This evening we got home from work around 7:30pm and checked the mail as we always do. In amongst the magazines and bills and, rather excitingly, an engagement party invitation, was a plain white envelope with the back unsealed. On the front, in a careful hand, someone had printed GARDENER. Inside, there was a business card for a gardener---the exact words were "landscaping and maintenance"---and nothing else.
Sean and I had two very different reactions to this envelope. Wait, let me see if you can guess which reaction each of us had.
Person A was rather affronted. Person A assumed this was a passive aggressive nudge from the neighbors to take some sort of care of our small front yard, which we have, admittedly, not done a whole lot with since we moved in, aside from letting some weeds grow (in Person A's defense, for a long time Person A just thought they were just awesome new plants.) Person A felt sure that the printer of GARDENER was an elderly person---Person A could tell by the shaky hand---with nothing else to do with his or her time than stand in the window and twitch the lace curtains and remark upon how awful it was that the new young couple had let their yard go to hell, how about we drop a little hint in their mailbox, hmm, Doris?
Person B just thought the card was from a gardener who'd gone door to door, putting cards in mailboxes to advertise his services.
Person A offered again the envelope as evidence. GARDENER, it says. GET ONE BEFORE YOU BRING DOWN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, it implies.
What do you think: is this a pointed suggestion from a concerned neighbor---bear in mind that the guy next door to us did actually receive a note a few months ago threatening to take his dog away if it didn't stop barking, signed, I kid you not, from "a concerned neighbor"---or is it just an entrepreneurial gardener with a Vistaprint coupon casting his net far and wide? Does Person A need to take a chill pill already? Can someone tell Person B to go to the store and buy Person A some more wine and maybe some ice cream while he's at it? Is anyone still confused about the fact that I'm obviously Person A?