Usually people have different reasons to buy houses in a certain neighborhood. While choosing a new home, some look for a safe neighborhood, some look to see if the home has easy access to schools, shops etc., some insist on a cul-de-sac so the kids can bike without the worries of traffic.
Me? I had a unique list of priorities while choosing mine. Topping my list was a critical one. I was looking for neighbors who wouldn’t call the cops when they find me knocking on their door at 6.00 in the morning to borrow some sugar for coffee. Or when I go to borrow some cilantro for a pot of lentil soup, 2 AA batteries for a new toy, a needle and a thread to sew a button on my kid’s band shirt, a glue stick for a school project or 1 egg for a cake recipe that calls for it. With gas prices soaring, you don’t really expect me to get in the car and head to the store every time I need a little thing, do you?
When it finally dawned on me that my utility closet, kitchen pantry and refrigerator will never sag under the weight of being fully stocked I figured my next best bet was to have neighbors to whom overstocking was a religion. Somewhere in the Bhagavat Gita, there must be a line that reads ‘Treat thy neighbor’s supplies, food or otherwise, as your own’ or else I am toast. You can hardly blame me for this attitude because I grew up watching the best borrow/buy/sell/ trade transactions ever conducted over a wire fence in our backyard. My mom and our backdoor neighbor served as each other’s ‘7 Eleven’ store when I was growing up. Ran out of flour to make rotis? No problem. Shout over the fence and thou shall get it and vice versa. I learnt it early in my life that if you can’t count on your neighbor for a pinch of salt and a cup of yogurt every now and then, you can’t count on anything in life. Embarking on a journey to buy a home, it made solid sense to first look for good ‘stocked up’ neighbors.
With this plan etched in my mind, I set out to look for properties with my realtor. The neighbors were scrutinized more thoroughly than any house shown by the realtor and points were mentally awarded for friendliness, accessibility, a second fridge in the garage (anyone with a second fridge would definitely be big on stocking from Costco or Sam’s Club) etc. Many potentially good houses were turned down for lack of qualified neighbors. When I was ready to throw in the towel and accept that I was not going to get lucky like my mom, fate smiled on me and showed me a neighbor who raked in a perfect score of 100% on all my tests. Don’t quote me on this but I have a feeling that my neighbor was born with a smile on her face and her guarding angel put a spell to freeze it there. She is ever so friendly and best of all, she believes in buying 2 of everything when she shops. Lucky for me, huh?
I go to bed every night thanking my lucky stars for this neighbor who makes it easy for me to carry on a family tradition. My mom would be proud of me.