Thursday, September 25, 2008

Meeting the Neighbors

I've come to realize over the years that I'm somewhat of a recluse - not a complete one, but somewhat of one. Maybe a better way of saying this is that I like my space and my privacy. I'm fine with meaningless chit chat per say in line at the grocery store or library, but when it comes to acquainting myself with people whom I may be forced to have continued dealings with, well, that's where things get tricky. I met the woman who lived in the house (from which we just moved) next to us, actually the day that we began moving. She seemed interested in saying hello and being neighborly after we'd been there eight months already and had shared no more than a wave here and there, but as for me, I felt no need to begin this late in the game. I halfway wanted to just let her know there was really never going to be any great benefit in her conversing with me as we were leaving that very day, but I kept my thoughts to myself and tried my best to amiable.
We've now been in our new home for almost two weeks, and I have been fortunate enough to have already met our two nearest neighbors. Unfortunately, both meetings were somewhat awkward and embarrassing. The first one was yesterday. I was minding my own business and relishing the quiet solitude while Kyla was napping when the doorbell rang. . twice. . and then again. . and then a couple more times. All the while, I was running around trying to find the key to unlock the front door (yes, that's right. . there's no nob, you actually have to have the key to unlock the door. . don't ask me. . .). The doorbell continued ringing intermittently about every three to four seconds. Eventually I just went to the front door and shouted through the glass, "Hang on. I'm trying to find the key to open the door." With all the pressure surrounding the neurotic doorbell ringing I wasn't able to think clearly to find the key, and thus I resigned myself to opening the garage door and then walking around to the front door. As I rounded the corner, trying to imagine what in the world could create such a crisis that the man had to go AWOL on my doorbell, I also felt strangely self-conscious . . I mean, I wasn't expecting visitors and was lounging around in old dirty clothes with my hair frumpily clipped. . No make-up. . Heck, I hadn't even looked in the mirror in about 5 hours. . Not good. . "Helllloooo. . " I called out to the white haired man oblivious to the fact that I was now standing behind him. "Oh, Hi. . I'm Gary, your neighbor. . I didn't know if anyone was home or not, but your dog seems to keep getting out. I've already put him back in your yard twice, but somehow he's already out again." I tried to be overly kind to sort of make up for my lazy and somewhat grotesque appearance. Really it was nice of him to have put our dog back twice already, it just wasn't a good time for me to attempt to present myself as normal.
My second neighbor encounter which happened with the neighbor across the street also took me by surprise - well this was really more of sneak attack in my opinion. Moving has brought on some serious fatigue, which seems to just grow more with each day - and with that growing fatigue is a growing underlying crabbiness. I had put Kyla down for her nap and decided I'd try to weed one of the beds out front. The dog had been on the porch all morning (due to the fact that we can't let him out until we find where he's getting through the fence), so I decided I'd bring a rope with a leash (for extra room to run and play) and tie him under a tree up front so he could enjoy some of my delightful company while I worked in the front yard. Sadly, my efforts at being a friend to my dog were deemed a complete failure by him . . He didn't want to be tied; he wanted to run crazy all through the front yard and the road and the neighbors' yards, and because I wouldn't let him, he commenced letting me and the whole community know how terribly he'd been wronged. I tried to appease him with a toy or talking to him, but alas, it just wasn't good enough. The barking and whimpering began getting to me. I talked sternly to him and raised my voice, but to no avail. After about ten minutes or so of Bear's annoying banter something snapped in me. "BEAR!!!" I hollered at him loud enough to get even his attention. I have to say that I was surprised at my own volume; I could here my outburst echoing throughout the neighborhood. I carefully glanced around hoping no one had heard me, and that's when the fellow across the street (who up until this point went wholly unnoticed by me) called out a "Good morning!". I was mortified. "Good morning!" I called back in a tone that was far to chipper to even be mine after having just bellowed at my dog. Silence. "I'm gonna kill my dog" I laughed cheerily. Silence. I weeded for another minute or two, and then went inside and took the dog to the porch.
Nothing like becoming familiar with the neighbors. I have to say, as an improvement from our previous home, they all seem pretty normal. I on the other hand portray rather oddly.

1 comment:

Mom said...

Good story! Look at it from their point of view. Finally, a neighbor who paints their house and keeps the yard up. We can't go wrong!! ;)