Are you guys friends with your neighbors? And here I'm meaning, did you BECOME friends with them based on their proximity to you (if you were already friends, it doesn't count.) Do you chat casually when you walk your dogs, or are you so close that you maybe even hang out socially or babysit each other's kids? I've been trying to figure out why it is that despite the reasons why I should reach out to my neighbors (they are around our age, they have kids, BECAUSE IT IS CRAPPY NOT TO) I have yet to make even the slightest gesture beyond waving when I pass them.
I think these days it just doesn't seem necessary to be anything more than cordial to one's neighbors. We all have cars, we all (hopefully) (more or less) get out and do things with our friends, and of course we're all busy. There's no real need to make friends out of the people over the fence like there was in the fifties, when housewives usually didn't even have access to cars during the day, and once they had dusted and vacuumed (in their high heels and apron) and sent Johnny and Susan off to school, they had nothing to do but head over to each other's kitchens for the afternoon and discuss their mutual discontent and boredom over Irish coffee. (Geez, Sarah, traffic in ridiculous stereotypes much?)
Now, I don't necessarily think there's anything WRONG with this evolution of social relationship, per se, but it does seem like it would be NICE to at least be on a first name basis with the people living around us. The ones next door have at least one small kid, because I see her coming and going with an infant carseat. Yet they moved in about three months ago and I have yet to go over and introduce myself. I'm pretty sure she's a stay at home mom, too, so I could THEORETICALLY do this during the day. The neighbors across the street have a daughter about five and a son about Addy's age. She's a teacher and he's a fireman, or at least a volunteer fireman. Aside from his annoying habit of backing into his (very short) driveway and swinging his headlights directly into our front window every night, they both seem very nice. We have talked to them a few times, when out trick-or-treating mostly.
Jim was out on Saturday canvassing the neighborhood for his presidential candidate of choice (yes, that's right, we are ACTIVISTS!) and his last stop was their house. He was talking to the husband, Matt, and found out that he had recently been injured when a local business had a gas leak and exploded. We had heard about the explosion (the business belonged to an acquaintance of ours) and I'm pretty sure I even got an email telling me that our neighbor had been injured. But I promptly forgot about it, and then promptly felt TERRIBLE when Jim told me about our neighbor's injuries. I mean geez, I couldn't have sent a CARD? Brought over some COOKIES? Offered to watch the kids so she could go to the hospital in the evening? SOMETHING?
Yuck. There are some things not worth feeling guilty over, but this I do feel genuinely bad about, particularly as someone who espouses Christian ideals (i.e. love your NEIGHBOR!)
So is it too little, too late to go over with some Get Well Soon baked good? Or would that just be weird? Maybe just let this situation pass and then try to, I don't know, watch in a hovery way out the front window until I see one of them come outside with the kids, then dart outdoors and wave frantically, "Hi, neighbors!"?