There’s a bag of poop hanging from a tree in a nearby neighborhood.
It hangs from a low branch on a leafy tree in front of a small yellow house, a house with a tidy lawn and a cute front porch.
It’s a charming home.
Except for the bag of poop hanging from the tree.
And I haven’t counted the days, but it has been there for a while.
I don’t know – for sure – why a bag of poop is hanging from this limb like a Christmas ornament, but I’m guessing the gift was left by a neighborhood dog. (If not, then this story becomes far more unusual and probably more appropriate for a very different kind of blog.) And I’m also guessing that this neighbor hung the bag there himself, because if he did not want the poop hanging from his tree, he would have removed it by now. At least I think so.
So the bag of poop may be hanging there to make a statement.
Maybe the statement is “I do not like dog poop in my yard,” which doesn’t really seem like a necessary statement to make. Because no one really likes to have dog poop in his yard. I don’t enjoy dog poop in my own yard, even though I love the dog who leaves it there.
Maybe the statement is “Don’t let your dog poop in my yard,” which is a very reasonable statement to share. But if the dog was with its person, the person may never walk down that particular sidewalk by that particular house ever again. And even if the dog walker does walk on that sidewalk and does see the bag of poop hanging in the tree, she may not realize that the message has her name on it. She may not understand that there is a message there at all. And then there is another complication: Loose dogs are just rude. They are like rebellious teenagers. They have no social awareness.
Maybe the statement is “If your dog poops in my yard, I will hang the poop in my tree! So there!” But really, who cares if you hang poop in your tree? If my dog gets loose and poops in your yard and you want to punish me, you really need to hang the poop in my tree. Hanging it in your tree doesn’t teach me anything. But if you want to hang the poop from your tree, go for it.
And what happened, anyway? Maybe the mess was from a dog who broke out of its jail, in which case the accident in the yard was, well, an accident. Maybe the dog was being walked, and the dog walker left her house after a long day at work, legitimately forgot to put a bag in her pocket, cried as she savored a few minutes to herself because life can be overwhelming, returned home to a family begging for dinner, and would really love it if this guy would just cut her a break today. Or maybe the dog walker is an absolute jerk and just doesn’t care about anyone else’s property. That’s a possibility, too.
But it really doesn’t matter. Because this person has a lovely home with pretty trees in a nice neighborhood, yet the view he has created from his front door is, literally, a bag of poop. And seeing that bag of poop probably makes his blood pressure rise and his muscles tense and his jaw clench because that poop in his yard made him so freaking angry . . . three weeks ago.
He could have tossed that bag out with the garbage a long time ago. But he most likely hung it there himself.
He is the one who won’t let the poop go.
Sometimes little things happen to us, and they are completely unfair or surprisingly unkind. Sometimes strangers are rude. Sometimes neighbors are inconsiderate. Sometimes friends make mistakes. Sometimes we misunderstand situations and make them a much bigger deal than they are.
Sometimes the small things that rub us the wrong way impact us far more and far longer than they should.
If someone has pooped on your day, toss that mess in the garbage and move on. Don’t hang that problem from your tree so that you are reminded of it over and over and over again, and don’t pretend that hanging onto a bag of poop punishes anyone other than yourself.
Yes, some people are a hot mess, and, yes, sometimes their choices can be infuriating.
But when you choose to hang their messes in front of your window, the only view that is ruined is your own.
*Disclaimer: Yes, this is the second post about poop in a relatively short period of time, which could raise some concern about my well being. I promise the timing is just a coincidence. And, actually, the popularity of the FB post about poop in the pool made me a little concerned about all of YOU! 🙂
**Some details have been changed to protect the identity of the homeowners, and, possibly, the dog, who may or may not be a fugitive from justice.