I think I may live in Stepford......

I think I may live in Stepford.  I have lived here for 15  years. I don't know anymore people than when I first moved here.  I don't know my neighbours and I don't know anyone who I could borrow an egg from. It's not that it's unfriendly here. I'm on nodding terms with many of the dog walkers, apart from those with dobermans and rottweilers (who freak me out!),  but the only time I actually see anyone is when they're out washing their cars on a Sunday and in winter...forget it, the village looks like a small pox alert has been called!

There is a community. We have a community library, a post office, a pub, a sports club and we have a church, but I'm not part of it. My home is my castle. I have built a metaphoric wall around it and prefer not to become involved. I don't see my neighbours, because I don't have to.  I come out of my house and I don't see the houses either side, I jump into my car and off I go.  If I walk around the village, I wouldn't recognise them if they bit me on the nose!  I only know the name of the postmaster because I heard the guy in front of me call him "George"...I have no idea what his wife's name is.  They are both incredibly dour and if I try to engage them in conversation they pretend they haven't heard me, leaving me feeling a little silly while I cough in an attempt to cover any words that may have slipped out.  I always leave feeling like I should say something to draw their attention to their rudeness, but I'm not sure that they'd care. I know the folk in the queue behind me would probably leap on me and beat me with their zimmer frames so when I hear them say "Hello George, great day for a fishing trip" I know he likes fishing, when they say "How's that car of yours"  I know he has a fondness for his old jalopy which sits outside.  "How are the grand kids" "Is Jodie coming back for Christmas?"  I know they know things that I don''t .  I can hardly say "How are the grand kids...what are they doing now?" when I've never had  that actual conversation with him ,can I?

Mimi has noticed that they rarely talk to me.
"Why don't they talk to you mummy?"
"Because mummy is a pariah."  (I'm not) She thought I'd said mummy is a piranha, and told the boys that mummy is a fish!

The kids never play outside in the streets.  It's not the done thing. The other day Bart and his Friend Josh were in the lane next to the house on their bikes.  The neighbour came out and asked them what they were doing.
"Where do you come from?" he demanded.
Bart, ever polite said they lived  "over there!"
The man said no children lived around here, "Go away and don't come back. I'll call the police."

I nearly spat my coffee out when he related this back to me.  Clearly the kids are quiet as church mice. They don't hear them screaming blue murder as they beat each other up in the garden. Admittedly, they go to school at 8 and don't come home until 5, so the neighbours are clearly tucked up with their coco by the time the kids get to go outside. At the weekends, we're usually at the rugby, or on the lake so no noise from us at the weekend.  Our friends live in nearby villages, and as the kids don't go to school locally the only peeps we meet up with are those at the library.

My neighbours (although very nice, I'm sure), insist on trying to gain access in someway to my oasis. Our garden is protected by shrubbery and trees but they keep hacking through it  making small holes so that they can gain visibility into our domain. One night, while we were sipping pimms on the deck with some friends we spotted a light being shone through the trees.  On further investigation it was revealed that it was a torch being used by the neighbour to see what we were up to. Why?  Because we were laughing!  I don't need to see them and I don't want to see them.  I hear them very occasionally in their gardens, but that's usually when they're shouting at Peewee to get off their cabbages after he's wriggled through the smallest of gaps in the bushes to visit them.

If you think you recognise Stepford or me, then please don't greet me.  I'd be mortified that you'd recognised me, and I'd go scurrying back to my castle, pull up the drawbridge and deny that it was ever me!

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