Now, don't get me wrong, we do have friends here (from church and Greg's work and my MOPS group) they just aren't our neighbors. A recent interaction with our "closest" neighbors (relationship-wise) made me realize that maybe it's time to "get out there" a little more.
We decided to order out for pizza one night (I know, shocking). Just as Greg drove away, the doorbell rang. It was one of our neighbors and her daughter selling girl scout cookies. I was a little flustered because I had taken a nap when Ben was napping and had woken up not too long ago...and I looked like it. Anyway, here is how the conversation went:
Me (opening the door): Hi! How are you guys?
Neighbor's Daughter: Would you like to buy some girl scout cookies?
Me: Sure! What do I need to do? Do I need to fill something out?
Neighbor (her name is Tara): Nope, we actually have the cookies right out here in the car so you can get them right now. Which kind would you like?
Me: I'll take the Thin Mints. Can I write a check? (Greg is the only one who ever has cash)
Tara: Sure, it's $3.50. I'll go get them and be right back. (If you think writing a check for $3.50 is embarrassing, just you wait....)
Me to Neighbor's Daughter: Who do I make the check out too?
Neighbor's Daughter: You can just make it out to my mom.
Me (thinking to myself): Oh crap. What is her last name? What is her last name? WHAT IS HER LAST NAME?????
Me (trying be very sly) to Tara: Hey Tara, how do you spell your last name? (Thinking to myself...please don't let it be Smith or Jones or White....)
Me (thinking to myself): Backfire.
Yes, it was very embarrassing. I mean, we've lived here for almost 5 years for crying out loud!!!! This ranks right up there with the time we first moved in and one of the neighbors on our cul-de-sac came over to introduce themselves and bring us some cookies. I was here by myself and we still had Jackson at the time who went ape every time the door bell would ring (among many, many other things). Anyway, when I answered the door, I had to hold Jackson back so he wouldn't dart out the front door. The neighbor looked a little startled and I said "Oh, don't worry, he won't bite" at which point, Jackson turned on me and literally started mauling my arm. I wish you could have seen the neighbor's face. His eyes were bugging out of his head and he practically threw the basket of cookies at me and made a beeline back to his house. They haven't spoken to us since. I'm not kidding.
Or, there was the time when we lived in Florida and Jackson escaped from our backyard and ran like the wind through various neighbors' backyards. Greg was gone, so I went running after him while carrying a bag of treats and screaming "SIT! SIT!". Did I mention I was still wearing my pajamas?!? And crying? I finally ended up in a backyard where a high school-aged boy was trying to relax on his family's lanai. When I saw him, I started pleading with him to help me catch my dog. He just sat there, frozen and visibly afraid of me. I looked crazy......no, no, I WAS crazy!! And then, Jackson stopped running and relieved himself in the boy's yard. At which point, I gathered my emotions and my dog and called it a day.
Clearly, I should never be left alone. I'm not even sure how I get around in the world.
Anyway, I think the time has come for us to be more neighborly. Or more normal. One of the two.