The neighbors are all nice enough people, for sure. We wave and say hello and there are the occassional BBQs or football game viewing incidents and everyone is friendly enough, you betcha.
But there seem to be two distinct groups that get a lot of social action in the subdivisions, and anything in between gets – well – not-so-much.
Group 1 is the stay-at-home moms. These women stay safely tucked away inside their little homes in the mornings, attending to morning rituals for their families behind closed blinds and plantation shutters, prepping for activities later in the day. The only interaction you may have with one of them alone and before 2:30 pm is a quick wave if you happen to be passing by as they back the mini-van out of the garage and speed away to swimming lessons or music class.
It is in the afternoon and evening that they emerge, in pairings or threes, to stand on lawns sipping Starbucks (I feel like someone must have one built into her basement around here – they always have S-bux, but no actual S-bux run seems to have been made,) and laughing as they supervise their combined broods at play on various bikes, trikes, scooters, etc…
In the suburbs you can spot them by looking for one of these:
Now I am all for safety. Oh, and kiddos. I love me some kiddos – I believe that children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way. Fo’ Sho’.
However, with the amount of play equipment strewn all over in between the houses where these various mommies live, there is little doubt, even without the glowing plastic child waving a flag and staring at me from under his ball cap, that there are wee ones at work in the area. I digress.
So there are the Moms and the Starbucks cups and their neon plastic watchman all hanging out in front of where a group of variously aged offspring are cavorting – this SEEMS like a great time to grab Jr and go make nice.
Except as you rattle your little red wagon full of kid and ball and bubbles and other fun-time peace offerings toward the group the laughter stops. The moms stop chatting. The kids stop playing. Birds stop flapping their wings and fall smack out of the clear blue sky, (ok, that isn’t true, but still,) the air almost seems to stop moving. They all stare at you, pulling the bundle of cutie kiddo who wants to play up to them. Moms stare. Kids stare. Neon plastic guy stares (one eye at a time.)
Oh they wave and say hi, and the kiddos do too, but the wagon keeps rolling because there is clearly no room at the inn, and as you walk away you hear snippets of “oh, SHE works outside the home, he’s in daycare somewhere.” 😦
They are thick as thieves and the door is NOT open to moms who might be closing down a conference call to cul-de-sac it for a bit. Working moms need not apply for membership into that crew.
Group 2 is The Husbands.
Sigh. Sad but true, this group cares not about employment or anything else – you just straight up have to have a wang to get in. It actually includes guys in their teens all the way up through the silver fox set, and everyone in between who can pee standing up. The Mr. was welcomed right into the fold, drinking beers on the driveway and bonding in that special way that dudes do:
(thanks, King of the Hill)
Attempts to elbow in on this behavior have not gone well. A largeish group of bros yucking it up over beers on the curb will scatter quickly if say, a super awesome, (and pretty, and funny, and cool,) wife comes sniffing around, even if she holds up her beer and says “yep” and attempts to siddle up next to them without making waves.
Also – cue the side-eye from my own husband, who seems to think I am jeopardizing his status in the pack.
Giant super pouty sigh.
It’s cool. I have my kid, we have our wagon. We both like to roll with roadies when we take it for a spin; and I usually go in for something stronger than S-bux on those occasions, although this is interesting:
Plus we usually have a few Sesame Street characters along too, so we roll mad deep, yo.
Oh Mr. Rogers – you always made it look so easy.
(PS – is it because I say things like “we roll mad deep, yo”? Oh well – can’t change the spots on this leopard.)