My Neighbors’ Memorial Day Party

Memorial Day Party

I knew it: my neighbors were having a party.  Their deck had been power washed.  The gas grill had been moved to the yard. One of those plastic flowered table cloths had been spread over the table that easily seats eight.  (But I’ve never known these neighbors to limit to eight.)

I was in trouble.  My neighbors’ parties are noisy and long.  Lots of drinking.  Laughing.  Actually, shouting.

It was a beautiful Memorial Day.  For a change.  No rain.  No wind to speak of.  Only bright sun and blue skies.

I wanted to sit outside, revel in the garden, read, do my Spanish homework.  I slathered myself with suntan lotion, donned my sun hat, and made sure my glasses had turned dark.  (I’d had a pre cancerous something or other frozen two weeks before and didn’t dare expose the scab to more sun.)

Okay, I admit it: the older I get, the less tolerance I have for noisy neighbors.  I crave living on a large piece of land with no neighbors in site and no noise within earshot.  Sure, I love the benefits of living in a college town with its proximity to a large, thriving city.  But enough is enough.  I’ve done my share of parties.  I’ve raised my son and all of his raucous friends.  I want peace and quiet.

My neighbors’ party didn’t get started until 2:30 or so.  It might as well have started at 10 a.m. because that’s when I began to fret.  How could I escape?  Why hadn’t my husband and  I gone out of town?  Why didn’t we know anyone who was having a party?  Better to make noise than to receive it.

I tried to relax—to remember the sounds of  Mexico: the blaring music (all of it traditional Mexican); the firecrackers at any time day or night; the roosters; the church bells and, most egregious the trucking warehouse about 20 feet from our living room where crews loaded and unloaded around the clock and had not a scintilla of respect when it came to making noise, even when the owner of the warehouse supposedly asked them to keep the noise down.

So, what was the problem with one (make that two) parties that would be over by midnight?  Plenty.  Hadn’t I vowed that, after Mexico, I wouldn’t allow myself to be bothered by noise?  I lied.  Sounded good when I took my vows.

I was out of luck and out of time.  I suppose the only silver lining is that Memorial Day doesn’t come around again for another year.

But there’s the Fourth of July, Labor Day, who knows how many birthdays . . .

Let’s face it: I’m screwed.


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