Friday, July 23, 2010

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Today, the neighbors who live in the house immediately to our right are moving away.  Seeing them move has reminded me of a tale that I've wanted to tell you all.  A tale that could have happened to anyone.

Oh, who am I kidding.  This would only happen to me.

Last year, the neighbor who lived in the house immediately to our left moved away.  I didn't really know him very well.  We'd exchange a few courtesy waves as I'd pull in and out of the driveway, but that was pretty much it.  I must admit, I am not a very neighborly person.  I know, I know.  It's awful.  But since I work a lot, I like to spend my time at home with my family.  And if I'm not spending time with my family, I like to be alone.  It's very Greta Garbo-esque of me, I know, but it's true.  So I'm not big on neighborhood get-togethers, or talking over the backyard fence, or socializing in the front driveway or whatever neighborly people are supposed to do with each other.     

Anyway, this neighbor to our left moved away very suddenly.  Scott, who is much more neighborly than me, told me he was transferred for work, and that he'd had to uproot immediately and just go.  Being unneighborly, I just shrugged and went about my business.

Since he had already moved, the man hired a realtor to show the house for him.  For the next few months, I would often see potential home buyers at the empty house when I'd arrive home from work.  And something started to inspire me.  I wonder if they will be my new neighbors, I would think while throwing out a courtesy wave to the realtor.  They look like a nice family.  And then I would go on thinking, You know, neighbors are a good thing.  Why am I so unneighborly?  And then I would become convicted. Well, it stops right here.  I am going to get to know the next neighbors we have.  We are going to be friends.  We will have barbecues and play yahtzee and get each others mail when we go on vacation.  By God, I will not be anti-social any longer!  I will be neighborly if it kills me!

Pretty soon, a sold sign appeared in the front lawn of the house.  And not long after that, right as I was about to leave for work one morning, a moving truck pulled up.  As I backed my minivan out of the driveway, I thought to myself, Now remember.  I am going to get to know these new neighbors.  I will bring a casserole over tonight!  Well, maybe not a casserole, that's hard.  I will bring brownies over tonight!

And then, as if I'd wished it on myself, I saw a man running across the yard towards my idling minivan. Here we go, I thought.  It's game time.

I rolled down my window and said "Hello!" And he was as friendly as could be.  "Hey there!" he said.  And then, "I was wondering if I could put my garbage can in your driveway today, since the moving truck will be blocking mine all day."

And I said "Oh, sure!"  Because as I just told you, I was now a neighborly person.  And then I said, with a big smile on my face, "And welcome to the neighborhood!"

And he said, "Oh.  Um.  I'm actually your old neighbor.  I'm just moving the rest of my stuff out today."

Whoops.  So much for me being neighborly. 

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16 comments:

Paul and Kerry said...

that is so hilarious! I am somewhat less neighborly than my hubs. BUT I am the nosy one, meaning, I am Mrs. Kravitz like (from Bewitched for the youngsters).

Belle said...

Didn't even see that one coming! That WOULD only happen to you, huh... AND unbeknownst to you, your old neighbor is ALSO a faithful follower of your blog. So he actually got to re-experience that just now. And laugh (or cry) again.
HAHAHA!

Jen said...

Aw, don't give up so easily. Think of it this way, a new neighbor a fresh start to put your foot in your mouth. ;)

Christina said...

Ha! That's funny. :) I don't like my neighbors either. They are all older, like to gossip, and always mow their damn yards at nap time. They kind of suck.

Bethany @ Organic Enchilada said...

That is freaking hilarious! You get an A+ for effort though. And there's really no reason to be embarrassed since you'll never see him again. Such good stories from you. :)

sara said...

see that just confirms my non-neighborly-ness

Helene said...

Hahahahaha...that's actually pretty funny! The poor guy!!!

You never know...the new family next door could have an awesome teenage daughter who LOVES to babysit for a very affordable fee. Oh wait, that would be my dream neighbor!!

Jeanette said...

eek! that would be just a bit embarrassing. I confess that I am not great at the neighbor thing either. every time i think, aww, I should invite the neighbors over; I see them give me a creepy look or do some strange activity. and then I decide to be un-neighborly. :)

Krista said...

Oooh! Ouch! Well, better luck next time!

Ann said...

haha...it is funny.Dont worry,it is a good start!

Liz said...

OH.MY.GOODNESS!!! I would have died!!!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sadia said...

Oh dear!

I have the neighbourliest neighbours ever. Our kids are practically siblings (even if little Max can't be bothered to call Mel and Jess anything but "the twins", even when addressing one of them).

Brandy said...

i'm so not a neighbor person. but i need to try to work that on the one side because they have a pool and I need an invite.

mommy in a small town said...

Oh dear! This is funny! But I'm the same way with the neighbors. I like the idea of it, but when it comes down to it; it's just not me!

Kim said...

oh NO!! I would have turned beet red and stepped on the gas! :)

Danae said...

That's too bad, but hopefully your next effort has a better response...?
We don't get together with our neighbors either, unless you count my daughter playing with the neighbor's daughter who is in her class. But it's just an outdoor friendship, if that makes sense. :o)
Thanks for the laugh!