My neighbours had a housewarming party on the weekend. You know, the ones who stole my bin when they first moved in. Well we sorted that problem, and relationship with said neighbours has been politely awkward ever since. I have had a few dealings with one sister, and the other I have met only once. I see the first sister and nod an acknowledgement or say hello, but otherwise I stay clear of them.
I was given the invitation a couple of weeks ago. I said I might attend out of a desire not to outright offend, but I knew I was lying as soon as the words left my mouth. I had, and still have, no desire to spend an afternoon with a bunch of people I don’t know, making awkward small talk and pretending like I give a damn whether they like me or not. Suffice to say, Saturday came and went, and I remained firmly in my own house, working on a costume commission and playing music, before going off to do whatever else I had planned that day.
Today my neighbour came up to work to get a key cut. I said nothing about the housewarming, and played out the usual polite routine. But, just as I expected she would, she couldn’t let it lie. With an air of casual nonchalance that was totally ruined by the passive aggressive tone, she said ‘we had the housewarming on Saturday.’ I told her the truth; that I was busy and couldn’t make time to pop over. She responded with ‘everyone else made it. Even if it was only for ten minutes, they all came around.’ I simply shrugged her off, bid her a good day and went back to work.
I’m not neighbourly. I like doing my own thing, without having to worry that I’ll get an unexpected visit from a stranger who just happens to live ten feet from me. I don’t care if my neighbours like me or not. I am content for us to live close in distance and distant in closeness. I am socially awkward, I don’t particularly like people, I’m not concerned with making friends, and I’m moving out as soon as my lease is up anyway. So there seems no point in putting myself in an uncomfortable situation just so a couple of middle aged women can feel good about being the new neighbours in the area.
It may seem harsh, but it is what it is. For my future neighbours, I’m sure you’re lovely people. But I’m no Ned Flanders, and I probably don’t want to get to know you. Let’s be polite and detached, and no harm done.