Anger Management-An approach to handling a Bipolar neighbor

Maria Alvarado By Maria Alvarado, 22nd Nov 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Humour>Off Beat

A short story about a difficult neighbor, and an civilized way of handling the situation

Anger Management-An approach to handling a Bipolar neighbor

What do you do when you have a bipolar neighbor bent on either offending you or just annoying you out of your house? I am sure we all have encountered difficult neighbors or we ourselves have been one of those at some point in time. Living in communities can really be a blessing or a curse, and at the root of the problem could be a myriad of issues we all deal with; some with more decorum, and civility than others. In this great nation of ours, this great melting pot or better yet, organic compost, for those that like gardening will understand this metaphor better, it is difficult not to step on some cultural toes and open a Pandora’s Box of ill will, and righteous retaliation.

We have one of those neighbors, who is seemingly friendly and courteous with you while at the same time kills your plants while you are on vacation, and poke holes in your air conditioners outside unit. Of course the most difficult part of handling a situation such as this is that, although there is no doubt in your mind he is the cause of these incidents, you have no legal proof, and find yourself with no recourse, and few courses of action none of which leaves your soul at peace. I have tried to find if there is a cultural reason behind his attitude; a line drawn in the sand we crossed at some point in time unintentionally, but I cannot find any. There are a few traits in his personality that I believe are universally deplorable: he hates the noise of children playing, birds chirping, dogs barking, neighbors having backyard parties, and people using their boats, and wave runners on the lake behind our properties, but most of all he despises the United States. You can categorically say he is a hater. A hater usually has other undesirable traits such as delusions of grandeur springing from an inferiority complex, and this one fits the mold. He wrote on his FB page that he lives in Monaco, and races Formula 1 cars for Honda, and unless he knows the secrets of time travel, I am pretty sure he is always home, in Miami, watching Asian porn all day long; except for the racing boots he wears to go put gas in his car, and the sound of an engine revving when you call his cell phone, there is no real evidence of his car racing pedigree.

I kept most of his shenanigans from my husband, and tried to exercise self-restrain because I want to think of myself as a peacemaker. However, one fine day I was out in the yard with my three year old granddaughter, early in the morning, feeding our favorite ducks Paco and Lucy, when out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of pasty yellow skin. Savannah, my granddaughter, called my attention yelling : Aby naked, naked; over, and over. I turned around to find my pervert, bipolar neighbor wearing nothing but a tinny aqua, Victoria Secret, lady’s underwear. As I was ushering the flustered child into the house, my husband was coming to meet us, and caught a glimpse of him by the lake ready to sun bathe; probably for the first time in his life. Luckily for my bipolar neighbor I was able to convince my husband not to beat him up or slice him like a banana. I had to assure my husband that a sophisticated, intellectual response was more worthy of us and so began my search for the most culturally offensive response to his half naked defiance.

For weeks he kept up with his incursions into our yard to meticulously cut the small hedge that separates our properties leading to the lake, wearing always his favorite aqua underwear. I took a few candid shots, and save them for an opportune time, and waited. I think he became bolder due to our lack of response to his affronts. All along I kept having polite conversations with him and his wife, when he was fully clothed. I listened with repulsion to all his complaints regarding the neighbors on the other side of his house; how they dumped leftovers meat to rot in open trash cans outside in the heat, and how bad it reeked. He complained about their dogs, and how they pooped by their pool, and again how bad it smelled; a long list of complaints and derogatory ethnic remarks about Luis that just made me want to choke him. But patience is a virtue.

One day, sitting in my living room looking at the peaceful rips the wind was making on the lake, I decided it was time; time to respond in the most civilized way possible. In the ten years we had been neighbors I had a list of things that I knew for certain will put him over the edge. Superstition is an awfully uncouth, uncivilized quirk which my bipolar neighbor, despite his self-proclaimed sophisticated lifestyle, had many of. One particular one which stood out was placing two small flat stones one on top of the other in front of the house in order to keep harmony in the home between him and his wife. Separating those two stones would mean total chaos; at least that’s what he was convinced of. I once asked him where that superstition came from and he said it was a Japanese scientific discovery not a superstition; as usual always counting on his theory that Americans are all ignorant.

The next day I waited for them to leave the house, and as soon as their car turned the corner I rushed to their front door and separated the two stones placing them on each end of the threshold, and went about my day. The day ended with a beautiful winter sunset, and my husband who was not aware of my mischief, joined me outside by the lake for a glass of Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, our favorite wine. On the other side of the fence chaos was beginning to ensue; my neighbor was screaming, and the sound of glass breaking leaked through the opened windows. I remained serenely sipping my wine, savoring the moment while my husband worried for a second until I softly grabbed his hand; he understood the message and relaxed. The sweet lullaby of a well-executed plan, and the superb wine made us fall sleep earlier than usual; the frustration of years of repressed, pent-up sublimated anger finally found a release, a catharsis of sorts.

Nothing like a restful night to wake up with energy to spend; next day I dressed in my workout clothes, packed my swimming suit, and headed to the gym at sunrise. Pulling out of my garage I noticed an EMT car flashing and a couple of police cars in front of my neighbor’s house. They were loading him into the emergency car to take him to the Hospital, while his wife was standing by the sidewalk looking lost. I stopped, and went over to her to ask what had happened. She told me about the stones and how upset her husband got when he saw them separated. She had put them back together but he said there was no point as bad luck was looming in their lives now, and there was nothing they could do to prevent it. According to her full account the thought of the terrifying calamities that he was sure will follow because of the rocks, caused him to have a nervous breakdown. She said it had happened before, for some reason or another. I suggested that she Baker Act him for his own good, that way they could help him deal with his emotional issues through Anger Management coaching. She did not understand what I was talking about, but she liked the idea behind it, so I called the policeman, and the EMT guy, and she signed the required paperwork.

Misdirected mischief is not cool but I see my neighbor now, duly sedated, fully clothed, happy to be alive, and I feel good about myself. The neighbors are happy; I can take my granddaughter outside at whatever time without risking a stripper show, and I can go on vacation without the fear of finding my air conditioner tampered with, and my trees dead. And that is how you handle a bad neighbor, and still keep the peace. I told you I was a peacemaker.


Anger Management, Anger Management Tips, Bipolar, Cultural, Delusions Of Grandeur, Haters, Intellectual, Pandoras Box, Pinot Noir, Sonoma County Wines

Meet the author

author avatar Maria Alvarado
Past and present experiences include international banking and real estate. Strong knowledge and interest in geopolitics.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
22nd Nov 2013 (#)

A bold and calculated move that has rewarded you peace of mind! A master stroke at maintaining peace! Checkmate! Humorous and fine climax - all is well that ends well too! siva

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author avatar Retired
29th Nov 2013 (#)

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