David and Marlene

We were living at our last house here in Santa Rosa. This probably occurred in 2003 if I had to guess.

I was out mowing the lawn, and one of my neighbors had come over to chat. Larry and I used to talk a lot as we had both been off work for a number of months. I'd grown very used to him and his company. I was apologizing for being the worst kept lawn on the block when another neighbor came out.

David and Marlene were new to the block, a few months or so. Patricia and I didn't know them that well, but the were both very nice. Additionally Marlene knew my name.

"Hello Peter" She smiled, "how are you?"

"See Larry," I quipped "Everyone comes out to celebrate when I finally mow the lawn!"

We laughed and Larry went back to his garage.

"Peter," Marlene said "I baked a cake and thought you and Patricia would like some of it."

"Thanks Marlene, that's very nice."

"Larcy..." She seemed a little surprised. "My name is Larcy. Like larceny."

Oh boy, here we go again. I have trouble leaving well enough alone. I wanted desperately to fix the problem and prove that I did like them, and didn't just picked a name at random. I suppose Larcy isn't terribly common and I could have just apologized, but that isn't my way.

"Oh... I'm sorry," I stammer, "I knew your husbands name was David, and I thought..."

"Michael." Now she looks hurt "Michael... Like Michael J Fox."

I turned the color of a beet.

"Sorry." I take the cake out of her now limp grip. "Thanks again for the cake."

I don't recall too many more conversations with Larcy or Michael.

As fate would have it my current neighbor hasn't got one clue what my name is. He'll call me Jerry, or Derek, or whatever comes into his head. I really don't care. I always respond, and don't correct him. Maybe someday I'll tell him, but probably not.


J Crew said...

Good thing you moved.

SJ said...

That is what makes me nervous about seeing our neighbors - he told me his name and I think I know it, but am not going to "make a guess."

littlerobin said...

regarding the previous etch-a-sketch topic:



kludge said...


The worst part is, I was positive I knew their names.

Its a personality flaw, I always think I'm right.

SJ said...

Well - I do think I know too, just afraid I might be wrong :)

kludge said...


That is amazing. I'm almost having trouble believing this.

For those people who don't look at comments. I'll add this to thursdays post!

Thanks for the link!