23 March 2012

Will you be my neighbor?

As you know, we moved at the end of January. Now we occupy a beautiful townhome…and once again we share walls. In our current location, we are connected on one side of the house, sharing garage walls, living room and kitchen walls, a wall in the master bedroom and a backyard. Because of our close proximity, I was anticipating meeting our new neighbors. I have always been blessed with wonderful neighbors who have become dear friends. I already imagined the friendship and trust that would develop between our two families. The landlord informed us that they were a younger couple with no children. Perfect! Just like us!

We moved our things in bit by bit but never saw the neighbors. On February 1st we actually began inhabiting our new home. After about a week, we were surprised that the neighbors still hadn’t come over. After two weeks, we began to wonder if WE were supposed to go over THERE and introduce ourselves. But then we couldn’t figure out how to take over cookies and welcome ourselves to the neighborhood. Once we had been there for a month, we decided it had reached to an awkward point where NEITHER of us could really just knock on the others door and say, “Hi, we are your, um, newish neighbors.”

Not knowing about who lives on the other side of the wall addles my brain; I have morphed into a psycho stalker. My stalking habits include (but are not limited to):
-Peering out blinds when cars pull into the driveway.
-Noting the time and frequency of the garage door going up or the front door being opened.
-Staring at the shared wall in front of my vanity and wondering if someone is sitting in the exact same spot on the other side staring at me.
-Trying to move in complete silence in order to hear if anything is going on in the other townhome.
-Talking to the neighbors as if they can hear me. For example, when I hear their microwave beep asking, “What are you cooking for dinner tonight?”
-Staring at their house every time I pull in, searching for open blinds or lights on or a shadow in a window.
-Randomly screaming as loud I can to see if someone next door comes over in concern or even calls the cops.

In order to abate the frustration at my lack of knowledge of our friends next door, Jacob and I have started hypothesizing about their lives. It began like this:

Me (out of the blue): “I know! Our neighbors are really really Mormon. They will only associate with those of their faith for fear of inviting a bad influence into their lives. Every week at church they wait for their new neighbors to show up so that they can introduce themselves and we can begin sharing casserole recipes. But of course, they haven’t seen us there and therefore assume we are pagan and slaughter animals on an alter! Since we still attend our old ward, they don’t REALIZE we ARE good Mormons and we can still be their friends.”

Jacob: “Nope. They aren’t or they would have been welcoming us to the neighborhood the first time that we pulled up and fellowshipping us when we didn’t show up at church. They have to be Mormon haters who think LDS people are pushy and ‘holier-than-thou’ and don’t want to befriend us for fear we will send the missionaries and visiting teachers over and heart attack their house or leave otherwise ‘inspiring’ gospel messages on their door and cars.”

Me: “But how do they know WE are Mormons unless they introduce themselves and ask? I mean, it’s not like we pulled up with 7 children under the age of 8 or anything.”

Jacob: “Both our vehicles have Madison County license plates. We. Are. Mormon.”

Me: “Oh. Yeah.”

From that point on, one of us randomly throws out a theory about the neighbors. We have come up with some pretty good ones.

-They speak no English. They don’t even know how to say “Hello. We speak no English.”
-They are in the middle of major marital problems and it would be super uncomfortable to introduce themselves; they would have to either pretend like they were a happy couple or say, “Hi, we are the Johnsons and we are contemplating a divorce.” (We never hear them fighting because they fight by giving the silent treatment and leaving nasty notes).
-They grew up watching the Hitchcock movie “The Birds” and developed an uncontrollable terror of feathered creatures. They have heard our birds singing and it sends them into panic attacks to think of knocking on our door.
-They are deaf and would therefore be unable to communicate with us. This is why we never hear any talking or music or movies either (and why they don’t respond to my blood curling screams). We have yet to devise a theory as to why they didn’t drop off cookies with a note explaining their condition.
-They are Nazi sympathizers, have seen from a distance that neither of us have blonde hair and blue eyes, and stay away so as to suppress the urge to release gas into the vents of our house. (Its not that they would mind killing us, they just don’t want to end up in prison.)
-They are hoarders in the extreme and have so much trash piled in their house that there wouldn’t be room to admit us. Also, there is no space in which to bake cookies and Mrs. Neighbor couldn’t bring herself to part with any stationary in order to leave a note.

What do you think?

Yesterday as Jacob pulled into the driveway, Mr. Neighbor was taking a picture of the outside of the house. We may or may not have obsessively checked Craigslist ever since to see if they are posting their townhome. If they move, we will be on the new neighbors' doorstep on DAY ONE, cookies in hand.
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