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.