Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Just when you think no one's looking...

Happy Tuesday! Since it's Blog Me MAYbe's "May I tell you something about myself?" day, I have a revelation I'd like to share with you:

I'm becoming someone I never thought I would be.

No, not my mother. She's great, and I'd actually love to be her. The person I'm becoming is actually someone who can be much more disturbing. I'll make a new paragraph here so you have a chance to brace yourself. Ready? Here goes:

Sh, I'm in disguise! Don't blow my cover.
Image courtesy of Scott Liddell,
rgbstock.com
I'm becoming the nosy neighbor.

I know you're shocked. I was shocked at first, too. But before you start closing your curtains and locking your doors, please hear me out. I haven't reached the Gladys Kravitz level of nosiness--yet: I don't peer through my neighbors' windows or snoop through their mail or hide in their hedges so I can spy on them when they're barbecuing hamburgers. However, I have been known to stand at my window one--or thirty--times a day in order to see what everyone else is up to.

Fortunately for the people who live around me, my observations have thus far been pretty benign:

Hey, Alice is mowing her lawn! Can you believe it? She's trying to make us look bad!

Oh, would you look at that! Old Mr. Brady has invited that twenty-something Marilyn Monroe-wannabe over again. Hmm, wonder what's going on there?

When will Gordie Smith learn that walking around with his pants hanging off just isn't a good look?

Okay, in the interest of protecting the guilty, I fictionalized those examples, but I think you get my point. I like to know what's going on, so if you ever happen to be in my neighborhood and see me staring out my window or walking around with a notebook and a pen, just know that I'm doing it because I like to be aware of the things around me.

Why? I'm a writer, and we writers know that the key to writing realistic characters and situations is to pay attention to our surroundings: What are people doing? What are they saying? Why does Mrs. X garden only at night? Why does Mr. Z lock up his house when he's only walking out to the end of his driveway to get his mail?  And sometimes we get lucky and we see or hear something that we know--with a touch of our own imaginations--we can turn into a good story.

So I'm the nosy neighbor--and I'm embracing that fact.



What about you? Are you a nosy neighbor? Have you ever had a neighbor who was just a little too interested in what you were doing?

44 comments:

  1. I'm so-so. I find myself looking out my window from time to time. I'll be standing there and after a while it hits me and I'm like "crap what am I doing?"

    Great post.

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    1. Thanks, Danielle. Too funny! :)

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  2. haha no i can't remember if i did have one--probably because, i hardly ever see my neighbors---this was so funny to me!

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  3. I've been the nosy neighbor many times. LOL.

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    1. It's better to know what's going on than to be in the dark--that's what I think, anyway. ;)

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  4. I am so the nosy neighbor! I move from window to window to watch people--definitely in creeper fashion.

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  5. LOL. I'm not really a nosy neighbor, but I totally get your explanation :) I'm probably just too nervous that I'd get caught watching people.

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    1. I think about that sometimes, but I keep watching. LOL

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  6. Just chalk it up to being a member of your Neighborhood Watch program. You're doing your civic duty, right? Now you've got the prefect excuse!

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  7. Through an advanced case of nosiness, I've figured out we live in a rather dull place. Hardly worth being nosey.

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    1. Things aren't too exciting here, either--at least most of the time. Still, I keep watching just in case. ;)

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  8. Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

    Lol I'm not much a nosy neighbor unless I happen to here them doing something between our houses, then I may sneak a peek or two! I don't think there is anything wrong with being a nosy neighbor, you're just curious as to what is going on that's all!

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    1. Curious sounds much better than nosy. :)

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  9. LOL I would be a nosy neighbor if I had windows that looked out at the neighbors around me but between the fences and the window situation, I can't see much. However, when given the opportunity to in previous houses, I have been known to be a bit of a nosy neighbor. I just like to watch people, that's my excuse LOL :)

    betty

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  10. We're writers. We have a natural inclination to be a nosy neighbor! :) I watch people through my windows all the time. Unfortunately, nothing exciting happens in my neighborhood either.

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    1. Every once in a while, something out of the ordinary will happen here--like the time I saw some kid trying to break into houses (including ours). But yes--writers are allowed to be nosy. That's my excuse. :)

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  11. LOL. I do NOT like my nosy neighbor. I like my neighbors nice and apathetic about me. But, I suppose if you're not being too obstructive of their privacy, and merely observing them when outside their homes in plain view of any neighbor, then I won't fault you. Sounds like you just want to observe them and try to figure them out, and not because you dislike them.

    My fear is that my nosy neighbor is passing judgement on me! I don't like that and would rather he not care. That goes for all of them.

    Still, very good post (and well-written).

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    1. You're exactly right--I like to see who they are. :)

      Thanks, Cathy!

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  12. Yes, yes, yes. I'm the nosy neighbor.

    When I was younger I kept a record of when our neighbor across the street turned on her sprinkler because she only ever watered one patch of grass and I was convinced that she had murdered someone and buried them there and... well, I don't know why she'd be watering it, but that's what I thought. (She's a very strange person. Sometimes its hard to tell if its a she or a he, but we're pretty sure it's a she.)

    And then there's this elderly gentleman that walks past our house at 9:00 in the morning and 6:00 at night every other week, carrying either an umbrella or a Bible in his hands (or both).

    And one of our neighbors down the street is pretty much off his rocker. He just recently moved here, and we think he's either genuinely loopy or perhaps using it as a persona to cover up either some former crime he committed or (more likely) the fact that he's a spy.

    So yeah, I'm nosy. It's just so much fun to imagine what the neighbors are up to. Glad to see I'm not alone! :)

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    1. This is wonderful! I loved reading this. :)

      I do the same thing--take what I see and then imagine what it could mean. I've written some stories this way.

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  13. I suppose I'm a nosy neighbor. I mean I do just like looking out the window. You never know when you'll see something exciting!

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  14. I am a very nosy neighbor! Between that, our dogs always barking, and my husband's motorcycle at 5:30 in the morning, I'm surprised anyone likes us. But like us they do. Last night I had two neighbor guys knocking on the door to ask if my husband could come over to play. They had a new motorcycle to show him! I couldn't wait to hear all the details when he got home.

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    1. Was he able to tell you what the neighbor's house looked like? My husband never seems to notice that detail, and I want to know!

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  15. One thing I LOVE to do is take a neighborhood walk at dusk.... people have not always closed their blinds and shades yet and I love to see what is going on in those houses. I like to see how the house looks on the inside (that lovely kitchen scene or look at all those books!!!!) - voyeuristic and not embarrassed! I will not let the night fall though w/o closing our blinds though!

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    1. I love doing that, too! My husband, kids, and I take a lot of walks during the summer, and my husband tells me I'm being nosy when I look in people's houses. The way I look at it, I'm not being nosy if the windows are open. :)

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  16. LOL! Actually, I live next to one of those. I'm not much into nosing into people's business. I have enough of my own to take care of. But I have to say, as a writer, you could probably get some good ideas for characters if you're watching what goes on!

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    1. I do! My neighbors are a great source of inspiration.

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  17. I read this, giggled and had to go pick up my daughter from school. The day went on from there...a busy day, as it turned out. So here I am back to leave my comment.

    I'm more inclined to keep my shades drawn where neighbors can peep in. We have a real Gladys Kravitz in our neighborhood, and to be honest, she lives a little too close for comfort, if you ask me. You sound like an astute neighbor, not a busybody. Believe me, those GK's are way worse than you'll ever be!

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    1. LOL Thanks! I do feel like less of a busybody and more of a "keen observer." ;)

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  18. I don't have time to be nosy...now that the neighbor we all had to watch out for went to jail...it's been very nice lately :)

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    1. Yikes! Glad things have settled down in your neighborhood.

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  19. I tend to be a nosy person too when a topic is discussed in my hearing that stirs my curiosity, hehehehe.

    I enjoy the smallest for of conversation though, and grapevine has become a past time from time to time :P

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    1. Oh, I'm definitely an eavesdropper! ;)

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  20. The handy part about living in a flat is that you can be nosy and no one can see you.

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  21. I was looking and this post has been featured in the latest episode of Blogging Destinations: http://mjjoachim.blogspot.com/2012/05/blogging-destinations-episode-2.html

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  22. Good excuse for being nosy, I must say. I'm just about the least nosy person around...especially for a writer...don't know why. Perhaps cuz I don't want others in my business?

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    1. That's a great reason for not being nosy! :)

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