On May 16, 1966 Erma Bombeck published an article titled “Good Neighbor Policy” and said, “…Yes sir, you show me a woman who doesn’t neighbor – and I’ll show you a woman who gets talked about by the ones who do!”
In 1966 women had coffee with one another. They actually walked to each others homes and sat at their tables and drank coffee and watched their kids.
Just CHEW on that for a minute.
I have lived in my home for over eight years and have nary set a foot in a neighbor’s home. I mean I like them fine, but I would never consider going out of my way to befriend one. I wonder if Erma’s neighbors all spoke English. That seems to be part of the problem in my area.
It’s kind of hard to take the Indian family seriously when their little boy yells “put your butt on his face and POOP on it” at the park while his non-English speaking grandparents look on adoringly.
The Ukranian family at the end of the street came to our door in tears one summer because our cat killed their pet parakeet after they had set in the backyard for fresh air and sunshine. We bought them a new bird, but for some reason I don’t think it was quite the same.
The Mexican family to our other side used to complain about the same cat and how it would “sheet” in their yard. Of course, we apologized profusely on behalf of our “sheeting” cat, but it’s not like we could put it on a leash. So that relationship has always stunk.
My interactions with my neighbors is actually quite limited, aside from the one time I waved frantically at a neighbor to get OFF his cell phone in his driveway so that I could use it to call my husband to come rescue me after I locked myself out of the house with a 1 year old waiting inside.. He didn’t speak English either and I’m still not sure he understood what was going on…other than some crazy white lady was insisting on using his telephone.
Sometimes I regret that we aren’t closer. I remember the good ol’ days running down to Misty’s house to ask her Mom for a cup of sugar for the cookies my Mom was making. She would happily fill my cup and Mom would send me back again with a plate of warm cookies for their family.
When I run out of sugar nowadays I substitute an extra cup of flour and they just never turn out as well.
A neighbor would be handy for sugar….but that’s about where I draw the line. I’m sure I wouldn’t trust my kids to “run to the neighbor’s house” and play for an afternoon without getting kidnapped.
I’m sure I wouldn’t enjoy hosting those same play dates with their children showing up at my doorstep unannounced throughout the day.
I’m sure a cup of coffee at their dinner table would interrupt with the cup of coffee I enjoy at my dinner table with Twitter…and Facebook…and YouTube…and Gmail….and Twitter again…and Facebook again…and well, you get the picture.
I do believe the times have changed my friends.
Neighborhood cliques are SO 1966. The Good Neighbor Policy of 2012 is a little less ‘neighboring’ and a lot more ‘nod and wave and keep on moving’.
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