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10 June 2010

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I ordered this book for my library's collection when I stumbled across a pre-pub announcement. It sounds interesting in a very creepy way. And I find it sad that I find the mere idea of this book creepy.

But I still really don't want to get involved with my neighbors, who all seem like lovely people, and one of whom is kind enough to snow-blow my driveway sometimes. But I always schedule a dinner with friends for the summer block party night.

Those fantasies I have about living in a small town? Yeah, fantasies.

I do kind of want to read this book, though. I always wonder if my curmudgeonly tendencies cost me something; this might illuminate that a bit.

I'm with you, C.R. When my husband and I first moved into our neighborhood, I went next door to introduce myself. (I have this very bizarre habit of not remembering what happens when I try to be social.)My new neighbor explained to me that my house was the "divorce" house and the house across the street was "the extramarital affairs" house. She asked me if I wanted her to cleanse my house? See how easily I could have avoided this by remembering what happens when I try to be social. I think "good" things will happen, and then the reality of what people are like sets in. Unfortunately I fear this type of book would make me think that being social is positive, and I would only get into trouble.

Rachael,
I think it's a very good book for a library to have.
I know exactly what you mean about "creepy"--how do you like where my mind goes? When the author said he was having a hard time finding a family with kids that would let him sleep over, I thought, of course, who's going to let some strange dude sleep in the their house with their kids? Yikes.

Wendell Berry's got a lot to say about community too, which always makes me feel bad. I just can't help it. I have never felt part of a community other than among my family--I grew up in a rural area and although everyone seemed fine, I never felt connected to them at all. Living in a small town, to me, would smack of living in one of Dante's seven levels of hell.

That said: I am well aware that there are many times in our lives we NEED HELP. I always hoped I'd have money to pay someone to help me if I needed, but I'm starting to see that's never going to happen. Cripes. Maybe I should start attending neighborhood parties after all.

Venta,
Ha! Love the story. What's your nickname for the neighbor who wanted to cleanse your house? Ol' Cleansy? How nice to be told you live in the divorce house. Smacks of my neighbor telling me to put in some plants at the side of my house because "she's the one who has to look at it." (Please note: I may not be a big planter/gardener, but I do try and keep things neat.) Now every time her lawn gets shaggier than ours (and it does) I want to ring her bell and tell her to cut it, as I have to look at it.

Yup, that's the neighborly way I roll. Let's put it this way: I think I'm doing the kind thing for my community by NOT letting them get to know me better. If they did I'd be known only as "the vindictive one in the tan house."

"Now every time her lawn gets shaggier than ours (and it does) I want to ring her bell and tell her to cut it, as I have to look at it."

Heeee! You and I would be awesome neighbors: only polite nods if we left our homes at the same time, no awkward conversation. Bliss.

Also, I live next to a huge public park. Tennis, basketball, playground, trails, pond. Worst. Decision. Ever. I hate the world May through September. I will be moving when the market picks up and I can sell.

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