Times I have said hello to my elderly neighbor when I see him outside doing yard work: At least 10.

Times he has responded: 0

Okay, I thought, he looks pretty old. Maybe he can’t hear too well. As far as I can tell he spends his time putzing in the yard, grouching at neighborhood kids who (you guessed it) run around on the lawn, and voting for McCain. (Or at least, putting up signs to that effect.) For that reason, and for lack of any more personable interactions, in my head he has become the Crotchety Republican Neighbor.

Today while I was leaving the house on an errand, CRN (figure it out) was out by the fence ranting about Obama’s financial policies to another old guy. I waved but both of them were fairly engrossed in the discussion. When I got back, CRN was out in the front lawn with two little boys trailing behind him… grandchildren, I presume? Very young, very flannel-shirted, very slicked-back parts in the hair. I smiled at the kids, and made eye contact with their grandfather…. for the first time in the nine months I’ve lived here! “Hello,” I said, cheerily. “Hi there,” he said back, in a friendly way, which made my hopes for neighborly rapport soar… except the fact that his greeting was immediately followed by: “That kid is such a liar… never knew a kid who lied so much…”

“Oh…. uh…” I said, but he had already rounded the corner of the house.

It’s not that I won’t give him the chance to disprove my cartoon-like impressions of him… it’s just that he hasn’t yet. 🙂

Let me assure you that I am indeed grateful for the neighborhood I live in. A few blocks to the east or to the south there are neighborhoods that look like war zones or like… well… Detroit. I’m grateful that my neighbors are quirky and not crackheads.

Oooh, speaking of stereotypes, I’m pretty sure there’s a genuine cat lady living across the street. I mean, not an early-onset catlady like myself… I mean a cute little old lady who shuffles to the curb sometimes to pick up the paper in a yellow bathrobe, and has doilies on the couch at the window, and has an undetermined number of cats lounging on said doilies or peeking out the window at any given time.

I need to get some hobbies.

And speaking of which, I’m pretty sure I am going to have neither hobbies nor money for the next two years, since I just plunged into this grad program.


One Response to Peoplewatching

  1. Maureen says:

    great post. I love people-watching- especially in my neighborhood 😀 I love old people and adore my 95 (I think) year old neighbor lady who always asks me if I grew up on a farm (because of my out of control veggie garden). Good luck with yours 😉 Keep on smiling… and please, no doilies until you’re at least 30!

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