Posted by: picturefool | July 7, 2008

Tell me, who are the people in your neighborhood?

Len and I are not the sort to be good at reaching out to new people and saying, “Hey! Look at us! Let’s be friends!” When we moved into a real neighborhood I wasn’t sure what to expect. How do you meet the neighbors? Especially in January. And, truth is, we really didn’t meet anyone for a long time.

There is the lady next door whose sister died and who is very nice if a bit, ummm, missionary-like for our taste. There’s the guy on the other side who has not cut his back lawn ALL SUMMER so that now he has something more like woods than lawn. We know the lady’s name but not the guy’s because he has never done more than wave and say hello.

We met a few other people at the tour of homes in the spring but haven’t had any more contact since we are not members of the pool.

Brief aside: Our neighborhood pool is described as “the heart of the neighborhood” and it seems to be just that. Every introduction to a new neighbor results in the immediate question, “Have you joined the pool?” No, no, we haven’t. It’s $400+ dollars that we don’t have right now but next year we will join for sure. “Well, there’s a half-price special starting in July!” Wow! Okay, don’t have that money right this sec, either, but NEXT YEAR we will join for sure. “You’ve GOT to join!” Really? ‘Cause you’re the first person to mention it. “Your son needs to meet some kids in the neighborhood.” My mental translation: You suck as a parent and your child is going to be stunted socially if you don’t JOIN THE POOL!


So, two weekends ago Sam and I went to a garage sale where we met two couples and a single guy from the neighborhood. Very nice people! I’ve exchanged e-mails with one of the wives, even. The single guy sold us a coffee table (pics to follow) and we went to his house to pick it up. He has done his tri-level house in traditional mid-century style with great colors and the coolest door knob I have ever seen. We chatted for quite a while and got a full tour of his home. We hit it off quite well.

Thursday found me sanding the front door so that I could paint it red. I’m covered in blue filings when I hear, “Hey, Stephanie!” It was the single guy, D of the Cool House, and a friend. We chatted for 45 minutes on everything from brands of cat litter to UPS to Amazon’s shipping policies to work and the weather and, of course, the (GAAA!) pool. We really hit it off. The friend, B of the Odd-Shaped house, is super-fantastic. I felt so good from chatting with really nice, well-educated, sophisticated neighbors. It was a real treat.

So, on Friday when I saw one of the guys from the house right across the street I actually summoned the courage to walk up the driveway to initiate contact. He was walking his dog with his sister. We chatted for long enough to get a thousand mosquito bites and ended up having an invitation to come over for cocktails with him and his partner on Saturday.

We had a wonderful time on Saturday touring their house. It is, in some ways, the mirror image of ours: and “el” style ranch house built in the post-and-beam style. However, their door and kitchen are positioned differently. We have the better kitchen by far but their living room is deeper and more open. We talked books and histories and, of course, mid-century modern. We hung out with their papillon, Max. We saw their cat do, no lie, a trick! She will roll over on command. Well, not “on command” so much as “after some begging.” But the fact remains that the cat will roll over. Amazing.

They are coming over to see our house on Saturday and have promised to take the kid to the pool sometime soon. I’m going to walk their dog on Friday. They are such a nice couple and so much fun. I really hope this will turn into a friendship. It’s so nice having such good people right across the street.

P.S. Pictures of the Hibiscuses… hibisci… hibiscus flowers can be seen here.



  1. Brilliant!

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