Do you know your neighbors? Have you tried? Did it even cross your mind one way or the other?
I know that, these days, being neighborly has become a problem, and the topic receives attention now and then from various news outlets.
Growing up, I didn’t have the idealized “we all went outside and played with the neighbor kids till the streetlights turn on.” I didn’t actually know any of the kids in our neighborhood on a friend level, but my parents at least knew the names of the people who were our next-door neighbors, and we all knew the super-sweet elderly couple across the street (they gave out real-sized Snickers bars at Halloween. Not fun size. REAL ONES. Seriously, they’re the best).
Theeeeeen…. we moved to the country. No neighbors. 0_0
Well, I take that back. We had a neighbor. One other house we could see, and we knew them pretty well, actually. It even turned out that at some point we were vaguely related through marriage or divorce or something??? I dunno. It wasn’t important, really.
My perspective on neighbors affected who I sought to meet when I moved into my dorm. Naturally a little socially awkward and shy, I made it my duty to learn who lived in the five-room-block around my own dorm, aside from my own roommate, of course. Did I know the names of the girls who lived at the other end of the hall? No. I didn’t. I didn’t even make an effort. When it came to social stuff, I learned the people in closest proximity (next door and across the street), and then I gathered social understanding of other relevant people (the girls who lived around one of my friends on a different floor).
This kind of strategy continued into proper adulthood, I suppose.
In our neighborhood in Indiana, we met the neighbors we could see, but we weren’t friends or anything like that.
Here in Oklahoma, we got to know our next-door neighbors immediately because we moved in on the same day! Man… that was pretty crazy. But good, too. We met. Our kids play together even though ours are younger than theirs. My neighbor and I chat regularly, and we keep each other informed of the happenings around our houses.
It’s really nice, honestly. Because we’re in a small neighborhood that is very slowly growing, it’s easier to meet new neighbors and kinda get to know them.
I like it! I like knowing who lives around me, and while I don’t expect to be buddy-buddies with anybody, I wouldn’t not introduce myself to someone in my neighborhood, especially since we homeschool. I don’t want people wondering why my kids aren’t in school during normal school hours and things like that.
How about you?
Do you know your neighbors?