Love Your Neighbour

Jess McGlynnMay 16, 2012

Tonight I did something that (even now as I’m writing about it) sets my knees knocking.

I’d taken the kids out to the park and when I arrived home, next door had parked pretty much up to the edge of our drive so I pulled up behind them, noticing as I got out that I had effectively blocked them in. 

I had every good intention of going out and moving my car onto our drive once I’d got the kids out (reason: it’s not a proper driveway and you can’t open the doors wide enough to get children out of car seats when parked on it) but when I got in I needed to make the dinner and put the kids into bed etc etc and time just ran away with me.

About 10 minutes after I’d put Meg to bed and come downstairs I was sorting out some washing when I heard a commotion going on outside.  Being the nosy sort, I sidled up to our front window and basically heard a barrage of swearing coming from ‘the bloke’ from next door at the fact that I’d blocked him in.

It was his partner parked on the other side of him, so she came out and moved her car and off he drove.

Obviously he had no idea that I’d heard him but I was a bit put out that he would be so aggressive about the whole thing – after all, he could have just come and asked us to move.  Or he could have parked in front of his own house…I do have two small children!

Ah I digress…

So anyway I was so affronted by his reaction that I decided that when he got back, I would go round and apologise for blocking him in.  Actually, that part is a total fabrication – I decided I would go round whilst he was out and speak to his partner as she always smiles at me in the mornings and isn’t quite so scary looking. 

But to my utter dismay when I finally built up the nerve to go round, ‘the bloke’ answered the door.  Which was a bit off-putting to say the least and the clear, refined statement in my head came out as a total babble.

It might not seem like a big deal to most people but it really is to me.  I had to build up a lot of ‘hidden so deep down I’m not even sure it’s really there’ nerve to go round and knock on their door in the first place.  I’m such a home-bod…I don’t enjoy ‘putting myself out there’ and to be honest, he looked at me like I’d lost the plot which kind of confirmed that what I was doing was a bit strange.

I don’t mind confrontation if there is a need for it.  But putting myself into a situation where I can’t plan for every outcome (such as the shock of ‘the bloke’ opening the door rather than his partner) fills me with dread.

But once I’d apologised and come home, and the flaming sensation in my cheeks had died down, I felt good.  Truly, satisfyingly good! 

Who cares if he thinks I’m a bit odd? 

And, at the end of the day the benefits are two-fold as a) he might also feel good that I cared enough to come round and apologise and b) if he doesn’t care one bit about the apology, he might at least feel a bit sheepish that I clearly heard him having a go.

And tomorrow is another day – if he parks in front of my house, I’ll probably block him in again.  C’est la vie!

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