Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Neighbors.......

This is one of those posts whose idea has been swimming around in my head for a couple of months; but until now I couldn't pull the trigger on it.  The subject has been gnawin' at me.  It is something that should be said.  Oh, don't get me wrong---it's not like the Gettysburg Address or the Declaration of Independence---but it is one of those existential things we all deal with in one way or another but seldom comment on.

The subject is neighbors. 
Won't You Be.......My Neighbor?
When we moved in to this neighborhood in early May, we heard from the previous home owners how wonderful the neighbors are on our street.  So, it was with some surprise that only one couple introduced themselves to us.

And the funny thing about that is the fact that they spent an hour in our living room that day feeding us gossip (some pretty vicious stuff) about the other neighbors.  Cindy and I didn't like that.  And, I finally had to end the visit when it became apparent that they had no plans to leave.  Afterward, I asked Cindy if she would be comfortable having a close relationship with them.  Like me, she said "no".  I mean, after all.......if they gossip about everyone else, they would also gossip about us.  'Nuff said.

There is another couple who live very close.  We wave to them when we see them outside.  We heard that they had been robbed shortly before we moved in.  The story is that two men came down the street, saw that their garage door was left open, and entered the open garage and carried off some valuables that were stored in the garage. 

Now, to me, the obvious solution to this is to keep one's garage door closed when one is not in the garage.  But not these folks.  No, they keep their garage door open all day long.  And last night, it stayed open all night.  Don't you think you would be a little more careful if you had just been robbed?  Just askin'.

Then, there are the two young couples with children who live nearby.  I haven't met them, but they seem nice when we see each other outside.  What bothers the hell outta' me is that their kids---who appear to be about 6 years old---play in the street.  I shudder when cars whiz past them.  I don't get it.  I mean, all these homes have nice back yards.......why not use the back yard to play in and avoid the possibility of little Jennie and Timmie being run over in the street?  Like I say, I don't get it.

Then, there is the couple next door who I have never seen.  They are strict loners (I don't have a problem with that!).  But it is funny that we have lived here five months now and the only times we have seen them is when they drive in and out of their garage. 

My, how times have changed.  When I was growing up, all the neighbors knew and respected each other. 

I suppose much of the disconnect these days comes from the reign of Ipods, Droids, texting, instant internet connections, Playstations, XBoxes, etc, etc.  Neighbors don't need each other very much in 2011.

And, with so much less interraction between neighbors, there is a resultant diminishing of interpersonal skills.  I think folks find it difficult to talk to each other in a meaningful way.

What do you think?


  1. Your right we are becoming very isolated with ourselves. Richard

  2. I couldn't agree more Clint, there's so many ways to communicate today but so many people are losing (or not developing) the amazing and wonderful art of communication. The world is so fast, it's a "me" society we live in today and a very Capitalist society. I've met my neighbors in my new home, one I talk to over the fence, the other I talk to about the fence. He's reneging on his end of paying his share of the costs. Another week and I'll call a lawyer to get some advice.

    As for the family who allows their children to play in the streets, I know here in Canada if we, as citizens, don't report child neglect and something, heaven forbid, were to happen with that child we are held accountable. Even if something doesn't transpire and we know that a child is at risk we're supposed to call it in to the "officials" and they can do an investigation. I'd hate to read that one of the children in your neighborhood was hurt, worse yet killed, playing in the streets. I'd say, both in my personal and professional opinion, that leaving children unattended to play in the streets is neglect.

    Sad world we live in when I think about it, but it's the world we have to contend with on a day to day basis so the way I view it, I might as well make the most of what I have to work with.

    Have a great day and thank God for Cindy, you have her for company on a daily basis. :-)

  3. It's that way pretty much everywhere Clint. I have two neighbors, one to my immediate left and one across the street to my right. When we moved in here, we went to meet them. We are closer to the one on the left as our grandsons play together when they are here at the same time and we exchange Christmas gifts. With the ones on the right, we go to each others yard sales and way hello and goodbye but that's all.
    We had a cookout, invited everyone and nobody came. We give up.
    Carol B.

  4. i think i like living in the country where the most 'neighbor' interaction i have is with their livestock. :)

  5. Well I have a daughter for a neighbour...and one other couple we see a couple times a year....that is about it for neighbours...but when we lived in the centre of was always to busy for neighbours... I think that is just the way life is...always changing...busier and even when your with someone...they spend half their time texting someone one on one connecting is becoming a thing of the past?

  6. When we moved into our apartment complex my mom, who was visiting and helping us move, met everyone around even my dad. This was before my stroke. My husband thought it strange as he is closed to himself and family where my family has always been friendly and open to meeting and getting to know who is around. In my past I was the same way, open, wanting to know my neighbors and actually had several we looked out for and them us. Now I am closed off and ask my husband about who is around. He can never tell me. I think it's best to know who lives where and be aware of your environment, no matter where you live. I miss a house and neighbors. Sad that your neighbors aren't as friendly.

  7. Over here at my place it is different to the places I lived in Germany. Here you know each other, everybody is looking when strangers are at the front door, even when they are only parking there. If you need a helping hand, you will get them, and if you only have a question they are there for you.

    It is so sad that your new neighborhood ist so different to your old place. I remember your posts about the partys you had over there s.o.

    ...and I agree with you in every point you wrote!!

  8. When my husband was alive the neighbours were great.....providing he was a taxi driver to them. After his death they were respectful at first to me but within weeks I felt alone, isolated people used to cross over the road on seeing me, perhaps they didn't know what to say I don 't know. I keep myself to my self, I do have friends but they live some distance away.


  9. I am not sure neighbors have really changed. I think we as a society used to be more tolerant of each other than we are today. We needed each other more. Now our reach of how and where to find people to connect with is much, much farther.
    Who needs neighbors when we have Clint?


  11. Hi Clint, it used to be that neighbors played a big role in our lives. At least that is how it was when I was growing up. We knew all our neighbors and most of them were nice and friendly.

    Your post is probably a reality check . We are truly alienated and isolated from one another these days.

    But there are neighbors I really love - my blog community neighbors ... they know how to show they care!

    Thanks for being one!


  12. You are right, Clint, that we are living more and more isolated from each other...
    From the other hand.. nobody can "kill" you with useless gossip!!
    Send you my best wishes