Crazy Neighbor Lady

Do you know how crazy a girl looks when she spends 30 minutes running around her yard after a bastard groundhog? My neighbors do, as I’m pretty sure I’ve set some sort of speed record by sprinting from my deck to the feeder dozens of times this summer.

It would probably go unnoticed if I didn’t make the high-pitched noises that I do, but I feel they make my maneuver effective.

Anyway, I thought about this the other day when I was scrubbing the bird bath and singing a song I made up about how Cinderella was full of shit and that those feathered freaks never actually helped with the chores.

Just moments before I bravely broke up a domestic dispute between two small woodland creatures, preventing a new episode or COPS: Chipmunk Edition, and then trudged up to the front of my house to fill my watering can.

As the neighbor kids rode by on their bikes, they greeted me with, “Hi, Miss Abby.” I said a very non-specific “hi,” as there are three of them in that house and even after living next door to them for five years, I can’t be expected to tell them apart and remember their names every time.

But…Miss Abby.

I realize this is a polite address and much better than “Ma’am” or “the witch that dives behind the couch when we ring the bell to sell her cheap crap for school that nobody needs,” but it still made me feel really old.

Since crazy neighbor lady passed away last year, no one has moved into her house yet and things have been relatively quiet. There’s no sound of her smoking and hacking into her bushes at 2am or yelling at her well-dressed dogs to “make poo poo” in the middle of the night before stealing my tomatoes.

Yes, you could say things have been quite uneventful.

But it was the combination of the “Miss Abby” and the fact that I was flinging weeds into her yard that made me realize that in her absence, I AM PROBABLY NOW CRAZY NEIGHBOR LADY!

There is mounting evidence to this suggestion.

First of all, I’m a single woman living alone who doesn’t bring home a bachelor every weekend. I spend a lot of time outside in my yard and get ticked when the kids play basketball at midnight. I have a cat. I’ve been known to yell at inanimate objects and rearrange my yard gnomes so they get a new view from time to time.

But that’s all normal, right?

In my defense, I don’t drink or smoke, so you won’t find me passed out on the porch with a smoldering cigarette threatening to start a small fire. As for the cat thing, I have one—which is more than enough—and I don’t dress it in a sweater and put it on a leash like SOME people I knew (may Crazy Neighbor Lady RIP, of course.)

I also don’t expect the gnomes to talk back, which I really think is the true deciding factor in this situation.

So for now, I will continue to believe that I’m just “Miss Abby,” the single gal who cares for her garden and interacts with the wildlife in a reserved and dignified fashion.

Right, boys? Right, they agree.

Like the blog? Buy the book.

Side note: I will be traveling for work Saturday until Tuesday, so try and get by without my constant tweets and updates while I’m gone. However, if you are in New York City, I will be signing books outside the Barnes & Noble on Monday from 10-11.

But seeing as I don’t have permission to be signing books outside the Barnes & Noble and they don’t actually carry my book, I’ll probably only be there until they kick me out or I get arrested.

35 responses to “Crazy Neighbor Lady

  1. I should send my neighbors to you. They have pigs on a little fake bridge in their front yard and I SWEAR they move them and mix them with other lawn ornaments… I’m going to start taking pictures of them…

  2. Somebody has to be The Crazy Neighbor Lady. Though perhaps not official without the cat leash, it’s very magnanimous of you throw your hat in the ring, Miss Abby. I’m sure the gnomes agree.

  3. Hahahah I would LOVE to be a crazy (cat) neighbor lady. I need a cat. Instead, I’m ‘the girl who plays phantom of the opera way too loud.”

    • Yeah, I’m guilty of blasting the ball game to loud on the radio when I’m outside and yelling at the team that they’re bums, but my neighbor is also a fan, so we’re cool…

  4. I wonder what my neighbors think of me? Never thought about it… It’s either “crazy runner girl” or “drunk girl who’s addicted to mexican food”.

    Both stereotypes would be correct.

  5. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. I suggest a large purple fedora hat (with sparklers) and maybe an occasional cigar.

  6. You seem like the best kind of Crazy Lady Next Door for a while.
    My Crazy Old Lady Next Door died a couple years ago, and I can only assume that I’m not her replacement. Unless I am. If so, then you’re in good company.

  7. You’re not alone. I think I’ve devised we are roughly the same age, so we’re just playing our part in the natural circle of life. Like last Halloween when I sat on the porch distributing candy. This is where I yelled at an 8 yr old for squishing his gum onto one of our yard bricks, and I refused to give candy to probably a 15 year old with the laziest “costume” ever who was too busy talking on his cell phone to say Trick or Treat.

    Yeah, we’re old.

    But we can legally buy beer and porn. And that is awesome. Never forget that.

    • First of all, every day I am enjoying you and your wife more and more. Move to Michigan. I don’t even pass out candy at my own house, but rather go to my mom’s and yell at the old kids to get a job and buy their own damn Butterfingers. It’s good times.

      • Move to Michigan? Tempting, but… I haven’t wanted to bring this up in fear of stifling our budding internet friendship: I’m about the biggest Cleveland sports fan you’re ever going to meet. I can root for your Kitties in the AL Central when the Wahoos are mathematically eliminated because of their storied franchise history, because they also have known periods of suffering like my Erie Warriors… and of course, because they’re not the White Sox.

        So sorry, probably not moving north. But can we all still be buds?

  8. I thoroughly enjoyed this post! I hope you have fuzzy bear slippers to go with that purple fedora!

  9. I wouldn’t sweat it. You sound lovely and normal to me. Which may or may not be saying anything really. Marriage and/or children certainly does nothing to sane you up. I chase after garbage cans in faultily-belted robes all the time. I’ve even been known the flash the neighbor on one frightfully windy day. Talking to myself? Happens all the time. Seems like it’s starting to happen in public more and more. The grocery store most often. In the produce section. Now, why would that be?

    Anyway, maybe it does you no good to hear you’re not crazy from the likes of me but it’s a shame we can’t get together over coffee sometime. My cat LOVES coffee. And dressing up to meet new people. (Wink.)

    • Oh, trust me. I’m not sweating it, as I’ve come to terms with the fact that I am actually completely normal and everyone else is just weird. Not you, of course. I will also take a rain check for coffee–make mine tea–and we can wander the grocery store muttering to ourselves but together so people think we’re actually having a conversation.

  10. Oh my goodness. I love Miss Abby. We had to be called miss, before our names, when I worked with kids. I kind of loved it. There is one boy, now 19, who works at our local Japanese grocery store who still calls me Miss Melanie. I smile every time.

    I am pretty sure people think I’m a prostitute. I’ve been dating, plus I have a ton of male friends. There has been a new man at the house almost every other night. It looks like I’m shuffling six johns. I’m okay with that. It makes me seem way more exciting than I really am.

  11. At least you have a name. I’m the crazy neighor guy who’s Taylor, Lyla, and Carly’s dad.

    If there’s someone who can fill the late great Crazy Neighbor Lady’s shows, it’s you. If they need references send them out way.


  12. Nothing wrong with being the crazy lady–all the kids will view you with insatiable curiosity. Kind of like being a celebrity.

    Good luck in NYC!

  13. At least you keep things interesting around your neighborhood. Hey, I talk to my animals all the time like they are people. I try to keep the conversing with inanimate objects to a minimum.

  14. Good luck at your signing; that’s so exciting! Five years ago, I told my family, “I’m never getting married and having kids. Just going to live peacefully by myself, drinking, smoking and writing.” Well, that didn’t work out, but luckily, I can still work in the drinking, smoking and writing. Enjoy the peace. Being the crazy neighbor lady who gets to sleep in on Saturdays sounds divine.

    • I hope it came through that I was joking about the book signing. I don’t have enough money for bail. Plus, packing all those books would cost me a crazy amount of checked baggage fees…

  15. Running from Hell with El

    Giggle. I got the crazy artist runner woman tag thingy covered here at the Hell Habitat. Raising my Gatorade to you in silent homage. LOL. Loved this post. Thanks for the grins.

  16. At least you’re not Madame Abby. I was constantly called Madame in Morocco and really nothing sounds as old as Madame. I am thrilled with a Miss when it comes my way, but at 42 that’s not so often anymore. And I’d wear the Crazy Neighbor Lady title with pride. Hell, I’d get a t-shirt printed!

  17. I love that you move around your gnomes to give them variety in life – it shows that you have your priorities straight (or that we are both the weird crazy neighbors of our streets).

  18. Are those your gnomes yours. They look as though they might be full of good advice

  19. I love this post. I recently came to terms that I may be the neighborhood crazy lady. I may or may not have put on my husband’s 10 year-old bathrobe and walked, bare foot, at 3 am, to a neighbor’s house across the canal (this required me crossing a bridge in the middle of the night), to yell at some teenagers who were throwing a party in their parent’s absence. I might have told them that playing rap music, laced with profanities and the “n” word (the same music I blast in my car) was highly inappropriate in this neighborhood, especially at this late hour. I possibly told them I was calling the cops and came *this close* to waving my fist at them. Then I may have stomped, barefoot, back over the bridge. I may or may not also talk to the squirrel who eats his lunch in the tree outside my dining room window. What I’m trying to say with this ridiculously long tangent is that I’m glad I’m not the only one. 🙂

  20. StoriesAndSweetPotatoes

    I think you’re just going to have to own it and be the crazy neighbor lady with your whole heart and soul. Maybe someone will write a book about you…or at least a blog post…maybe a tweet. 🙂

  21. I wish you were MY crazy neighbor lady. We could play with yard gnomes and build them a dream house!!

  22. Hello there! After reading several of your posts, I decided to nominate you for a Reader Appreciation Award.
    If you want to play along and spread the love, read my post (link below) for what you need to do next.

  23. Miss + First Name = Children’s Show Character. Possibly in costume.

    When did this Miss or Mr. First Name business start? Sometime between the 1970s and now. Whenever it was, I don’t like it. I do not approve. And yes, I’m aware I sound like the Crazy Ranting Neighbor Lady now. Bah humbug. You kids and your informalities.

  24. sounds like you’ve got some work to do to become the Crazy Neighbor Lady – much too normal.
    Don’t worry – one will appear…they always do

  25. Oh Gnomio.. where’s Juliet..

  26. I wish we were neighbors and could join forces as the Crazy Ladies. I had to get rid of a stray cat that was taunting my indoor cat and making him stress-barf, and I got some pretty special looks when I ran outside in my PJs, hissing and sloshing pitchers of water around.

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