Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Suburban Hell


Won't you be my neighbor?


I don’t understand a neighborhood where no one interacts.

I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised. I grew up in Phoenix. People hardly saw each other unless they were running to their mailbox in order to avoid the penetrating sun.

I lived in Iowa for six years as an adult. People were all about having fun and making connections. Bonfires, BBQ’s, getting together – it was all part of a daily life.

Part of our family in Iowa moved to The City. They lived in a neighborhood where people “got together,” had fun, talked, interacted, etc. They visited each other’s houses. Their children played together.

We moved to a neighborhood in Colorado Springs, hoping we would find fun neighbors to share time with – without having to drive…anywhere.

This has not happened.

We live in a neighborhood. No one interacts. There are children. And only suspicious glances. I don’t understand it.

Fuck them. We hate you too.

I wish we could all just get along, really.

Oh, well.

We’re moving to the mountains.

23 comments:

Langdowns said...

LOL. Yeah I hear ya.

But at the same time I may actually be one of those people that doesn't interact so much. I mean ... I wave, and smile and shout out hello. And I welcome the neighbour boy across to play. But when I get home, I like the solitude and comfort that home brings. I like being able to kick back and have family time without thinking someone is about to knock on the door and wander on in. So I think I sit on the fence on this one (peering into the neighbours back yard).

PS love your labels ... LOL

Babes Mami said...

I miss the same thing from living in Iowa. People in my neighborhood aren't exactly friendly.

Actuary Mom said...

What a bummer that people aren't friendly in your neighborhood. I lived in CT for a while... I went back to visit a few months ago, and I was reminded of how rude people are. You kind of forget when you live in a friendlier place...

PAMO said...

HaHaHaHa! So you're THAT neighbor, eh? Actually, I think that's quite nice.
We've lived in our redneck neighborhood for 15 years and still don't speak to the neighbors much. Oh, we'll get together to discuss the latest gunfire or the drug dealer who hopefully will move soon, but other than that, not so much.

Jen said...

I feel the same way about our neighborhood. There are a lot of families here but no one comes outside and if they do, its just to get the mail. I knew all our neighbors growing up unfortunately, my kids will not be able to say the same thing.

Venassa said...

Aww that's no fun! Some places are just like that, I guess. I'm from a place where everyone knows everyone, and it's pretty great.

The BabbyMama said...

I wish I had more interactions with my neighbors. But at least we're on good terms and occasionally have over-the-fence/across-the-street chats, which is more than I can say for the people we lived by in Boston.

Kellie said...

The mountains are great!!!! We love our community.... and people interact here! :)

Lacie @ Creative Attempts said...

Ok so we have lived on our street for five years and everyone's grumpy and crochety yep I said it. I would be ur friend ;)

Deidre said...

I find that really interesting as well. I live in an apartment building and I don't know any of the people in the building. So much so that I'd not recognise them if we were out on the street in a different part of the city.

Sometimes it makes me sad, but then they start having loud fights next door and I think THANKGOODNESS I am not involved in that DRAMA.

Kimberley said...

We know most the people on our street but we do not get together as a neighborhood. But we have each other's back if need be lol Hey thanks for the compliment on my photo edit. I was pretty happy with the way it turned out, but when it's someone else's kiddo you get nervous lol

chele said...

If my neighbors would learn not to leave their trash cans on the street for a week, I would probably welcome a little interaction. I interact with my next door neighbor's son all the time ... he rings my bell everyday to ask if he can retrieve his ball from my backyard. Sometimes neighbors can suck.

TornadoTwos said...

LOL you are so funny! My neighboorhood used to be friendlier, but not anymore. All the people with kids moved out and so now i think everyone just views us as the "loud house and messy yard." Sigh.

blueviolet said...

These days people wait to go outside until their neighbors have left in order to avoid contact. Oh wait, that's me that does that. Oops.

Munir said...

I hope things get better. Today we as society have become so wrapped up in our own lives that we tend to forget to welcome others. Children need to grow up in a surrounding where people send possitive vibes. For some reason if we are new in a place we feel comfortable if the "friendly hand shake comes from the already settled in" neighbours. As a couple of years passed in our new neighbourhood we started feeling like the territory belongs to us too. Then when I saw a new face I smiled. So now the oldies feel like they now me too.

Missy@Wonder, Friend said...

I don't get that, either. We once lived in a neighborhood where people hid from each other. It was freaky.

We hit the jackpot with our current neighborhood - cocktails, parties, kids playing together. It's very social. So if you want to move to Austin we'd love to have you. :-)

Stephanie in Suburbia said...

Is my blog not proof sometimes it's better NOT to know your neighbors???

Clipped Wings said...

When we lived in Colorado Springs in a nice neighborhood, the neighbors on one side would fight and the wife would flee to our house and we would call the police. This happened on a weekly basis until we moved. The neighbors on the other side, seemed nice enough, but the only time we saw them was when they would spread red chili peppers all over tarp on their driveway to dry out in the sun. Here in Nashville, neighbors say hi and that is about it. So different from the small town I grew up in Nevada where everyone knew everyone.

JD said...

Our neighborhood was wicked friendly (yes, I live in Massachusetts). Then the neighbor kids got older and they didn't want to hang out with all us grown ups while we chatted and drank beer. Damn kids insisted their parents drive them around to soccer and dance and friends houses. Needy buggers. The social opportunities lessened and I got bummed about it. So I imported friends. Seriously. My good friend and her hubby and two girls moved in down the street. See - you CAN pick your neighbors! I highly recommend the practice.

TV's Take said...

Areas/Developments are strange. Thankfully we have 2 awesome neighbors but the fact that we met them etc is strange considering the rest of the hood. The mountains sound great - good luck with the move

Mommyfriend Lori said...

Won't you be my neighbor? I'd love that, really and truly.

hotpants™ said...

We know 2 people on our street, but that's only because we knew them before we moved here. One neighbor gives us a friendly wave, but that's it.

Style Maniac said...

As a little girl I lived in the "exurbs" of Pennsylvania -- farmland turned into new townhouses modeled on the Colonial Trinity homes of Philadelphia. In the summers us kids played in creeks and meadows in the morning and caught fireflies at night while our parents gathered in the center of our circle of tiny homes and drank, ate and laughed. I now live in the very city neighborhood those houses were inspired by, and though kids no longer run free [do they anywhere?] neighbors chat on the street, stop by for impromptu drinks, keep each other's keys, take in mail and look out for each other.

In between these idylls, though, were my teenage years spent in a suburban neighborhood with no sense of community or camaraderie, where people rarely interacted and you had to drive everywhere for anything. I'd never live in that kind of place again.

But you don't always know, do you? I suppose you could try hosting some get-togethers and see what happens? Or move to the city or country (mountains) where the extremes of being super-close or very far apart seem to generate a sense of community that a half-acre-with-a-lawn does not.