Before you buy a new car - you test drive it a few miles. Before you buy a new couch - you sit on it for a few minutes. Shit, before you order a bottle of wine - you sample it with a sip! Well, it recently occurred to me - about 35 seconds ago - that before you actually purchase a house you should be allowed to live in it. I'm not saying for an entire year, but at least a few weeks. I realize this is all very wonderland-ish but stay with me.
When we were searching for a house, 3 years ago, we did most of our "looking" online. We put in our criteria and made our check-lists. It was a lot of fun figuring out what neighborhoods we liked and seeing how our ideas of 'what the perfect home is' would differ or match. Before long we had narrowed down our search and were ready to take the next step, open-houses.
On one of our notorious Sunday drives, we ended up using a well-known "cut-through" street that I grew up just a few blocks from. I never gave the area much thought, it wasn't exactly on my dream neighborhood list. However, we stumbled upon a nice, out-of-the-way cul-de-sac that I had never noticed before. The open-house sign is what drew my attention on this particular day. We decided, knowing full well that we couldn't afford the house that happened to be "open", to take a walk through for the hell of it. We pretty much fell in love with it. It had everything we wanted and then some. Despite the price tag, we moved in 3 weeks later.
I had always loved the idea of a close-knit community. The neighbor that you could borrow that cliché cup of sugar from, people that you can trust and call upon when you need something, block parties, dinner and drinks together, etc. I had hoped that this cute, little cul-de-sac would provide some of that goodness. Wrong.
We moved in during the cold weeks of December in 2005. We have met two people as of September 2009. "The lady" rolled her window down, to introduce herself, while driving up the street- and "the man" introduced himself to me while I was heading off to work one morning. They were both very nice. I have since spoken to "the lady" maybe twice (hollering hello from the backyard) and I have exchanged waves countless times with "the man" but have had no other contact. Now, I am not trying to play the victim role because I could have totally gone door-to-door with a basket of crap and introduced myself and my husband - but I'm clearly not "that guy".
I do understand that most neighborhoods nowadays do not have these so-called perfect neighbors that I think I am missing out on. I further understand that if it bothers me THIS much I should make the first move by ringing some doorbells and making some small talk. But the truth is - I really don't like anyone else on our street. Now you are thinking, "How can you not like them if you don't know them??" Well, sweet pea, here's how...
The "two, little kids and a big ol' white trash mama" house. She does nothing but yell at said two, little kids. Riding their bikes - yell. Sitting in their front yard - yell. Playing with their friends - yell. These kids can't swallow without getting yelled at.
The "I love to detail my car four times a week with T-Pain blasting out of my trunk" house. Yep. This kid washes his car like sixty-two times a month. Not only does he enjoy a super clean vehicle but he loves blaring the WORST possible music ever created. Lucky for me, he upgrades his speakers on the daily so I can hear those computer-generated voices CRYSTAL clear.
The "my family grows by the second" house. I thought only four people moved in but somehow there are eleven thousand current occupants. It used to be two children playing basketball - the other night it looked like The Knicks were out there.
The "no matter what you say, Mom, I'm going to give you the hugest attitude at the highest decibel" house. Well that one pretty much speaks for itself.
Anyway, you get what I am saying. Things aren't always as they seem. I felt so confident in our decision to buy this house and create our "home" here. We are happy for the most part.Well, I won't lie and say that I wouldn't love for someone to make eye contact with me for a smile or a wave. Or that when I have shoveled for two and a half hours and have barely made a dent that I wouldn't love for someone to bring over their snow-blower for eight minutes. Of course there are likes and dislikes everywhere you go ... but general 'kindness' wouldn't kill anyone would it ??