Tuesday, August 2, 2016

214. Neighbors

One of the unfortunate things so far that has happened since moving into my new place is that I haven’t met too many of my neighbors. I don’t know what it is. The only real interaction I’ve had with other people in my building is the time I knocked on my downstairs neighbors door in the middle of the night to tell them to turn down their music. That really isn’t the way to make good friends with the people live by.

Tonight I decided to try something different. A neighbor down the street from me was hosting a block party for National Night Out. Even though I didn’t know them, I decided it would be good for me to get out of the house instead of just watching Netflix and eating Triscuits. (Which is what I did the previous evening. The host asked people to bring a dish to pass, so I did what any self-respecting bachelor would do: I went to Cub Foods and bought some Supermarket cookies.

I arrived at about 6:15. (I didn’t want to arrive at 6 p.m. I have a tendency to get places right on time, but I thought it wouldn’t hurt if I arrived a little later than the start time at the moment. It was mainly families with kids there. I didn’t have much in common with many of the people, but I think that was all right. I thought of it like any other networking event I go to. Your goal is just to get to know people. You don’t have to become best friends with them. If you do, great. If you don’t, that’s fine to.

One woman was a single mom who was heading to nursing school. Another mom had moved their from Illinois along with her husband and three kids. I talked to a couple dads about landscaping and home prices. (I’d made it into the club.) One man was from Spain. All pretty light conversation, but enjoyable.

As I was walking up the road to the place, I thought about turning around and eating the 12-pack of cookies myself. I wouldn’t know anyone. I’d be that weird guy who was single and their by himself. I wouldn’t have anything to talk about. (Actually, in my experience, I’ve learned that sometimes parents are desperate to talk to anyone outside of other parents.) My fears were unfounded. People were friendly. The conversation was fine. And I had a nice hour where I was away from my computer and looking at articles about Donald Trump.

I don’t know if I had any life-changing experiences from getting out of my apartment for the evening. I still don’t know anyone else in my building. I’ve tried, but it feels like most of the people here are in the witness protection program or something. They don’t make eye contact, and rarely say hi. It’s really weird. So even though most of the neighbors I met don’t live right next to me, it felt good to get out and meet them.  

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