Hypocrisy of Oak Park rears its ugly head

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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Sometimes the type of people who I've encountered since moving back to Oak Park simply amazes me. My family lived in the village for four years when I was a kid and I loved every minute of it.

Exactly 20 years later, I find myself once again living in the village. Oak Park was not my first choice, but I found a lovely vintage condo that was just my style, and the price was right. I expected the panhandlers, the muggers, the occasional parking nightmare and a high school that will quickly turn into its neighbor to the west if it does not stop sugarcoating the source of its problems. But what I never expected was the [expletive deleted].

And I've encountered many of them, but today I met one who particularly ruffled my feathers. My adorable dog Max was relieving himself in front of a tree right near the edge of the street, as I spoke on the phone to my brother about our plans for the evening. Out of nowhere, a woman appears on the way to her car asking me if I am going to pick up his waste, and I had a bag tucked under my arm! Where this woman got off, accusing a fellow property owner and taxpayer of being negligent about pet waste, before my dog had even had a chance to finish answering nature's call, is beyond me. Of course, I called her out on this, and she got into her car without saying a word.

With a dog nearby, she was the one leaving with her tail between her legs. Perhaps she assumed that — due to my age, ethnicity and ability to talk on a cellphone whilst walking my dog — that I am able to live in the village only as a result of subsidized housing and, therefore, am one of those people. At least I can laugh knowing that, due to the collapse of the real estate market, I probably paid way less to live among these jerks than she did.

Some people in the village really need to start minding their own business. The hypocrisy of Oak Park has reared its ugly head once again.

Leslie Blackburn
Oak Park

Reader Comments

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Leslie B. from Oak Park  

Posted: May 20th, 2011 10:20 AM

spot an offense or something that might actually lead to criminal or suspicious activity before harassing your neighbors. As far as never being a "true Oak Parker"--thank God if I will never be one. I am SO OVER the myth of Oak Park and I have been for a long time. All of the liberal, hand-holdy, diversity garbage that the village puts out is a waste of time. It keeps the panhandlers in town, and leads to a lack of discipline in the schools. I think it's clear how some people really feel.

Leslie B. from Oak Park  

Posted: May 20th, 2011 10:14 AM

@Carrie B., I don't feel the need to be diplomatic about the community, because I own property here and pay taxes here and can say whatever I want about the community. Perhaps the reality check about what has happened to the value of your property is what stings. I don't deny that there are some great people in town, and I do meet very nice people, but these know-it-alls and jerks really need to chill out. I agree that people need to be vigilant and protect their community, but wait until you

Mr Smith from house with big yard  

Posted: April 25th, 2011 1:13 PM

best thing to do to keep dogs out of yard is sprinkel kayann pepper wear sidwalk mets da lawn. dog nose gets real sore and rubs eyes wit paws dog remembers and finds condo to crap on because most kondo owner too lazy to do this trick which is wy they kant affored house.

Carrie B. from Oak Park  

Posted: April 25th, 2011 1:00 PM

(continued) After an angry argument over your dog's excrement, you angrily tell a woman off and send a nasty letter openly warning other OPers to mind their own business and stop judging your race, age economic status while gloating about paying less to live among us "jerks" than she did. I hope you stay here long enough and have enough positive experiences to change your mind about us. But in my opinion, your current attitude will keep you from ever being a true Oak Parker.

Carrie B. from Oak Park  

Posted: April 25th, 2011 12:43 PM

Let me see if I understand your message to Oak Parkers, Leslie. You enjoyed living in Oak Park as a child but upon returning as an adult, we've disappointed you. After undiplomatic-ally stating this community was not your first choice, you came back because the price was right. Despite our panhandlers, muggers and high schoolers (?)you moved back with your adorable dog. You have now encountered [expletive deleted] and people who fit the negative stereotypes you were expecting all along.

Confused  

Posted: April 24th, 2011 8:04 PM

I was very confused as to why the Wednesday Journal printed this letter. Even taking the writer's statements as true, it does not seem like an interesting occurance. Someone assumed that the writer was not going to pick up after her dog and said something. And? People are rude to each other all the time. I also don't understand where the hypocrisy is.

Leslie B. from Oak Park  

Posted: April 22nd, 2011 4:55 PM

This lady lives in a condo, just like me. So it's not like she was out there toiling all day to keep the lawn pristine. Not to mention that the tree was nearly in the street. Sorry for what happened to your lawn, but the lady should have kept her mouth shut until she SAW me trying to avoid picking up his waste, WHICH SHE DID NOT!

NIMFY  

Posted: April 22nd, 2011 2:39 PM

The only thing you were being stereotyped as is a dog owner. Just last weekend, one dog owner allowed his dog to relieve itself on my postage stamp lawn AS I WAS RAKING IT. He picked it up, but really - why not lead Spot to the next house over? Later the same day another thoughtless dog owner just left a steaming pile of their thoughtlessness right there on my lawn. If were you stereotyped, blame your fellow dog owners, not your pro-active neighbor.

Leslie B. from Oak Park  

Posted: April 20th, 2011 8:48 PM

I must admit, that I am probably not among the most progressive and socially conscious in town, but I most certainly don't walk around town expecting to be judged. I don't even think that the village needs these heavy discussions on race, diversity, and sensitivity. It's not necessary! Simply keep your judgments to yourself UNLESS and UNTIL a specific individual's actions merit it. Had this busy body CAUGHT me in the act of walking away from a pile of poop, I'd have never written this letter!

Me from Oak Park  

Posted: April 20th, 2011 7:53 PM

Thank you Leslie and Max. I'm happy to see this opinion clearly and articulately voiced. Self-righteous people are painfully annoying and should be called to task. Oak Park should continue to celebrate its progressive and socially conscientious citizens, who are a far cry from the self-righteous mopes that don't know how to mind their own business!

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