Neighborhood & Pool Etiquette

Now that we’re about to close our pool, here goes…

We don’t live in suburbia…We don’t live in a nice, affluent neighborhood with houses surrounded by white picket fences. We live in an urban community, but a wanna-be suburb one. We have a 2 story, 2 bedroom house that we are quickly outgrowing, but still, it’s home. On one side, is a 4 apartment builiding that looks like a HUGE house and the other is also a 2 story house that has a bigger lot, but they don’t maintain their property at all. They have a huge plywood “door” for their garage door. My nieces and nephews actually thought it was abandoned at first. Down the block are some more apartment buildings and multi-family houses. It’s not the best of the best of homes, neighboorhood or neighbors for that matter, but it’s our home and was supposed to just be our starter home. We were supposed to move last year, but didn’t even bother putting our house on the market b/c the economy took a turn for the worst.

Sure we can use more space and sure we can use some big time organizing, but it’s hard to organize when there’s not enough room to put stuff. I have yet to find a “home” for everything and we’ve been here for 4 years. So, there are things where there shouldn’t be and they just end up staying there. That’s one of the reasons why we don’t really invite too many people over…our house is small and full of clutter. With all the clutter and the tight space, I’m pretty embarassed to have company over. We do our best to maintain our property, but of course, there are weeds that just don’t get pulled and our patio chairs are stained (b/c we left them out all winter and no amount of Magic Eraser will remove those stains). The inside is a cluttery mess with random things all over. Our furniture is mismatched – a combination of mine and pDaddy’s from when we had our own places. This was supposed to be our starter home so we didn’t go all out with decorating it and making it look like it came out of an Ethan Allen catalog. Family and close friends understand and are welcome. I guess I just don’t feel like being judged by others…But, the girls love it here and even say they love their home…as do we.

And we make do with what we have and we try to do the best we can. In the summers, we enjoy our above ground pool. We got it put in the very next summer after moving in. We are the only ones on the whole street that have one. There are kids on both sides of us and we never invite them over. It’s not like we’re snotty neighbors and don’t interact with them, we do. It’s just that I don’t want to have the responsibility of watching them while in the pool – especially if their parents aren’t around. I also don’t want them to feel like they can just come over whenever we’re back there, ya know? So, I wonder what their parents think. Do they think we’re greedy pool owners or do they get it?

The one kid next door (the one whose parents don’t maintain their house) is about a year older than Beans and has just popped over a couple of times this summer without his parents knowing. Of course, they yell for him to come right home once they realize that they hear him in our backyard. I think he really just wants to join in on the pool fun and bbqs we have, but…again, I don’t want that responsibility nor do I want him to get comfy where he feels like he can just come over…and I don’t want his parents coming over all the time either. But, he loves to play with the girls, especially Razz. Maybe he wants a younger sibling? He gave Beans an old scooter b/c I guess he finally realized it was pink and purple and too girly for him. Does that mean he wants something in return? Like an invite to swim? hmmm…

Needless to say, we never did invite him over – even though he actually made it up to the pool ladder and almost jumped in one time. I felt bad – it was actually one of the hottest days this summer, but still…His parents weren’t exactly making their way over to our side of the fence to watch their kid.

In my sister’s old house, she used to have this girl that would just invite herself over and say her mom was ok with it and for the most part, she was. But still, I could see my sister tense up with the added responsibility of watching her daughter and her neighbor’s. The mom would be embarassed about her daughter’s assertive nature, but then would just look over and say something like, “is it ok?”. Um, too late lady, she’s already IN the pool.

Do you have a pool? What do you do about your neighbors wanting to come over for a dip?


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