Saturday, November 12

A Letter to My Neighbor

Dear Neighbor,

I live down the street from you and saw you out sometime last year walking your dog and your baby in a stroller before my baby was born, and I got really excited because I thought we could be great mom friends and have playdates with our kids and our dogs and walk around the neighborhood together. I had big hopes for our potential friendship and figured I would introduce myself after my baby was born and everything would work perfectly from there. But in the meantime some things have happened that I'm afraid may have made it more difficult for us to become friends.

First of all, I want to say I'm sorry about almost backing over you in my car. Technically, I was just backing up to the end of my driveway and then I always stop and look up and down the street before I pull out, but I know it looked like I was about to run right over you and your baby and your dog. I could tell you were a little nervous by how you picked up the pace as you ran past my driveway. I was a little concerned then about our future friendship, but I figured I would just leave my car at home when I introduced myself and you wouldn't realize it was me until we already had a great relationship and then you would just forgive me and we would laugh about it.

Then there was that day when I let my dog out in our front yard to use the bathroom and you were walking up the street. Because I wasn't paying close attention to Piper (my dog), she ran up to you and caused your large black lab to get loose and start chasing her. Then you had to run after your dog with your baby and stroller, and I know that was terribly inconvenient. When they both ran up on my porch and I retrieved your dog's leash, I thought this might be my moment to introduce myself but we were both so flustered with the animals and you seemed like you just wanted to get your dog and leave so we both said sorry and we left it at that.

Even with those two things though I thought we might have still had a chance. But then last week's incident seemed to have sealed our fate. Piper got loose from our yard (because our fence is in need of some repairs) and had been gone for a little while but I couldn't go looking for her because my baby was napping and she wouldn't come when I was calling for her, so I just assumed she would come back eventually. Well, when my husband came home and I drove around looking for her (in my pajama pants and t-shirt, no less) I saw her at the end of the street in your yard barking at you and your daughter as you were playing outside. I thought I might could just drive by unnoticed and maybe the dog would follow me, but when I turned around I noticed the indiscreet scornful look you were shooting my way. It was pretty clear that our future friendship was probably not going to come into existence when I waved a guilty, "I'm sorry" wave and it wasn't returned with a "That's ok; these things happen" wave.

So, I'm coming to grips with the reality that we probably will just remain neighbors who don't know each other's names, but the invitation is always open if you decide you can overlook my un-neighborly actions. And I just want you to know that even though I was walking behind you that day, I wasn't stalking you. We just happened to be strolling our babies at the same time in the same direction.

Shelby (Your neighbor who had hopes of gaining another mom friend)

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