Thursday, June 30, 2005

Mrs. Gina's Neighborhood

So I live in a townhome, and with that comes a certain proximity to my neighbors that I am still a bit unused to. My family always lived in a house with ample space between us and our neighbors (in California terms, anyway, which is completely different than most other parts of the country), so unless a big party was being thrown, everyone could go about their business and rarely see or hear their neighbors.

With a townhome comes a more communal feel, as if you have all kind of thrown your lots in together, for better or worse. We are lucky to live in a development that was built in the 70's, for we are much more spread out than new developments. My street is a private street that is essentially a big "U" shape, with most of the houses ringing the outside of the U, and a couple houses and the pool in the middle. I can look out my front windows and see up to 10 other townhomes. Thus, I tend to know a lot about what my neighbors are doing. If you couple that with Mr. Personality and his tricycle, as well as the fact that I have no life, and I think I have a pretty good pulse on the place.

Neighborliness, or lack thereof, is a very subjective thing. Some people are happy never to see or speak to their neighbors, while others corral you at the mailbox with their tales of upcoming surgery on their toes. I have come up with a list of things I have deemed neighborly or un-neighborly, let's see if anyone knows what I am talking about, or even recognizes themselves.

Neighborly: Offers my child snacks when we are out walking around.

Un-neighborly: Letting their large dog off-leash when Mr. Personality is out and about, thus causing us great anxiety when said dog leaps out of the garage, barking at us.

Neighborly: Sweeping out your patio and putting contents in trash bin.

Un-neighborly: Using a blower to blow your patio clean, intentionally sending the contents out into the street and/or other people's patios.

Neighborly: Not turning up radios, shouting, etc...

Un-neighborly: Having your almost three year old scream at the top of his lungs as if you are beating him when told he has to go inside. Have him continue screaming while taking his shoes off in the garage, and in the kitchen while you attempt to cook dinner.

Neighborly: Keeping your dog's waste products somewhat on or near your own property, and then promptly picking them up.

Un-neighborly: Not picking up your dog's gigantic poop by the communal mailbox, prompting the post office to send our community a letter threatening to stop delivering the mail here. (Talk about embarassing!)

Neighborly: Knowing that the water is paid for by the association, conserve it and use it wisely so as not to raise our rates.

Un-neighborly: Wash your friggin' huge truck almost every day, sending rivers of water gushing along the gutters.

Neighborly: Trying to keep car noise to a minimum.

Un-neighborly: Apparently not know one person out of a seemingly endless parade of males who has not illegally amped up their car, so that even idling in the garage sounds like a semi rumbling through the walls.

Nope, I sure don't recognize myself in there anywhere. I'm a perfect neighbor, didn't you know?


WordsRock said...

I'm not sure how I'd do living that close to anyone else.

I do, however, appreciate a sense of community. And in every community there are bound to be at least one or two "problem" people with their obnoxious animals and loud, speeding automobiles and screaming ill-behaved children.

But leaving poop by the community mailbox? That's cause for a lynch mob. Another reason to hate those mailbox clusters!


Suzanne said...

I would be the bad neighbor with the child screaming at the grievous crime of going back indoors, followed by more screaming inside. It's not every evening, but when it happens am I certain that the neighbors are plotting to rid themselves of us.