Madison owns the house across the street from us. She found a new boyfriend and this weekend, she moved some of her furniture over to his swanky place on Harvard Avenue. We noticed that we hadn’t seen much of her. About three weeks ago when spring surprised us, she was doing some cleaning in her yard. I asked her where she had been hiding herself and she told us about her new boyfriend. She was living with him and she thought that they might get married soon. Her house has been empty since then and this last weekend she was moving.
Next door to her, the house had been for sale. It only stayed on the market for a couple of weeks before the “Sale Pending” sign went up. Last week, the “Sold” sign went up. Last weekend, we watched the old neighbors move out and the new neighbors move in. I still haven’t introduced myself to them yet. I guess I should, but I was worried that they were stressed with the move and in no position to receive visitors. What is the proper etiquette in this situation? Should I have run up to them when they were moving bookcases and chairs and introduced myself?
That’s how we met Rick, our next door neighbor. Back in July, we were trying to get the U-Haul back in time. Rick ran right up to the truck and introduced himself. He wanted to apologize in advance for the barking of his dogs. He had three dogs, Kelly, Wilson and Anna, and he was worried that they would bother us. Wilson is a real barker and will sound off whenever we walk by the house, he fretted. We assured him that we were far more worried about our dog, Sid, than his dogs. If our dog isn’t the loudest in the neighborhood, that made us happy. We became instant friends with Rick.
Rick got a new girlfriend. I don’t know when that big blue SUV started staying overnight at his place. I actually didn’t notice that he had an extra human living with him at all. I didn’t even notice that the barking next door got louder. I noticed that his cats, Pedro and Jahnsie, were a lot friendlier than they had been before. I noticed that their food bowls were out on the front porch, attracting an orange stray tabby. I didn’t notice his new girlfriend until he introduced her to us.
She has moved in with him and brought a dog with her named Stella who hates cats, which explains the exile of Pedro and Jahnsie. I love Pedro so much that I would just steal him from Rick and let him stay with us, but that isn’t neighborly behavior, is it? I watched his new girlfriend take all four dogs into her large SUV on Saturday. She truly is his soul mate to live with his menagerie.
I know that her dog’s name is Stella. I know that she’s Rick’s soul mate. I know that she’s a great gal, but I can’t remember her name. When Rick introduced us, her name got overwritten in my memory by Stella’s. I just imagined Marlon Brando in the rain, screaming at his large, gray dog, “STELLA!”