Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ghetto Mentality

So I just called our local neighborhood clean up committee for the city of Concord because of a massive vegetative obstacle that makes me walk the stroller out into the street for the better part of a block. It's been that way for months, and it seems to belong to a house with a gargoyle on the roof and cow skulls on the front lawn. I appreciate how diverse all of the homes are in our neighborhood, and I actually think a few cow skulls or gargoyles are pretty cool, but this overgrown Boo Radley stuff and used-car-lot stuff has got to go. I hate to be all old-lady about it, but there are a bunch of homes on our street that look haunted and that is how you identify the rentals.

My husband says that the houses are run down because they are rentals, but I just can't understand that argument. I mean--sure, it's true and all, but WHY? Just because a person is renting should not mean they have to live like pigs! I rented for ten years and I didn't leave my rental looking like animals had lived there. And when I rented places that included outdoor areas, I kept those looking nice, too. Why? Because I had to live in it, not the landlord, and putting money into my home whether or not I owned it was for my own comfort and enjoyment. I mean, how hard is it to make a home look kept? Would it kill a person to plant some flowers, to get a few gallons of paint and take care of that peeling trim, or to NOT leave car parts and broken toys and window panes on the dead front lawn? And the 'can't afford it' argument doesn't fly with me, because I can guarantee you that these people have cell phones, paid-for bling tones on said cell phones, HD cable, internet subscriptions and I see the $40,000 truck with rims in your driveway! Nope, they can afford it, they just choose to put their money into those other things rather than keep their shit neat--and in the meantime, I'm walking in the street to get around their property, I'm seeing the same chest-high weeds when I pass by that corner house, and I'm finding mice and snakes that my cat brings home from the field of dead grass and car parts that has become their front yard. And just because you're renting doesn't mean that you can't or shouldn't put some TLC into where you live. Because it is your home, even if you don't own it, so take some effing pride! And the weeds aren't even the real problem--I have a super hard time keeping up with the ones that attack my yard, and I know they're hard to keep under control. It's the stuff that's in the yard with the weeds that makes it extra nasty. I may not have the time to weed and mow, but at least I'm not throwing crap into it like it's a junk yard!

Come on, people, I realize that you normally don't put energy into becoming better citizens, but for the sake of this neighborhood and all of us who have to live here, please start giving a shit.

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