Well, I wondered how long it would take until my gossip-hen of a retired neighbour would say something to me about our JW neighbours.
Here is the rundown, I live in a nice middle-class neighbourhood. Homes aren't small, but they aren't huge either. We moved here a few years ago, my first time owning a house - and it has an in-ground pool!! Since moving in, we've done alot of work and landscaping and it's now the best house in the whole development. :-) This is not because I'm so obsessive (because I am too) but because the house geniunely needed work. Anyway, this neighbourhood definitely has the "keeping up with the Jones" attitude. What one person does, everyone else has to do to eventually keep up with as well. We had some major hail storms a while back and hence everyone is getting new roofs, siding, spouting, garage doors, skylights, etc all from home owners insurance payouts. I was the first, and I started a chain reaction. Anyway....the most run down, creepy house in the neighbourhood is owned by guess who?? You guessed it - JW Elder and his family. These people are like recluses....completely isolated and you barely ever see them. They have NEVER said word one to anyone that I have ever seen. The blinds are ALWAYS closed, the yard (front and back) is always overgrown with weeds, and when the father does decide to mow he never sweeps up the grass just blows it out on the sidewalk and road encouraging even more weeds to grow up, etc. The exterior of the house is falling apart, looks like crap, etc. For those thinking, "Maybe they don't have money to fix the place up," I should mention they have (2) new 4-door vehicles for field service probably, so they have the money, just not the TIME....and we all know why!!
Anyway, after a few of us got our work completed, a contracting sign went up in their yard finally. When I got home from work the other day and was getting my mail from the mailbox, my neighbour from across the street (next to JW's) came across for a chat to talk about the work she was having done. I politely stated how nice her place was looking, etc. We were commenting that it was good we all got different shades of siding, etc.
This is where she brought them up......"Well, I don't know what THEY are getting." - referring to colours, etc.
ME (playing dumb, fishing for what she thought of these people, she doesn't know I grew up in JWs): "What do you mean? Don't you talk to them?" *** My neighbour talks to everyone. lol.
HER: "No, I've never spoken to them. They are weird and you never see them. They are in their house so much they are pale and I've only ever seen the wife a few times. Our daughter babysat their daughter a few years ago, and she now calls them "The Vampires" because of how they act, etc."
ME: "Yeah, I do think they are creepy and completely isolated. You know why, right? They think you are too WORLDLY" *** Her husband smirked at this comment, and he's the laid back type. lol.
HER: "Yes, they are JW's, our daughter told us. "
ME: "Well, that's why their house is so run down, etc. They are kept so busy they don't have time for anything else."
HER: "Oh yes we know, they don't do anything unless Jehovah tells them so....."
At this point, I chuckled to myself and thought that she ALMOST had it right; they don't do anything unless the GOVERNING BODY tells them, but since they equate the GB, Org, etc with God, she is partially correct.
HER: "If the previous owners of the house could see it now, they'd faint. They kept things so nice, had a patio put on, nice trees and bushes out back, but now the place is completely run down. They let the trees rot and the bushes died. The weeds are growing out over the back deck now.....you should see it around back."
At this point, we made other small talk and after a while she went back home to finish supper. I myself couldn't help but think of the wonderful "witness" these people were making for Jehovah by being complete slobs and showing everyone how they put Kingdom Interests First and letting everything else go to hell. Truly, they live for the future Paradise and ignore everyday life. I had a flashback to my own youth and the house I grew up in. It was the exact same way. My father kept the house going (barely) but never did anything outside. It was left to me when I got old enough. My mother kept the inside meticulous, but the exterior looked like crap.
What compounds this scenario is the fact that this guy is an Elder and other JW's live in the development. Is he not to be a fine example for others? How can he counsel others when his own property looks like a dump???? I had to shake my head at what my neighbour thought of her JW neighbours and really thought about how they were shooting their JW image in the foot. Who would want to cozy up to them and have a Bible Study?? No one as they are creepy and have the nickname of "The Vampires."
Anyone see the irony in all of this....the futility? So you pack up your new SUV with the kids in little suits and dresses, go to the Hall and play Mr. Bigshot Elder in front of everyone....but the reality is you live in a dump. Take about being fake. Anyone else have a similar experience?
- Wing Commander