Friday, March 27, 2009

Who took my community? And when are you planning on bringing it back?

My boyfriend’s father passed away last week. And nobody came. People went to see his two sisters. Brought food. Said they were sorry for the loss. Sent cards. Flowers. Nobody came to our house. Maybe because we live in a different town. Maybe because they suck.

When my father passed away at home in Nova Scotia we were turning people away and telling them to take their food back home because we had no room left in our freezer. There were neighbours at our house 24/7 for a week. My aunts and uncles wouldn’t go away if we wanted them to. And that’s the way it should be.

I apparently live in “friendly Manitoba” but I’m not so sure right now. Maybe someone lied to me. Maybe I’ve been displaced without my knowledge and I live in “unfriendly frozen shithole”.

I remember when I moved here I was told my neighbourhood was community centered, down to earth, a friendly little hippie community. But it was 3 months of me saying hello to every person I saw in my building before anyone would talk to me. And when a new neighbor moved into the basement apartment in my 6 suite building I brought fresh muffins. Because no matter what the new neighbours do have, you usually are safe in assuming they haven’t gotten food yet. He said no thanks. Which had me shocked and stuttering. “what do you mean no?” He asked what kind they were. “They’re apple. They’re fresh. And I brought them down for YOU”. He said he didn’t think he’d like them. After a few more unsuccessful attempts at forcing him to realize his obvious faux pas I simply told him “Look. I brought you muffins. And you’re going to take them. I don’t care if you throw them out, throw them at cars, feed them to the fucking dog. You’re going to wash the plate and bring it back. I live in apt 5. Welcome to the building”.

See? Not only do I actually live in a brutally unfriendly universe, unfriendliness is extremely contagious. It took about 2.47 minutes to turn me from a well-meaning neighbor to the fucking cunt upstairs.

So do you need a lesson in good-neighbourship?

1. Accept gifts from good neighbours. You never know, they might rub off on you before you can ruin their day
2. When they're having a rough go, you know - because you noticed - and you brought them food because nobody likes having to cook in the first place, especially not hwne they're in crisis
3. If you hear them fighting, you ask them separately if they're ok
4. If you hear them making up, you have the tact not to mention it
5. do I really have to spell it out for you? If I do, you're obviously too stupid to ever become one and you'd be wasting my time anyway.

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