Since we moved into the new house 3 weeks ago there’s been little time for pretty much anything other than getting settled and unpacked. Now that the majority of the big work is done and things are calming down we are settling nicely into our new routine, in our new home, in a brand new area. My thoughts have turned to what happens when the summer is over. What happens when I really have to start integrating into the community.
Amelia got chatting to a little girl from next door last week, which was great. They went and played together at the front of the house together under the watchful eyes of their respective dads. They had a whale of a time, and neither wanted to go in when it started to rain. In fact, both girls wanted to play in each other’s houses, and were quite upset when the little girl’s dad sensibly suggested;
“Maybe once you get to know Amelia a little bit more then you can play in each other’s houses, sound good?”
What sensible dad next door really meant, though, was;
“I don’t know these people, let’s work out if they’re cranks before I let you in their house, ok?”
Are We Cranks?
When Amelia starts at a new nursery (hopefully in September) I’m hoping that I’ll be able to meet some other mums, maybe even make some new friends. There’s just one problem with this theory, though. I think I might actually be a crank. I’m socially awkward, rubbish at making small talk, and I like space. Lots of space. I’m not the kind of person who likes to be surrounded by people, or have to make conversation all day. Even my closest and oldest friends have gotten used to the fact that after a while in anyone’s company I kind of revert into myself a little bit.
None of this is conducive to forming and nurturing new friendships. It’s a bit (a lot) like dating, isn’t it, which btw I was never any good at. You have to do all the ‘getting to know you’ chats, you have to start off feigning normality while slowly phasing in the crazy so that they’re not too shocked. It’s sensible to wait a while before you refer to your kids as dicks (only occasionally, sorry kids).
So What Do The Neighbours Think?!
In preparation for the awkwardness of it all, I’ve been wondering after that first encounter what the neighbours have decided. I mean, if they heard me or Amelia at bedtime last night that’s probably ruined our chances of pretending not to be cranks! I wonder if they think neither of us has a job seeing as we’re always here (Mr C works from home and I blog from home, obvs). Do they think we’re pretentious with our full breakfast spread of fruit, cereal, toast, porridge, sausages and bacon in the garden on sunny mornings? Maybe I should drop into convo the next time we pass while emptying the bins;
“It looks great, but really it’s a right pain in the arse. Honestly, if I didn’t make that much food in the morning I think Wills might start eating his sister. He just doesn’t STOP EATING! And eating in the garden… well that’s mostly because I can’t be arsed to hoover after we eat EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.”
Or maybe they really don’t care about any of it. I’d bet my full English that their kids have melt downs at bedtime too.
There’s Nowhere To Hide!
I suppose the only answer is that I just need to get over it and get on with it. Unfortunately I don’t have the big city to use as an excuse any more. I had always convinced myself that living in the city made it harder to make friends; people aren’t as friendly, no one says hello as you’re walking down the street, people don’t stop for chats in the supermarket. Really, though that was all just an excuse not to have to put myself through it. And where we are now, none of that is true anymore.
So I’m gearing myself for up for ‘hello’s’ at the nursery gate next month, polite chats on the walk home, and maybe even an offer of a much needed coffee.