Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Welcome to the Neighborhood!

There are things about living in a suburban/urban (and I don't mean 'urban' in the euphemistic sense) neighborhood that took me by surprise. For one, there is gossip. I didn't think it was real, the chatting about neighbors while leaning on fenceposts. But there it is! One week in to our new home and we're already learning about the eccentricities of everyone who lives on our block. Also, there are blueberry muffins. We got a real, live housewarming gift yesterday, when one of our neighbors brought by a plate of blueberry muffins.

There is a dark side too, like petty theft. I bought a lawnmower on Sunday, planning to mow the yard on Tuesday (my day off) and this morning, it was gone, stolen clean off our front porch. It isn't a big deal really - today it's a hassle, but in a few months or a year the money will be forgotten and the incident will just be a memory. What is bad is how it makes me feel. It makes me suspect people that are probably innocent, but the more I think about it, the stronger my suspicion grows. I know that my suspicion is baseless and completely devoid of facts or evidence. I think that the only permanent effect of this will come from my reaction. Should I live in fear and anger, seething in resentment, holding grudges against people who may well be innocent of the crime? Obviously I should just move on, learn the lesson and secure my property (although it was on my screened-in porch). After all, the mower was just about the cheapest model that Lowes sells. I can just get another one.

1 comment:

miriamt said...

The sting comes, maybe, from the upset to our usual (and preferred) understanding that people are as “basically good” as we are. That is our experience most of the time. So we get used to trusting others as we would trust ourselves…WE would never enter into someone’s porch and steal their lawnmower (even if it were inexpensive).
In fact, had they knocked on your door and shared their desperate need for a lawnmower, it is quite possible that you would have given yours to them….but you probably want to reserve the right for this altruistic decision for yourself.
I had the same frustrated feelings after someone took my bike (although I really disliked the bike as it was extremely uncomfortable). I had locked it with a chain by my door and someone cut the chain and took the bike…the nerve!!