In my ‘hood…part one.

19 Aug

Dave and I have lived together for over six years in four different apartments/houses. Needless to say we’ve had our fair share of crazy neighbors. We’ve given them all fake names and made up scenarios about their lives that can’t possibly be entirely true. Some of our favorites have been:
Masco Guy: Our neighbor in Florence. This was a different kind of situation than normal. We were still in college and our rent is exactly half of what our mortgage is now (movin’ on up baby!) So it’s not like we lived in a high class building but we were the only college kids there. Masco Guy was a little older than us and drove a work van that said “Masco” on the side of it. I have no idea what Masco actually is but whenever I see a Masco truck I get a little sentimental. Masco Guy was probably our best neighbor. He was quiet and never complained when we would fight (loudly back in those days) and have friends over. He also enjoyed the weed. Every Friday night the smell would woft into our apartment. Consequently every Saturday afternoon we could hear him throwing up.
Big Tommy and Big Shelby: Our landlords in the same apartment building as Masco Guy. They lived downstairs and I think had lived in that building since The Creation. Big Tommy was a disabled Bail Bondsman (he gave us his card!) and Big Shelby was..well I’m sure she did something other than gossip but I can’t remember. These two also should have been the co-chairs for the South Carolina Republican Committee. Every election they would literally COVER the yard of our apartment complex with every Republican candidate yard sign known to man. Dave was a different man back then, however, if he were anything like he is now about politics he would have kicked them all down. Or maybe not, because Big Shelby liked to keep a gun in her car. She once told Dave she kept it in her glove box to show the people at the car wash who was boss.
The Big Fat People: They were our neighbors in our townhouse in Columbia. They actually moved out a few months after we moved in so we never actually really met them. However, we HEARD them. ALL the time. They would thump thump thump up the stairs like nobodies business. I said “hello” to the girl once only to have her glare at me and slam her car door. I also heard her complain loudly several times that she was pissed we moved in because “they had been parking their (third) car in our spot but know she didn’t know what the hell they were going to do.” I was NOT sad when the U-Haul came.
The Vietnamese People: These people moved in right after The Big Fat People moved out. Ironically, I never heard them coming up or down the stairs thankyouverymuch. I also rarely saw them. Actually I don’t think I could have told you who actually lived there and who was just visiting because so many people were in and out of that place. Also, the police came to their apartment habitually. (Hey, Big Fat People..I never even heard anything when the police came to the door either..so it can be done!) The scariest time was when I came home from work one day and the police were waiting outside to question me about the neighbors. They ask me if I knew who they were, when they moved it, what they did for a living etc. I actually referred to them as “The Vietnamese People” people I got so flustered. The cop asked me how I knew they were Vietnamese and I then realized I had no idea. I think we just made that part up. (It turns out they were actually Thai!) At the end of the conversation I asked if I should be concerned and his exact response was “Not really.” I spent the next twenty-four hours spying on them out of my back window. I also kept a log of suspicious behavior I noticed until we moved out. My notes looked like beginnings to really bad jokes…”3 Asians sat in the car for forty-five minutes.”
The Gay Guy Upstairs: When we moved to Hilton Head we experienced low-income apartment living at it’s most expensive. We had a teeny tiny one bedroom apartment that cost us almost as much as our house does now. And let me reassure you our rent was not spent on insulation. One Dave, Jessie, Andrew and I were engaged in a competitive game of Scattergories and our neighbor came over and asked us to be quiet. This happened several times while we were doing any of the following: watching television, cooking dinner, and watching The Notebook. Yes, I am serious…it was THAT bad. I knew that our neighbors above and to the side of us could hear everything because WE could hear everything. We just didn’t complain as much. The Gay Guy Upstairs was my favorite though. He was a lawyer and drove an Infiniti. I am proud of my gaydar. I once recognized a gay man before he even knew it…that was my crowning moment. However, I knew the Gay Guy Upstairs was indeed gay before I ever met him…because who else rocks out to Cher’s Do You Believe in Life After Love EVERY Saturday morning..on repeat..five thousand times?!! One Saturday he switched it up to dark depressing classical music. I guessed he had a bad break-up or something.

My original idea with this blog was to write about the crazies in my neighborhood now (or perhaps..that I am becoming the crazy) but I sort of got of track with all my old favorites. I’ll come back later and fill you in on The Clemson People, The Teenager Parents and the Naked (ah!) Russians.

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