Friday, April 07, 2006

The Divorce House

Every street has one, doesn’t it? The house where, for practical purposes, should install a department-store style revolving door- (they can be an extreme sport for the coordination challenged, no?). The For Sale sign went up a few days ago, errected, best I can tell in the early dawn hours. The "Scarlet A" of suburban neighborhoods. Given that we havent been shown glossy brochures of the neighborhor's new house, this means one thing- the Big D---again. Again for the house anyway. A few years back the first neighbors also sold the house amid a divorce. That couple had some pizazz though. Despite being casual wave-as-you-drive-by neighbors, we were awoken one night around 3am with the door bell being run repeatedly and a pounding on our front door. 3am has got to be the worst time for this sort of thing- its so much in the dead zone, that it's impossible to leap from bed and take organized action. Even after I got up, I was sure I was in a vivid dream. My husband, who is 6'7" and 250lbs, grabbed my Victoria Secret robe (full size on me, mini-dress robe on him) in his semi-stupor and raced downstairs. Not far behind him, I looked down the staircase to see him at the front door and mistaking my robe for an old fashioned male nightshirt, thought I was having a dream where he had become Eboneizer Scrooge from A Christmas Story.

Then I saw the bodies roll by the front door in a tumbled mass as the wife and husband tussled over a manilla folder of financial documents. Apparently the wife's late night reconissance mission was discovered and she fled the house with the husband in hot pursuit. Why she decided to seek refuge with us, we have no idea, except my husband is the type who can and will strike up a conversation with anyone and so while I know the neighbors mostly by the dogs they walk, my husband has found himself many times the most unlikely of confidants. He spends a lot of time doing yard work and often I look out the window and see him leaning on his rake, nodding sympathically, while some neighbor is engaged in some sort of passionate story. So anyway, be warned, this is where all that friendliness leads to: 3am referree sessions. Who says all the excitement happens in the ghetto?

Anyway, if you hadnt guessed that couple didn’t make it and divorced splitting the house and 4 kids down the middle, each moving to another smaller house in the neighborhood, which also seems to be part of our neighborhoods divorce manual.

Then, the new neighbors moved in- highly educated, married 20 years, two kids. Two years later, the sign went up. I feel some concern for the families I've seen come to look during the Open House- should I warn them? Then again, I've conflicted. I don’t want to scare off the best prospects- getting a new neighbor is kind of like waiting for your blind date to show up. Will they be the cool couple who hold BBQs and can be seen casually drinking a beer on a hot summer day? Will they be the ethnic family with 27 cars who tear out the front bushes and don’t plant anything in the dirt left behind? Will they be the doctors, highly stressed with the $80,000 cars who seem constantly exasperated with their kids who will probably never measure up?

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