Note to self: Be a better neighbour

photo credit: the cherry blossom girl via photo pin cc

Picture this. You’ve just had a mum/daughter day at home. You haven’t done your hair. And when you don’t do you hair it’s not pretty. Think frizzy. Flyaway. Crazy. The house is a mess. You’ve made pizza. There’s flour everywhere. In order to occupy an always inquisitive 4 year old you’ve brought out the art and craft. Cupcake patties are scattered over the lounge room floor live confetti at a wedding. Your work space has over run the dining table.

The plan was to clean it in a mad hurry before Hubby arrived home from work. Instead there was a knock at the door.

“Hi. I’m Betty from across the road. I just wanted to introduce myself and welcome you to the neighbourhood. We’ve been away for a few months and I haven’t seen you yet.”

Having lived in an apartment before, we’ve never really had friendly neighbours {we had a select few – but not like here in the country}. In fact, most try to avoid contact at all times, even when you uncomfortably find yourselves checking the mail at the same time.

We chatted at the doorway, while I tried to block out the chaos. And then Miss Lacey piped up, “Would you like to come in?”

“Oh yes,” I could feel my face turning red, “Would you like to come in for a cup of tea?”

Lacey loves living in a neighbourhood. She pats every dog that passes by, first politely asking “Can I please pat your dog?” Even if they’re doing laps of the block and passing by more than once, she’ll ask every single time.

And then she’ll request, “You can come into my house, if you like.”

Note to self: Must teach Lacey stranger danger.

Seriously though, this neighbourhood is really friendly. I couldn’t be happier. Everyone is super lovely. We feel like we’ve won lotto.

With Betty visiting amongst the mess, I promised her that it wasn’t always in a chaotic state and that next time I’d have things in order. She didn’t mind. It was just really nice to have a chat.

While I wasn’t thankful for my messy ways, I was thankful for two things. My recent acquisition of an electric kettle and that I ‘borrowed’ the tea bags from the motel we stayed at on the weekend. I’d have had nothing to serve otherwise. I certainly didn’t have biscuits. I’m a hopeless housekeeper and hostess.

Note to self: Must buy biscuits.

As we chatted I went through with Betty the neighbours that I’d already met. I rattled off their names, and after I’d said the name Michelle, Betty looked at me confused with a smile, “Her name isn’t Michelle.”

Brilliant. I’ve been calling my new neighbour the wrong name. And I’m one of those people that uses people names when talking to them. Brilliant.

After Lacey gave Betty a tour of the house and we chatted for an hour, we parted ways. I love having lovely neighbours. I just need to learn to be a better one in return.

So now the dilemma rises: Do I just start calling my other neighbour the right name like I’d never been using the wrong name before? Or do I apologise and laugh it off with her? What would you do?

19 thoughts on “Note to self: Be a better neighbour”

  1. My sister has a neighbour who has been calling her Vicky for three years. Her name is not Vicky. She used to correct the lady, but now she just answers to Vicky! Just keep calling her Michelle. SHe will get used to it.

  2. That’s funny. It’s happend to me but they don’t say anything. Of course then I’m embarrassed when I find out. I usually just go to them and say “correct name” I apologize I had no idea all this time I kept calling you “wrong name”. They usually laugh and say oh it didn’t bother me.

  3. I’m so sorry but I can’t stop giggling about your name mishap. It happens to me when i meet a couple where one of them has a name that could be either boy or girl, eg: Pat. My neighbour for the short time we were renting inbetween houses, was Pat. The girl. I’d often call the guy Pat. Agh! I used to did it with parents at a school I taught at. Chris was the guy but i’d often call the girl Chris. Hahaha! I used to just find the right name and move on without too much discussion. So uncomfortable! Happy neighbouring …x

  4. I say call her something different every time you see her and see how far you get with that approach. I think it sounds pretty fool proof actually!

  5. Oh you are funny. Laugh it off. Chances are the other neighbour will mention it anyway. Just say what happened and I am sure your super-nice neighbour won’t mind. I think it’s funny she didn’t correct you. Not to worry. These people are likely to be your hood for some time, so laugh it off.

  6. HAHAHAHA. Laugh it off with her. I’m guessing you would want someone to do that with you if the table was turned. And hopefully, the neighbor came to see YOU not your house. I once had tea at my next door neighbor’s house who had invited a new neighbor and me over to all get to know one another (sorta like desperate housewives). As the new neighbor left, she told Mary that she kept a very nice house. When the door closed I turned to Mary and said, “she is never coming to my house”. LOL I am enjoying your posts.

  7. Too funny!! I have had those moments. Have a good laugh with her about it. Your neighbourhood sounds lovely. Enjoy getting to know your neighbours and don’t sweat the small stuff..i.e your house. Have a great day and a lovely weekend. Jx

  8. I’d laugh it off because it happens to me occassionally. Anyway this post really give me food for thought. I don’t actually know my neighbours at all. About time I learn to be brave and introduce myself. I think!

  9. I hate it when that happens, both wrong names and a messy house when visitors drop by. Our elderly neighbour passed away a couple of years ago and his daughter moved in full-time once he was gone. We had only met her once or twice in passing before this and had never quite caught her name from the garbled speech of her father when she was visiting. So for the first few months I felt really bad when she would call out my name and wave whenever we saw each other because I just wasn’t sure of hers. Thankfully a few months later she had her house cleaned and left us a note at the door when we were out to let us know that there would be noise and a bit of dust flying around that Saturday morning. Signed Tanya. We finally knew her name!

  10. Oh I am so bad with names! I would make a joke out of it 🙂 And say sorry. I even get my kids names wrong many times.

    At least your friendly neighbour will be surprised next time she visits and its not so messy ~ actually she is probably so happy for the time spent with another family that it didnt even bother her.

    Sounds like such a great neighbourd.

  11. Drop a postcard in her mailbox with your blog addy on it…with a note to invite her to afternoon tea! And you can laugh about it together over a cuppa or glass of wine, and I bet you become the best of friends (especially after she reads this post!) M

  12. I would pop in at your neighbors place with some kid art cards and a flower or two. It truly is different going from utilitarian living to a real neighborhood. There are social graces and traditions that we move into when we get the keys to our home not written in the contract. With every neighborhood so different, we either follow the neighbor’s lead or make up our own steps like a crazy 1980’s dance party. Just be marvelous you.

  13. our neighbour calls my mum melissa, but her name is jayne (her middle name, which she goes by) we havent told her for 2 years, because we just dont want to break it to her now!

  14. Oh please do apologize and laugh about it. I’m awful with names and always have to ask again! Just be honest about it, you will both probably have a good laugh and the bonus part…you will NEVER forget her name!

  15. tell her the truth, it will be funny!! 🙂 my coffee shop guy called me sue for about a year. one day he heard someone call me jo and was mortified – he asked me why i kept answering to sue!

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