Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Weird Neighbors

We recently moved to a new town due to my husband's work. Having lived in apartments for the last ten years, our family was so excited about finally having a home, a yard, and yes, a neighborhood to call our own.

We found a great house with a nice yard and a pleasant looking neighborhood. However, turns out the people who live on our street didn't go out of their way to welcome us into their hood. I was shocked no one appeared on our doorsteps with freshly baked cookies or casserole dishes. No one showed up to introduce themselves or find out more about us. Am I naive in expecting this? What has happened to friendly suburb America?

Well, after being here six months now, we have met some neighbors (when they came to our door selling boy scout popcorn, girl scout cookies and other school fundraisers). We did our part by ordering a little bit of everything. Some neighbors have waved and smiled in passing. But, the most boggling of all, is this one house on our street where the inhabitants never make eye contact or wave or try to be friendly at all!

I thought it was in everyone's nature to be friendly. These people have shaken my faith. Are they totally weird or have we inadvertantly done something to turn them off? Certain that it couldn't be US, our family has now made a habit of trying to figure these people out. They're weird, and these are our reasons why, so far:

1. They don't recycle. (Everyone on our street recycles. It's so easy here. No sorting, you just throw it all in a big garbage can container.)

2. They don't put up any decorations at all for any holiday. (We've been here for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine's Day so far. Not a hint of celebration.)

3. They never have guests.

4. They never wave, smile or make ANY eye contact at all.

5. They are obsessive about their yard work. My husband saw them yelling at an old man who walked on their grass.

6. They rev a loud, annoying car daily and rearrange it in the driveway obsessively.

I'll let you know if we discover anything more about them. They might as well live in a house like the one pictured above (but they don't).

OH, how could I forget. #7. Anytime we have guests, they park one of their cars across the entrance to their driveway, so that no one will attempt to use their driveway to turn around. A little strange...


tearese said...

They could have moved there from another part of the country and don't realize your expectations. I've read a lot about how most American's no longer know their neighbors, and their friends are from their work places.
Some people can get offended if you make eye contact or talk to them without their initiating it, as I learned when I moved to a different part of the country for seven years.
They may belong to a religion where they don't celebrate holidays...along these same lines, they may have a persecution complex because they feel different from everyone else, so maybe they seem unfriendly because they think everyone is talking about them.
I say, give them the benefit of the doubt.
And honestly, I myself am somewhat shy around new people, so I probably wouldn't go bring a casserole to my neighbors (well, thats mostly 'cause I hate to cook) as I wouldn't want to impose, or invade their space.
I always wait for others to greet me first, if I don't know them well.
Anyway, just food for thought.

tearese said...

ps is that house from "The Burbs"? I love that movie!

Rhea said...

Thanks for your insight, Tearese. I am very curious to know what is going on next door. I am nothing but polite to them, trying to smile and wave but they never acknowledge me. Strange.

That house is one from around here that needs some fixing up. Not from the movie, but I know what you're talking about.