Tuesday night I went out for burgers with a really good friend at Westport Flea Market. (Yes, it really is both a burger joint and a flea market and I highly recommend it.) Later, as we sat outside my house talking, Doug suddenly asked me this question:
"You got any kids in this neighborhood, about 7 or 8 years old?"
The question threw me. "I don't think so...." I said. "Why?"
"Cause I was just thinkin..." Doug laughed. "I was just thinkin, if you had some kids in your neighborhood, they'd probably call you the Crazy House Lady, and they'd tell their friends about you: 'There's this lady, she lives in that yellow house, and she is crazy. She's the Crazy House Lady. She never comes out of her house, she just works on it all the time, and there was this one summer that she spent the whole summer just scraping and scraping on this one 3-foot-wide piece of her house..'"
I laughed too. "You don't think people already call me the Crazy House Lady?"
"Probably so, " Doug admitted, "but if you had little kids in your neighborhood it'd be a legend. They'd say stuff like 'She never looked at us or talked to us and one year we had a lemonade stand in the yard across the street and she walked all the way around the block so she didn't have to talk to us.' Stuff like that. They'd tell people that they never saw anybody go in or come out of that house, that you just lived there alone and never quit workin on it for the rest of your life. And then when those little kids grew up they'd drive past here and point out the house to their wives and say, 'That's it! That's where the Crazy House Lady lived!' That's how legends get started, I'm tellin you."
I think I'm glad I don't have little kids in my neighborhood...