No, this isn’t a post about a well-known insurance company with a catchy jingle.
As I may have mentioned previously, we are moving soon, and are SUPER ALL CAPS excited about it. We have moved… a lot. This is our seventh shared home in almost 11 years of marriage, and while we understand that is ridiculous, it’s sort of in us now. Although we are very hopeful that after we leave our next home we will find one we like enough that we can live in it for 20-30 years or more.
In all of our moves we have been friends with our neighbors exactly zero times. In the neighborhood where I grew up there were only about 20 houses and my best friends lived in two of them. Neighborhood parties for holidays and for fun were the norm, and everyone tended to live together in harmony (for the most part). My mom and stepdad still live in that house and are friendly with a lot of the neighbors.
In the house where Jim grew up, his neighbors were his aunt and cousins, and other neighbors he knew and grew up around. It wasn’t exactly a party situation, but he was comfortable with his neighbors.
Jim and I have not had these experiences in our homes together.
1. Apartment in Denver, CO: We lived there for about two months and never talked to our neighbors.
2. Apartment in Denver, CO: We lived there about two weeks till Jim went to basic training, then I lived there alone for another two months. I knew no neighbors except a guy I had known from church a couple of years before who I didn’t talk to.
3. Apartment in Biloxi, MS: We lived there for about four months and knew no neighbors.
4. Duplex on an AF Base in Altus, OK: We lived there for three years. We shared lawn care with our wall-sharing neighbors, but were never friendly. When one couple moved out I baked cookies for the new couple, but we never hung out. We had to call the cops on them just a couple of months later when the husband started beating the wife, and we never spoke to them again. Most of our friends lived on base, but none close by, and the people we did know on our block were not really hang all the time friends.
5. Apartment on an AF Base in Japan: We lived there for just shy of three years. One of Jim’s coworkers lived in our building until he got divorced and had to move to the dorms. We were sort of friendly with other neighbors, but our immediate next door neighbors moved out when the husband got caught embezzling money from the Comptroller Squadron and his wife transferred without him while he was in jail. And we called the cops on several other neighbors because of noise. A couple on another floor was in our birth class, but we never spoke to them again after what happened happened.
6. House in Norman, OK: Our across the street neighbors were related to some good friends, but hardly spoke to us. The most I ever talked to them was when I locked myself out of the house with Eriana inside and I asked to borrow the guy’s cell phone and then he helped me break into my house. The house next door to him was a family that was nice enough, but their teenage daughter used to come over to ask if she could hold Eriana. And we thought that was weird.
7. Apartment in Beaverton, OR: Our upstairs neighbors are LOUD and oversharers. They are nice, but I know way more than I probably should about their IRS woes, their children, the grandchildren who live with them, the foster child they had for a while, and how much their bills cost. Also they smoke, so they’ve pretty much ruined our ability to use our porch, eat outside, or leave our windows open. Our immediate next door neighbors are lovely, but they’re two ladies in their mid-20s, I think, and they work odd hours (one waits tables and one teaches ballroom dancing), and also we are older and have a kid. Just in different places in our lives. We regularly exchange pleasantries with other neighbors in the complex, but haven’t made friends with any of them.
So eighth time’s a charm? Maybe we’ll have fantastic neighbors at our next place? How about you? Do you want to come be my neighbor?
I have a cute kid who would also be your neighbor.
Do you hang out with your neighbors?