Please Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Mr. Rogers' NeighborhoodWe have some good neighbors, and we have some bad neighbors. Unfortunately, we said goodbye to some of our good neighbors yesterday as they headed out to make a new home in the Pittsburg area. My kids just lost two playmates, and Kurt and I just lost another couple who we enjoyed, trusted, and could borrow stuff from.

Their house is still on the market (and is quite lovely), so I figured this is my chance to advertise for some new neighbors we would approve of. The last family to move onto our street has been a bit of a disappointment, so we would like to avoid a repeat of that situation. Here are my requirements:

1. Friendly, but not overly friendly. I don’t need to know all your business, and you don’t need to know all of mine. But if we’re both outside, I’d like to have some good casual conversation.

2. Children around my kids’ ages would be a bonus (not a requirement), but only if they aren’t rude and won’t teach my kids any more bad behaviors than they already have. Oh, and only if they come and ask to play at NORMAL playing times, like NOT at dinner time, at the very moment I just got my kids to start cleaning their rooms, or at eight o’clock at night…because we already have neighborhood kids who come at those times. If the children aren’t around my kids’ ages, we would also appreciate a trustworthy, responsible teen who would rather babysit on weekends than get drunk at parties.

3. You must cut your grass and make sure trash ends up in your trash cans, not scattered around your yard. It would also be helpful if you knew the difference between a weed that you should pull and a nice plant that you should let grow so that you don’t let your weeds flourish and all your plants wither to nothing.

4. When it snows, shovel your driveway so that your car doesn’t get stuck trying to back out, and your spinning wheels don’t result in a huge cavernous rut in the grass that is shortly accompanied by tire tracks when you finally decide it’s just easier to drive through the front lawn rather than pull out a shovel and remove some snow.

5. Buy girl scout cookies from my daughter. Our neighbors who just moved were always one of her top customers, so start saving up. She’ll be knocking on your door come February.

6. Always have vegetable oil, milk, and eggs on hand. Because I can sometimes be impulsive in my baking and will often start a recipe before checking to see if I have everything I need. And it’s kind of a pain to run up to the store when I know I can likely find what I need right across the street.

7. Know when “quiet times” are. For example, we would be very happy if you did not pull into your driveway with your music blasting or set off fireworks at two o’clock in the morning, have what can only be described as “car door-slamming parties” in the middle of the night, or decide to finally cut your grass at six o’clock on a Sunday morning.

I think that probably about covers it, and I don’t think any of those are too much to ask. So spread the word (and the requirements, please). I promise we will be very good neighbors in return: we are always happy to lend neighborly help, we organize the block party so you don’t have to, we have been known to invite people over for dinner if we’ve made way too much chili,¬†we won’t let our kids trample your grass or our dog poop in your yard, and if you make the cut you’ll get some pretty delicious and “creatively” decorated cookies at Christmas time.

But I swear, if you don’t keep your grass cut, I WILL complain about you in a blog post.