We had a Greet-the-Summer-and-the-Neighbors barbecue in the courtyard last night. I wasn't going to go, but old habits run deep, such as the habit of showing up for free food. Plus, this was free food grilled on a grill that I wouldn't have to clean. And, oh right, the neighbors.
I love apartment living but after decades of living in neighborhoods, I find myself missing...neighbors. Activities like gardening, snow shoveling, curbside garbage pick-up, and condo association meetings made it easier to schmooze. I figured I'd eat free food on property management dime and schmooze.
Ever the sociologist, I noticed groups had formed by the time I arrived. I opted for sitting with the grown-ups, which is exactly what I announced to the three impeccably coiffed, dressed and accessorized ladies whose table I crashed. According to my calculations, my arrival dropped the average age to 78.
Was I uncomfortable? Not at all, especially because ritual pleasantries quickly morphed into a conversation of substance and style. They play pinochle on Wednesdays. I used to play pinochle ─ a lot. They could use a fourth.
I spent the last 15 years of Suburban Captivity trying to get back into a regular pinochle game. I've lived in this apartment for one year and εὕρηκα! Deal me in!