The Neighborhood RV

It all started on Friday. Well, that’s when I noticed. I thought little of it at first, but vowed to keep my eye on it: a blue-striped Tioga, circa 1990, sans rust (thank G-d) RV. I found it parked across the street in front of my house, this utter eyesore in my otherwise epic, urban, nirvana of a neighborhood. A neighborhood caught between two worlds, mine and it’s Latin American heritage.

I start texting neighbors:

“Do you have friends visiting in an RV?”

No.

No.

No.

No.

No.

I panicked because the part of life I was witnessing from a small distance away had now arrived on my quiet, clean, insolated, cul-de-sac: the community’s displaced residence who live in RVs.

NOOOOOOOOOO!

Inside I screamed. Then I went to my cupboard and pulled out my new, unchipped, clean Ikea bowl, a bag of organic chia seeds from Trader Joes, a tub of greek yogurt, a 5lb bag of oatmeal from Costco, Grade A real maple syrup, and pecans and I made some delicious overnight oats for the next morning.

Then I sat down at my MacBook Air laptop, took a swig of my electrolyte water, and watched the RV from my beautiful Craftsman windows, parked just past my legit landscaped front yard that’s filled with fruit trees, succulents, and dog poop, in the house I own.

New construction has upped the value of real estate in my once sleepy town. Not to mention a million national articles in publications like Vogue and the New York Times calling us the trendiest and best place to live. It is as condescending as calling a beautiful older woman on-trend, “cute.” They consider my town some sort of wonderful oddity as we maintain a small town feel in an otherwise big city.

The landlords love the attention, as they renege on leasing contracts and up the rental prices beyond a mortgage payment. And as family and individuals become displaced from the only town they’ve ever known, a drug called methamphetamines has become an epidemic.

Even the feral cats have started to leave.

I’m wondering if I should take a chocolate Babka over and introduce myself.

As I’m watching I see my 90-year-old neighbor walk over to the unsightly home on wheels and pound. A gentleman emerges, there’s a brief discussion and the RV hums to life. I sigh, it’s leaving.

NO! He just moved, to the other side of the street, right in front of my other windows. Dammit, why did we buy a house on the corner?

I want to go out there and find out the haps, but as a woman I’m always hesitant of large vehicles I could disappear inside of with no one being the wiser, so I wait.

Patiently, but with laser focus.

I have watched and waited for three days now, and while I’ve seen the fluorescent glow of light peek through the filmy windshield, I’ve not noticed anyone coming or going, but the one time.

Also, and I don’t know quite how it happened nor do I remember when, but we were elected and still retain the position of Neighborhood watch block captains. Dammit. So, naturally, going on Day 3, everyone is starting to pull us aside and complain:

“¿Qué hacemos con esto?”

“No está bien…”

“Can you do something?”

Sure! I’ll just wave my politically correct magic wand and poof, the poverty will disappear from our street.

And then something happened, the RV purred to life again (and I’m being generous with my use of purr). And it drove away. Out of sight from my window. I looked left from my window and right and I couldn’t see it. I felt relieved. I also felt bad for feeling relieved. But I definitely felt relief.

I saddled up the dogs for a walk and left the confines of my gated yard to the street. And as I steered us to the right, I saw it. The blight on our community, the scourge of our street, the beast on wheels, the RV now parked two houses up.

Dammit!

I walked the dogs over with me and I “admired” the vehicle looking to be “caught.” And I was.

“Hi!” came a booming, male voice.

I jumped, a little too startled since I was officially trying to be seen.

“Hi,” I replied, but was drowned out by the warning barks of my loyal 12-pound companions.

“I’m not staying, don’t worry,” the owner of the RV said smiling, politely. “I’m just visiting family. You don’t mind that I’m parked here, do you?”

I fumbled with trying to say something, but couldn’t figure what to say. He wasn’t asking, but rather telling me I didn’t mind. He wasn’t homeless. He was recreationally traveling in an old RV and parking on streets to avoid fees at the parks. I wanted to scold him. Stand on my soapbox and preach about his lack of consideration for the many homeless locals living in RVs who mind the rules and don’t park on residential streets because it’s illegal and enforced by the community police. And why did he think he had the right to avoid such persecution just because his purpose was vacation?

“Okay,” I cowardly replied, “when are you leaving?”

“Tomorrow,” he smiled again.

I nodded and walked away. I’m glad I didn’t take a chocolate Babka over. This story doesn’t have an ending, but that’s life. I’ll let you know what happens tomorrow. Also, we’re going to make burritos with my neighbor and pass them out in the community later. I know I do it to feel better about the rising number of displaced people – it’s selfish.

 

Until Next Week

I’ve written three posts for the blog this week, but have not shared them or published them because they’re not done.

The words are written. Sentences are formed. Paragraphs are neatly prepared and are moderately decently structured, but my thoughts are muddy and ill formed and just not complete in any of them.

What am I trying to say? Exactly. That’s what I don’t know. Not here or in the other three that I’ve written and won’t post… yet.

Anyway, it’s my birthday on Friday and I’ll be spending everyday beginning tomorrow on my own personal writing retreat in my backyard – otherwise known as the AirbnBeeber. All other jobs and work will be turned off and tuned out…mostly.

I’m hoping that with an uninterrupted (and my fingers are crossed that they are a full uninterrupted 8 hours) a day I’ll be able to form all those thoughts completely, wholly, and honestly.

Obstacles continue to present themselves. Plans keep altering. Commitments need to be honored. Dishes need to be cleaned. Toddlers need tucking in. Second jobs need attention and I could go on, but you get it so there’s no need.

We’ll catch up next week, I promise. And when we do I will be one year older and wiser. Until then, goodnight.

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Who Me? Change? Never.

I don’t write parenting posts because having a kid hasn’t changed me.

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Bahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Change, you ask? First, now I wear high-waisted jeans and think they’re the “bomb.” Kill me… no, don’t! Please don’t do that EVER! I have a baby now and I need to be right here for him forever.

Did you just read my light-hearted joke and the fact that I immediately retracted it in fear that someone would read that seriously? Like the Universe might not get that I was joking when I said, “kill me”and just might send in the Grim Reaper??? Did you just read all that? Yeah, that’s new. New panic. Death – in jest or in reality – has me very anxious now.

Also, every time I hear the word “kill” in a children’s movie or cartoon I think, “SERIOUSLY?? I DON’T WANT THAT WORD AROUND MY KID! WHY DOES HE NEED TO HEAR THE WORD “KILL” FROM A DISNEY MOVIE… OR EVER? HE DOES NOT NEED THAT WORD IN HIS LIFE!” I would rather he say the word “fuck” by mistake than the word “kill.” I mean that. But please don’t let him go around saying the word fuck either.

If I wasn’t clear, I’m trying to say I have changed and mostly for the better… (whispers) in my honest opinion.

For example, I don’t put myself down so much anymore, especially about the physical things, like my face…or my body image. Because my son is beautiful and I want him to grow up without insecurity and self-hate. I want him to see himself (and he will see a lot of his mom in him) and know he is perfect the way he is… because he is. So I try harder to feel love for myself so he’ll know how to love himself, too.

And, I don’t care as much about the things I cannot change, instead I concentrate on those things I can

I cannot change the fact that Trump was elected president, but I can be an active participant in making sure our country isn’t devastated by the actions he and his merry band of thieves try to enact.

I cannot change the way some folks see me or feel about me, but I can change the way I feel about it.

I cannot change the fact that I am an aging actress who has not yet met her big break, but I can change the way that sentence reads: I am an actor who has been so lucky to work and continue to pursue work with the same enthusiasm I’ve had from day one.

I have better insight now because I see the world through my son’s eyes, everything is new and shiny, and bright and I don’t want to take that away from him ever.

I’ve changed, yes, becoming a parent has made me a little soft (both physically and emotionally), it has made me brave, and most importantly it has made the important things far more evident than they were.

Just in case you were worried there were only good things, here is a list of the bad things that have changed since becoming a parent:

  1. I have no patience when my husband interrupts my five minutes of alone time (which is also known as Mom’s Shower Time) to brush his teeth, pee-pee, or bring in our toddler to say, “hi.”
  2. I do not have time for stupid people now. They used to be amusing, now they’re just a time-zap.
  3. I eat painfully, horribly, and without structure and it sucks, but we’ll get back there Food, we will.
  4. Dates nights are near non-existent.
  5. My clothing money goes to a constantly growing toddler.
  6. I worry a lot more. Yes, it is possible.
  7. If there’s a poopy odor, it’s usually because there’s poop… on me.
  8. Everybody wants to know when I’m going to have more babies. This is annoying. I do not need to have another child to be a good parent or fulfilled mother and if I do have another child I don’t have to be the one that carries it (I can adopt/foster/or trade) and frankly you either only have one more child than me or have no children so WTF? Step off. Thank you.

Life is good.