Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Nothing Neighborly About My Hood

I will start by saying that I live in a very nice, safe and …sort of upscale neighborhood and love our proximity to the ocean (7 blocks.) This is great and good for the kids. They can walk to the beach, shopping, schools…and we have no need to worry about their safety.

The one thing that has lodged itself beneath my skin is how different this neighborhood is from the one that I grew up in. As a kid, I remember knowing everyone in the neighborhood. My parents knew everyone and got together for dinner or drinks with them regularly. We, as kids, would cruise around and go door to door hanging out with each other. It was a very comfortable feeling…one of community and friendliness.

Here on the other hand, no matter how hard we try, our neighbors SUCK!!!! Even on our block…nobody hangs outside. Nobody is invited to anyone’s BBQs or get-togethers. There is not even a “hello” while walking down the street. We may get a little head nod, but I just don’t get it.

This is a house that Mariah grew up in and her family has been here for more than 25 years…still nothing. There are a few kids on the block that are the same age as our kids…yet none of them play together. Some of the adults are our age, yet socializing is unheard of. What the fuck?!

The only neighbor that is friendly and eager to talk and be involved is the family directly next door…but they barely speak English. They are Chinese and the language barrier is more of a brick wall than a barrier. Mr. Neighbor does come over when he sees me outside, to spark up random little conversations (which is nice and I do appreciate the effort) but often I think that we both get a bit frustrated with our inability to communicate effectively.

As an example (because it just happened) he asked me and I had to try to explain about TPing. (Some girls who have a crush on our son snuck over the other night and did their best to cover our hedge and tree out front with toilet paper.) Mr. Neighbor was concerned, so I had to explain that it was all in fun and that it was something that young teens do as a sign of affection and playfulness. This conversation was one that lasted at least 30 minutes and was primarily me talking and him nodding with a blank look on his face.

Anyway…we have been seriously considering moving. We love the area we are in but this un-neighborly neighborhood that we are in is a shitty feeling that is too hard to shake. I would, quite frankly, rather live in a trailer park in tornado alley with neighbors who hung out together, looked after one another and were just plain neighborly.

Enough venting for me…for now…I have to pee!


Mariah said...

Oy...don't EVEN get me strted on the neighbors around here. I'll just bitch about one tiny thing...

During halloween our house was all crazy decorated and some mom said it was in poor taste and could we tone it down a bit, because all the skeletons scared her toddler.

Nuff said

Ilina said...

Wow, I can't begin to identify with that amount of suckdom. I'd die without the awesomeness of my neighborhood. I wrote about it here: http://www.dirtandnoise.com/2008/02/beautiful-day-in-neighborhood.html Move here!

Philly said...

My neighbors also suck. They tried to organize a block party one year, and get this......they wanted to have it catered. Seriously?


Senorita said...

I'm sorry to hear that.

I moved so often as a child, and my family was closeminded, so I didn't experience the neighborhood friendliness that you did growing up. But I wish I did.

You and Mariah seem like one of the last few friendly people around that are open minded enough to get to know the neighbors.

It's definitely something that's a rarity these days.

I am not sure if moving would solve your problems, as you never really know what you get until you move in.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I moved into a neighborhood a few years back that was a newer built suburban neighborhood and most of the couples were in our same age range and kid range... if ya know what I mean.

BEST neighborhood EVER and I'm still really close with most of the people there.

We had to move... but I MISS it so much.

So I get ya!

ChocDrop said...

I agree with you. Every one is so distant. The last place I lived I was there almost 2 years and never said more than hello to my neighbors. I lived alone, single woman, I kinda felt I had to be a bit careful. Lots of friends came by so it always appeared someone was there.

Cameron said...

Our neighbors kinda suck too...we have polite conversation, but it's not like I can invite the guys over for a beer...it's just weird. At our old place, I used to drink a beer with my neighbor all the time...guess it's just where you live, and who's around you.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

Mariah...I can't believe that. Well, actually I can. Which is why I live in the Valley. Some dude turned his whole house into a haunted pirate ship one year.

It really sucks to have bad neighbors.

Melissa @ Mommy is in the Bathroom said...

My cul-da-sac has been both friendly and not. We all moved in to our newly constructed 1st homes within a year of each other. The first two years were great! Fire pits, dinners, outings, trips... and then came the gossip, the backstabbing, the affairs (yes, more than one), the financial problems, people moving. Now hardly anyone talks to anyone, nobody trusts anyone, nobody likes anyones elses kids. We're the poor version of Desperate Housewives. I call my neighbors Hobbes Killers. Check out this post http://mommyisinthebathroom.blogspot.com/2009/05/your-hobbes-killer-beeotch.html

Just Jules said...

there is a house in the neighborhood for sale - come over here - I'll talk to you. Although winters suck, you have to look good in a parka.

I just don't get it. These are the same people who are so busy scheduling every moment of their and their kid's lives that spontaneous conversation and play can't happen. It is all about what you can offer as a friend to them - if only they knew how cool you all were ;)

SweetPeaSurry said...

I don't blame ya'll for being annoyed with your neighbors. I grew up on a cul-de-sac where we all knew eachother and played together. The 'old folks' got together on the weekends to play cards and go bowling and such. It was a fun time.

Since I don't have kids, I don't mind being in a not-so-friendly neighborhood, but I can see where it would be frustrating to you. Don't the kids in the neighborhood all go to the same schools and such? Weird that they don't hang out together.


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