Last Winter a tree fell on M’s van during a wind storm and caused $400 worth of damage that we really didn’t have the funds to pay for. The tree was located on the neighbor’s property and their insurance did not cover the “act of god” that made the tree blow over.
The trees between our houses have been an issue since M bought the house. They are too tall and are a hazard in the frequent storms that we see in the cold, wet months. Last year M and I helped clean up after some of the trees were felled. M has done this sort of work before, but is not physically able to do it now. It was three days of very hard work for nothing more than a bit of bad firewood and a small pile of wood chips.
Because I am stupid I have not been involved in the discussions about the trees with the neighbors so I only know M’s side of the story. The other day Wife Neighbor (WN) came over, pounded on the door and when we didn’t answer (being still in bed) she left. M got dressed and went over to see what was up. They had hired someone to take out some trees and thought we should move our cars out of the driveway. Talk about short notice! M said that he told her if another tree fell onto our property he would sue.
Husband Neighbor (HN) came by a bit later to say that they had called off the tree fallers (we were moving the now-dead van, towing it down to the lower driveway) and wanted to know if M could recommend anyone who was cheaper.
It was plain to me that HN has the same role in his relationship that I have in mine – the Peacekeeper. WN is a very domineering woman, shouting everyone down, convinced that her ideas and opinions are the only correct views and only idiots disagree with her. She is used to being in control and will do whatever it takes to keep the upper hand, including saying that we are encroaching over her property line. HN was there to smooth over whatever was said between M and WN before things got out of hand.
Later that day I observed to M that we all know how the insurance companies work. The four of us should be able to sit down, draft a letter expressing our concern to the neighbors about the trees (they don’t have the money it would take to get all of the trees taken out at once) that would be sent to their insurance company, who would then be a little more likely to pay up in the event of another accident, all without starting a property line war.
M scotched that idea – he knows what he is doing! There is nothing That Woman understands but a firm hand and threats. There is no reasoning with her. Huh. Sounds familiar.
Meanwhile, the neighbors on the other side (he is another borderline – we hear him yelling at his wife in the yard all the time) are getting ready to build a fence on what they “think” is the property line. Of course, M is convinced that they are wrong, but the only way to be absolutely sure is to get a survey, which he won’t do. Nor will either of the other neighbors. It’s “too expensive” and of course someone will have to be wrong, which is unacceptable.
If the normal, reasonable spouses could get together, I’m sure we could come up with a solution to these issues that is acceptable to everyone, but that will never happen.
OTOH, what the fuck do I care? I hope to be out of here before the Winter winds blow and then it will be M’s problem. He said to me yesterday that he’s “all alone out here,” that I am not concerned about these Important Issues or him or our relationship or anything but what’s going on inside my head.
Guess he’s noticed that I’ve distanced myself from his bullshit…