Friday, March 22, 2013

The Unspoken Rules


Twenty-seven years ago, my parents built their home.  I was born while we were living in this home.  It's been my home for 27 years and I've loved living here.  I know the rules of the neighborhood because I've been here forever.

For example, when my neighbor starts parking his truck in the driveway every night - spring is here. If the neighbor's suburban is gone then the whole clan is gone. If the suburban is there, but another car is gone, someone is still home and you can go borrow butter/suger/honey.  Mowing the line between our yard and the neighbor's is best done once he has already mowed - he makes a straighter line than us.  If you hear screaming from the neighbor's yard, don't be alarmed - it's just trampoline season.

But now I have to learn a whole new set of rules.



When I was at my house on Monday it rained/snowed the entire time.  I must have peaked out the window every ten minutes to see if anyone else was shoveling.  I will get a fine if my sidewalk isn't shoveled within twenty-four hours of snow fall.  No one else was doing it, so I figured I was safe, but I didn't want to be the rule breaker ten minutes after buying the house

How much should I decorate for Christmas?  There is a house at the end of my street that is famous for their decorations.  I can't match that, but do I need to come close?

What holidays am I expected to decorate for?  I pretty much don't decorate for anything except Christmas.

Will I get many trick-or-treaters?  How much candy should I buy?  I've never had trick-or-treaters before!  I'm looking forward to that.

Do I have to rake? Do people rake their leaves or just leave them alone?

Will I need to be an amazing gardener?  If the answer to that question is yes, I'm in big trouble, folks.

I'm so thankful that I have a driveway.  The unspoken rules of neighborhood parking are the hardest to learn the the ones that people seem to be the most sensitive about.

How loud can I have my music before my neighbor can hear it?

How do I throw out my dead Christmas tree?  At home, we just throw it in the burn pile.  What do these city folks do?

What do I do with all the leaves I rake?  When does the street cleaner come to pick them up?

Where do I put my trash out?

Will I be the weird one in the neighborhood if I paint my front door something other than white?


Don't worry, I'm not actually worried about all of those things. They are just the questions I have.  Somehow I have to figure out the answers.

This is my first time in a neighborhood like this (unless you count college, which I do not). I want to make sure that I am a courteous, kind and thoughtful neighbor.  Anyone want to volunteer to bake some delicious cookies for me to give to neighbors?  If I made them, they would never speak to me again.

Entering a new neighborhood is very exciting!  I can't wait to get to know my neighbors and start to learn my way around the area.

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