There are certain social boundaries that people follow because it was laid out somewhere along the lifeline that we were to follow it. One of these is don’t stare, but for some reason the prohibition of this meshes with my rebel creativity and I end up doing it anyway. I don’t do it to be rude or disrespectful or to make anyone uncomfortable, it just is a part of who I am; I stare, that’s what I do.
Another one is the non-communal rule that if someone occupies a table or booth in a public place that you shouldn’t just scoot in with them because, well, you don’t know them. Hell, I think if we did there would be less restaurants out of business.
This is my first yard, the very first piece of land that the bank bought so that I could pay for it twice. I grew up with a yard, in Oklahoma, but it was much more remote than the yard I have now. If someone walked through your vast acreage of land, they were hunting and/or ghosts. I haven’t really had a yard since childhood and with my travels the space for residing was usually the size of a van, shoebox, or insert your own object here. Now that I have a yard, I’ve noticed a couple of people walking through it in broad daylight as if it were a public sidewalk. Once, I thought the guy was drunk because I didn’t notice him until he walked onto the street from the backyard with not a care in the world. It struck me as odd because my driveway is considered extra long for a New Jersey driveway ($65 just to snow plow that long driveway). The yard crasher had to walk up that long driveway, which doesn’t seem like much of detour, and cut across my backyard that is locked between two other yards (my backyard isn’t even an outlet to another road).
This morning, a lady did just that; the same as the man I mentioned. She walked right out of the bushes in the backyard, down my driveway, and onto the street. Her pursed hugged against her as if someone, me perhaps, would intrude upon her personal belongings. I watched her out my kitchen window, she wasn’t a hunter or a ghost, and she bemused me. I wanted to follow her, invade her personal space, and figure out where she was going. After all, she walked through my yard which put her footprint in the dirt that I will own in 29 years, and that is a social contract if I’ve ever seen one. In fact, had I not paid for the snow removal last week and had she slipped on the icy driveway and fallen, trespassing or not, she would have been able to claim the injury on my home owner’s insurance. If she did that, well, I don’t want that kind of person trespassing on my property anyway! What kind of person was she, judging on physical alone she seemed pretty well-kept, that walks through someone’s yard? Was she short on time and trying to cut through as a way of buying more time? She didn’t drive out of the driveway with my car, so she didn’t take anything. She didn’t even look in the kitchen window to acknowledge that I saw her, so she must not have known about this societal norm.
This stumped me, her nonchalant stroll through my yard, as if she paid the taxes on it. Thinking about it now makes me wish I would have opened the window and said, “If you’re going to be a yard crasher, at least rake the leaves.