People In Your Neighborhood.

There was a jogger coming down the street and I was immediately faced with a dilemma. Should I wave or not? On the one hand I wanted to be friendly. On the other hand he seemed very focused and I could see he had earbuds in from the white cord hanging from his ears down the front of his red jacket, which told me he was probably wearing the standard Apple earbuds which kind of annoyed me slightly because it reminds me that I apparently have unusually shaped ears. I can’t run or even walk wearing Apple earbuds because they keep falling out, but that’s another story.

There are quite a few people I’ve met in my neighborhood on my afternoon walks home from the bus. On those rare occasions when I’ve walked to the bus in the mornings I don’t meet that many, usually because it’s still dark out when I leave the house, although I can tell from the flickering lights in the houses that people are up and already have their televisions on even if they’re not out. And it seems like I pass more people out walking in the spring and fall, when the weather’s nice, than I do in the middle of either summer or winter. There’s the couple I always see out walking their Greyhounds, and there’s the woman I met because I stopped one day to talk to her dogs, and I’ve gotten to know one of my next door neighbors because she’s usually out walking her Schnauzer, and inexplicably I’ve always resisted the temptation to say, “Schnauzer? I hardly knew her!” And I just realized that I know the dogs in my neighborhood better than I know most of the people. I’ve also gotten to know my other next door neighbor quite well because one day I noticed him wearing a Doctor Who t-shirt and I commented on it and an hour and a half later my wife came looking for me. And there was also the young woman I got to know who lived a couple of blocks over and I got to know her because we rode the same bus and walked the same route part of the way home, and it turned out we worked for the same university, although she worked in bimolecular research and would occasionally wear t-shirts to work like this one:

Source: Snorg Tees

Which is absolutely fantastic and I thought if I worked in research I’d probably wear cool t-shirts too, and maybe I should anyway just because they’re apparently good conversation starters.

Anyway I wasn’t sure whether I should wave to the jogger and potentially break his concentration or just go on, but then, when he was about a hundred feet away, still too far for any kind of acknowledgment, he turned down a side street and I felt incredibly relieved.

13 Comments

  1. Arionis

    That tee is awesome. Here’s another one I like. It should come as no surprise that my wife gave it to me.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/1qnl91jdv5oqul3/T-Shirt.jpg?dl=0

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      That’s brilliant. I’ve often been accused of not listening too so it seems appropriate for both of us. Besides, when would we not have a beer?

      Reply
  2. mydangblog

    I’m still snickering over the “Schnauzer? I hardly knew her” comment! I also have smaller than normal ear canals, so I wear those giant over-the-ear- headphones that make me either look incredibly silly or super-cool like a DJ.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Those giant over-the-ear headphones are super-cool, period. Maybe I should get some. The thing about small earbuds is other people can’t always see them, but big headphones say, “Please leave me alone. I’m listening to my favorite podcast right now.”

      Reply
  3. Allison

    I have to laugh – in my first apartment, everyone knew Lola, but nobody knew me. I know Myrna and Honey, the Blue Ticks who live one block down, but I have no idea what their owners’ names are. And they have helped me catch Piper TWICE.

    It takes a village.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Now I’m laughing, partly because I can’t hear the name “Lola” without the Kinks song getting stuck in my head and also I used to know a Vanderbilt professor who had Blue Ticks. I haven’t seen her in a long time, but according to the English Department website she still works at Vanderbilt, so maybe it’s the same person.

      Reply
  4. halfa1000miles

    I wave at every car in my neighborhood, but it’s sort of embarrassing when they don’t wave back. Then one day my Hubby said, “Is there anything WRONG with being seen as the friendliest person in the neighborhood?” No sir. No there is not. Wave at all the peeps.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      That is an excellent philosophy. There’s a tour bus that passes in front of the building where I work and I always wave to it but none of the tourists ever wave back. I was thinking of giving it up but you’ve inspired me to keep on waving. Let the tourists think Nashvillians are friendly. Or crazy. Or crazy friendly.

      Reply
    2. Kristine @MumRevised

      Nice to see your logo. Missed you and glad you are still hanging around here.

      Reply
      1. halfa1000miles

        I’m a lurker now. I comment rarely as I kind of suck. I do continue to follow your blog as well!

        Reply
        1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

          I detect no suckage in any of your comment. It’s nice to know you’re at least lurking, though. Your presence is always appreciated, and if you’ve ever had a garage sale you know lurkers are better than the guy who tries to argue the price of a 25 cent ashtray down to thirteen cents.

          Reply
  5. Ann Koplow

    We both have unusual ears, Chris. Thanks for all the sounds and sights in this amazing post.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      And thank you for the sights and sounds of your comments.

      Reply

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