I would just like to take this opportunity to say that my neighbors are assholes.
We have lived in our home for a year and a half now, and the only reason I’ve met any of our neighbors is because either a) Cooper bulldozed through the fence when he saw the neighbor’s dog on the other side, b) I locked myself out of the house and had to awkwardly ask to borrow a phone, c) the neighbors across the street and their little kids came trick-or-treating at our house (nine months after we moved in) or d) I forcibly introduced myself while a neighbor family was getting out of their car to go inside.
And these are people that live within feet of us, whom we share a fence with or whose houses are directly across from ours! And still to this day, I’ve never met a single one in the family who live right next to us on one side. Wouldn’t even be able to pick ‘em out of a lineup. All I know is that they often have loud pool parties and one time they flung what must have been a shovel-full of their dog’s crap into our yard.
I mean, who does that? I presume it was the teenager who did it, but still.
Then today, I was out walking my dogs and passed a lady on our street whom I see walking with a stroller nearly every morning, and she just kept her head down and said nothing as she passed. I was looking right at her, waiting to smile and wave when she looked, but still nothin’.
And THEN, I walked past another neighbor sitting in her car, and we made direct eye contact, but just as I was raising my hand to wave happily, her eyes darted in the other direction.
What the hell, people?!?! What happened to being neighborly? What happened to bringing new neighbors a plate of cookies, exchanging phone numbers, letting the other know you’re there if they need anything?
Heck, I know old peeping Billy with the binoculars and the four retarded corgies better than I know any of my other neighbors, and he doesn’t even live on the same street as us!
I crave connection with people, but it seems like too often people already have their inner circles and simply don’t care to make new friends. It’s been a struggle for me my whole life (growing up in a military family), and it’s still an issue now. People nowadays are so guarded, so closed up. And I guess I have a hard time understanding that, because I’m not that way! (obviously, I mean geez, my life story is on the Internet for all to read!) I know I could have done a better job of reaching out to our neighbors when we moved in, but I’d never lived in a neighborhood like this one before, and I really expected people to come to US! Not so.
An old couple walked by my front yard when I was bringing in the trash can yesterday, and though I’d never seen them before, they said hello and gave me a big, friendly smile and wave. And I thought to myself, they’re from a time when you didn’t just keep your eyes to the ground and pretend like you didn’t see the human right beside you.
And I think we ought to all be more like that old couple. It’s really a dying art, friendliness and warmth. So I urge those who read this to pick it back up again. Smile at a stranger. Make eye contact! If you see a new neighbor moving in, jot your name and number down on a piece of paper and go over and say hello! It’s just the right thing to do, and if too much time passes and you don’t do it, things get weird.
Mmkay? Rant over.
(found the below on Pinterest and thought it was great! Link to the printables here.