Barry Manilow saves the day
Thursday, September 17, 2020
My husband bought me a house for my 50th birthday, a year and some days before we got married. I thought it was a good deal, affordable for me if anything ever happened to him and in a working class neighborhood close to the places we enjoyed going to.
Then, less than 5 miles from here, the Oregon District mass shooting occurred and things changed. Neighbors became more guarded. The "bangs" we hear in the night suddenly became possible gunshots. Our truck has been hit 3 times since then, a total of 9k in damages.
And I just stopped feeling safe.
The straw on the camels back came last month. My neighbor got her house from Habitat for Humanity. She is a single working mom, barely home (she is a 24 hour nurse aide). Her teenage son is alone with his friends and their parties more than she probably realizes. Their pit bulls have broken out of the glass in the front of the house on more than one occasion (the dogs know me and I always put them in my yard until they can retrieve them- not that it is expected, but the neighbors have not once said thank you). Last month, her girlfriend and her had several vicious fights to the point where I was tempted to call the police. The last fight they had I had to call the police. Not only did the girlfriend try to run over my neighbor with her SUV, she smashed into my neighbors truck, several garages and did over 10k property damage to my garage, my fence and my porch. She took out both of my laundry poles. I don't know how she managed to drive away. And I heard gunshots.
Where does Barry Manilow come in, you ask.
Sitting outside on my makeshift office, since my house is full of chaos and boxes as we prepare to move, the neighbor and her girlfriend were outside fighting again. I googled this girl and she has a rap sheet longer than my arm. I was scared. I could have called the police, but honestly I don't want any more trouble. I just want to move. I thought about an old Sesame Street clip where Grover is afraid and decides to whistle a happy tune so no one would expect he's afraid.... OH HO HO... that's where Barry saves the day! You think gunshots are scary, you should hear me sing! I got my handy dandy singstation and brought it to my porch, sat on my swing and turned up "Mandy" as loud as I could. Now, I have blinds on my porch so no one can see me- don't think for one minute I am super brave because I was hiding. But belting out Mandy sure shut up that fight! The girlfriend says, WTF is that noise? I kid you not! It was just enough of a diversion to have my neighbor yell one more expletive, say she was done and go into the house. The girlfriend replied with the most unladylike retort, got in her car and honked her way down the street.
Sometimes, we can empower ourselves by being creative. I don't have to be a victim or a martyr. I can make healthy choices to release my fears.
In case you were wondering, I gave myself a standing ovation.