Neighborly



Here is this year's rendition of the patio.  Guess you could say I'm not exactly afraid of color.  So as I sit at the table enjoying my lunch and an iced tea, I couldn't help but wonder about a poll I just read in my Real Simple magazine. 

To be honest, I had thought that working from home would get really boring, but it hasn't. I absolutely love heading out to the patio to eat lunch or for a couple minute break. The neighborhood is quiet during that time and I get to enjoy the birds who love my garden and the new sprouts of greenery on all the plants that made it through that terrible December ice storm.

I show you my patio because it is honestly designed for entertaining.  In fact the whole house was pretty much designed for that, so I am sitting here wondering why we don't do more of it.

Then I read this blip in the magazine and it all makes perfect sense now. Here goes:

Is it OK for guests to drop by unannounced?
29% said only if you are both characters on a sitcom.
25% said yes provided you've told them they are welcome anytime, otherwise it's creepy.
24% said it's fine if they are family or if it is an emergency.
22% said yes they love surprises.

I got to thinking about what this says about us. I recall growing up in Michigan and having Mr. Dan pop by if he saw my dad working outside, or my aunt, uncle, and cousins stop in if they were in the area on the way from Grand Rapids to Sterling Heights to visit my grandparents. In fact, I remember setting off after our Christmas Meal and visiting with our dear friends the Adamczyks. 

More recently, the last time I visited my sister, her neighbors would pop by routinely, some bringing goodies for the visitors to eat, and some just to borrow a tool. Wouldn't you know it happened to me recently?

I had to stop myself from feeling awkward about it.  Actually it was very awkward because I was in my pajamas! And I had no makeup on, and had slept all day because it was just after the campaign and I was still beyond exhausted.

When I was working the polls on election day, there were throngs of people who wanted to chit-chat.  A particular gentleman was there about 5:30pm and we struck up a conversation. We were amazed to find out that two like-minded people actually lived in the same neighborhood. 

Wouldn't you know he stopped by at 8:30 that Saturday evening? Of course luck would have it that I had not showered that day either and my hair was, shall we say, less than fresh looking?  I sat down on the sofa with my fuzzy blankie and looked at the magazines all over the ottoman and my slippers tossed on the floor and I felt like a total slob. But you know, after I got over the initial shock of my own state of affairs, I actually liked having someone stop by because it reminded me so much of my youth.

What has become of us that 25% of us think it's just plain creepy? Why do we feel the incessant need to plan out every aspect of our lives? There is something different between a daily routine of let's say, getting up at 6:30 in the morning, drinking coffee, getting ready, and having just enough time for the daily constitution before heading to work, and planning when I feel like actually seeing someone else.

I have decided that I do not want my whole life planned out because I want to be able to enjoy pleasant surprises.  I don't want to imagine a life where my friend popping by to borrow something requires two day's notice.  There is something to be said for being neighborly and enjoying the spaces I created for entertainment and I plan to do just that.