Thursday, October 19, 2006

No Wisteria Lane

My neighborhood is no Wisteria Lane. It’s much more culturally diverse and lower
income, a little “Sesame Street” mixed with a little “My Name is Earl.” The people to our left do not speak English,
have a chain link fence, and butcher cows in their backyard about twice a
year. The people to our right wear
wife-beaters, smoke and (I’m fairly certain of this) hang out naked in their
above ground swimming pool after hours. No one has children anywhere near the ages of my kids and, while they
are all very cordial, most of our neighbors keep to themselves.

I love my house though. It’s old and has a great deal of character. Plus, it is the house that I brought both of my children home to
and the first property that my husband and I ever owned. I do, however, wish that we lived in a more
family-friendly neighborhood. I’d love
a sidewalk and a neighbor or two that I could talk to as I walked down the street,
feeling completely safe and at ease letting my kids walk with me. I feel certain that I will have this some time
in the near future but it will be a little while.

This Halloween we will be going to a friend’s house to trick
or treat. The first two Halloweens we
were in this house, we bought a big bag of candy, turned our porch light on and
waited for the trick or treaters. They
never came and we were left stuck with a bag of candy that we had no business
keeping around the house and a painstakingly carved pumpkin that no-one had the
opportunity to admire. It was a
difficult lesson to learn but, after two years of no-shows, I have finally
accepted my Halloween fate. My family
and I will spend our Halloween in the family-friendly neighborhood of our
friends. We will walk the sidewalks and
pretend that we live there, amongst the picket fences and polo shirts. We will look at the tastefully landscaped
backyards and marvel at the lack of cow carcasses and wife-beater clad
smokers. Our kids will have a blast
because they will be with their friends and completely oblivious to the fact
that trick or treating in their own neighborhood is not a viable option.

If all goes well, we will be living in a Halloween-friendly
neighborhood by the time our kids are old enough to care. We sure will miss the cow carcasses
though. Halloween won’t be the same
without catching a glimpse of a dead cow hanging from a tree branch in our
neighbor’s backyard.


  1. Wow!! I had no idea your neighbors did custom meat cutting, think of the possibilities, they can show you how to process road kill, and you could turn it into a neighborhood get together and fill your freezer in an economicial way. As for the language problem, just yell real load at them, that's what most people seem to do with other ethnic groups. I'm not sure if it works, but it's a lot easier than learning another language. Now, concerning the the other side of the house, do I detect a little jelousy? Sounds like you are hoping for an invite to join the pool party.

  2. Oh, I am ROFL!
    I just had a visual of the dude walking the center block dragging pit bull's. I think I need to move one of my neighbors out so you can move in!

  3. Papa Dale-
    I can't believe we never told you about the cow butchering. It has made a significant impact on my life because now, every time I open the back door, I check to make sure the neighbor's yard is carcass free. If not, I'll tell my son, "Today is not a good day to play outside" and try to act casual.

  4. Angie-
    I'm going to save the pit bull story for another entry. It's a good one, isn't it?

  5. A classic! You must share it :)

  6. Ooh the memories of my halloweens when I was a kid. I lived in the best neighborhood, not trying to brag, it had a man made lake, a swimming pool, tennis courts, and a playgroud, and tons of land to romp on. I would ride my bike to the pool everyday in the summers. Romp through the woods w/ my friends looking for things to get into, and try to raise a baby duck from the hatching stage, haha.
    BUt, the Halloweens were the best. We had a party at somone's home, for a long time my mom was the witch- I never knew that, she is such a good actress, have a party, eat, then all of us go trick and treating. There were about 50 homes. You always remember the family that handed out big hersery bars, or money (they didn't believe in sweets, didn't own a TV, and their house always got rolled, poor people). I miss those days, I wish there was a place like this for my kids to live in. But as some of you know, well, we got some cows, horses, hay, and a very unsafe road, but there are advantages and disadvantages now days. Neighberhoods aren't as safe as they used too, people are lurking on the internet more now too. You have to live it seems a more causious life.
    So, this will be the 2nd year, going to a church for dinner, costume contest, then trunk or treats.

  7. Kathleen-
    I can relate. I grew up in an ideal trick or treating neighborhood and my kids will not. Oh well, we can certainly make up for that in other ways. I don't think they will be scarred :)