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Knock Knock!

Posted by Felicia on 8:39 AM
Yesterday I spent about 3 hours going door to door in 4 buildings of our condo subdivision. No, I was not selling encyclopedias. ~I have a lovely leather-bound set of knowledge for only $24.99 a month! Get them while they last!~ Instead I was gathering names, numbers, and e-mail addresses for our new neighborhood watch program that I will be heading up. How in the Hay-ell did I get sucked into this?

I started with the first building armed with my clipboard and pen and a smile. The weather was balmy and the sky looked really heavy with rain, but I was determined to start. I knocked on 4 doors until one finally opened. Barely. The woman peeked out and was immediately on the defensive. I smiled and introduced myself and launched into my little speech. She softened considerably after that and gave me her info. One down, 100 more units to go. I made it through 4 buildings before the rain came down in sheets and I had to stop for the time being. Somehow I didn't think a wet, bedraggled woman with a clipboard would be a good representative for anything but crazy. I walked home with only 12 names out of 40 units I visited. Needless to say I was feeling disappointed at my progress and as luck would have it I slipped and fell in the mud on the way back to my condo. Nicely done!
After showering I sat on the couch and thought about how I only managed to get 12 people to open their doors when a lot more than that were home, but either did not hear me knock or just decided to not open the door to a stranger. I get that. I do. I'm a single woman. I know to be careful. It just dawned on me how different things are now compared to when I was a kid.
Back when I was a kid, which was not all THAT long ago, we knew our neighbors on our block and even sometimes a few blocks over. We opened our doors to people and were not quite as leery as we are now. When did that happen? Have things changed all that much or are we just more hyper aware because of the news, the books we read, the movies we see? Are we so bad off now that we need to keep ourselves protected in a bubble so that nothing bad will happen to us? We can't get to know our neighbors because they might be weird. They might be drug users, pedophiles, murderers etc... How completely sad and closed off we are. I can't blame others; I do it too.
I spent 1 1/2 yrs next door to a woman I barely saw or talked to before she moved out. I have only seen my new neighbor twice in 5 months. I really hate that. We share a building. I should be doing my part to get to know her, not only for her safety, but for mine. I find that if we help others, they in turn are more likely to help you, and how can that be so bad?
The people that I did talk to that day told me about some stuff they had seen happen around the neighborhood, but they hadn't said anything. This is the kind of thing we all need to know. If we made more of an effort to get to know each other we would probably be more willing to tell each other out of concern. I guess this is where I come in.
It starts with one person. I'm going to get the ball rolling here and make an effort to get to know my neighbors. I want them safe. I want my neighborhood safe. I want my child safe. I'm going to keep knocking until the walls come down, because isn't that what we are really knocking against;the walls we build ourselves? I think its time we let ourselves out.

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4 Comments


Great post, Felicia. I know not a single one of my neighbors. I live in an apt complex, but it's still indicative of our times. All they want to do is complain about each other.


i remember knowing *everyone* on my block when i grew up. when we lived in our apartment complex, we didn't know any of our neighbors. now, we have met the residents in our neighborhood once, but that's it. when i was a kid, all the kids played together, and parents got together for beers and conversations. now, everyone on my street keeps to themselves. things have changed a lot.


I was in SoCal recently, and we were talking about this somewhat -- my sister Annie used to leave my grandmother's house, and just wander the neighborhood. She'd knock on people's doors to see if she could play with their dogs -- and these people were complete strangers. It's amazing that it was acceptable to do things like that when we were kids.


It'll be interesting to find out about the neighbors when we move to the new complex. It always seems so quiet there. At least the manager seems really nice.

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