I was thinking about this today, as I sat in my house working on building websites and writing online content. I heard the dog next door barking, meaning there was a neighbor home. I saw a minivan in the driveway of the house on the other side of my house, meaning there was another neighbor home. I say a light in a kitchen in a house through the back yard, making it three neighbors within shouting distance who were all home today. And most days, from what I can tell. I am sure they're not boring people, and maybe they're spending the time working as much as I am while at home, but it just seems odd not to connect.
Let me step back for a moment and explain. My family moved to Lenexa from Milwaukee. We lived on more of a nice block in Milwaukee, not quite a full neighborhood. But it WAS a nice block. If I went for a walk around the block with the family, at least one neighbor would be outside and would talk to us. That's nearly every single walk. And we went almost daily. In Lenexa, it seems more like what I'd always imagined the suburbs to be, which isn't really a bad thing, except for this home as my fortress kind of mentality. And I'm as guilty as the next person. I could take my laptop outside and work, but it's easier to stay inside.
To make matters more uncomfortable, I saw a posting by a neighbor on the local HOA Facebook page that I agreed with, and then he got clobbered by super-conservative rhetoric that wasn't really warranted. That told me I'd have to watch what I might say if I did say hello to any of the neighbors on the block, since I am not exactly ultra-conservative and angry about it.
But I know there are more of you. Not necessarily Lenexa liberals, but artists and writers and free thinkers and tinkerers, sitting in your houses thinking you've got to stay there for some reason. Housewives and househusbands, locked up all day like someone's property. But we could do something more interesting if we figured out how to meet and make it happen. I see you at the library once a week or at the grocery store, but we never talk, since that's the right we've afforded for ourselves by purchasing a home in the suburbs.
And we're bored. Not that we don't work at something all day. Whether it's laundry and wash or computer work like me, or writing, or painting. You do something, but you're still bored by it all. I know, because I live a few blocks away, and I thought being able to walk to the hardware store would mean a lot, but my old neighborhood was interesting more for the places and people I walked past rather than where I could walk to, and that's what I'm missing. It was about sitting in the front window and watching the neighbors talking and doing, whereas it's mostly squirrels that entertain me here.
So get in contact with me before we all go insane. Let's give each other assignments, like photos to take or poems to write. Or recipes to try. Or something. Lunch once a month or dog walking together. Age, gender, whatever does not matter. I could write a screenplay with you or just play a game of tennis. Not kidding. Here's a link to my facebook profile in case you're sitting around your house in Lenexa, KS, reading this right now. I think there's a lot of creativity lost in suburbia that needs a little prodding. Let's give it a try.