Taking The High Road

Friends of yours, tell me more...

This is something I have found difficult to do lately. Just writing about this is making me anxious as hell.

This summer has been marred by awkwardness with our neighbors. The first couple years we had a fairly good relationship with these people. We would say hello and chat for a bit while outside and always had a pleasant conversation. But for the past year we noticed they were ignoring us. We had suspected they were mad at us, but weren’t quite sure why. 

Earlier this summer, my husband and I were out planting flowers in the backyard and our dog was running along the fence with the neighbor’s dog.

Then we hear, “Hey, can you control your dog?” from across the yard.

Me, as a person who hates confrontation, continued to plant flowers and avoid eye contact while my husband went over to talk to him. I thought this was the reason they were mad at us, because our dog wanted to run with theirs and have fun.

Turns out the reason goes back to last November before the election and a sign we had made to put in our yard regarding our feelings to a certain orange faced creep. They were out of Hillary signs so we had no choice but to make our own! Now this neighbor had a big Trump sign in their yard. We could have really been jerks and put our sign on the same side of our driveway near theirs, but we had placed it on the opposite side as far away as possible.

What happens in your mind?

Apparently our neighbor took offense thinking the sign was directed towards him personally and calling him, a veteran, un-American. This sign we made said nothing about veterans. Just that Trump was ignorant, sexist and a bigot.... all true by the way. So, he proceeded to rant at my husband for a good ten minutes about a sign... put up more than 7 months earlier.... that was on display for a total of maybe 3 days. Who’s the one holding a grudge? Why wait to yell at us months later? What is wrong with these people? I only dug my hands deeper into the mud, shaking with fear, anger and frustration.

Photo: Cassie S.

Since this happened, I’ve pretty much only been out in my backyard to mow it. Which, since we’ve been in a drought, was only a handful of times over the summer. Most of the stuff I planted died. I’ve been walking my dog instead of letting him out in the yard and peaking out of my window first to see if they are out in their yard before venturing out.

I was talking to my mom recently about this situation she said I can’t live my life like this. And she’s right. It’s my yard, damn it, I should be able to enjoy it!

Can we try and take the high road?

**Urban Dictionary:** When you 'take the high road' - it means doing the right thing even if it’s not popular or easy.

After apologizing and saying that it was not our intent to offend, all we could do was walk away. Can’t really help how someone else gets offended. It’s our freedom to express ourselves, too and that’s all that we were doing. I guess the lesson in this is: don’t be a jerk and don’t let jerks get the best of you either.

I feel we tried taking the high road in this situation, but still feel bad about it, even months later. Maybe by next summer I’ll be able to lay out on my hammock and blast some Crystal Baller.