Won’t you be my neighbor?

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I’ve never been a particularly neighborly type person.  I mean, I’m by no means a bad neighbor.  I’m more like the nice neighbor who is friendly, but tends to keep to herself.  I’m not the neighbor who drops by to borrow things or, god forbid, just hang out. But, that may be changing. We’ll see.

It started a couple of weeks ago when my neighbor almost rammed her car into me as she was screaming out of her driveway.  We narrowly avoided a collision and when she saw me she looked embarrassed and apologetic.  I waved it off and thought nothing more of it.  Later, when I was getting out of my car in my driveway, she made a point of coming over to apologize to me.  While not necessary, I thought it was a classy touch.  Even though we’ve lived right next door to each other for the last two years, we really haven’t spoken much.  Maybe a short conversation here and there, but I couldn’t really say I knew her.  But, here we were having a nice conversation – about the neighborhood, pets, and just life in general in our little community.   Once I revealed where I worked, she told me some of the issues she was having there, and as it so happened those types of issues were right up my alley.  I offered to do some leg work for her, and we exchanged contact information.

Within the next week or so I was able to find her exactly what she was looking for and emailed her the information.  And within a couple of days she once again approached me in my driveway, this time to thank me profusely.  Well, that was nice, I thought.  Always good to have a good relationship with your neighbor.

Then this morning she called me.  She had a bunch of bread products in her freezer, and with the power outage they had to be eaten  soon or thrown away – did I want any?  Uh, sure?  Why not? Carbs good. So later in the afternoon the boyfriend and I went over to take some of these bread products off her hands. I was fully expecting to maybe chat in the kitchen for a while and then be out of there.  But no, this was a full blown social visit.

She’s a lovely woman, and we have a lot in common.  We ended up staying there for about an hour or so chatting about all sorts of things.  The afternoon ended with the boyfriend and I walking out of there with two bags of perfectly good buns, bagels and bread (most of which the boyfriend is dropping by a local food bank) and an invitation for dinner at her place sometime in the near future.

This is new territory for me.  Where is the boundary between neighbor and friend?  And if  she and her husband have me over for dinner, do I have to reciprocate and host the next time?  That’s what I’m afraid of – all those social obligations that make me so awkward and maladroit.  But, I’ll play it by ear and see where this goes.

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4 responses »

  1. Being friends with the neighbors has its benefits but there are also some drawbacks.

    Yeah, I’d play it by ear and I would take it slowly.

    But it can be good! Let’s look on the bright side and hope for good!

  2. Funny how awkward these things can be for us eh? You described exactly how I am with neighbors. It’s almost like the arms length relationship you keep with co-workers – because you don’t want to risk the fallout of seeing someone nearly every day IF something goes horribly wrong.

    I mean – I share a wall with my neighbor since its a twin home setup. When I first moved in she was by herself. Then The Boyfriend moved in and he seemed nice enough but was VERY tightly strung and got into it with my older son a few times over parties at my house (not that I was pleased about those either, but I digress) and it reached a point where he stopped speaking to me. No wave or smile or anything as we passed by. Now, the lady was always a sweetheart but it was kinda awkward. Then I realized that The BF seemed to have moved out early this summer! Sure enough, the next weekend I had a nice conversation with my neighbor and she confirmed they had broken up..and..well..I was kinda glad because it means things are more relaxed around the homestead again and she and I are back to coordinating maintenance of our building and looking out for each other.

    So I feel your hesitance! But what you did was very nice and it’s lovely that she is reaching out to show her appreciation so just follow Corina’s advice and take it day by day.

  3. We very recently just met our neighbors after living next to them for nearly 6 years.

    Crazy how times have changed. There was a time when it was common place to know everyone on the block, and get togethers were normal.

    Now it seems its more common to build fences all the way around the house and secret ourselves away from the rest of the world.

    I for one support getting to know the neighbors. Good luck with that. You never know when a good friend is going to come along, and if you never venture past your front door, you miss them.

  4. You’re so delightfully honest about not knowing quite how to proceed.

    I’d say err on the side of caution, but then I kinda like my neighbors antisocial.

    The trouble with any fledgling relationship is sometimes they are all developed before you really find out what kind of person you’ve become involved with.

    *blinks* Actually, scratch that, I’m in a particularly paranoid frame of mind at the moment.

    Just take your time and go at a comfortable pace for you. That’s a nice way to say what I’m saying.

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