08 April 2013

Letter to a Neighbor

Two tidbits from this day that feel quintessentially "small town" to me.


Two days ago, in conversation with an acquaintance who lives here, I mentioned, casually, that I'd recently taken a stroll around the grounds of one of the town's "houses with a name". The house is for sale. I'm not buying a house; just seemed like a good time -- building is unoccupied -- to snoop around.

This morning I received an email from the real estate agent handling the sale, offering to show me the property and letting me know the property is also available for lease.

How did she know my name? How did she get my email address? Small town....


I'm on my way out now and will stop at a neighbor's mailbox to post the following note:

Monday, April 08, 2013 
12:50 p
  Dear Neighbor
 My name is Alex Mercedes and I live at _________. We've never met but I am writing to ask your help.
 Since moving here last August, I have found _________ to be a tranquil, comfortable place to live. Although I miss the social interactions among neighbors that I enjoyed in other places, I’m mostly happy with life in our neighborhood.
 There is one little issue:  your dogs. I regularly walk by your house and most of the time, if the dogs are outside, they begin barking wildly when I walk by. I have not complained about the minor inconvenience of this repeated assault or being required to step into the street to pass your house. Usually, the dogs stay near the house and stop barking once I am past.
 Today, however, one of the barking animals actually ran up to me, coming within 3 feet though I was, as usual, walking down the middle of the street. I stomped my feet and yelled and took a few aggressive steps toward him/her and s/he retreated. As I continued toward my home, s/he approached again to within three feet.
 I’m asking your help to stop this annoyance.  If it’s a matter of carrying doggie treats for your animals, please let me know.  I’ll pick some up. If it’s a matter of being introduced to the animals so they no longer feel threatened, please contact me and we’ll arrange a time for me to stop by. If you have other ideas about how we can improve this situation, I am open to suggestions. My contact information appears below.
 Thank you for your attention.
 Ms. Alex Mercedes
Telephone:  2xx-xxxx

 I know:  this could happen anywhere but it feels very small town to me today.