Over the past few months I've given some thought to the fact that I don't really know my neighbors. I think about it when I see them in the parking lot, and we don't really speak. I also think about it when I'm in the middle of baking something and realize I need a half cup of flour and am out and have to drive to the grocery store instead of calling someone/knocking on his door.
I made friends with one guy who is a mechanic/rapper, and of course, when he found out I was a lawyer, I got to try my hand at reviewing a recording contract. I've also made friends with a little boy (Antonio) who lives in the complex and often bounces a ball in the parking lot out of sheer boredom. I've played tennis with him a few times and lent him my rackets, and I jumped his mother's car off one morning. But sadly that has been the extent of my neighborly relations until recently.
So last week Antonio knocked on my door at around 7:00. I answered, and he asked about my Christmas. We chatted in the doorway for a minute; he was obviously bored as he'd been home all day alone while his mom was at work. Antonio was acting a bit funny and kept glancing out in the parking lot. It was a bit strange, and it was cold.
He came back and knocked again a few minutes later. He wanted to know if I'd watch a movie with him. I explained that I had work to do but offered to lend him a DVD. The closest thing to a children's movie I have is Big Fish, so he passed. I offered him food to take back to his apartment, but he passed. To be honest, I didn't like him being in my apartment. He's not as big as me, but I'm just a little wary. And he was still acting weird and not making eye contact. I asked him why he wouldn't look at me, wondering if maybe something was really wrong and he needed to confide in someone (my mom is, by the way, a school counselor). He maintained that everything was fine. I told him that maybe I could take him to the movies sometime if that was alright with his mother. It's obvious he is left alone a lot, so I thought that might be a welcomed change of pace. We made plans for this week. Oh, after I had invited him, I learned that he was 12, which was surprising to me as I had thought he was around 9 or 10.
Well a few minutes later, he knocked at the door again. This time he leaned in my doorway and asks for a kiss on his cheek. I was shocked. I told him "No. But you can have a hug" and gave him one of those side hugs.
Yuck. What I thought was would a fun nice outing is now ruined. So I've got to call his mom/him tonight to cancel since he obviously has the wrong idea, and our plans now seem inappropriate.
So tonight when I approach my door, I see a note. It reads:
Do you need some help getting your Christmas tree downstairs? Just a thought:)
Your neighbors in 101 (Fred & Ethel)"
I thought this was pretty funny. Is this a nice way of telling me that it's too late to still have a Christmas tree up? Greenlineboy, this may be my answer to your query. And/or it's a way for us to finally meet. Cindy has never seemed friendly and looks to a little younger than me, and I've only noticed Zach once. I figure we must have different schedules, but it still bothers me that I haven't been a good neighbor and introduced myself or brought cookies by or something. As much as I'm gone, I don't even know when they moved in though.
As for why my tree is still up: as you may know, I finally gave in a few years ago and began using a fake tree. It's pretty big, and since I live in a one bedroom apartment, I have no place to put it if I take it down. It's so big that even if I put it behind my huge living room chair (the only free space), you can see it. So I've left it up a little longer than normal (but never past January) the past year or two until I head home--where I can leave it at my dad's house (i.e. my storage facility; he could write a few blogs about that). I've asked my ex (Sampras) to let me keep it in his large out building, but he's will have none of it. So for now, the tree is still up and likely will be until the weekend of the 14th. Hopefully that weekend some of my family will come down for my baptism, and perhaps I can send at least part of the tree back with them:)
So...should I write them back a quick note explaining the above (more condensed version, of course)? Or wait until tomorrow after work and knock and introduce myself? Or try to make some cookies or something and put them in a tin with a note in front of their door? I feel like this might be my opportunity to be a better neighbor (especially if they are new to Macon and don't know anyone), so any suggestions are welcome.
p.s. I'm not totally ignoring NYE; just haven't wrapped my head all the way around it and what I want to write; yet another time I've wished this was anonymous.