Friday, June 6, 2008


I know, it's been way too long on the moving story, and I will get back to it at some point this weekend, I promise.
But meanwhile, tell me if I'm being oversensitive.

None of my neighbors has ever spoken to me. I have met a few around campus, but they are people who live generally in the neighborhood, not people who live next door or across the street. I have yet to meet any of the people who live next door or across the street, in fact. Granted, I could have stopped by their houses when I moved in with plates of cookies, but I didn't. And neither did any of them.
Somehow, my lawn got monstrously long. Out of control. I kept not dealing with me because I believe in my soul that I should cut it myself, but hadn't gotten around to buying or borrowing a lawnmower. And I don't know any of my neighbors, so I also don't have anyone to ask, "Hey, who does your lawn?" which would be my natural inclination. It has been eating away at me, but, you know, other stuff happens and the lawn gets untidy. To be fair, very untidy.
Yesterday, a guy with a pickup truck and a lawnmower stopped by to ask if he could mow my lawn, as he's making a compost pile and needs my clippings. I was happy to have him do just that, and he did a magnificent job. And as he was doing this magnificent job, one of my neighbors thanked him.
So, unfriendly neighbors cross the line to smarmy and rude? Or neighbors who have not had time in seven months to say hello trying to be friendly?
As much as I am trying to buy in to the latter, my gut is going with the former, and that is awkward when you consider that I'm in this house, surrounded by these neighbors, potentially for decades.
Because this is my horoscope today:
It's way too easy for your ego to feel bruised by the smallest things today and you ought to take greater care to avoid situations in which others may be insensitive enough to make you feel bad.
Granted, in Virginia I did not know many of my neighbors (though I did know my ex's neighbors), and people in our complex were sometimes nosy or rude.
But didn't I move to Mayberry to escape that?


2nd bratche said...

Hey dear one. This is New England! It takes years for folks to talk to each other. Or rather, some do and some don't. Do they talk to each other? Probably not. Start a new tradition. Hold a block party. You'll be surprised. Some won't come, but those that do will have conversations about how they've always wanted to meet so and so but never had the nerve. Saying anything is progress.

bzh said...

I second that.
My money says they'll consider themselves fortunate that you moved into the neighborhood.

Cousin Mouse said...

My suggestion is to find an excuse to talk to the neighbors - but not THAT neighbor, not at first. Never too late to take a plate of cookies over to introduce yourself. Babies and dogs are good neighborhood ice-breakers. Borrow one or have the owner of one over for a walk to the nearest park or around the block.

Second best is to go for a walk or be hanging out in your yard when people are walking their dogs. No dog owner can resist someone admiring their dog and trading dog stories.

Watch for local yard sales, another good place to strike up a chat.

A good disaster gets neighbors talking - power outages, blizzards, floods, downed trees, deadly automobile crashes. A bit hard to arrange one of these, though, and you might have to wait a long time for one.

Surely, the person who came up with the Wedding Reception Bingo Game icebreaker will come up with something equally clever.

Polka Dot Creations said...

I agree with the dog-walking. I lived here for two years before my baby-walking finally got me introduced to people around town. I'm not so good at initiation contact, but it's pretty easy to do if you've got a built-in ice-breaker with you like a kid or a dog.

I do think I'd be somewhat miffed by that one particular neighbor, though. At least for a little while. I'd eventually get over it, though :-)

bzzzzgrrrl said...

Interesting note on this: Coincidentally, I have been dog-sitting for my parents since Friday night. I have taken the dog on a longish walk at least once a day since then, and have been playing n the yard with her many times each day.
I have not seen a single neighbor walking a dog or a baby this week. So weird. The neighbors across the street have dogs, but they also have a chain link fence, so they just let the dogs out.
I do smile and say hello to people when I see them on the street, but they mostly live down the street from me, closer in to town. There are a few folks in the neighborhood who probably know me by sight by now.

bzzzzgrrrl said...

Also, I am not above borrowing people's kids for this purpose. Anyone want to lend me theirs?