Friday, March 14, 2008

Won't You Be My Neighbor!

Two days ago I got into a conversation with my neighbor and he let me know that his wife had been ill. In fact, she had been taken by ambulance the previous night due to a blood clot and had suffered a mild heart attack. Geepers! Then he confesses that he did not go to the hospital with her because it was late at night and he couldn't leave the children who were fast asleep in their beds.

This is where my stomach dropped and I realized what a rotten neighbor I have been. Sure, I've been friendly. I smile and wave and comment on the weather whenever we both happen to be outside, but that's about it. Not once have I invited their family over or taken them Christmas cookies. I've never bothered to get past any formalities and become more than just "Mrs. Whats-Her-Name." For crying out loud- I didn't even know their last name until this week! And now, when they could have really used some help, I was of course oblivious and they were of course uncomfortable calling on me for their aid. In all reality I am a stranger, and most people do not trust strangers to watch their kids or seek them out for help when they are in need.

If I had taken the time to be a friend they could have called on me and he could have been with his wife in that ambulance instead of sending her off and desperately hoping she would be all right and come back to him. (The image of that makes me nauseous and horrified!! I am a wretch!!!)

To put it all in a nutshell. I am ashamed of my un-neighborliness and I vow to reform.

So.... I made this little map. Looking at it embarrasses me. I have lived her for 4 years and it is inexcusable that there are so many question marks on it.

Who are these people? I must fill in these blanks!!

If you happen to be one of my friendly neighbors, please accept my apologies for being self-absorbed and unaware of you. And now- be prepared to be bombarded!!

In a few years I might be known as "Mrs. Always- Bringing-Cookies-and-In-Our-Business," but at least you'll know me, and possibly feel comfortable giving me a ring should you need some care and help from a good neighbor.

12 comments:

Danika said...

Well, if it makes you feel any better...if I made a map of all my neighbors, I would know exactly two (and one of them only because they happen to be members of our ward)! And now we just use the excuse..."we're moving soon, so what does it matter if we get to know them?" We're pathetic. Thanks for reminding us to get our butts over there!

Erin said...

Don't be too hard on yourself. I only know my neighbors because I locked myself out and needed their help!

Erin said...

P.S. - I love your map and your drive to become "Mrs. Always-Bringing-Cookies-and-In-Our-Business"

lisapow said...

ohhhh So many things I want to say about this....
But,
I will leave it too this...
moving out west makes this easier. Maybe it is because the Bishop has a map like that in his office. Maybe it is the lds "love thy neighbor". Yes. Everyone out here is "neighborly".

JRose said...

Amanda: I love this! This was a new years resolution of mine and I am happy to report progress on the Rose fam part. My kiddos actually know some neighborhood kids to play with. Hooray, we are not the "what's their names that hermit in that brick house in the middle of Westwind Dr." We are "The Roses, nice to meet you!"

Becky said...

Ok, so the only reasons we know our neighbors are because one of my kids almost got hit by one of our neighbors, and she came to apologize. The other is because the kids made so much noise one afternoon playing outside that another neighbor came over to make sure everything was ok, and the last was - we made cookies when we first moved here for us to celebrate our new house, and we I went upstairs, they were gone - because Austin & Megan had taken plates of them to our neighbors. You Amanda, are not self-absorbed, you are a Mom with 3 kids - and you are busy!!! (at least I use that as my excuse!)

DCBrooks said...

Amanda, I'm feeling a little guilty right now because I think I know only about 4 of my neighbors on my street. In fact, It makes me laugh that one of them just talked to Dave and asked if he could get his kids on my "daycare list." The neighbors see so many kids coming in and out of my house that they honestly think I'm running a daycare!

jenafeldman said...

I really like my immediate neighbors...next door and behind us and we help each other often, but as for the rest of the street....UMMMMM...I know the Daniels! Like you I am on waving and nodding status with most of the others. You have motivated me to do a little better!

Amanda Neilson said...

It's nice to know I'm not the only one. I won't feel so bad now.

And Lisa- being born and bred in the west, I am a huge fan already. I do have to say- that we are extremely jealous of a "ki club"at school! That would be great!

Denise said...

You are my neighbor and you are great. Being a neighbor is an attitude -- and since I've never known you to not have your heart in the right place, I'm sure you will continue to make new friends and grow to like and know those whose houses are closest to yours.

a&j said...

I know that most of my neighbors are college students and I only know this because of the late night weekend parties they have and their constant giggling!! You are such a great person and I admire your willingness to change.
Andrea

Lynita said...

Well I must say when you have your own home it makes it harder. Unfortunately/fortunately for me we rent and pass our neighbors in the hall all the time. But I can see how I might not be as social if I had my own home and 3 kids to run here and there! At least you know almost everyone in the Ward, there is something to be said about that!

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