Saturday, July 28, 2012

Yard sales and unfriendly neighbors

We are finally having our yard sale (OK, it's a driveway sale - but you know what I mean!)!  I have been planning it for months!  I posted on all my groups & FB pages.  I invited everyone I know to bring stuff and yard sale with me.  I cleaned everything & priced everything too!  Here I sit, all by myself (except for the moments that SAW sticks his head out the door to check on stuff & when MJ sits out here with me). So far, as of lunchtime on day 2, I have made about $30.  Not the big haul I was hoping for!  But, basically it's free money, so I know I shouldn't complain.  I was really hoping to not have to haul all this stuff back into the garage and find storage space for it AGAIN!  Yes, some of it will be going to the Airman's Attic, but some of this I know is worth some money and I am holding out hope that someone else will want it!  We have had a lot of drivebys (you know, when they just stop at the end of the driveway and look out the window but never get out of the car).  Personally, drivebys are the worst!  I mean, doesn't my stuff warrant more than a glance out the window?  I have one large table that is very crowded & there's no way that from the driveway you can see what's on it! 
Enough complaining about that... I've got bigger things to complain about today!
We were so freaking excited when we saw that someone was finally moving into the house next door!  the day their moving van showed up I rushed into the kitchen and baked them a loaf or apricot coffee cake and packaged it up with some of the apricot syrup I made to drizzle over the top.  SAW and I knocked on the door & handed over the "Welcome to the neighborhood!" gift!  We quickly introduced ourselves and let them get back to their moving in!  We had high hopes that we were going to become great friends with our new neighbors.  They also have kids SAW and Bugs ages so that made everyone happy!  They have a dog also, that made our dogs pretty happy.  Happy enough that Bloo decided she needed to hang out ON TOP of the fence and chat with them, and Gizmo decided that he needed to dig under the fence and go play!  The day he had to come knock on our door to come get the dog out of his yard was a very unfriendly day!  I apologized profusely and told him that we were working on it (we didn't have neighbors when we brought the dogs home so this was new for them).  A couple days later gizmo was over there again...  It hasn't happened since then,they also have not spoken to us since then.  We smile and wave and say hi every time we see them outside (I mean, how can we not - we share a garage wall and a driveway so we see them a lot!).  They never respond.  Ever. Not even a wave or a nod.  Except for their teenage girl (who was very interested in SAW the first day they moved in), but even she only smiles and nods after she is in her car & driving out!  WTF?? (BTW - according to Bug that means "Well that's Fantastic!")  My hopes and dreams of being friends with our neighbors is crushed.  I feel horribly guilty about it too.  I am also a bit perturbed though, the reason the dogs stopped trying to say hi to them is because they only go outside a couple times a day now and someone has to sit and "supervise" the whole 5 minutes.  My dogs LIKE to be outside.  Gizmo would stay out there all day if he could just lounging in the shade on his blanket.  But, we just can't risk the chance of them trying to go over/under the fence again.  It's sad.  The only upside of that (for the dogs) is that we take them to the dog park A LOT now!  Almost every night.  They get to run and play with other dogs and we get to sit in the shade and chat with friendly dog owners that tell us stories about their awesome neighbors!  UGH!

So do you guys have good neighbors?  What is the deciding factor that makes a neighbor good/bad?  


Anonymous said...

I feel for your predicament. I'm in a similar boat myself. I just want to get on with my neighbors, be friendly and just feel part of a mini-community; not necessarily living in each other's pockets, but having a chat now again would be lovely. We're lucky that the people one one side are very nice and friendly. The folks on the other side are ok, a bit standoffish of late for no apparent reason. But it's the guy across the street that drives me nuts lol.

Bear with me here.

He barely acknowledges our existence; happy to drive or walk by without even looking in my direction. Whatever. Recently I've been having some work done on my house and a couple of times the neighbor will wait until myself and my wife have left for work and then come over and chat with the contractors. The last time he took some offcuts of wood that the contractor was going to scrap (he did ask the worker first). It annoyed me because he never comes over when we're here and he wouldn't lower himself to talk to me and ask me if it was ok to take stuff from my yard! I told the contractor that if he sees him again, to ask him to talk to me first about taking stuff. I know he won't talk to me, so problem solved! I would love to have a friendly, polite relationship with this neighbor, but I have to accept that it's obviously not going to happen.

I think in your case your dogs getting in their yard unfortunately annoyed your neighbors to the degree that they still feel a bit peed off. Consider are there any other issues that might be getting to them? Do your dogs bark late at night or early in the morning? Do you play loud music often? Sometimes there are things that we do that don't even cross our minds as being problems or annoyances for our neighbors, but drive them up the wall.

You could give it one last try. If they're out there in the yard, make up some excuse to approach them and have a chat. You could somehow mention again that you're sorry about the dogs.

After that, if they're still the same way with you, at least you'll know that your gave it your best shot and these folks just aren't interested in being friendly with you. You can then go about your business without feeling obligated to make an effort. It's a shame, but sometimes you just can't account for human behavior and it's a waste of time to sweat over it. Focus on the people you care about and care about you instead. Good Luck!