Yesterday evening I heard a ball from next door bounce into our back yard. It was about the tenth of the day so I rolled my eyes and prepared for the ring of the door bell asking for it back. What I was not expecting was to overhear the following conversation...
"If you climb over the fence onto the spa, turn right, go through the gate and the ball will be outside the sliding doors."
What. The. F*ck?
I slipped out and sure enough there was a teenaged boy standing on our spa, happily trespassing on our property. He was a stranger - a guest over for dinner next door.
I asked him to leave, without bothering to hide my anger. He appeared to think it was all rather amusing, and took his time about it.
It was obvious to me that this was something they'd been doing for quite some time. Our spa lid had been mysteriously broken some months ago - and now I think we're finding out why - and from time to time I'd spot a ball in the backyard, and make a mental note to throw it back later, only to find it gone when I looked. I just kind of thought hubby threw it back. But he says not.
I can't describe how angry I was. Incandescent with rage just about covers it. And yes, I know they were just kids getting their ball back. I am stunned at my own reaction. Amazed at how offended and upset and insulted and trespassed upon I feel (yes, very biblical of me).
So I go over to the neighbours to discuss this transgression with some adults. The boys all laugh and point out the window then run away and the parents ignore me leaning on their doorbell.
Yup. That helped.
So there is me, yes me, about to start bobbing up and down over the fence and yelling at them all.
Well, I took a few deep breaths, calmed a little and went inside to cool off. Then fifteen minutes later when I felt more composed I went back. This time our neighbour opened the door. His expression told me he was fully aware of why I was there.
I opened my mouth to have a sensible reasoned discussion, I was worried that the boys would try and get a ball out of the pool and fall in, our spa lid was broken, I don't like that the kids think its okay to come and go as they please in my garden... That I'm a sensible adult and boys will be boys but they've crossed the line and could he please have a chat to them.
But suddenly all the anger and upset landed on me. I couldn't get the words out and just shouted incoherently at him whilst his dog (the one that shat on my strawberries and dug up all my apple trees) stuck its nose in my crotch.
Shouting at someone.
I mean Bloody Hell. I only shout at my husband and children - because they are special like that. Certainly never a neighbor who I am on smile and wave terms with. Now that I think of it, that may have been our first actual conversation - though I do talk to his wife now and then.
And now, as I sit here and think the whole thing through, I'm at a complete loss as to what happened. It has shown me a side of myself that I kind-of didn't realise I had. Before yesterday I would have said that I was pretty easy and laid back about the things kids do, not overly fussed about privacy, or see the garden particularly as my own personal space.
But now I'm really wondering.