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The Belonging to Wilson, the final chapter: - The inexplicable charisma of the rival [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Just me.

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The Belonging to Wilson, the final chapter: [Dec. 14th, 2005|02:34 pm]
Just me.

never wrote about this when it was happening, but my elderly neighbors, the Belonging to Wilson, are gone and their house was recently sold.

Like many elderly people that have been retired too long, the Belonging to Wilson were a little bit lonely, a little bit stir crazy, and a lot bit suffering from senility. I wasn't sure that Mr. Belonging to Wilson was nuts when he would repeat pleasant and banal conversation openers (that went nowhere because of their banality and repetition), but when he nearly set the house on fire by mistaking the recycle bin for the fireplace, that's when I knew. His wife (who may have not been all there, either, but was comparatively sane) made a valiant attempt to play nursemaid/ babysitter, but the enormity of the task eventually overwhelmed her and they moved to a retirement home, closer to where one of their adult children now lives.

So the house was empty a while while it was prepared for sale (repairing the fire damage from Mr. Belonging to Wilson's wacky hijinks, plus the inevitable undoing of the archaic decorating schemes of elderly people who have occupied a house for 40-50 years), and then the For Sale sign went up. I never saw an open house or any buyers tramping through, but that's not unusual; I made an offer on my house the first day it was on the market, and housing bubble or not, that kind of thing is still occuring. So the sign stayed up the usual month as the buyer went through the joy that is closing the sale.

I saw the moving van outside last weekend, so thought I'd be neighborly and offer my help and introduce myself. Here is what I learned about the new neighbor from chatting with him and helping him carry in boxes:

He's 50 and lives alone
He's slightly chubby, greying, and has a beard
He has 2 schnauzers, who had gone to the groomer the day before and were freshly clipped and shampooed
He owns some nice antique pieces and knows how to reupholster furniture
He had at least 2 boxes labeled "curios".

Needless to say, the immediate nickname that popped into my head for him is The NeighBear.

Ivan has a theory that by decorating/altering your own home, you can choose your future neighbors. By making yard art and siding the garage with CDs, we not only scared away potential buyers that would have been uncompatible with living next to me, but also made the house more inviting to people who are artsy/freaky/antisuburbanite or the like. So far, I'm pretty pleased to have gotten The NeighBear as the successor to The Belonging to Wilson. We shall see how he settles in and how long it takes him to remove the 70's wood panelling the Belonging to Wilson put in the basement, and if the replacement decor is fabulous, or merely gorgeous.

[User Picture]From: li_kao
2005-12-14 10:39 pm (UTC)
He sounds sooooo curios!
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[User Picture]From: ltmurnau
2005-12-14 11:12 pm (UTC)
I like Ivan's theory of self-selecting neighbours, but my partner is not so confrontational. Our exisitng neighbours are awfully boring and I'd like a change.
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[User Picture]From: lara7
2005-12-15 01:21 am (UTC)

I love the way you write "neighbour"...

...though it makes me want to say the last half as sounding more like "bore" or "boer" than the nasally American "burr".

anyway, I never though I was being confrontational by decorating the yard...until the Belonging the Wilson started filling in the fence slats only in one place, to hide my boat planter. When I bought my place, I would never have self-selected the Belonging to Wilson, but there were no signs who lurked within when I saw the house. At least with elderly neighbors, there's the change that they'll "move" before I do, thus freeing up the place for a more suitable neighbor, so I guess I lucked out.
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[User Picture]From: dirtylibrarian
2005-12-15 03:50 am (UTC)

Re: I love the way you write "neighbour"...

You are definitely making me re-think my decorating scheme!
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From: (Anonymous)
2005-12-15 04:48 pm (UTC)

Re: I love the way you write "neighbour"...

I bought my house from two old folks who were moving into a less-demanding condo. They were quite paranoid (alarm systems all over the place) but seemed to do nothing but read the Bible with the curtains drawn. I had one elderly neighbour who didn't bother anyone either, her husband died and she moved off to live with her daughter. Now their place is occupied by three frustratingly quiet and boring students.
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[User Picture]From: gryph
2005-12-15 07:20 pm (UTC)
David and I have been planning to buy our house, and if we do, the first thing we're doing is painting the place. On the outside I plan to paint gigantic 6-8' flowers. It will look like a giant flower box to the neighbors--if they can see us through the trees.

If we do this, we'll have a huge painting party!
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