It’s story time! Yipee! Hooray!
Once upon a time, Brandon and I got some spiffy new neighbors. A sweet younger couple, with a bouncing baby and a friendly dog. We passed each other a few times like ships in the night, waiving friendly hello’s and smiling, but had yet to do the official meet and greet. I had grandiose plans of muffin baking and getting my Bree Vanderkamp on, welcoming them to the ‘hood (they were from across the country and didn’t really know anyone) and letting them know that despite what they say, us Pennsylvanians are actually very kind people. But before I could fulfil my plan, we had a knock on our door one day, and there they stood, baby in hand.
Brandon and I went on about how cute their son was, only to then be told he was a “she”, they just had him in boys clothes. (Um, I do NOT feel bad about that.) And then it happened. The conversation started innocently enough, telling us they were taking a trip to China to visit her father and introduce the new bundle of joy. Thinking of the dog, as a bleeding heart animal lover would, I asked if they needed recommendations of places to take care of him. But instead they dropped this bomb:
“We were wondering if you would let him out for us in the mornings?”
“Uhhhhh…ummmmm…….for the month? Uhhhhhh….ok.”
And that is how the worst decision ever was made.
As you can imagine, we couldn’t bear the fact that this poor dog was only being let out twice a day (once by us in the am, once by a friend in the evenings) so we naturally assumed a twice-a-day habit. My mornings became flustered, as this dog knew it was one of his few chances to get outside, and took a year and a half to “take care of business”. On top of that, they hadn’t arranged anyone to cut their grass so he would come back covered in funk and god knows what else, so I didn’t even really want to pet him, for fear I’d bring back a new family of fleas and ticks to infest my little Mac. So this went on for one solid month. Finally at the end of the month, we let out the poor dog one last time, leaving their keys on their kitchen table with a feeling of relief, but praying that they were in fact coming back. And they did. And we didn’t hear from them for two weeks.
Not a thank you.
Not a card in the mailbox.
Not a basket of muffins.
And certainly no monetary compensation.
Finally a few weeks ago they called us and asked us over for a bbq they were having with some friends from church. We respectfully declined. I’ve actually bumped into them each since, and neither have uttered anything resembling a “thank you”. (Brandon got one in passing a few weeks ago.) And yesterday morning their dog ran over and pooped in our yard. For the hundredth time.
Hold me back.
*It took me a little while before feeling comfortable telling this story, because I guess I still had a fragment of hope that they’d turn out to be decent human beings. There are also worse parts of the story I chose to leave out, so just use your imagination.