Back in the day, I would have to hide in my house not to be invited to at least 2 Tupperware parties, a Pampered Chef demo or a candle sniffing soiree once a week by the neighbors. Every other day or so there’d be an Avon book tucked in my screen door and a plea to purchase some awful wrapping paper. BUNCO, BINGO, Bar-B-Ques, we were regular party animals! Then there was Book Club. I would stay up all night reading the Cliff Notes so that no one would find out I hadn’t read the book. I’m not being nostalgic, I really hated those things, but it did give me a chance to get away from my kids, drink a lot of wine, and meet the neighbors. I was in the middle of everything from the Scouts to the PTA. If someone asked, I was there making Car Wash signs and buying Thin Mints till my buttons popped.
Since I moved to the country, I have been feeling disconnected from my neighbors. I just can’t figure out where to meet people. I used to walk at night, but my little country road has no sidewalks and I’m afraid of coyotes and cow tippers. I don’t have small children in school anymore so I can’t even stalk the bus stops hoping to meet the other moms. I don’t get invited to anything, and everyone goes to bed so early, it’s almost still daylight. Most people out here usually stay in their house or maybe, gasp, they just don’t tell me where they are going!
I believe to be a part of a community, you have to get involved. I am starting to read the local paper to find out where everyone is and hint around for invites. If that doesn’t work, I’m going to sneak in their back-doors and “blend”. I have been thinking it over and have come up with a few ideas. I’m planning to buy a lemonade from that red headed kid, and participate in the neighborhood garage sale this year. Hopefully that will get the ball rolling.
As part of my Red Shoe Life Transformation, I’m going to take a stab at volunteering. Where you might wonder? BAND CAMP, of course! I have decided that I will clean trash out of the bleachers, bring Gatorade for our melted marchers, and will even flip food during Friday night football games. I do, however, have my limits and there are some things I just won’t do. I will not work in the parking lot, drive anyone anywhere, be a chaperone at an amusement park, or hem 300 pair of uniform trousers! Been there…done that… hated every minute of it. It’s gotta be something I at least like.
I say, start small. Is it selfish to pick the best jobs??? Have you ever seen the bleachers after a football game??? That’s what I thought!
Being part of the community is important and there are many ways to get involved. I’m not saying run for mayor, have a block party in your driveway or start dating the mailman….I’m saying start small. Give out some candy on Halloween, decorate your mailbox…. eat some Thin Mints and see how it goes!