I was washing dishes tonight after dinner and noticed a nice couple practicing baseball with their son. I said to my husband, "Hey, it looks like there are new neighbors over there maybe." (We live next to a quadruplex and don't really keep track of who comes and goes but I hadn't seen these folks before.)
Rob leaned over and looked past me and said, "Oh... yeah. Well, um, I saw her yesterday and she waved at me and was really friendly, but I was working on the mower and just said hi back and probably wasn't as friendly as I could have been. I was really stressed."
I said, "Oh, bummer." I scrubbed the dishes and watched them play for few seconds. "Hey, I think I'll go meet them and introduce them to the boys. Their boy looks about the same age."
So, I scramble around like a lunatic trying to get the boys back into their shoes and socks and wipe faces and tidy shirts and just make sure we look halfway respectable. We walk out to the small field behind their apartment. When we passed the boundary of our yard, the little boy saw us and started waving excitedly. I waved back. I thought it was a little strange neither of the parents looked in my direction. If my kid were waving at someone I'd be wondering who he was waving at. (This should have been my first clue, but read on.)
He comes running up and I said, loud enough for everyone to hear me, "Hi there! We're your neighbors. We wanted to come over and introduce ourselves!" Still the parents don't turn around. I was pretty sure they heard me but second-guessed myself.
I said, "This is Tristan and Julius. What's your name?" By this point I'm starting to freak out because I don't like being a weirdo stranger who comes up and starts talking to kids without their parents being involved. But as I am often unable to restrain myself I asked his name anyway.
"I'm Jeremy." (not his real name) and added, "Can I play with you?"
"Uhhhhhhhmm..." I kept walking really fast to try to get within what I thought was earshot so when they finally turned around to look at me they wouldn't think I was stalking their kid. I yell obnoxiously loud, "HI THERE! I'm, uhhhh, your neighbor. The one from over there next door!"
The whole time the mom and dad had been throwing a baseball to each other. They both had baseball gloves on. The mom turned around and looked at me with this weird expression on her face that sort of implied she knew EXACTLY who I was and didn't care at all to have anything to do with me.
And yet, I'm just like an eager puppy trying desperately to make things as fabulous as possible. "Er... Wendy, that's me. Your neighbor. Next door." Crickets start chirping in the background. They haven't paused throwing the ball AT ALL and have actually moved slightly away from me at this point. I stood there like a dummy for an agonizing hour that was probably actually only 15 seconds.
Finally, after one catch she turned her head to me and said, "Vicki." (Not her real name.) Then threw the ball back to her husband.
"Ah," I said awkwardly. The husband caught the ball and looked at me with a sort of smirky look on his face.
"Alrighty then. Come on boys, let's go home!"
I attempted to walk in a dignified manner back to my house with my tail between my legs. Never, ever, ever in my life have I had anything like that happen. It was just WEIRD.
So, we've spent the last hour trying to come up with various theories about what could have gone wrong. Here is my list:
- They were paying Rob back for his social faux pas from earlier.
- They know I'm a yeller and think I'm a hideous parent.
- They read my blog and don't want me for a neighbor.
- They are in the witness protection program.
- As a rule they just hate ALL neighbors, not just us.
- They are bitter because we have a nice yard and they don't.
- They are aliens and do not yet feel properly socialized in a human environment.
Do you have any other theories? Work on it and let me know what you come up with. I'm off to go stalk them and try to figure out why they hate me. I was hoping for friends, would settle for frenemies, but now I can't even get that. Sheesh.