So.... some new folks moved in across the street. On the plus side, one of them is an 8-year old boy and my kids are delighted to have a new playmate. But the interactions I've had with mom have been nothing but strange and awkward.
The first time she tried to introduce herself was when I was sitting on the front porch, talking with a friend from Georgia who has gone through large life changes of late. I did need to finish up with this call, but there a lot of ground to cover. I tried to motion to the new neighbor that I was on the phone (I assumed it must not have been obvious or she wouldn't have approached me then) and would catch up with her when I was done. I'm not sure I was successful. By the time I got off the phone, she had wandered down the street out of sight.
Then last night, she came by while I had another friend over. I wouldn't have answered the door, except that I guessed that it was her kid who had buddied up to mine and was playing in the backyard. I thought she wanted him back and wanted to check in with me before heading back there. Well, no, she wanted to introduce herself. And I guess she wanted to chitchat, but serious awkwardness ensued because she answered all my questions with single words...
"Are you new to the area?"
"Where did you come from?"
"Oh, that's not too far..."
"So, is your son going to the local school in the fall?"
Okay, I give up. After all, I had abandoned my friend in the house... I made my 'gotta go' noises and scooted back in.
Then tonight, the kids are out playing while I am making dinner. I see that the new kid is over but all seem to be getting along well, so I let them be. Then I hear an adult talking... but it doesn't seem to be to the kids so I look around and find the neighbor mom has walked past the kids, up my driveway and is standing in my open garage talking on her cell phone while smoking a cigarette. Then she strolls down the driveway to chat with the kids. I can smell the smoke coming in the kitchen and dining room windows, so I pop outside. She is still on the phone. I say "Hi (note my pleasant greeting). Please don't smoke around my kids or my house."
She apologizes and scurries away so quickly that I don't think she heard me about not smoking around the house. Strange.
Then, later, while we are eating dinner and then every ten minutes afterward, the boy knocks loud and long on the door asking if O can come back out and play yet.
Oh my. New neighbors.
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