Improving Foreign Relations One Nipple At A Time

Before I get too involved in today’s post, I have to tell you I have the strangest life!  (In case you haven’t noticed!)

In Monday’s post, I mentioned a long-ago boyfriend who was a drummer.  As a result, guess who I got an email from yesterday?

I will have more details on THAT unexpected situation soon.  I already promised to tell you, today, about the work my nipples have been doing lately to improve foreign relations.

Photo:  Spring at an Orange County beach.

When we first bought our house, our neighborhood was filled to the brim with kids and families.

Over the years, it’s turned into a ghost town.

People moved away and we’re one of only three original families (out of at least twenty!) who have remained.

We used to have huge block parties for every holiday.

(Oh, and The OC Women stories I could tell you from those days!  Some of those women had claws and fangs like you would not believe!!)

Now, everyone keeps to themselves.

It’s turned into a neighborhood of strangers who all seem to want to keep it that way.

About four years ago, a family moved into our neighborhood.  They live about ten houses away .  They’re from the Middle East and speak very little English.

The entire family is very reclusive, which isn’t much different than most of the other people in our neighborhood.

I do know the family living at this particular house includes a mom, a dad, two tween-aged kids, and Grandpa.

Grandpa, by the way, speaks NO English.

It’s rare to see any of the family members, ever.

Well, except for Grandpa.

Grandpa walks up and down the street, and throughout the neighborhood continually all day long.

Walking, all day every day, is what Grandpa does.

Grandpa, is most assuredly, in a lot better shape than most of us because he never, ever, stops walking.

Grandpa wears a nice button down shirt, expensive looking slacks, a belt, and nice leather shoes EVERY day.

He always looks like he’s going to a nice office to work (minus a tie).

Grandpa’s really just going out to pace the neighborhood.

Over, and over,  and over again.

Nearly every day, at some point during the day, I will drive past Grandpa as he’s out walking.

Some days, I drive past Grandpa multiple times throughout the day.

Often, Grandpa is mere feet away from my car as I drive by him …

(On our very quiet, absolutely-nothing-is-happening, street.)

From the very first time I drove past Grandpa, four years ago, I have waved to him each and every time I’ve driven past him.

He never waves back.


Day in, day out.

Year in, year out.

Very early on, despite the snub – I decided I would keep waving to Grandpa every time I drove past him no matter how long he ignored me.

Sometimes Grandpa makes eye contact with me as I wave,

Other times Grandpa looks away when he sees me.

Regardless, Grandpa never, ever, returns my wave.

Grandpa and I had reached an impasse.

Well, until recently.

I think I may have mentioned before,

I often roam around my house with very few clothes on.

Of course, if family members are running in and out – I’m clothed.

But …

Especially in the morning,

When I’m in the house alone –

Before or after my shower –

As I do chores around the house and/or get ready for the day –

I often find myself in a half-stage of dress or undress.

I’ll decide to run downstairs and throw something in the washing machine, and I won’t have a top on yet.

Or I’ll spill coffee on my shirt and take it off –

Then get distracted by a chore before going upstairs to retrieve a new shirt.

(Spilling coffee on my shirt seems to happen a lot.)

Pretty normal, right?

Except, I often forget I don’t have a shirt on.

No, I’ve never gotten in the car and driven naked down the street …

But, I’ve found myself in our garage “getting something” and then realized,

Wow, the garage has windows looking out to the street –

And sheesh, I don’t have a shirt on!

And so it was,

About six weeks ago.

I had somehow gone from upstairs, getting dressed post-shower.

To downstairs, doing chores topless.

I noticed a few old magazines and a cereal box that needed to be dropped in our recycler –

Which sits, with the rest of our trashcans, on the side yard of our house.

Our side yard, by the way, is only separated from the street by a mid-chest-high fence.

You can guess what happened.

I walked (topless) from inside my house, into our garage, opened the door to our side yard, and took just a couple steps towards our recycler can.

Ninety nine point nine percent of the time, no one would be within 100 yards of our house …

As I lifted the top to the recycler,

I thought, “Whoops!  I’m standing outside naked!”

Of course, I wasn’t really naked.  I was just topless.

Also, I was only about two steps from the side door to my house, in an area that would be hard to see unless you were really, really, looking.

Grandpa was looking!

He just happened to be RIGHT THERE, a few feet away, walking past our house.

I felt him staring, before I saw him.

I looked up, and immediately felt a sense of panic.

Our eyes met …

And then – ?

Grandpa got an ear splitting grin on his face.

It was almost … a laugh.

In four years, I’ve never  (I swear), even seen the man smile.

In a millisecond I was back in the house with the door slammed behind me.

Every single time, since that day,

As I’ve driven past Grandpa –

He has eagerly, enthusiastically, smiled and vigorously waved at me –


The man always has a HUGE grin on his face when he sees me.

(I do wave back, in spite of my embarrassment.)

The change in Grandpa’s behavior is SO noticeable,

Even my son commented on it, about a week ago.

PR happened to be in the car with me one day as we drove past Waving Grandpa.

“He finally started waving,” my son commented to me, puzzled.

“Hmmm.  I wonder why?” I mused.

13 Responses to “Improving Foreign Relations One Nipple At A Time”

  1. Sandra

    Ha! Only you!
    Does Grandpa spend even more time walking near your house now hoping to get another peek? (wink)

  2. Alexis

    Well done S. Well done!! Way to break an impasse!!!

    Warn me next time, I almost choked on my eggs. *snort*

  3. Jo

    I was just passing by, but now you snagged me!! So funny!! Way to friend grandpa!!!

  4. Jane

    Grandpa is now your friend for life! I love your adventures – I live vicariously through you and your blog!

  5. stacy

    Oh, Suzanne, you make me laugh. I guess every neighborhood has an oddity. We have a couple of 70ish, grandparents that walk our neighborhood. They are asian. They wear tshirts, shorts and white socks up to their knees. The Grandpa wears a HUGE green sun visor and the grandma a HUGE Orange sun visor. The walk all day long and will probably live to be 200. We always say hey, there’s grandpa or grandma everytime we pass them.

  6. stacy

    of course, our grandma and grandpa never wave. They cant see us over their sun visors.


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