Sunday, September 23, 2007

Unsolicited Opinions

Earlier today, Kurt and I were out in the front yard pulling weeds and putting down more mulch. It was really hot and humid. A guy in a big red pickup truck drives by, slowing way down and says, "You guys have gotten your yard looking really great!" We both said thank you. (Brief background: over the past 7 years, we've transformed our conventional grass-covered front yard into a big xeriscaped garden.)

Then this guy says, "When you gonna start on your HOUSE?" Uncomfortable silence for a few seconds, then he says, "I mean, I'm a carpenter, so..." I was caught off guard and laughed, saying "We're on the 5-year plan," to which he responded, "Oh yeah--the 5-year plan. I like that: after all, why rush it?" His tone was sarcastic. Then he said, "Anyway, y'all have a great neighborhood," and he drove off.

Thanks buddy. Kurt gave him a dirty look, then Kurt and I resumed pulling the evil nutgrass.

But I couldn't let it go in my head: was there a nicer way he could have asked about our house plans? Not that it's any of his business in the first place. But yes: he could have said, "So do y'all also have big plans for the house?" Still a bit of a backhanded compliment, but not an outright insult...

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