I loved reading Fannie Flagg’s book Fried Green Tomatoes. One of the best parts was a local newsletter that reported on all the going ons in the small town. I imagined writing something like that at the cohousing. There were others with that idea too but it never flourished, yet.
Living in a condo is similar. I see the goings on from my front window. It’s not designed exactly ike cohousing where the kitchen faces the main walkway so you can see everything but I put my desk by the front window so I can see trees and a view of the outside as I work. So, this week I saw some beautiful people walking by and wondered why they were so buff. Plumbers. So I know my quiet neighbor has some plumbing work and I”m glad they walked by since later I was in my bathroom and heard a drill. I might have assumed the worse and that they were trying to look into my bathroom. I don’t know my neighbor well; he is very quiet and looks like he’ll cry sometime when I say hello to him. Other times he’ll politely say “that’s okay” when I tell him I’m a terrible parker so let me know if I have trapped his car in the parking spot next to me. Now I know that when I need a plumber, I’m going to ask who those good looking ones were.
In other news, one neighbor’s dog has been kicked out of a groomer’s again. She won’t stay still. This is the third groomer they’ve tried. Their only resort is a vet where they can put the doogie to sleep. They can’t let the hair grow out since she’s the type of dog that would become a mop.
That’s the news for this week. I”m glad I can still know these little details about neighbors. Cohousing encourages interaction and we have a common mail spot here too. However in cohousing it was too much. When everything fell apart, I had to hide in my house. I didn’t want to see the neighbors and they made it clear they didn’t want to see me. Even when I did venture out to my porch, one neighbor pretended I wasn’t there and the other neighbors just stood around and let that shaming take place. No one thought to stand up and say maybe we don’t want that type of environment. I also put my curtains down in the kitchen window which I had never done before. I didn’t want anyone to see in and I didn’t want to see out where everyone was talking to another family that I knew they were also angry about but instead continued to talk to them and be fake. For me, cause I took things one step further in trying to solve the problem, I was to be ghosted – treated like a real ghost (can’t see or hear me).
So, I’ll stay with the condo and respect my neighbors privacy. They didn’t sign up for all in intentional community and when I did, it ended up being a bad move.
The movie smoke signals has the same idea: news report in a rural area where you know everyone, this time it’s an Indigenous Reservation.