Tales from the purgatory that is Suburbia

Someone edged my sidewalk, by which I mean the grass encroaching upon the concrete sidewalk has been trimmed back so the whole sidewalk is visible again. I just noticed it this morning, but it’s been raining all morning so I can’t think it was early today — I didn’t notice it yesterday. So now I guess the sidewalk conforms to some measure of neatness that I didn’t care about, myself.

I’m several varieties of put out over this. I don’t want people (1) doing yard work for me or (2) deciding what yard work should be done. I don’t care that I don’t (apparently) have to pay for it. What’s next, they’re going to plant marigolds in my flower beds for me? Where are they when my tree needs trimming and dead wood removed?

There’s probably nothing I can do because I don’t know who did it. Some neighbor, presumably. Plus it’s awkward confronting someone who thinks they did something good for me.

Gods, I hate the suburbs. I’ll say it again: Don’t worry about some politician in Washington with a program to pay for health care, but worry about your neighbors inflicting their laws and desires on you.


About songdogmi

I'm a longhaired almost-hippie stuck in the inner suburbs of a major rust-belt metropolis who's thoughtful, creative, and kind of geeky. In exchange for a paycheck I run around in a cubicle maze most days. When I escape, I play music, hang out in coffee houses, dink around on the computer, take naps, and think I should be off in the woods somewhere. Every once in a while I get in my car and drive far, far away, though I've always come back so far.
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5 Responses to Tales from the purgatory that is Suburbia

  1. chaosdancer says:

    My mom used to be a fanatic about edging her sidewalks, but she said it didn’t have to do with aesthetics; it was so water ran off and didn’t collect under the sidewalk, which in time would damage it, I’m not sure how (maybe she was thinking it would freeze in winter – but wouldn’t it sink into the ground by then?) So maybe it wasn’t just for looks that they did it. Either way, it does seem rather odd that they would take on the project and not even ask you if they could.

    • songdogmi says:

      There might be some drainage issue; I don’t exactly know how that works, but for a while there was a problem with water ponding on the sidewalk. (I can’t say it’s still an issue; it’s been a dry year.)

      I wouldn’t take on someone else’s yard work without asking them first. But maybe they wanted to, only I was never there when they were. I suppose I shouldn’t be a jerk about it, but… it’s just a suburban lawn, it’s not Kensington Palace, y’know?

  2. songdogmi says:

    And they pretty much did! I’m sure it was one of the neighbors who are trying to win a neighborhood beautification award.

  3. changeling72 says:

    Isn’t sidewalk maintenance down to the local authority or does the grass belong to you?

    • songdogmi says:

      For the most part, sweeping and keeping the grass from growing over the sidewalk is the homeowner’s responsibility, as is snow removal in the winter. The local authority does construction and repair, generally at their own instigation, but then bills the homeowner for it.

      But where I went to university, they had so much snow on a regular basis that the city did snow removal, too (at least some of the time).

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