And the World flipped on its end. Tonight Clifford and I have dinner with the neighbors. And I had NOTHING to do with it. Clifford made a friend.
Two things to note before you go oooing and awwwing over my husband-who-hates-people going all Disney on my ass by making a friend.
- We aren’t having dinner with the neighbors we completely hate and are constantly plotting against (for those of you who are familiar with my daily diatribes). So it’s not exactly like I need to pin a medal on my man for going above and beyond.
- Our relationship with all of our neighbors is more like something from The Burbs than from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. i.e. This is going to be SO awkward.
Clifford and I moved into our neighborhood about 6 and a-half years ago. It’s pretty much sheer dumb luck that we know the names of any of our neighbors. One thing I learned when moving to the suburbs of Atlanta – people are not as friendly as you think. Sharing apple pies and having cookouts isn’t something I’ve seen. It’s really a keep your head down and don’t make waves type of community. I am certain some neighborhoods are friendlier than others, and it’s not like the people who I’ve met in mine have been rude or mean (except the renters next door we despise), they just don’t go out of their way to introduce themselves to the new couple moving in. Or go out of their way for anyone really …
Don’t get me wrong, we all do the obligatory nod when we see each other or the hand wave as we pull out of our drives. We just don’t talk to one another. That said, I can name three neighbors: Lonny, Howard, and Howard’s Wife. That’s something, right?
Back to dinner …
Clifford decided to be a Good Samaritan last weekend and help the neighbors when their water main burst. He fixed it for them and somehow bonded with the man of their house. He came home to tell me that they wanted to take us to dinner to thank him. He also mentioned the guy reminded him of what he’d (Clifford) be like when he was older.
We don’t do dinners with people. We don’t socialize. I may be an extrovert, but my husband is the introvertiest introvert there is. And he generally hates people. He also hates going to dinner, because there’s people. So after I picked my jaw up from the floor, I listened as he said the ball was in my court. He put it on me.
When they requested dinner, he was going to check with “the wife” and get back to them. Oh no. This ball was NOT in my court! This was all him. I didn’t want to go to an awkward dinner with neighbors I don’t know and have actively not known for 6 and a-half years. Yes, I know that makes me sound like a terrible person, but I’ve never actually owned the title Not Terrible Person. So whatever.
I inevitably passed the ball right back. On Monday when I was taking the dogs out and the man of the house saw me (or rather cornered me) as he was headed into work, he asked me for a date for our dinner. I smiled and played the vague card as I said, “Oh yeah, Clifford mentioned something about that. Whenever is convenient.”
Man of the house, “How about tonight?”
“OHHHH. Tonight is the ONE night I can’t. But I can any other night. Why don’t you check with Clifford and sort it out and I will be sure I’m available.” Solid chest pass right back to the hubs.
So Clifford texted back and forth with his new buddy and decided a Friday night dinner would be perfect for the four of us. Did I mention that the neighbors are at least 20 years our senior? So yeah. I’ll basically be dining with my folks tonight.
It’s funny how much I don’t want to do this. I can’t even figure out why I’m so opposed to tonight’s affair because I’m the one who likes meeting new people and hanging out and doing dinners. Maybe it’s because they aren’t new. Maybe it’s because 6 and a-half years ago we put this couple in their box and I like people to stay in their designated boxes. Or maybe it’s because I have no control and I’m kind of a control freak. Little bit. Or maybe I just wanted to curl up with a bottle of red tonight…
However, there has been one glorious thing to come out of this setup – it gave me a
maniacal genius plan. A chance at role reversal for one whole week. I have totally Freaky Friday’d Clifford for the last seven days and it’s been awesome. I promise to share it in detail – after tonight’s dinner. Stay tuned.
To be continued …