Old People

This morning I pull up in front of my place after going to the grocery store and there’s this old white lady pulling weeds on the front yard of where I live.  She wasn’t on the grass section right in front of the house but where the sidewalk is.  I thought it was kind of strange but not really.  Although I didn’t completely recognize her, I was pretty sure she lived 3 houses beside me cause there is only 1 old white lady on this whole block.  She saw me, I said hi and she was telling me about how pulling the weeds or the seeds now would stop them from growing for 2 years or something like that.  I was like “oh, ok” and went inside.  I didn’t know what to say.  Am I suppose to say “thank you”?  Or “get the hell off my lawn”?

3 minutes later I come back out to head to the gym and the conversation is as follows.

Old Lady: Do you live in the basement here?

Me: Yes.

Old Lady: You know, people who own houses have a responsibility to keep their property looking nice.

Me:  I guess that would be ideal.

Old Lady:  No, not ideal.  That’s the way it should be.  You can’t have a neighbourhood looking lousy.  I pull weeds on this whole block.

Me: It probably would be the best thing but I guess it’s up to the owner of the property.

Old Lady: Well you’re young, why don’t you take some initiative and get a lawn mower and cut the grass and weeds.

Me: Honestly, you shouldn’t be going to people’s property and doing as you please.  If you’re going  to do this you should be talking to them about it first and you can’t go around telling people what to do.

Old Lady: Well, it blows onto my yard.

I don’t really know much about this weed stuff so maybe it does blow onto her yard from 3 houses away but it could also be horse shit cause she just wanted the last word.  I think she has this 1950’s mentallity of middle class suburbia where Herb comes home in his overalls holding his lunch kit and says hi to Frank who’s mowing his lawn while Gertrude is baking pies with her apron on and knee length dress.  All the houses have neatly cut lawns with no oil on the driveway.  Bob knows Bill across the street and Sue knows all the neighbourhood kids.  I may be speaking out of line cause this is just the imagery I get from what TV has taught me.

Maybe people like weeds on their lawn and she just ruined months of anticipation.  I have this feeling she went home and told her husband about our ordeal.  Well, she must have.  I’m sure she’s directing racial comments to me in her head.  This block is like 80% maybe 90% Chinese and no one has a pristine yard like her.  Her hedges are all even and trimmed.   She’s got flowers blooming everywhere.  Her and her husband are also retired and don’t have shit to do.

When the old lady pulled out that “you’re young” comment it’s like one of those things where it’s not fair.  I’m sure there’s a word for it but my ghetto vocabulary is not very sophisticated.  It’s like when a fat person can make fun of a skinny person but not the other way around.  Or when a non-white person can make fun of a white person.  Or when a poor person can talk shit to a rich person.  I should have said, “you’re old, you should have learnt some manners by now.”  Or “you’re old, maybe you should take some initiative and die.”
Obviously she feels strongly about the subject of keeping your yard well kept.  It’s a decent thing to do for the neighbourhood I guess.  Some people just don’t care as much though and it doesn’t make them a bad person.  It’s not like the grass is 3 feet tall with dead bodies all over the place.  There’s this thing about a lot of neighbourhoods where people are obsessed with keeping the area looking like the movie Pleasantville and if your lot doesn’t look up to snuff then they hate on you like you’re the enemy.   Now I have to deal with this old lady’s probable stink eye everytime I see her.


3 comments on “Old People

  1. Jimmy says:

    I would have asked her if she would like to spend the weekend in jail after being arrested for trespassing. Nothing worse than self righteous old people trying to make you conform to their standards of living. It’s no ones business what you do with your property. Out here in Arizona there are so many properties that look like a city dump and there is NOTHING you can do about it. I would walk by her house blowing Dandy Lion seeds into the air. Tell her that if she doesn’t like weeds than she should check into the local retirement home where they do all the landscaping for you, while she sits in her rocker staring over a pristine lawn knitting a sweater her grand childern will never wear.


    • MrJohnson says:

      Ya I don’t know. Old people are stuck in their ways and beliefs from when they were younger. I’m guessing she probably had that house for a long time. Maybe since it was built which would be 40 years ago when the whole neighbourhood was totally different. It’s funny how you mention dandy lions. That was exactly what she was pulling out. Haha.


  2. lightpuma says:

    Lol I love this post. “Herb”?
    You know I totally know what you mean. I used to live next to prissy neighbours who gave us stank eye bc our lawn was uncut and not as neat as theirs. We had just moved in and were undergoing lots of changes to the house. Some people get everything done in the house at once, but some people make lawn finishings etc. over a number of months or years, like we did. Our dad also worked out of town and our mom had four kids to run after who were all too young to operate a lawn mower without getting run over by it. I do understand how our neighbours felt, though. I just didn’t appreciate how they cut us off just bc of it. I also lived in a house where someone once walked by while I was mowing my lawn and she said you should really clean up that lawn. I was like yes that’s what I’m doing. She was like what a shame and walked away. I felt like telling her to screw off but again she was kind of right; compared to the other lawns, ours was a bit tall. Maybe everyone else on that street had enough money to spend on fancy gardens etc. but we were just honestly trying to get by, and our dysfunctional lawn mower was always dying on us and we had to take it for repairs. Eventually we invested in a new one, but ironically a few weeks after we moved out of the house and into a condo.
    Anyways, I can understand the feelings of those types of people offended by eyesore lawns, but really, I think they just don’t have anything better to worry about. They’re stuck in their robotic lifestyles and want everyone else to conform to their standards.


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