17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

A New Gang In Town

Moving from Queens was difficult for me. I loved our tiny second story apartment next to the Triborough Bridge, our Greek/Italian neighborhood, our ward, our friends, even the grouchy Greek owners of our neighborhood laundromat where I could never follow "laundry protocol" exactly to their liking. I was anxious for a fresh start but I also felt like we were falling into a stereotype that I had wanted to avoid -- yet another young family from the West who had moved to NYC to get ahead, and now that we had, were moving to the suburbs to live large (although really, how could any of us confine our NYC experience to such a narrow stereotype?)

We definitely aren't living large, but by Queens standards, the town we live in now feels like a country club. We spend our summers kicking back at the neighborhood pools and lakes, our winters at the town center drinking hot chocolate and ice skating. I took a tour of our neighborhood school last week and I wanted to cry out in joy to the public school gods. I couldn't have thought up a better school for my kids - a diversified student body, a strong arts and science focus. The kids were busy, happy and learning.

Yet I still feel twinges of guilt when I use my shiny new appliances, when I shop at clean stores with plenty of aisle space for my cart, when I drive my car for that matter....usually unlocked. "You are such a sellout, " I tell myself. Living in New York, that lifestyle we loved to hate....that felt real. This life...it feels more like an extended resort vacation.

Well, it turns out my little East Coast Camelot isn't perfect. I have uncovered a gang problem of sorts in my town and its members are extremely territorial and prone to violence. In fact, I have been attacked twice in the past two weeks.

Let me explain....since winter has lifted, I have spotted tons of geese around town. At first, it was a fun game for me and the boys. Spot a goose, count the geese....anything to keep them busy during our errands around town. Then I started riding my bike into work (I work 2-3 times a week teaching SAT prep classes) and noticed geese not just near water sources, but hanging out on street corners at busy intersections. Both of my "attacks" occurred at busy intersections that a goose had claimed as its own.

My first attack, I was woefully naive of the danger at hand. I remember thinking how cute it looked....like an overgrown duck. When the goose saw me approach, arched its neck, flapped its wings, started squawking in that half-crazed way and headed my direction, I was so stunned I actually stopped my bike. When the goose kept coming towards me, I decided I'd better get away, but not before feeling a couple of sharp nips from its beak on my ankle.

The second attack, the following week, was much like the first. This time, however, I tried to fake out the goose by changing directions on my bike, like a basketball player penetrating toward the hoop. I avoided bites the second time around, but the memories are still fresh wounds.

As I told my younger sister on the phone the other day....now here's something that would never happen to me in New York!


  • Awesome post Jen. I know exactly what you mean about the NYC living.

    I'm sure Chloe will get on here and share her goose attack story with you, she too has suffered the effects of gang violence. :-)

    Here in our 'hood, it's a squirrel gang that troubles us. One stole Max's bubbles off the porch and chewed the container to bits - ??? They have decided to chew holes in our eaves and have taken up residence in the roof above my bedroom, so it's WAR now.
    posted by Blogger marian at 4/08/2008 03:44:00 PM  

  • I know. Those geese can be so freaky. Carrie had an attack once right Carrie? I think she even had to run for her life...
    posted by Blogger Kage at 4/08/2008 04:35:00 PM  

  • Oh man, geese are crazy. My mom, Princess and I ran into a couple nasty ones while feeding some ducks at a pond by my mom's house. They started chasing us around the car while nipping at us. We finally took refuge inside the car while they squawked and hissed at us through the windows. It was crazy.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 4/08/2008 05:19:00 PM  

  • ok. thats funny. i really thought at first you had a gang in your neighborhood!
    at least they weren't rats!!
    posted by Blogger kristie at 4/09/2008 08:08:00 AM  

  • I hate geese. I once was held hostage by an angry goose on a haystack. Another time, my friend and I were surrounded by a flock of geese while eating a picnic lunch. They honked ominously.
    posted by Blogger swedemom at 4/09/2008 10:53:00 AM  

  • Yeah, you had me worried there too! Not that I'm not worried for your safety near the geese... They sound crazy! How funny. I'm surprised they attack out of nowhere. I've been near aggressive geese when it comes to feeding the ducks bread, but not just by passing by!
    posted by Blogger Katie at 4/09/2008 10:57:00 AM  

  • Yep, Marian is right (though I had forgotten about my geese violence) - we totally got attacked and run out of town when we visited a lake here in the Bay Area. I even have pictures to document it - my poor daughter is crying her eyes out in it.

    But at least it's geese gang violence and not the people kind!
    posted by Blogger Chloe at 4/09/2008 01:47:00 PM  

  • I always love your posts. This is hilarious... although I hope you avoid goose attacks in the future!
    posted by Blogger beth at 4/09/2008 02:03:00 PM  

  • Jen - if only I could describe things the way you do, I would be a happy blog poster! You had me going with the whole gang thing as well.

    There was a "gang" of geese that hung out at the 3rd and 8th hole on the golf course in Queens we used to play and I always hit my ball the other direction. Why are geese so mean?
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 4/09/2008 02:04:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home