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Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Neighborhood Welcome

Each time that I move to a new place, I secretly hope for a neighborhood welcome like the ones that happen in the movies. You know, the doorbell rings and you open the door to be greeted by dozens of friendly faces holding out loaves of bread, fresh fruit, and platters of homemade cookies that you will gratefully accept but dare not eat and throw away immediately because you don't know the cleanliness of the kitchens involved. But, who am I kidding, this isn't the suburbs, this is Los Angeles, where most of the neighborly greetings are short or nonexistent.

So far at my new place, I've met my new neighbors Harriette, Bernadette, and George (but we will call him Georgette, because that sounds awesome and I think the world would be a better place if everyone's name ended in 'ette'. Go ahead, you know you want to say your name aloud ending with 'ette'. I can wait. Jessette can wait. Ready to continue?)

Harriette is a lady that lives under my feet (I hope I'm not hurting her). I think she has a passion for bees (both bumble and spelling bees). I introduced myself to her and said, "Hi, I'm Jessica." and her response was, "How do you spell that?" This threw me off because my name is so common that I've never really been asked how to spell it. So I spelt out my name like I was in kindergarten, leaving the perfect pause between each letter. "J-E-S-S-I-C-A." I looked towards her for approval like she was the Simon Cowell-esque judge of the spelling bee. "Very good", she responded. She also asked me to spell out Sir Mozart Newyorkie, but I took it upon myself to simplify. “M-O-Z-I-E.” Those freaky 8 year old wiz kids better watch out because thanks to Harriette I have now refreshed my mad spelling skills.

Also, this week as I was heading back to work after lunch, I grabbed an oreo as I was walking out the door. Just as I finished chewing, I ran into another neighbor, Bernadette. We chatted for a few minutes, mostly just introductions and such, and then I got into my car and saw my reflection in the mirror and noticed my lips had dark dots on them and a black ring was lining the lower lip. I was nervously thinking, "What the heck is going on? Is my lip loosing circulation? Is this a disease?" Then I smiled in my mirror to check my teeth and wow, how perfect, 2 of my teeth were basically blacked out Hillbilly-style by oreo crumbs. I might as well have said in a southern accent, "Hi ya, can I call ya Bernie? I'm Jessie! Yeehaw!" So now my question is, the next time I see her, do I nonchalantly address the issue and say, "Hey, about those black lips last time we spoke..."?

I also met Georgette. Actually I didn't meet him exactly, but I hear he is a grumpy, impatient man. My mom was helping me get settled in my new place and unknowingly parked her car in his parking spot. We heard angry horn honks from outside and then suddenly someone was pounding on my front door. I will admit to hiding in the bathroom and peering through the door like a 4 year old while my mom addressed him. She went to move the car out of the way and that is when she spotted a transvestite waiting in the passenger seat of Georgette's car. Maybe that's what his hurry was, the clock was ticking and money was wasting. I suppose we'll never know...that is, unless the tranny makes another appearance. I'll keep you updated.

Oh I also met Chang who lives next door, but she doesn't speak English so we didn't do much meeting or greeting. Sometimes a smile is all it takes. A smile and an awkward head nod.

Well, since I haven't met all my neighbors yet, I still hold out hope that one day soon my doorbell will ring and I will be greeted by a tall, dark haired, light eyed, ruggedly but stunningly handsome, quick-witted, passionate, smart, down-to-earth, kind-hearted, rock star who lives in my building. And hopefully he will come bearing a welcome burrito. But until then, it's just me and the 'ettes'.