New Beginnings… And the Girl on the Other Side of the Fence

Last November, Ginge and I, who had been cohabitating (living in sin) in a house in Pacific Beach with two other roommates, decided it was time to move on, “grow up” a little, and get a place of our own. 

 Although I was very much at peace with the decision to leave the party-beach town I had called home for the past two-plus years, I knew very well there were things I was going to miss.  

Besides all of the roommates I had come to love over the years (ok that’s a total lie…those roommates were definitely hit-and-miss), our neighborhood developed a special place in my heart. Between the guys with no apparent day-jobs across the street who were constantly outside playing corn-hole or jumping rope, and the middle aged-man and his 30-year old “roommate,” Tyler, on the right side of us, things were rarely boring. The old man Howard, offered me new designer clothes that his friend had just “found” with all the tags on, which I graciously accepted, giving a $70 workout jacket to a petite old homeless lady promptly afterwards, and keeping the red sweater and workout pants that would come in handy at some point in my life, I’m sure… while his “roommate” Tyler, would stop by very frequently during nights we were sitting on the front porch chatting, while he was on his way to the gas station around the block, always coming back with nips of Fireball and dropping them off on his way home.

Malta, across the street, the German man who had invented fully recycled stuffed animals, and created a semi-successful start-up, was a frequent visitor whenever there was someone meandering on the front porch, or hanging out in camping chairs in the driveway, and Antwan, two doors down, an Athletic Director at one of the universities would always stop by to pet Oliver and have a chat while he was walking by. Irena and Chris became constants, as their daily walks of Bear (another huge Goldendoodle) took them passed our house, and the two doodles developed an immediate platonic love affair.  

The move out of the neighborhood was bittersweet. Our roommate Emily (a “hit” as in, the roommates being “hit-and-miss”), threw us a big going away party the night we moved out, in which Bear was an obvious VIP guest, and we got to say goodbye to all of our beloved neighbors who made a cameo at the Val party (please I’ll give you a dollar and a kiss if you catch this reference).

The new house is all we had hoped for… a big side yard which we furnished with new outdoor furniture, an extra refrigerator, my favorite twinkle lights, and a grill, enough space for a guest room and an office, and a place on one of the walls for our dartboard (totally classy, I know… but necessary).  

The location, although not in a beach town is pretty sweet… close enough to walk to the bumpin’ gay bars, a grocery store across the street, and the most delicious Thai place I have ever encountered just a few blocks away. Something was missing though… a neighborhood. Neighbors. People to converse with. Being on somewhat of a main road, we don’t sit out front anymore and talk to people walking by. We don’t let Ollie gallivant all over the front lawn and make friends with the mailman and all of the neighbors who become his friends whether they want him to or not. We are semi-secluded to our own backyard, giving us more couple’s bonding time to play lick-it-stick-it (don’t get weird ideas…think: “20-questions”), and have nightly dance parties, just the two of us.  

One night a couple of weeks ago, we were sitting in our yard with the lights on, and out of no where, a little blonde head pops up over the tall fence separating our yard from the condo complex next door. “Hello!”

“Holy crap!” I was scared shitless.  

“Hi! I’m Ashley! I’m your neighbor! Can I come over?”

“Yeah…sure!”

Ashley came over with the guy that had lifted her high enough to pop her head over the eight-foot fence. She told us she’s been wanting to meet us since she discovered she had new neighbors and saw the strings of lights lit up on a nightly basis. We sat outside for a little, had a beer with them, and Ashley and Ollie became fast friends. She offered to watch him whenever we needed, and “lend us a cup of sugar or booze WHENEVER!”

We didn’t get Ashley’s number that night… which we realized when we were in LA the following week and were trying to find someone to let Ollie out to pee. I figured we’d run into her again at some point. I just didn’t realize the some-point was going to be a few days later, when she had yet a different guy lift her up over the eight-foot fence to announce her presence, as I yelled “Holy crap,” yet again, startled by her head above the refrigerator.  

She came over, introducing her Tinder date, Nick, who was rugged and handsome, but apparently boring as a paper bag, as we learned shortly thereafter… the third time Ashley bounded up above the fence, held up by a third guy, who came over to go out to dinner with her.  

We spend our visits talking about our love lives, careers, and travels… not to mention the woman with the mullet who lives in the apartment above Ashley, and growls and slams her window every time she hears us outside. One night, Ashley’s roommate, Britt was walking by the other side of the fence, and we recruited her to sit and join us for a bit. We’re growing to appreciate a new neighborly feeling that’s developing, and learning that if we keep the lights on, we’re bound to have a cute blonde appear over the fence… (come to think of it, I’m going to have to make sure the lights are unplugged when I’m out of town… ahem)… and on the flip side, we’re learning to turn the lights off when we’re not so much into a random visitor on a Tuesday night.

It’s encouraging that a new friendship is starting to develop, and I’m learning that things take time to get used to and start feeling more like “home.” Oliver still barks at the mailman from the window, instead of getting to chase him down the street, and he misses Bear’s frequent visits, but now he has a side yard to lounge in, and special play-dates and babysitting weekends set up to spend more time with his buddy.  

As for the girl on the other side of the fence… I’m grateful to now have my own, personal “Wilson…” I mean how many people can say that? I’m sure more surprise visits are in store, and hopefully the next guy who lifts her up will be a keeper.  

  
xoxo

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mom
    Mar 23, 2016 @ 16:14:23

    Ha ha… A female Wilson. Too bad she doesn’t impart quotes and words of wisdom as did Tim, the tool man’s neighbor!

    Like

    Reply

  2. EnglishRosiee
    Mar 24, 2016 @ 02:10:14

    Big step. Congrats 🙂

    Would love to have your thoughts on this piece : https://rinsebeforeuse.wordpress.com/2016/03/24/tinder-shaming-the-dos-and-donts-for-dating-profile-pics/

    Like

    Reply

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