don’t get mad

i’m looking after my neighbour’s dog for the next four days and was given instructions on how to look after the dog yesterday. a cup of dog food in the morning, a cup at night. let him roam during the day and put him in the house at night if he wants in, or leave him outside if he prefers. pretty straightforward.

but today, another neighbour came over to ask if i was looking after the first neighbour’s dog. i said yup. this second neighbour said he could feed the dog tonight because it always gets fed at 5:30 pm. i thought, that’s weird. the dog’s owner didn’t mention a specific time. then this neighbour asked if i was going to lock the dog on the deck at night. i said i had been told to put him in at night if he wants, or leave him out. the non-owner said it was important to lock the dog on the deck so he didn’t wander at night. again, i thought, this is really odd. why is another neighbour, who does not own this dog, telling me how to look after it, and why is he telling me something different from what the owner said? then he told me that he would basically keep the dog with him at his place during the day.

i rolled with it though since he seemed eager — anxious, even — to look after the dog, and i was in a rush to leave for work. but almost as soon as he left, i began dwelling on the interaction. i didn’t like it at all. the dog’s owner asked me to look after the dog, not the nosy second neighbour, and i spent 15 minutes with him yesterday so he could show me how to do the job. why should i now do something differently because of a weird busy body?

on the drive to work, i felt myself getting really hot under the collar. i have this second neighbour’s phone number and thought i should call him as soon as i get to work and tell him to butt out. i started getting butterflies in my stomach, i was so pissed and looking forward to letting him have it.

and i thought, why does it feel so good to let yourself get angry?

to which i replied, it doesn’t feel good to let yourself get angry. it actually feels lousy. it’s just that it’s much easier than calming yourself and dealing with the stressor in a smarter, more productive way. the ease of letting yourself blow up is very seductive but i learned a long time ago that i feel better when i take some deep breaths, put the problem out of my mind for a bit, calm down, and come back to it later with a better attitude.

i will still probably have a conversation with this jackass neighbour and say basically the same things, but i will say them in a calmer, more controlled manner which will allow me to retain control of both myself and the overall interaction. that’s definitely not as seductive as letting myself fly off the handle and stick my finger in this guy’s chest while i tell him what’s what, but it will make me happier in the long run. and i feel good about striving to be a better person…


…but i LOVE achieving the upper hand in social situations through careful self-awareness and self-control. that is the goal that seduces me.



ah, spring…

…when every dickhead neighbour fires up their lawnmower, weed eater, chainsaw, ATV, and anything else they can find to ruin an otherwise peaceful, lovely day.

the funny thing is that i recently started a misfits cover band, and when we were discussing where we could rehearse, i suggested my place but only on the stipulation that we were always done by 8 pm. because i want to be a polite, respectful neighbour who isn’t making a racket while everyone around me is trying to put their kids to bed.

but then i realized that most of my neighbours don’t give a shit about waking me up at all hours.

no, most of them think nothing of mowing their lawn from about 6 am to approximately 10 pm, every fucking day. it’s insane. wtf are my neighbours doing with all their noisy machines, daybreak to sundown? don’t they like sleeping? what sort of hateful sociopaths eschew sleep (both theirs and mine) in favour of cacophonous yard work?

one son of a bitch even had the audacity to blair nazareth’s greatest hits — on repeat — on three different occasions while working in his yard. i’m not even joking. three days of nazareth on repeat.

for those who don’t already know, nazareth fucking suck shit. i’m convinced that particular neighbour is a horrendous loser and probably has been his whole life. he was probably the kid that got picked on for tucking his t-shirt into his jeans back in grade 5. geek.

anyway, the solution to all this is clear. i need to move to a more sparsely populated area, onto a bigger piece of property where i can build a house in the center and leave a dense ring of trees around it for sound dampening. then i would need to buy all the neighbouring properties so no one else could have them in my lifetime.

until then, i’m contemplating having our misfits band practice strictly between the hours of 1-7 am, and outdoors, to boot. if my neightbours think it’s just fine to fuck with my sleep, then it should be just fine if i fuck with theirs too.