Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2005 12:20 am
How do you get along with them?
Do you want to get along with them, or would you prefer to remain at a distance?
If you live in the city do you even know who they are?
If you live in the country do you maybe feel you know each other TOO well?
If you've gotten to know your neighbours was that a plus or a minus?
Was there ever a time you felt like strangling your neighours from hell? Twisted Evil
Want to vent about your neighbours?

Please share your stories, the things you've learned & any advice you might have to offer!
In fact any interesting neighbour stories are welcome.

(P.S. ... Despite what the spellcheck says, in Oz we spell "neighbours" with a "u". But please feel free to spell it differently if that applies in your neck of the woods! :wink: )
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Type: Discussion • Score: 21 • Views: 14,002 • Replies: 278

Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2005 12:25 am
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Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2005 12:34 am
Since shifting to my new address a couple of years ago, I've consciously worked on having a detached but friendly relationship with my new neighbours. Why? Well, at my previous address we all got to know each other far, far, too well, as a result of a local action group. We bickered, agreed, disagreed & fought beaurocracy together. It was very hard work to reach good ol' consensus, I can tell you! Some people became bullies, others did all the work, some didn't want to participate but demanded that their point of view be paramount .... You get the picture. Rolling Eyes Anyway, instead of all this activity bringing the lot of us closer together, it had the exact opposite effect on many of us ... like trying to avoid some neighbours like the plague! Shocked We were with each other for many, many years.

Since shifting house I have a developed a strategy for a little more privacy while still being available to assist others in an emergency, wish them a happy new year, etc, a wave, a smile & chat ..... but not in TOO much depth! :wink: It works fine! I like this!
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Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2005 12:41 am
... besides, a bit of escape from politics & gut wrenching world events would be a nice thing, I think! A bit of a diversion ...
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Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2005 12:50 am
This afternoon my neighbours (on my left) are being very very noisy. Music & lots of friends and family making jolly with a fair amount of plonk, I'd say. But that's OK, because:
* they don't do this often.
* they are getting married in 6 days time! At the old, local blue stone church! The groom may walk there from home. Very Happy
* it will all be over by bed time!
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Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2005 12:52 am
OK, over to you .....
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Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2005 07:48 am
Good Morning, msOlga. I'll be back when I'm awake.
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Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2005 07:51 am
By which time I'll most likely be sleeping! Very Happy (Bloody back keeping me awake!)

Good morning, Noddy.
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Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2005 08:22 am
Interesting, msolga...

In my old neighborhood we had probably three categories of neighbors. The ones across the street, who I've written about here a fair amount, we gradually became very close to. (Still miss 'em.) However, both of us -- the dad of the family and I were the main friendship-movers -- are naturally cautious about developing friendships, especially with someone you can't escape if it doesn't work out, so the progress was glacial. Ironically, that's part of what contributed to the success -- we both later were kind of rueful that it took so dang long, but acknowledged that we both probably would have reacted badly if the other had been too aggressive too soon.

Our neighbors to either side, on our side of the street, were much more circumspect. The neighbor to the south was a full lot away -- we each had 1.5 lots, with an empty lot's worth in the middle -- but the neighbor to the north was very close, we could easily see into each other's kitchens and such. They were VERY private, and we respected that, just nod and smile and occasional very short chat. At first they wouldn't even nod and smile!

So it was with some surprise that on our last day, when I went to say goodbye, they were absolutely effusive with sorrow that we were leaving, how we were the best neighbors ever, invited us in (first time ever!) for some reason I don't remember, big hugs, etc., etc. They were just plain a little odd, I think it was that they appreciated how we respected their privacy but could only express that when there was no danger of upping the intimacy level. ("Bye bye!!")

Then the third category were people who lived further down the block and were perfectly friendly and we'd chat but weren't particularly close to. Oh, one couple we went out to dinner with while I was still pregnant, and then things were so chaotic once the baby arrived we didn't really do anything after that. They were cool, though.

The people who used to live in the house we now own were very, very close to our new next-door neighbors to the south, and quite close to the neighbors to the north. We're a lot like them (the family that used to live here) in a lot of ways -- makes sense, I guess, same taste in houses. So what happened that was rather startling is that when we moved in we kind of instantly assumed the old family's spot. All the traditions they had with the old family (OF), we did with them instead. Oh, we're going trick-or-treating together right? Um, sure! Everyone is just SO SO SO friendly, and E.G. and I have struggled with how to handle that a bit. We don't want to reject friendliness, but at the same time there's a bit of hey, we don't even know you! (We know them all better now, things are coming along pretty well. Certainly prefer overly-friendly and nice neighbors to the opposite.)

One thing that was kinda interesting, OF-slot wise, was that the OF was Jewish and presumably didn't celebrate Christmas. I say presumably because after gifts from the neighbors for sozlet's birthday, and gifts for *halloween*, and cards at every opportunity, they didn't have anything for us for Christmas. (I made everyone handmade ornaments, beaded snowflakes to commemorate the huge storm.)

I've only had really terrible neighbors once, I think, a drug lab/ flophouse next door in Madison. They got busted several times, not sure if it was the same people each time or new ones. We could never identify exactly who lived there, cars pulling up for 10 minutes all the time. One very sweet cat, though.
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Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2005 08:42 am
You sound like an amazingly good neighbour, Soz! Hand-made Chrissie presents, even! I'm impressed!

I like how you just took over from where the vacating neighbours left off. Laughing So easy for everyone!

Yes, over-friendly is most definitely preferable to hostile. (Which reminds me of our previous neighbours from the old location. But later ....) But, I wonder, are there times when you'd like to be a little more removed, a bit more distanced ....?
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2005 09:06 am
We know our next door neighbours, but not any closer then just on a "good-greeting-basis", meaning, we talk a bit when we pass, but not more.

There are two houses in the neighbourhood (left site of the pic in the link) with frequently changing (and younger) neighbours - we just know them by sight ... if.

My place

With the three old ladies living in our house, too, (and hopefully with just moved in younger couple as well), we have really close and nearly 'intimate' friendship.
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Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2005 09:14 am
Hey, Walter, that was a buzz. Pity you couldn't have marked your home with an X so we could know exactly which one it is!
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2005 09:20 am
It's the one in the (more or less) center.
We live "under the roof".

View from the right site of the plan:*16NZdczgrid01t27QkpRe96Q2y6TAPcJ7VpByq0KZWBnmkYJL5KsV1QRcws!k/Haus%20im%20Fr%C3%BChling.jpg
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Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2005 09:28 am
Interesting, Walter.
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Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2005 09:43 am
I have an interesting history with neighbors.

Growing up my best friends were always neighbors. I suppose a ready playmate nearby encouraged that.

The first apartment I ever lived in on my own was populated by me and a bunch of bikers. They called me "Baby girl" and really looked out for me.

My best neighbor ever was my sister. She moved into my crappy little four-plex right after her divorce. That was the point where we really became friends even more than sisters.

I am currently raising the child of my ex-neighbor's granddaughter.

My current neighbors are great. We're really all more neighbors than friends but it is not unusal to find a clot of us gathered somewhere on the street. We have big neighborhood cookouts. All of the neighborhood kids wander in and out of each other's yards and houses. This is the first time in my life that I've lived anywhere vaguely suburban and its pretty cool on the yak it up with the neighbors level.
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Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2005 09:46 am
We live on a gated street, which is fashionable these days here in Florida. 16 houses curving around a retention pond with a fountain, various visiting waterfowl and the occasional alligator. Our house is the last one on the street. Our next door neighbors are indispensible. They have taken us to the airport and watched our dogs during family emergencies. I am fond of the neighbor two doors down, a woman with an adult daughter, only because their lawn deflects criticism of mine, lawns being the main object of gossip between hurricanes here. We have nodding acquaintances with most everyone else, save for the two missionary families down the street -Mormon and Baptist- who devote considerable energy to our souls' welfare. The Mormons have a slight edge because they bring us excellent baked goods and have three adorable children, but we are holding out for cash.

Not really a bad egg anywhere, unless its us.....
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2005 09:51 am
When we moved in this house here about eight (?) years ago, we soon noticed to our greatest surprise that we were already known:

- my father used to be the family doctor for the neighbour directly below us (right site), when he (father) helped a distant relative for some weeks in his surgery,

- the lady on the other site knew my grandfather: she was originally from a bakery and grandfather's mill delivered them,

- the two sisters in the ground apartments turned out to be father's second (or third?) cousins. (We got a photo with their father and my grandfather - they got the same :wink: )
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Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2005 12:42 pm
I live in a city. I have several neighbors who I know as acquaintences, one I know as a friend. Within my own building I know and like the people in the other two condos. One couple are my landlords.

I used to be a bit voyeuristic with one set of neighbors. They moved (no, not because of me!). They had cats who would sit in the sunny windows. I loved to watch the cats. I always wanted to see inside that place.

The closest neighbors are outside my bedroom window. They have 2 little girls. Sometimes, in the summer, those kids are very loud in their backyard - about 10 feet from my window. I think I may have gotten a bad reputation with them while I was dating B.... I've since gotten more opaque curtains.

I have a lady across our parking lot who panhandles. I think her kids help pay her rent. She has a man-friend who dresses like a pimp and comes by to see her once in a while. They sometimes yell at eachother, she from the door, he in the street. She either went on illicit drugs or off medical drugs once and came to talk to me, repeating, "She plants the bulbs in the fall, so she'll have flowers in the spring." That she was me the year before. She didn't recognize me, but she remembered the bulb conversation.

That building also houses a strange young man with big Bono glasses and a habit of talking about the trees as if they are all Ents. He often ffers to help me rake leaves and shovel snow.

I know a little too much about some of my neighbors. But, I usually don't talk about them - except for the anal car-detailing guy.
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Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2005 02:03 pm
I moved so many times, but with every neighborhood
I left I gained at least one friend for life. When I was young,
my next door neighbor became my best friend. We are
the same age and have similar backgrounds. For the last
10 years she's been living in Boston and we're still very
close and in contact frequently.

When I was in my early 20s and freshly married, we
moved into a neighborhood with older neighbors. One of
them was a widow living with her mother. She had no
children of her own, and she kind of took me under her
wing. We left that neighborhood many years ago, but
she's still like a mother to me and now grandma to my
child. She's become part of our family.

I also lived in a neighborhood once where there was
similar bickering and fighting as msolga spoke of. I loved
living there, however the people got to me and I had
to get out of there. Nevertheless, there was one couple
who felt the same way, and we became friends while
fighting the other neighbors. They were both from Isreael
and since have moved to NYC. We're still in contact
and I enjoy hearing from them and vice versa.

Now I live in a more quiet neighborhood, I do know most
of my neighbors and always chat with them outside
when we meet at the mailbox or walking dogs, but we're
not that close to them, which suits me well, as I enjoy
the quietness. The children around play with each other,
go to each others houses, but the parents don't socialize -
thank God!
Region Philbis
Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2005 02:14 pm
we had the beer-swilling frat-boy crew next door for 2 years.

empties everywhere... wiffle ball (or its bahstid cousin, beercanball) at all hours of the night... loud parties at least once a month, replete with outdoor drinking games... lotsa cussin' & shoutin'... furniture breaking... total disregard for the surroundings.

i cracked a huge Very Happy & breathed a sigh of relief the day the moving van arrived...
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