Sunday, October 16, 2011


I did make an effort last week to stay by a window where I could see the comings and goings at my nosy neighbors' place better, and I took notes in hopes of finding patterns in their activities.  I know that's creepy, but believe me, it's no creepier than what they've put me through over the past five years.  I was mostly interested in figuring out if there is any time and day when they are not around, so that I can do my barn chores and ride my horses in peace.  I also was looking for indications that their behavior is different when I am not outside.  I've been convinced for a long time that they are intentionally stalking me, so I needed to see how they behave when they think I'm not around.

Here are my findings:

1.  Now that they have two more people living in their house and one of them smokes, someone is coming out of the house an average of every 15 minutes, usually to either smoke on the porch, dig through a vehicle for some lost object that never seems to be found, to pick random crap up off the ground, or walk the dog.  Because of this, there is no chance I can ever do barn chores or ride horses without interruption or without being stared at or spied on.  So, in this case at the present time when there are four adults living in the house, when someone comes out of their house within 30 seconds of me walking outside, it is probably a coincidence.

2.  When I am outside and the old guy either comes out of the house or drives home in his truck, he throws open the driver's side door, swings his legs out, and just sits there staring at me in my yard for the duration of when I am outside.  When I am inside my house watching him from the window, he has no problem getting right into his truck and driving off, or getting out of his truck and walking into his house right away.  So, that tells me he's not just resting his bad back when he's watching me from his truck.  He is intentionally stalling so that he can watch me.

3.  The woman always has to stall by making fifty trips between her car and her house when I am outside, and I catch her sneaking peeks at me.  Her attention seems to be more on what I'm doing than what she is doing.  From the window, I've seen her make fifty trips between car and house on a couple of occasions, but the majority of the time she is capable of walking straight out to her car and driving off without delay.  Also, when she drives home and I'm outside, she sits in her vehicle for a long time pretending to be gathering stuff in the seat beside her, but when I'm watching her through the window, she jumps right out of her car and goes inside her house.

4.  When I am outside, the woman stalls behind trees and my barn, and takes the long way around her yard while walking her dog.  I've always wondered why she goes all the way around all the vehicles on her driveway instead of just following the straight shot to her front door from the road, until I spotted her peeking over the roofs of the cars at me.  She was using them as cover to spy on me.  From the window, when she walks her dog, she walks a straight shot from the road to her front door.  She also doesn't dawdle behind my barn.  I did catch her dawdling behind my trees, but that was because she was trying to peek in my kitchen window.

5.  It's difficult to pin down a day and time that they are habitually gone, because they almost always return home for something they forgot, and then leave again.  However, I can predict that they will almost always come outside between x:26 and x:30, and x:56 and x:00, because that's when there are commercial breaks between TV shows.  This is one more side effect of a jobless economy:  When people are idle, they spend way too much time alternating between watching TV and getting into their neighbor's business.

6.  Here is where it gets weird:  Everyone who stays in that house turns into a night stalker.  The couple that moved in with them a few weeks ago began just hanging out on their porch and observing the neighborhood from there.  Last night I walked outside after dusk and spotted them out in the road pretending to walk the dog, but really standing outside of my friend's sliding glass door looking in.  They then strolled further down to the next neighbors' house and stopped to get a good long look in their window, seemingly discussing what the neighbors were doing in their houses.  I startled them by opening my gate, and they scurried off down the road at a faster pace, looking back at me over their shoulders like scared children who got caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

7.  Even weirder:  This whole mailbox thing freaks me out.  Either the woman is picking up on my thoughts, or I am picking up on hers, because somehow, as soon as I say to the dogs, "I've got to go pick up the mail now," that woman comes racing out of her house down the road to get her mail.  I seriously doubt she has bugged my house.  This has to be something telepathic.  I change the time of day that I pick up my mail on a daily basis.  So, this one day, after telling the dogs I had to pick up the mail, I got delayed while I searched for my shoes.  I found them and by the time I got them on, I saw the woman come flying out of her house with her dog on the leash, and she literally sprinted down the street as if trying to catch up to me.  However, I got delayed by my lost shoes, so I wasn't out there.

Watching her running down the street as if to catch me really freaked me out.  I think all the blood rushed out of my head.  When she got to the end of the street by the mailboxes and realized I wasn't there, she looked around my property confused, and loitered in front of my house on her way back as if hoping to run into me when I came out to get my mail.  So, I'm trying to train myself to not announce to the dogs when I'm getting the mail.  (I have a tendency to tell the dogs when I'm going somewhere, because Scrappy suffers from separation anxiety whenever I leave.  I consider it a courtesy, like telling the horses where we are going before loading them into the trailer.) 

Dean Koontz wrote a horror story about some monster that could get inside his main character and see through his eyes, so the monster always knew where he was.  This woman is the closest thing in real life that I've found to match that horror story.  Somehow, her being telepathic is more believable to me than her planting a GPS device on me or bugging my house.

You hear about twins who can read each others' minds, and as a mother I have been able to exchange thoughts and feelings with my children, but telepathy isn't a good thing when it happens between two people and at least one of them isn't invited to be experiencing such intimacy.  When someone with bad (or at least weird) intentions is reading your mind, that's the ultimate invasion of privacy.

Anyway, I'm putting an end to my surveillance, because not only is it a huge waste of my time, but it's boring.  My life is way more interesting than theirs.  No wonder they spend every minute of their day looking in neighbors' windows, watching the neighborhood like it is their silver screen, and anticipating my every move.


Mikey said...

That last part hit the nail on the head. Your life is more interesting than theirs. People need to get a life.

fernvalley01 said...

just plain weird

Breathe said...

Good thing they don't have TiVo.

Anonymous said...

"6. Here is where it gets weird: "

No, no, it was already wayyyyyy weird!

Allison said...

Wow, those people really need a life! It seems that you are not the only neighbor they spy on. It is borderline harassment? I have a nosy neighbor, too, so I feel for you!
Weirdos. . .

achieve1dream said...

My impression too is that they are just horribly bored. Maybe something interesting will happen in their lives and they will ignore you.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Interesting observations.
But like you I'd have the patience to spy on my neighbors for perhaps only 5 minutes before I would get bored and antsy and have to go do something else, much more productive and interesting.


Cut-N-Jump said...

Whenever they are around, turn to face them, call out to them and acknowledge they are there. All it takes is a simple "Hi!" and they are flat busted. Turn the tables on them a bit. They may not like it either. Once they figure it out, they will move on to something else.