We live in your typical middle-income subdivision located in your typical mid-sized town. The houses are on decent sized lots - not large, sprawling acres, but not one of those postage sized lots where you feel like you can literally reach out your window and shake the neighbor's hand as he reaches out his. Most of the houses on our street are occupied by the "home owner", with a few renters thrown into the mix. Basically, a middle-America neighborhood.
After five years of living here, and several neighbors selling and/or moving, I've fought through a divorce, trying to find work, losing my job, and now trying to find work again to keep this house. I like my house, but that's not it. I like my neighbors even more. And to think of having to move to another place, starting over, not really knowing what to expect from the neighborhood or the neighbors is not appealing in the slighest.
There are two families I would consider friends. People I talk to on a regular basis. People I invite over, get together with during the holidays, and get invited to BBQ's and dinners at their house. And then there's the few that I chat with in passing but still know to a certain degree. All in all, it's a comfortable place to live.
Due to the climate where we live (read as rainy, rainy, rainy) there is little chance for seeing or socializing with the neighbors during the winter months as there is during the spring and summer when we're all outside taking care of our yards, washing cars, playing with the kids, etc. Except for maybe snow days when everyone seems to come out to marvel at (or bitch about) the white stuff.
So why am I spending all this time telling you about my neighborhood? I'll tell you. But first I have to give you a little more background on a couple of the neighbors.
At the beginning of last summer, one of our rental properties got new tenents. For purposes of identifying the different families we'll call them Family A, my next door neighbors will be Family B, and the second set of tenents to move in later in the summer will be Family C. So, B likes to entertain - especially during the summer months. Lots of BBQs, beer, food, beer, poker, and beer. She also makes this very wicked peach punch. And I do mean wicked! Anyway, shortly after A moved into the neighborhood, B was having the 'regular crowd' over for the usual party and decided to invite A. Family A is quite a bit younger (as in fifteen or twenty years younger) than the rest of the 'regulars' and wife of Family A took quite a fancy to the peach punch. So much, in fact, that she virtually drank the entire punch bowl full except for maybe a few small sips from unsuspecting others who'd never tried it before. Needless to say, A has not been invited back to anymore parties.
Then, towards the end of the summer along came Family C. Family C and Family A hit it off immediately despite the age difference and hang out together frequently and have their own parties that none of the 'regulars' are invited to. Not that we care really. Or cared. Until yesterday.
Wife of Family C works at one of the local drug stores, so I see her there more often than in the neighborhood. Yesterday, just as I was finishing up checking out she came back in off break. We started chatting and she asked if I'd met the "new" neighbors (these are the ones that moved in across the street after the ones who were having "random" attempted break-ins moved out). I told her I hadn't and she said, "Well, that's because you're so unsocial." HUH?? Then she laughed and said she hadn't either but wife of Family A had. We continued shooting the shit for a little while longer, then I left. But I can't help but think about what she said. Am I really unsocial?
Like I said, I have a few select neighbors that I get together with. Then there's the friends I chat with online and on the phone because they live in different states than I do. And I do have a small group of local friends that I not only hang out with online and on the phone, but also IRL. Granted I don't have a huge group of friends that I do things with on a regular basis IRL, but does that really make me unsocial? If because I don't want to hang out with a bunch of twenty-somethings whose husbands are in the military makes me unsocial, then I guess I am.
Maybe it's just me, but I don't think I'm unsocial. Do you?