Thursday, June 05, 2008

Part of the "in" crowd

Among the posts I’ve been meaning to write is a rant about my neighborhood. You see, when hubby and I moved from DC, we ended up in a nice, suburban neighborhood chock full of lots of families with small children. (Truthfully, I wanted something a little more urban feeling, but this was the compromise we ended up with.) All in all, we’re very happy with our home and our neighborhood, despite the fact that I think people used to see us as the creepy couple with no kids. I didn’t realize how strange it would feel to live in suburbia and not have kids. I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, or if it was just because we were struggling with infertility the entire time, but we really felt like fish out of water. At least in our neighborhood, we are pretty much the only house that didn’t—and still does not—have a swing set in the backyard. It’s all a little Stepford, if you ask me.

Anyhow, we’ve lived here for more than two years. And, in that two years, exactly two families have gone out of their way to introduce themselves to us—the family next door and the one across the street. Everyone else has completely, utterly ignored our existence. Despite the fact that we have a dog who we walk twice a day, everyday. So, it’s not the case that we’ve been holed up in our house being antisocial.

During all of those months of infertility and heartbreak, I would tell hubby that, if we ever were blessed with a child, I was certain that people were going to start talking to us. And that, if that were the case, it was going to royally piss me off. Like, what, we’re untouchable peons unless we have kids? Bite me.

Well, boy was I ever right. Now that the stickies have arrived, people are coming out of the woodwork to introduce themselves. On our twice daily walks now, people come out of their houses to introduce themselves and congratulate us, etc. But, what’s more, almost every single one of them says something along the lines of, “We had always seen you both walking your dog, but then only saw hubby for a while. Now we know what happened!”

Interesting. So, you knew that we were your neighbors. You saw us walking our dog everyday. You were even sometimes out at the same time as we were. But NEVER until we had kids did you bother to talk to us.

Of course, I don’t know if that’s better or worse than our neighbor who lives, I kid you not, two doors down, who actually said to us, “oh, did you just move into the neighborhood?” Nope. We’ve lived here almost two and a half years. “Oh, well this must be the first time you’re out and about.” Again, nope. Two years we’ve been here. And we’ve been out and about twice a day everyday for those two years—in rain, snow, sunshine, whathaveyou. But thanks for being so neighborly and welcoming us into the ‘hood!

All the attention really irks me now, I have to say. I feel like we’re in one of those painful teen beat movies and I’m the geek who just got the makeover (read: lost the glasses) and now it’s okay to talk to me. And, the attention from the neighbors rings as hollow in reality as in those movies.

Man do I miss the city sometimes…


Meghan said...

We're in the burbs too and I think that all the time. We're out and about in the neighborhood too...and don't know anyone. Now I'm interested what will happen in September...

Kate said...

I did not realize you live in DC suburbs. I've been following your story for a long time, but somehow I must have missed the fact that we are neighbors. :)