I like to consider myself a nice person. You know...I'm friendly, I say 'Hello' to people as I pass them, I wave to my neighbors and I hold doors open for people. I have the type of personality that wants others to like me and I don't want to have any enemies. And, to be honest, I don't think I really have any enemies. I'm about as non-confrontational as you can get and even when I strongly disagree with something someone says in a public situation, I'll usually just smile and brush it off without saying something in return.
But, if something pushes me over the edge for some reason...well, I'll probably hold a grudge.
Enter Squarepants. My husband and I nickname our neighbors...we can't help it. It started innocently enough with Papoose and Papoose's wife. They moved in behind us a few years ago and we always saw the guy with his smallest child strapped to the front of him. Thus, the nickname and it kind of grew from there. There's also Fat Jesus, the Crazy Lady, and some others. All are just in fun, no harm, we don't really know what their names are.
We don't generally interact with our neighbors beyond saying hello. Sure, we'll help out with something when asked and will engage in very generic chit-chat but we pretty much keep to ourselves...as do most of our neighbors.
Most everyone in the neighorhood refers to me as the girl with the dogs. I'll randomly see some of our neighbors in the grocery store and they'll always ask if I've walked the dogs and/or run yet (it's happened 4 different times in the past few months).
We're friendly with everyone...except Squarepants.
It happened last summer. I was living up to my reputation as the girl with the dogs and was out for an afternoon walk with them. As as I was strolling past Squarepants' house, they had just planted an insane amount of trees on their property and the lady was out inspecting their days' work. As I passed, in my friendly way, I commented on 'that being a lot of work and it looks really nice'.
The lady just stared at me.
OK, whatever, I just kept walking.
Then, she says "Can I ask you a question?"
I stop and say "Sure" and it went downhill from there:
Squarepants: "Why are you always staring at us out your window"
Me (confused with puzzling look): "What are you talking about?"
Squarepants: "Every morning you are always watching us"
Me, concluding she obviously has me confused with someone else: "I live in the house over there" (pointing). (We don't live near them, there is our house, our backyard, our neighbors behind us, the next road over and then there's their house and it's about 3-4 houses down the street).
Squarepants: "Yes, I know. Everyone morning, you are looking out your window"
Me: "I have no idea what you are talking about, I'm not looking at you out the window".
Squarepants: "We drive by and you are always watching us"
Me: "What? I'm not looking at you. When is this?"
Squarepants: "Really early in the morning, you're always staring out your kitchen window"
Me: "I have no idea what you are talking about. I'm up early in the mornings but I'm not looking at you". At this point, I just start to walk away but for some reason, I was furious by how she was talking to me.
Squarepants: "Well, there's an awful lot of nosey people in this neighborhood".
I walked off angered that she got the last word. I got back to the house and relived the situation for my husband. By this point, I did figure out what she was talking about. I'm up really early. First thing I do is feed the dogs and then let them outside. It's dark - regardless of the time of year. Sometimes I couldn't see them when they wanted to come back in so yes, I was probably looking out trying to see if they were standing there. But, read that again...it's dark out, I can't see anything. How in the hell am I going to be looking at a car driving on the road 2 backyards over (through our boundary line of trees no less) and actually see or watch anything (not I would want to anyway)?
In conclusion, this woman is obviously staring at me every morning. I was quite paranoid about this for a long time. I never wanted her to think I was looking at them and was sneaking around my own house to make sure I wasn't going to be mistakenly accused of watching someone.
Side note here: I should have already known she was nuts. About a year before this, she was out walking one day and I had the dogs again. They have beagles but they are hunting dogs...outside (which I hate seeing). She stopped me to ask about Kasey, our beagle. She mentioned something about getting together with hers and I'm like...um...no, she's spayed, I don't breed my dog. Then, she asked me what I fed her? Um...dog food? Why the hell would you ask someone that?
I've never talked to this women since the 'watching' incident but she's a walker. And, guess what? Since I switched to running in the mornings, it's when she is walking. And, if I'm out at early and it's dark...I have to pass Squarepants sometime.
One day this week, I was out and it was still pitch black out. I'm heading up to an intersection and see her at the last minute. Yes, I almost ran into her, literally. I make a big sweeping half circle and was going to go the other way but it wouldn't be my normal route. At the last second, I said screw it and circled back and then passed her. I wasn't going to let Squarepants make me change my routine again.
I'm not going to change my routine but I so wish I didn't have to pass her. Of course, if she says something to me in the morning, I do have my pepper spray attached to me...she better watch out.