Got into it with the neighbors tonight. Ended in some obscenities being screamed in the front yard. Kind of impressive, really. Long overdue, in some ways. Pent up stuff on both sides.
But for being someone who has kind of crippled herself in life by being afraid of conflict and ruffling feathers, I'm feeling pretty goddamned ok about the whole thing. Sure, I wish it hadn't come down to a screaming match in the front yard (in front of Mags, no less,) but it actually felt pretty good to stand my ground for once.
The whole issue? The state of the front yard/garden. Husband and I were doing some pretty agressive pruning back: he was pulling up the knee-high weeds, and I was cutting back the branches on the tall bushes that hadn't been trimmed in years and were so heavy they were just growing sideways. The end result was that yes, the ground was now bare in parts and you could see through the bushes to the neighbors yard. And for some that end result was a huge slap in the face to the neighbors, one more than the other. Which is funny, 'cause Husband and I were trying to help. And not leave an unfinished project in the front yard. And around these parts, plants grow back. But not only did we not get any thanks, we got a lot of "But *I* don't like it!", and my personal favorite: "You're just doing it because you like to destroy things and make things ugly!" That's when the screaming started.
Don't like to talk smack about people I know, and especially people I live with, and I know there are complaints in the opposite direction, but its really hard living with someone who openly admits to having a 'white trash' aesthetic when you don't having one yourself. No, I *don't* like the 'constantly overgrown' look in the garden, and I'm tired of being griped at whenever I try to prune anything just because the other person *does* like that look. And I'm tired of pussyfooting around someone who gets cranky when I do. I'm also tired of said person effectively laying claim to any bare patch of dirt on the whole lot, or having a compost pile started outside my front door on an area that had been sort of claimed as 'ours' a few years ago, or having to reclaim that patch everytime SOMEONE wants to plant something new! And I get tired of coming home a few times of year to see someone hard at work planting yet another batch of plants that THEY liked without, you know, touching base with other folks that live there. I'm so selfish! How have I lived with myself for so long?!?
Do I want full control and responsibility over the front yard? Hell, no. The main problem is that we all have different visions for the unit and have never worked out specific guidelines or boundaries for how things are going to be handled. Which for like-minded people is not a big deal, but when you put pro-structure folks (ok, just me) together with those who have boundary issues (some more than others), it doesn't work.
And I'm pissed. Ruffling feathers this time actually feels GOOD. In fact, I want to rip off those feathers and start stuffing them in certain places. I am tired of cowering about this stuff. I'm not doing myself any good trying to hold stuff in. Not sure I'm going to be able to sleep I'm still so amped, in fact.
And for the record, yes, I'll be happy when the bushes grow back in some and it isn't just empty branches, too. But see, if you don't maintain it regularly - like, for two years - then yes, it has to be done aggressively, and all of the leaves that are just on the tips DO get cut off. AND THEN THEY GROW BACK! IT'S THE CRAZIEST THING! AND THE NEIGHBORS - WHOSE SIDE OUR BUSH WAS WAAAY OVERGROWING ON TOO - THEY TRIMMED THEIR SIDE AS WELL! AMAZING! I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE! AND I STILL LEFT FOUR FUCKING FEET WIDE OF BUSH THERE! ITS NOT LIKE I CUT THE WHOLE THING DOWN! AND ITS STILL AT LEAST 12 FEET TALL! IT WAS A FUCKING HAIRCUT! GET OVER IT!
I leave town next Tuesday, and when I get back, I'm going to be crazy busy sewing for the show. So yes, my intention is to finish getting those bushes trimed back, so that we can get to the the lemon tree (which when I stated that as a reason to trim things wasn't a good enough cause,) and so that I actually finish a project I start, and so that yes, the 5 foot overhang (not counting the 4 feet deep I left behind!) opens up more planting space and doesn't continue to KILL OFF EXISTING PLANTS IN THE YARD BECAUSE THEY ARE BEING SMOTHERED, like the daisy bush, and all those rose bushes (which incidentally are going to be getting a trim too!) In fact, I think the weather is supposed to be nice tomorrow. I think I might get me some fresh air -- and a step ladder.
PS - I wasn't actually the one who screamed 'Fuck you!'. But it sure did help to open my flood gates nonetheless. Next time, maybe. :) Now if you;ll excuse me, I need to go run about a dozen laps to burn off this energy.