My son parks in the driveway (because only people that contribute to household expenses get to park in the garage) and his car was broken into over the weekend. What was stolen wasn’t much and the car was unharmed, but I still feel bad for him. The car, I mean. It’s the old family car that’s been through 135k miles and the kids formative years with us. He’s family and he was violated.

More importantly, THIS WOULD NEVER HAVE EVER HAPPENED IN OUR OLD NEIGHBORHOOD.

A couple of years ago we moved from a not-so-desirable older neighborhood to the Stepford Wife HOA development we live in now so my daughter could  finish high school (she was attending a school in her father’s zip code, but then he moved, blah, blah.) It also allowed me to proclaim that I moved the kids from a lower-middle class to middle class area so they had nothing to complain about to future shrinks.

The kids and I have many fond memories of the old house. They (and I for that matter) grew up there.  The best memory of that house that we lived in for 11 years is that WE WERE NEVER ONCE ROBBED.

We even once accidently left the garage open all day with no one home. We returned 10 hours later to find nothing was missing. The washer/dryer (like I said, old house), bikes, tools – everything was right where it was supposed to be and no one had tried to enter the house through the garage door either.

I mean, sure, sometimes people would knock on the door with the “password” thinking we were the safety house, a temporary shelter for domestic violent victims that was a couple houses down from us, but they never demanded electronic goods or broke a window.

A group of the password people did take some food from me once though. When my daughter was very young and was still throwing her occasional (now realizing it was Asperger’s) temper-tantrums, I opened the door to find two women and a few zillion kids standing there. My daughter’s wailing bounced off the cement front yard and must have erroneously told them they had the right house. One of the women shouted a hearty  “trick or treat” over her cries then smiled and waited. It was a late July morning, about 100 degrees.

I happened to be holding some chocolate chip cookies – the cause of my daughter’s rage – or, more precisely, it was my confiscation of the cookies after discovering her behind the couch with the entire bag. I smiled at the would be trick-or-treaters, handed them the cookies, and pointed to the correct house. They looked confused at first then took the hint. It was probably quieter at the safety-house that day anyway.

Other than that, there were only the brat kids next door that are in EVERY neighborhood and the occasional crack-head passed out on the sidewalk to contend with, and, technically, the sidewalk wasn’t my property. A glass of water and a few questions like “Do you want me to call an ambulance?” usually sent them on their way.

The Jehovah Witnesses and Winder Farm people did follow us to the new location, however. I have no idea how they figured out where we moved.

I explained to the kids that living in a better neighborhood prompts people to want to see what you own. If you live in a place like our old house, it’s generally assumed that you don’t own anything, which was certainly true in our case. The problem is that we still don’t own anything and I have no way of announcing it. We don’t even have a flat screen TV. It’s still cathode ray tubes and remote controls with worn out buttons up in this stucco-white-washed bitch, y’all.

I’m not sure if it’s a commentary on me or there really is a difference in morals between the neighboorhoods, but I’m afraid to even leave the garage open when unloading groceries, and that was before the car break-in. I think it’s me. I inherently learned from my upbringing that you can’t trust people with money. They tend not to give a rat’s ass about anyone but themselves.

People in lower-middle class neighborhoods don’t tend steal from one another or if they do there’s a damn good reason. Like they know you and they don’t like you. These mother-fuckers out here in Yuppieville where we live now, who have enough stuff to fill a barn because I can see it in their driveways and open garages, steal because they have nothing better to do or for some other non-existent bullshit reason.

Okay. I’m done. I need to go build a sign now that states WE DON’T HAVE EVEN HAVE CABLE to hang on the front door. I could probably have it crafted at one of the boutique shops that are ubiquitous around here, but a sign made of platinum with truffle-oil caviar hearts all over it would defeat the purpose.

 

Illustration 7.3
Dear Yuppie Neighbors and Your Delinquent Offspring: We don’t have a safe and if we did it would be empty.