Monday, January 18, 2010

Neighborhood Crazy Lady

We all know about the Neighborhood Crazy Lady. She's usually older; she wears her pajamas a lot, maybe a housecoat. She's particularly interested in what everyone else on the block is doing. You see her beady eye peering through the blinds; she seems to linger too long when she takes out the garbage (sometimes the can is actually empty); she knows too much about that strange dog in your driveway.

One thing I never understood about the Neighborhood Crazy Lady was that she probably knew that's what she was but didn't care. I understand that now because I am my condo association's very own Neighborhood Crazy Lady and I know it but don't care.

I live in a beautiful, not to mention historic, old building in midtown Atlanta. Its primary claim to fame is that Margaret Mitchell lived here after she wrote Gone with the Wind. Although I'm not as old as Margaret (Peggy to those of us a tad obsessed with her) would have been had she survived crossing Peachtree Street in 1949 (certainly something all Atlantans can identify with),I am currently the oldest person living in my building. Most of the other owners are just children in their mid-thirties to early fifties. I am definitely the Hag.

My friend, Susan, who lives directly below me, could be considered the Hag Apparent or the Hag in Waiting. While not nearly as old or crazy as I, she definitely has potential. One afternoon as I was looking out my window to see the final departure of a man who had certainly warranted lots of watching over the previous months, Susan called me. "Did you see him?" she asked. "How did you know I was looking?" I responded. "Because I heard your big old feet running to the window every time I headed toward MY window." Yep, the girl has real potential.

But that's not the only evidence of my commitment to being the Nosy Nora of Piedmont Avenue. There's a handsome attorney who just goes ahead and waves every afternoon when he arrives home from work. He knows I'll be at my kitchen window fixing my early bird dinner at exactly the same time every day, and I've seldom disappointed him. Then there's the neighbor around the corner who keeps his blinds closed ALL THE TIME and the owners who are NEVER THERE. What's up with that? I only go to Condo Association meetings if they are in units I haven't visited before or if something really juicy is going on. If there's an open house for a condo that's up for sale, I'm there bright and early Sunday afternoon, walking through rooms and checking out storage space. And, I'm definitely the one to yell out the window if people are making a ruckus in the outdoor common area at a ridiculously late hour, say 8:30 PM.

So, there you have it. I've gone from being the party girl who could always be counted on to be the loudest person at any gathering early or late, the woman too busy to worry about someone else's arrest warrant, to the lady who stays in her PJ's all weekend pretending to work on her computer and eating tuna out of the can. The fact that her desk placement affords the best view to the most units in the building, along with maximum ingress and egress routes, is just a coincidence. Excuse me while I take out the garbage.


Unknown said...

omg...i eat tuna out of a can too. but i'm cool because i know what omg stands for. This comment may not get to you since I don't understand the profile piece.

marciamayo said...

It did get to me. I've never been prouder of my generation.

Anonymous said...

Last night at a dinner party for "the girls", my friend (who is also of a certain age) told me this story: One night she was awakened by a strange man who was climbing into her window. She immediately slammed the door shut on the guy, who appeared very, very drunk. Evidently he was a neighbor who had accidently locked himself out of his condo unit, wearing only his skivvies, when some other drunk pounded on his door by mistake. The guy wandered around the outside of the building, and spying his car parked next to a window, assumed it was his window and so climbed onto the car and into my friend's window. How my friend figured this out before calling 9-1-1, I'll never know. After hearing his story, she took out her master key and let him into his apartment. We never did find out how she has a master key to all the units, but we all had a great laugh imaging this guy in his underwear, standing on top of his car, hollering his story to her in the middle of the night. (This is a better story than I am telling it; I'm terrible at stories...but it also could be that we had several glasses of wine and that might have made the difference!)

marciamayo said...

It's a great story. Of course she had a master key! Wait, I need to work on that.

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