I move into a house in a lower-income neighborhood. People around me move, and new ones eventually move in. They act like it is their own corner of the earth. And when I try and talk to them, they are hostile, cool. As though I was not here first, as though I were some interloper threat. When it is they who are new compared to my time here. But they want to put up their fence and have their own little corner of suburbia, here in the 'hood. Fine and dandy. But show a little consideration for those who have been here far longer than you. Or at least talk to us in a civil manner, and not make nasty cracks and remarks behind your fence.
On that score, some of the comments I hear from younger people are so irritating. As though my knee brace were some prop – they don't realize the knee pain I must battle daily to keep functioning. It is so easy when you are young, to judge those older and to expect perfection from them. One has to age and go through more of life to experience the loss and pain that helps transform one into an older person, as much as time alone does.
Many times it requires an effort of will to simply go out and tend my yard anymore. I can remember in my 20s and 30's, gardening for others, and pining away for my own piece of property. But in the two times I have owned my own yard, both times have been less than ideal. There is always some neighbor unhappy about whether I cut something down, or not cut something down, or put in a new garden plot, or somesuch. There are always sarcastic or downbeat comments. It seems as though I am being mentally prepared to like life in some apartment or condo now- just as I perhaps was prepared to have a yard earlier in life. But I am never prepared for treachery, or baseless cruelty or bullying. Truly, I now understand why people go off the deep end, and open up with weapons. Nothing I do is ever enough for some critics. If only I could silence them, everything would be so much nicer, or easier to endure.
As a disclaimer, I never go out into the yard nude, or shouting anything, or any other provocation. I simply go out to maintain my property. And someone just feels like they have to comment in some fashion. Once in a great while, people are gone, and that is a blessed comfort. I can go out and mow, weed, or whatever in the absence of criticism. That is once in a great while. If only the people with families would understand that I am no threat to them or their children. Rather, I could be a valuable friend, sharing my experiences as a gardener and homeowner. But people seem to have this black-and-white viewpoint and see me as the black hat for some reason. (If only I were exactly like them then they might approve???) But people are all different. I have no answer – but it feels good to complain about it. Some things never change.