Saturday, September 27, 2008.....
I was raised to mind your Ps & Qs, but this never stopped my family from speculating about others. As I got older, I learned that friends also "speculated" about neighbors that they did not know.
For example, after 911, my mother speculated that the neighbor across the street wore black everyday because he had worked for Cantor Fitzgerald and was mourning the loss of his colleagues. Several years later, my sister learned that he worked as an exterminator and he wore black everyday because it was the color of his uniform.
I'd like to say that mother was the only one that speculated about the neighbors. My sister speculates that her neighbor pulls down her blinds because she is up to no good. If that were true, my neighbors would also think that I'm up to no good. I close my living room curtains in the afternoons because it creates a major glare on the tv screen and heats up the house quickly in the dead of August.
I've learned that "speculating" about others is not limited to just family members, but some friends as well. No matter who is speculating, the results are always a story that could be the plotline for a soap opera or Desperate Housewives. For this reason, I'm a realist.
I've have never speculated why someone wears black all the time; or why a person closes their blind. However, this summer, things changed.
I started noticing this summer that my neighbors were never around at the same time, but thought I had too much time on my hands with being unemployed. However, my fiance noticed the same. We didn't mention anything to the other until late August and thought it odd that we both noticed this (it should be noted that my neighbors painted their house and a friend had to point that out to me one year). The fact we both had noticed this is when we began to speculate that they had separated.
Although I speculated this, I don't think I really believed it to be true. When I separated and divorced a number of years ago, I got to know them better. They were best friends in college and truly enjoyed one another's company. Their marriage was strong.
Last night, I called them as they had not sent a response to the wedding invite. I learned that our "speculation" was right and they were putting the house on the market shortly. The husband had already moved out and I understand that the wife wants to sell the house and move to a neighboring town that differs from mine (more upscale, lots of wealth and huge homes).
I truly like both the husband and wife and have to admit was shocked at the news. They went from separation to divorce in a matter of two months. This was the first time I had "speculated" about a neighbor and have to admit that I'm saddened I was correct. I'm saddened because of the breakdown of their marriage, saddened for their small son and because I'm losing some interesting neighbors.
Why couldn't my neighbors have just worn a lot of black and turned out to be exterminators?