Our Neighbor, The Incredible Miss Bigsbee
Our neighbor, Miss Bigsbee, became something that we just had to endure. Kind of like bugs if you go outside into the woods, or ants when you have a picnic. We put up with her the best we could and tried not to let her get to us. She was kind of like the terrible mother-in-law Iíd never had, and, as I may ad, never wanted.
One of her most obvious characteristics was the complaining. She could nag and complain all day long. Her most favorite object was the weather, it was never right. Either it was too hot, too cold, too wet or too dry. There was not one day where she would have admitted that the weather was lovely.
Another thing that one noticed right away was her lack of patients, a complete lack!
We were leaving the house to go and buy some of the things we needed, groceries, tissue, paper towels, a new broom, you know, the kind of stuff you always have to replace when you move.
As soon as we came out the front door she spotted us.
"Yahooohooo!" her voice carried across the street and there she stood, in front of her door, both arms up and waving. With the sort of painful smile you have when your son tell you he spilled something, but already wiped it off with your favorite tablecloth, we waved back.
Before we could make it down the stairs, she was already moving her heavy and large figure our way.
"Into the car as fast as you can!" I whispered to my husband, still hoping to have a fast getaway.
"Oh, you are going out, how wonderful! Where are we going?" she greeted me, while my husband, who suddenly seemed much smaller than usual, slipped past her and into the car.
"Ehehem, yeah, some shopping, groceries and things, you knowÖ" I replied, careful not to knock her over, trying to get to the car.
"Well, now, that is just wonderful. Iíll come with you, after all you are pretty new here and donít even know where to get the best deals!" she happily babbled and hooked her arm into mine.
"Oh, no, thatís alright. We could not possibly put you through all this. We are just running to the market up the street, Iíve seen a few there, Wal-Mart, Target, Krogerís," I quickly stated and tried to free my arm from her tight grip.
"Ah, nonsense. Itís no trouble at all. Come on, letís go!" she waved her hand as if I was some fly buzzing around her face and pulled me down the stairs to the car. Before I could think of something halfway intelligent to say, she already had herself nestled in the passenger seat and the door shut. Sighing inwardly I went around the car and climbed into the back seat.
My husband, a careful driver, put the car in gear in slowly drove through the parking lot.
"Now look, honey, I now the day is young and so are you, but I would like to get done before retirement kicks in, so step on it, drive fast and take chances!" Miss Bigsbee cheered him on, pressing her hand on this leg in an attempt to get him to drive faster.
After two blocks we reached the little shopping area where we had intended to shop. When my husband set the blinker, Miss Bigsbee, who had been remarkably quiet so far, started to give new orders.
"Oh no honey, you donít want to shop here, get back on the main lane, come on now, letís go. We go to the other place, down the street. I want Betty to see how close we already are, itíll drive her out of her mind!"
I restrained myself from asking who Betty was or to explain that we were by no means close, instead I silently counted to twenty (ten would not have been enough) and waited patiently to arrive, wherever.
Our family car, a Dodge Caravan, is not really old, at least we think that six years is still a decent age for a car, and looks better than most other cars that deal with everyday street hunting and parking.
When we finally pulled in the parking lot, my husband pushed the button to let his window back up, but, nothing happened, nothing moved. After fumbling with the window switch and using his hand for support, he finally got the window to creep upward.
"Oh my, where did you get this piece of junk, at the Goodwill store?" Miss Bigsbee asked with a tint of disgust in her voice, "know what, why donít we park a bit further away, not everyone need to see that we are in a Goodwill car!"
"I think here is just fine!" My husband snapped and shut the engine off.
"Well, not too many people out, we might get away with it," our dear neighbor said doubtfully, before she finally got out of the car.
By Birgit and Roger Pratcher
© July 2006