady. Heh. Of course, now I feel obligated to bake them some cookies or god, where does this "neighborliness" thing end?

And now I'm remembering how my parents used to occasionally send us kids over to mow our various widowed neighbor ladies' lawns, but those women were REALLY old, weren't they? Please tell me I wasn't mowing the lawns of 40-something women who could perfectly well have done it themselves! Hee. (For the record, I'm pretty sure all of our neighbors at that time--almost all of whom were widows, for some reason; not a good block for male longevity--were at least in their 60s, and they seemed ancient to me then. Now my own mother is in her mid-60s and still incredibly active--were things that different back then? Or is it just my perspective? Hmm....)

In other news, our little gig Saturday night went really well, once we all got there and got rolling. It's always incredibly flattering to be told repeatedly how fabulous you are, and to be asked with amazement why you don't do this for a living, since you are so incredibly wonderful, etc., but it's a little bittersweet, too. Why DON'T I get to sing and act for a living? Oh yeah...because I live in a place where almost no one does. Sigh. And I am too old and tired (and have too many animals) to go off and try to "make it" somewhere now. (Ask my BFF how much fun a rep theatre company is when you're twice the age of everyone else there. Hee.) We are considering trying to find some regular monthly gig, at any rate, just for fun. And a few bucks. (We each made fifty bucks Saturday night. Whoo hoo? Plus I got a glass of wine purchased for me, a loaf of yummy hot bread was given to me afterwards by a kind waitress--I was starving, and scavenging the leftover bread from the table-- and the ladies presented me with one of the lovely floral centerpieces. Whoo hoo!)

My parents came to town yesterday to bring me some hair balm and lipstick (yes, my mother is an Avon lady), and took me to lunch. I am really worried about my dad--I think he's the skinniest person I've ever seen who didn't currently have cancer or anorexia. He's been having trouble swallowing food for the last year or so. The doctors have done every test in the book, and can find no physical/anatomical reason for the difficulty, and we're all beginning to suspect the trouble is in his head. My mother is always nagging him to drink Ensure, which he can swallow, but I don't think he's drinking nearly enough of it. Stubborn man. It's worrisome.

I mowed the back yard (all by myself--what's THAT about?) after they left, and that was my weekend. How was yours?


3carnations said...

My weekend was great.

I think the neighbor story is terrific. No offense, but it reminded me of the Grinch, when you saw how happy the jumping child was, and waved hello. And the lawn mowing...nice brings on nice. Usually. Definitely make them cookies! :)

It also reminded me of the time when I was single that my former neighbor's son got in so much trouble that he got grounded, and had to rake his yard...and then to add to it, the father made him rake MY yard (without telling me). Lovely surprise, but poor kid. Ha.

3carnations said...

Oh, I should have qualified the grinch comment, in case you (or someone else) didn't get it...Just that the cuteness melted your heart a little. :)

Lara said...

Hey, that's awesome abou the neighbors and the melting of your cold heart and your gig and the heaps of praise! (I'm just kidding about your cold heart, by the way). Does your neighbor want to come mow my lawn, too? And weed-eat? And I hope your dad is okay.

gorillabuns said...

I'd bake cookies if someone came over and mowed, edged and weeded my lawn. I can't seem to make my husband do it for me.

-R- said...

I assume they mowed your lawn to make up for the sketchy people that hang out in the back yard. So you're already even!

I'm glad the show went well this weekend.

nancypearlwannabe said...

I guess I can add "not lawn mowing" to the small list of things to like about apartment living. So far, the list is pretty small.

$50 sounds awesome!

Noelle said...

Baking cookies has had a huge payoff from my neighbors. It's the best reward ever.

L Sass said...

When I get an actual house, I need a neighbor who will mow my lawn! Sweet deal, right?

Stefanie said...

Yes, I am SURE the old ladies you mowed for when you were a kid were truly old.

I think I would have been paranoid that the neighbors wanted to mow my lawn because they were annoyed I hadn't done it myself. Apparently I just can't take a nice deed without guilt and suspicion. I blame my Catholic upbringing, of course.

lizgwiz said...

3car, I understood the Grinch reference. No offense taken. :)

lara, I'll ask the neighbor if he'd like to take a ride to Philly. ;)

gorillabuns, you mean he's not doing anything and everything you ask, if for no other reason than you're carrying his child?!

-r-, maybe they were getting the vibes I was sending re: the slackers. Hee.

npw, $50 would be more awesome if most of it hadn't gone for gas getting to and from rehearsal on the other side of town. Sigh.

noelle, I guess it never hurts to be neighborly, huh?

sass, any day I can get someone else to mow my lawn is a good day in my book.

stef, I might have been paranoid in that way, too, but I've been pretty on top of the lawn this year...much more so than they have, actually. ;)

Stinkypaw said...

Yay for the good gig, enjoy the compliments, and the mowing! Maybe they'll turn out to be "good" neighbors after all...

As for the age thing, I often wonder the same thing... is it all perception or were they older than I feel? Something to think about!

Hope your dad gains some weight!