Neighborly

We live in the upper two floors of a large house that’s been converted into two apartments. We have some pretty rockin’ neighbors who live in the other unit downstairs. They are a couple about our age, one’s a lawyer and the other is taking the bar this summer, and they like to drink. So right there we have, like, loads in common.

Even our dogs are pals. If you consider flinging themselves at one another and copious amounts of humping “friendly.” Which we do.

We share yard work responsibilities and we are both trying to coax some goddamn herbs and maybe a vegetable or two from our respective patches of garden. So far I am sporting a pretty serious tomato plant, some champion bell peppers, a slightly chewed cantaloupe plant and some scraggly basil. I think it’s going pretty well for a first try, okay?

They loaned us a window unit AC when my family was here over 4th of July weekend and the nine of us sat melting into little puddles of beer and sunscreen on my hardwood floors. Nothing says friendship like peering into the desperate, sweaty face of another human being in 95 degree weather and agreeing to give up delicious cool air in some portion of your own living space. Loving me for my faults, psh. FRIENDSHIP IS ALL ABOUT MANAGING MY PHYSICAL COMFORT. They also loaned us a deck of cards so we could play drinking games.

Now that you are all excited for me because I clearly have the best neighbors ever and you totally want to come over and drink with us, I have to tell you the bad news.

They are moving. At the end of July.

SADDEST. NEWS. EVER.

They’ve been struggling with our landlord for some time now and are at their wits end.They are ready to move on and have found what sounds like an awesome place not too far away.

My immediate reaction to the news that they’re leaving is, of course, to scramble to make them love me! Cling! Laugh too hard at that joke and offer them booze every time we chat while the dogs hump each other play in the yard! Invite them out and then check my phone 400 times an hour to be sure I didn’t miss their call!

In Charlottesville I was desperate for friends and had no idea how to meet people. I was just out of college, needy and miserable, and people could smell my desperation like week-old B.O. on a 300-lb. linebacker’s jockstrap. It was unpleasant. Looking back I am embarrassed by how hard I tried to make! People! Like me! Which of course backfired and led to one very cozy year with my husband and almost no other social interaction. Win!

As is often the case with me, I just need to chill out. Stop trying to control how people feel about me and let whatever’s going to happen happen. Either we’ll stay in touch with our soon-to-be-ex neighbors or we won’t, but I am not desperate for friends. I am not lonely. I have a startling number of friends for a person who’s lived here only four weeks. Plus I enjoy my co-workers enough to maybe hang out after work sometimes and I start volunteering at a local cat rescue in two weeks. If things sputter and die with the neighbors it’ll be disappointing but not shattering. I just need to relax and not pull another Charlottesville.

It might not hurt for them to know I’m a teensy bit neurotic, though. I mean, it’s part of my charm.

The good news? We’re invited to their joint birthday party in mid-August.

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