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New Neighbors

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I remember growing up with fabulous neighbors. They were the type of neighbors where you could just wander over and were welcome whenever. I look back of videos of my third birthday, and there they are. Since moving from that house at the age of 9, I never quite developed that relationship with any other neighbors. In college, I lived 5 places in 4 years. There really wasn’t time to develop any sort of connection with neighbors. I mean, it’s not like I baked and needed to borrow an egg. I was never home.

However, about 3 years ago, my husband and I bought a house. Within about a week, neighbors were visiting to introduce themselves, wanting to see our home, wanting to swap contact info. It was so odd to me. I really didn’t know how to react.

I was quickly approached by a woman who runs the HOA meetings- let’s call her Pansy. Pansy invited us to her monthly meeting… Listen, I’m not the HOA type. In fact, I despise the idea. In no way did I want to be a part of that meeting Tuesday at 6:15 in her home, so I respectfully declined. My next interaction with Pansy was her waving me over while I was pulling into my driveway one day after work. I park and walk over.

“I just thought you should know that a young blonde woman entered your home around 2PM yesterday and didn’t leave until about 4…”

Is this lady seriously implying my husband might be cheating on me?? Ha! I kindly replied that the blonde woman was my best friend and we were catching up. She nodded in what appeared to be disbelief. Needless to say, I haven’t spoken to her since.

Fast forward two and a half years- the older couple who have lived next door to us put their house up for sale and our new neighbors were moving in in the next couple of weeks. Gun-shy with any sort of neighborly relationship, I couldn’t help but think, will these be the neighbors I have longed for, or more Pansies? We were out of town the day they moved in, but we saw cars in the driveway when we returned.

I was totally planning on bringing over cookies or something, but panicked and didn’t. What if they can’t have cookies? What if they kidnap me? I don’t know these people from Adam. I’m such a piece of shit when it comes to these things.

Finally, one day, we see a mom and two daughters trying to unload a bed out of their van. My husband and I walked over and offered help. They seemed very nice. They introduced themselves, explained who went to what school, what the husband did for a living- normal stuff. Then the mom asked, “Are you renting?” We replied that we owned the home. She looked at us curiously and said, “Hmmm Pansy mentioned you guys were probably renters when we were at the HOA meeting last week.”

‘Great. You’re one of them,’ I think to myself. My defenses shot up so quickly, I could feel the invisible shield surround me. She goes on, “We didn’t really care for that Pansy lady. She was a gossiper and told some other neighbors that we thought they were partiers. They even left us a nasty note on our door..” I nodded simply thankful this no longer had anything to do with me. Maybe this lady isn’t so bad after all. I mean, we have a common enemy here.

A few weeks pass. I bring our neighbor flowers when there was a death in the family. She meets my mother. We wave occasionally. We exchanged numbers just in case. Things are going well.
In the last 3 weeks:
• “Hey we noticed your door handle is loose. Let us know if you want us to fix it for you.” WTF? How would you know our door handle was loose?!
• “That car in front of your driveway has been there a while. You might want to move it so you don’t get fined.” It wasn’t even our car and we didn’t give a shit.
• “Not sure if you’re home or not but there is a new dog in the neighborhood who is barking and it’s getting your dogs upset. Don’t want anyone calling the cops on you for noise.” Hmmm, like you? Are you saying you will call the cops on our dogs?
• “Hey I figure you guys are probably out of town, which is why your trash is still on the driveway. Don’t worry, we moved it back for you so you didn’t get fined.” Actually, it was one day early.

I feel like Marshawn Lynch is my neighbor- just here so I don’t get fined.

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