Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Won't you be my neighbor

I don't expect to be liked by everyone. In fact people either love me or hate me. I am not the kind of person you can say, "Oh, Ginger, she's alright." I tend to rub people the wrong way sometimes. I am too sarcastic, too upfront, and too talkative.

Sometimes there are people who just don't get my humor, who don't appreciate my blunt language, and people who just want me to shut up. If these people are strangers, or those I don't expect to see again, I can understand being ignored or even the cold shoulder. However, someone I have to see on a regular basis, someone I may have to deal with in regards to my kids, I would like to be friendly with. Whether or not I like them or they like me, a cordial friendliness is nice to have. I can fake it, I do so with the "perfect mom" all the time. We both have an unspoken understanding. We partake in a cool friendly chat it up conversation when we see each other. Cordial, polite, businesslike, acceptable. Our kids play together, our kids see each other, we make the best of it.

Recently we had some new neighbors move in. This development was exciting for me. I had just said goodbye to a really good friend. Cookie had to say goodbye to her buddies and we were both aching for people to fill the void. The new family is from California, like us and they are around Hubby's and my age. They have two kids; a son who is five and a daughter who is the same age as Cookie. It seemed that this might be a wonderful addition to our neighborhood. Finally someone my age. Finally another Mom going through the same stages I was. I love my neighborhood. I love my neighbors who are like surrogate moms for me and aunties for the girls, but having someone close to my age with a daughter Cookie could play with just seemed like providence. Ever hear of too good to be true?

We seemed to hit it off. The kids played nicely together, she seemed welcoming. I invited her to join me on a bike ride to playgroup and she accepted. Then things went south. I am not sure what I said, what I did, or what happened on that trip. But since then we have been given the cold shoulder. A nice cool reception awaited us when we popped over to play. At first I thought they just might be busy. Moving in, adding a porch, and fixing up their house. I thought maybe I came on too strong. So I gave them some space. Like a month of space.

Yet, after that month, she continually turned us down to play. Her children sat there begging to play, they were doing nothing but watching t.v., yet she always had an excuse. I don't have to be her friend, but I would like to be friendly, for the kid's sake. I know that I can't make everyone like me, but it is sad to see Cookie beg to ask if they can play, and I have to say no. I can not take the sad faces of not only Cookie, but the crying from her kids. The last time we went by, her daughter threw a tantrum so bad, her mom had to put her in the house and shut the door. We could hear her weeping, "But I want to go play."

The fixer in me wants to call and confront her. I want to ask what I did to offend her, if anything. I would like to make it right, not just for Cookie, but maybe for me, too. The practical part of me says to let it go. I have to live near this family and letting things lie might be better than making a big hababaloo about something that might be nothing. So I continue to tell Cookie, that no, we will wait for them to ask us over. And will continue to say hi and be cordial when they pass by the house. For now, the ball is in their court, even though it is killing me.

1 comment:

  1. I often have the same effect on people. And I have neighbors just like that. Sigh. Hang in there. Hugs!