My Dog is Barking at the Neighbors

Which is not the problem. Dogs bark, good doggie, you are soo brave. No, the problem, as I reward my puppy for protecting us with her vicious golden retriever looks and bark, is that I have new neighbor’s moving in. Again. Sigh.

Now why is this a problem? Let me tell you. Because I don’t have cookie dough in the house and I don’t want to make brownies. I’m also no longer certain I want to invest in the big Hi and Welcome baked goods and wine combo, delivered with a smile.

It upsets me to consider myself jaded, but I feel like Charlie Brown. History tells me that I’m going to run over there and introduce myself, all pumped up with anticipation that someone awesome is moving in, but I will ultimately be disappointed. I’ve done this dance over a dozen times.

George, long-suffering husband, asks me if I’ve considered my delivery to the be the problem. He’s not referring to the actual food and bev, he’s insinuating that its me. I’m the problem. Once people meet me, and experience the enthusiastic welcome, peppered with too many questions, they lock their doors and close the shutters. I’m just too much, too soon, and they don’t know if I’ll be making regular unexpected appearances.

George lives on the edge, but he may be onto something. People like to hide. When they come home from work, they don’t want to feel like they still have to be on. They don’t want to answer the door or pretend to care about anyone other than their families. Unless the company is expected.

And I live in Minnesota – so quadruple the passive aggressive responses. I saw sincere shock register in one woman’s eyes as she reluctantly put her hand out to accept my warm cookies. (I always deliver them fresh from the oven….) I never saw this woman again. In fact she moved.

That’s a problem too. The turnover rate is enormous in my neighborhood. Don’t know why, but I get new neighbors next door on average, every two years. I had one family move into my favorite house a few doors down. It’s my favorite because they have a pool. You can only use the thing a few months out of the year, but I fantasize about sharing the experience with my new best friend over Sunday Bloody Mary’s. I’ve done a hard press on the string of folks who’ve moved into this place. I mean what if, right?

But I gave up on pool house when the last family asked me to dog sit their dog while they went out of the town for the weekend. No problem I said, having met them only once the month before on moving day. They knew I’d be interested in the gig because I told them so. George had cautioned me, but I didn’t listen. I extended an open-ended offer to help them transition in any way I could. Welcome to the neighborhood!

Pool people didn’t come home for a week. I had personal plans but was forced to change my schedule because someone had to look after their dog. They decided, without asking me, to extend their vacation in Florida. This is a perfect example of the quality of folks who I’ve rushed out to welcome.

And bingo. You can put a finger on that episode as an example of why I’m jaded.

But look at that truck out there. It’s a really big United moving liner. I grab the binoculars and check out the side logo. Memphis, Tennessee. From out of state. Not a local move. Probably not Minnesotans. Hmmm. What were the people from Tennessee like? Were they actually from Memphis? That’s kind of cool.

I lower the specs and pet the dog. “What do you think? Should we try, try again, Gemma? Maybe they’ll be keepers. Super nice ones and we’ll become best friends for life. What do you think?”

Baby girl leaped past me as she spied her ball. Damn. No help there. Should I go? Should I put myself out there again?

I already knew the answer. I went to the kitchen and queued up my tunes. My playlist came up and I enjoyed the music while I baked. A corner of my mouth turned up as personal favorite from The Stones played– “I’m Just Waiting on a Friend.”

It could happen.

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