Perhaps repeated attempts by the AARP to recruit me into their fold like some sort of aged, greying ewe should have been a solid clue but until this evening I really have not felt like a woman of 50 years, much less what many young people call folks my age..........OLD. Well, I'm feeling it tonight, all right.
I live in a neighborhood of automatic garage doors and nameless, faceless people who drive in and out of them. I've joked many times but it's true--Osama Bin Laden may very well be hiding out in any one of the townhouse units in my block. No one would ever know. He could be coordinating the entire network of his bad-guy crew from a laptop in a living room just across the driveway while I'm standing at my morning stove making oatmeal. The only time I learn anything about my neighbors is when they move out. Or they move in, as is the case this evening.
Even as I watch the NCIS coroner dissect some poor, murdered fellow on my evening tube, I see from the corner of my eye activity beyond my window where the contents of a large livestock trailer are being unloaded into the vacant townhouse across the street. In the drop of a tailgate, the crash of a set of box springs this peaceful, idyllic and oh-so blissfully anonymous life as I have known it, is passing before my eyes. It appears that the boys from Animal House are moving in.
Somewhere from way back in my Sunday School years I remember a Bible verse instructing me not to judge my neighbor by the condition of their cattle trailer, but seven guys under the age of 25 unloading a truckload of personal belongings............all neatly smashed into drawstring trashbags....worries me just a tad. Even as a fight the impulse to pull out binoculars and sneak upstairs for a much closer look, I fear the quiet spring nights of falling asleep to the comforting sound of the croaking frogs in the nearby woods, will soon be but a memory.
Neighbors!!! Hey you, yes YOU over there living in the other units. Are you peeking out YOUR front windows, too?? Do you SEE what's going on here?? Are you worried?? I see KEGS in our future, people!!! Kegs and kegs and more kegs. Tell me you're worried, too!!!
They're wearing ball caps. BALL CAPS!!!! And they're talking loud. Really loud. And wearing NFL t-shirts. And one of them is leaning out the upstairs window shouting at the others. (Didn't I see this scene, this VERY scene, in Animal House II: Nightmare on Brook Run Drive??? Hey!!! Wait just a minute, I LIVE on Brook Run Drive!!!) And they're all GUYS, have I mentioned that. All guys. There must be hundreds of them. Oh THERE GO MY QUIET NIGHTS OF PEACEFUL SLEEP..........
I remind myself to get a grip.
Wait a minute, Deb. Things could be worse. They could worship Satan or something.
Oh. My. God. THEY COULD WORSHIP SATAN!!!!!! OR SOMETHING!!!!!
Worse yet, they'll play loud music. At all hours, no doubt!! Dear Lord, tell me those are matching dressers and not stereo speakers they are dragging across the lawn and in through the front door.
The trailer just left. The front door closed and the garage door went down. All is quiet.
Ok, well maybe they'll fit in.....
Listen to me. When did I start worrying more about my good nights sleep and less about whether any of those boys might have single dads?
Age. Now I know.
It happens. Gradually and ever-so- slowly. But it happens.