A couple weeks ago I was driving down my street one night when I spotted the sickest lowrider parked up the block. Glancing in my rearview to make sure no one was behind me I screeched to a halt, took a quick look around and hopped out to examine it. Glossy white and resting just above the ground, this meant only one thing: hydraulics. Now I'm no car aficionado, but I am kind of a 90's rap buff *hangs head in bewilderment* so I snapped a quick pic before jumping in my car and going inside.
I've always wanted a ride in one of those things. Bouncing cars are the jam!
It must have been a few days later when I went downstairs to grab the mail, opened the door and came face to face with this business:
Uh hello! It lives on my street?! Operation Meet The Neighbor in full effect, I ran back upstairs screaming to Chris, 'LOWRIDER AT 12 O'CLOCK. I'M GETTING A RIDE IN THAT THING!!'
Chris: 'Go out there and tell him we think his car is cool. He's going to think it's cool that someone on this street doesn't mind when he starts that thing up and sets off all the alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.' Me: 'What if he thinks I'm a crazy old lady?! I can't do it. YOU DO IT.' That didn't happen.
Every once in awhile I see the kid in the street. And I know he sees me staring at the car because it's right out my office window and let's just say I'm not shy about gawking out there. In fact we were in the street at the same time once when I was looking after the neighborhood stray cat and he was polishing the car...but I was more concerned about the PITBULL OFF THE LEASH AT HIS SIDE that day.
Maybe this wasn't going to work after all?
This past Friday I went to a local restaurant/bar that just opened by my house. It's a little upscale, great food and a pretty decent cocktail menu, too. The place was jammed so we found a spot at the bar and ordered instead of waiting for a table. Two guys pulled in next to me and my friend and, after they'd had a few more drinks, one started talking to us. Throughout the night, he got all up in her business. Not in a hitting on her kind of way, but like a nosy kind of way.
The next thing I knew he was eating off our dessert plate. Uh, what the hell? I guess I'm done then...
Before long, he starts asking me how long I've lived in the neighborhood. I tell him about 10 years and, in an act of what I'm guessing must have been neighborhood knowledge superiority, he begins ID'ing everyone around the circular bar area providing way more information than anyone needs to know. I'm talking name and history of about 90% of a place that was pretty packed with people. Can you say uncomfortable? Throughout the evening I met a bunch of people who, I come to find out, have lived around me for quite awhile. But I didn't feel good about everybody knowing everybody, many of them badmouthing each other as soon as the other's back was turned. It was stomach turning and by the end of the night I couldn't get away fast enough.
Growing up in a small town, there are some things I miss and most others I am very glad to have left behind. Gossip definitely falls in the latter category. I've realized I don't really want to be known by anyone in my neighborhood. As soon as you become familiar with people in any smaller area (even within a larger city), you become fair game for exactly what I experienced on Friday night. Not my bag, not my bag at all.
So, with that in mind, I've decided to enjoy the lowrider from afar. I'll say hi in the street, give a friendly nod of the head but that's it. If the kid offers to take us for a ride in a pitbull-free car I'll go (with glee!), but there will be no barbecues or sharing of information. And actually, that's kind of just sad. That you have to be this careful about what you share with others. Sad but unfortunately true that adulthood has proven to be a grown-up version of childhood.