We live in a relatively quiet condo community. About two thirds of the homes are owner-occupied. Most of the renters are good people and make good neighbors. The rents are not cheap ($1300-1700 for a 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath in southern NH). That probably accounts for the relative placidity of the community.
Unfortunately, that changed this summer when a single mother and her three 'children' moved in across the street. My first encounter with the family was when the oldest 'child', a young woman of about 19, tried to strike up a conversation with me one morning as I was leaving to go to work. At 07:00 the girl was hyper, her pupils were dilated, and she didn't take several not-so-subtle hints that I was in a hurry. She was being pulled down the street by a five pound puppy. Really. Pulled. The girl had badly cut home-bleached hair and trashy eye makeup on. I later found out that the girl had been arrested just outside our community, for evading an assault warrant in MA.
The youngest 'child' is a boy of eleven or twelve. He spent his summer bullying younger children in the neighborhood and throwing rocks at animals. He's a husky kid with a very strange buzz hair cut. An adult in the neighborhood chastised him for his behavior and the kid flipped him off and ran down the street. He was recently banned from riding the school bus for his behavior.
The middle boy is relatively quiet in comparison, though I've seen him come and go at odd hours with other teens in cars. Grendel says this boy never speaks to anyone on the bus stop and doesn't make eye contact.
The family owns a pretty old aqua striped Chevy pickup truck. They typically park it so that it's tires cross into the adjoining home's parking space. Once, they even left the truck's doors open when they went inside, forcing their neighbor to have to get out and close the doors so she could squeeze into her parking space. They had been inside for about ten minutes, and didn't bother to come out after the woman was able to park her car.
They speed in and out of the development with no concern for the speed bumps and the pedestrian traffic in the community. (The girl was so busy yelling at one of her brothers one day that she wasn't looking forward as she drove, and nearly hit me.)
I was home from work today. As I sat at my desk I noted some activity over at their house. This is not unusual, since there always seems to be something going on over there. I looked out the window to see their truck and another backed up in front of their house, loaded with furnishings. I watched for a few minutes and was THRILLED to see they were bringing stuff out of the house. I also noted that it was a school day and both boys were home at 09:00.
I walked over to a neighbor's house and asked her if she'd noted the activity. She told me that she had heard two weeks ago that they were moving out. Apparently, the youngest one's issues warranted a change in school districts.
My neighbor and I joked that maybe we should throw a little party. I don't want to sound like a snob, but these folks are trash, pure and simple. I am thrilled to see them go. I grew up in a home of meager means with lots of friends who were equally challenged, economically speaking. However, we all behaved with consideration to our neighbors. The parents in my neighborhood would never have put up with some of the behavior we have seen from the kids across the street. And, being a single-parent family is no excuse. About half the families I grew up with were single-parent families. That's no excuse for poor behavior and general bad manners.
So, farewell folks! Perhaps having to move because one of your kids crossed the line will encourage you to clean up your act in the next town. But, then again, maybe not.