Little boxes on the hillside, Little boxes made of ticky tacky. Little boxes on the hillside, Little boxes all the same. There’s a green one and a pink one And a blue one and a yellow one. Little boxes made of ticky tacky And they all look just the same. ~ Malvina Reynolds
Little Boxes was written in 1962 by Ms. Reynolds and then made into a minor hit by Pete Seeger in 1963. It’s a satire on American suburban living. I thought it was both hilarious and rather sad back then and I still think so today. And here I am, divorced and living right in the middle of suburbia, in my little gray box made of ticky tacky.
I have been quite comfortable here since April 2008. It really is more space than I need but it accommodates all my suburbia stuff and I have felt pretty good about it. Right now the insurance is paying to have all manner of repairs done to it because of hail storm damage. This is like a windfall because I had no idea I had damage. Many of my neighbors were getting work done because of the storm and I decided maybe I should have my house checked out. I started with the roof but then the insurance company sent out a disaster adjuster and he found lots problems caused by the hail. So very soon my little box will be in ship-shape order again without my having to pay for it. And that’s the good news.
I am accustomed to bumps in the road. That’s life and for the most part I have learned to deal with them. But I become a little discombobulated when one of those bumps seems to threaten my physical safety. Or when something doesn’t feel right and I’m not sure whether to feel threatened or not. Such was the case last night. At about 10:10 my doorbell rang. That has happened only one other time, that late at night, since I’ve lived here and it was a neighbor inviting me to a party. No big deal. I said “Who is it?” She said, “It’s A.” I opened the door and we had a pleasant exchange. Last night, I turned on the light, looked through the peep-hole and didn’t see anyone. I asked my question twice and twice no one answered. I know all of the it was probably…messages to give myself but I still felt uncomfortable. So I called my next-door neighbor and he looked around outside his house and mine and saw nothing out of the ordinary. He assured me I had not awakened him and I should call him whenever anything was amiss. Bless him.
So the bad news is that someone has disrupted my blissful acceptance of suburbia right when I was making peace with it. I’ll be sure to set the alarm and keep my cell phone by my side at night. In the meantime I would like to give that someone a piece of my mind for temporarily taking away my peace of mind. Here’s a Brooklyn cheer for you, Buster!