>I live in a typical suburban neighborhood.
For the first three years I lived here, I never met some of our neighbors in a particular house. We called them “The grinders”, as they were always busy welding or using an angle grinder on random pieces of metal.
There’s the neighbors that don’t mow their lawn because they only come home for two hours on the weekend. And only every other weekend, at that.
I have other neighbors who are landscaping neat-freaks. I fear leaving a footprint in their lawn, though they’re too nice to complain. I imagine if I did, they would come out at night before bed and comfort the grass where I had tread. Probably giving it kind words and some luke-warm, fertilized water, carefully administered with a dropper as you would give medicine to a sick child.
I have neighbors who only call me by my middle name. I still don’t understand why.
See? Typical suburban neighborhood. Almost.
Then there’s the backyard neighbors. They are super friendly, not too intrusive. Sometimes the conversations drag on, but I know I should be thankful. At least they aren’t selling drugs out of their house, just ugly dogs that I can’t stand.
She was single until about two years ago when she found herself a nice husband who happens to manages a local grocery store that I frequent. Outside of the occasional over-the fence chat, I sometimes see him at the store. He’s a talker. He talks just to talk. What’s great is, I know he still can’t remember my name, yet he seems comfortable in holding me hostage in conversations. Sometimes he makes me want to have a signal to give my kids so they’ll know to throw a fit and I can have an out.
Don’t get me wrong, I like people. Sometimes I wish I could interact with people more than I currently do. But never in this instance, and with good reason (at least in my book, which isn’t a book based on logic, or reason).
Maybe I need to roll with the punches a little more, but this is getting old. Every conversation is the same. And today’s conversation is the prime example, so I’ll share it with you here;
Neighbor- “Hey! How are ya?”
Me- “Good, thanks. How are you?”
Neighbor- “Great, hey we’re thinking of doing an addition and my wife said you guys had added on to your house.”
Me- “Yes, we added the back section.”
Neighbor- “Oh, and I heard your husband playing music the other night again. We were saying how good it sounds, is he in a band?”
Me- “Well, he and I play music together.”
Neighbor- “But it sounded good, who was he playing with?”
Me- “He and I were playing, we play a lot. We’d like to have a band, but don’t have a drummer so just he and I play together.”
Neighbor- “Yeah, but it sounded good, who was he playing with??”
Me-(trying to suppress visions of smacking him with one of my drumsticks)”Me!”
Neighbor- “What? Well, what do you even play??”
Me- “I play the bass and the drums, but it’s usually drums lately.”
Neighbor- “Yeah, but… it sounded good. (looking confused) He’s not in a band?”
I kid you not, this is the actual conversation. And it was the last time, and the time before. Next time I may record it with my phone for kicks (and for all you doubters who think I make stuff up, solely to have a blog topic).
I mean, seriously??? I want to know what makes it so unbelievable to this man that I could actually play music. Because I have been for twenty-something years. And not just in my music room, thank you. Maybe I should take it as a compliment that he thinks it’s good, whether or not he believes it’s me? Maybe I shouldn’t let people’s obvious lack of tact bother me?
Maybe I should find a new place to purchase my groceries…