Friday, April 27, 2018

Won't you be my Neighbor?

Does everyone know about the NextDoor app, or is it a California thing? I hadn’t heard of it before moving to my current home, but now it’s a daily reminder about the very important issues that are causing feelings in the humans to whom I live in proximity.  

It’s an app whose membership is limited to a specific geographical area.  You have to prove your residence in order to join. Therefore, I am not privy to the feelings of the fine folks who live in the next town over, nor are they in the know about the hot topics in my neighborhood. I used to wonder if my NextDoor was an anomaly, if other neighbors used the platform to barter and josh, to create friendships, or to find love and lost pets. Mine is a little, how shall I put this delicately… bananas.
There *are* quite a few lost and found pet stories and there *is* some bartering of goods and services, and I’ve looked at the recommendations section many times when I’m in need of a local service. However, I live in the flight pattern of an international airport.  It’s loud, but you really do get used to it and I barely even notice the resounding jet engines taking off directly over my head at regular intervals between exactly 6:30am and exactly 11:30 pm. It’s a small price to pay for my lovely home in this dog friendly town drenched in sunshine. The NextDoor people are less forgiving. If a plane dares violate the curfew by a split second, the site erupts with complaints and pleas for all readers to report the offense. I think this is the most frequently discussed topic on the site,  but dog poop, bad drivers, and anti-homeless rants are also quite faithfully represented.

So I used to wonder if other NextDoor groups were happy friendly fun-loving communities, but then I started comparing screen shots of some of the more colorful exchanges and comments with 2 friends who live in different areas, and was introduced to the pure gold that is #bestofnextdoor. My friend Janet shared one of my recent screenshots there:

It’s astounding, no?

That’s a good NextDoor anecdote. But I have an even better story

On a recent workday afternoon, I was in contact with my daughter who had been in a 24 hour tizzy after losing track of her debit card. This particular tizzy had initiated the night before after a perfunctory look through her car, because she knew she had had the card in hand after meeting up with her friends that afternoon. She had grabbed her wallet, containing the debit card and a $10 bill, before returning a borrowed purse to her friend. Then she got into her car and drove home. So it had to be in the car, right? She’d taken a quick look in the car, but it was dark and she was tired and blah blah blah, she’d look again in the morning. No luck in the morning, but of course she was rushing to school so couldn’t give the task the attention she deserved. By the time she called me at work with an update, she was resigned to the fact that it was gone. I agreed to cancel her card, and mentioned to my coworker that I might need to step inside because I couldn’t do so on my phone.  That coworker was leaving for the day and wished me luck.

2 minutes later, that coworker stepped back out to ask: “Was your daughter in my neighborhood this weekend?”  She had taken a look at her phone on the way out of work, you see. And she had an alert from her NextDoor community. An alert from one of her neighbors with my daughter’s full name in the subject line, asking if anyone knew who she was, because they had found her debit card on the sidewalk and wanted to get it back to her.

It’s astounding, no?


Ellie said...

It *is* astounding. Yes!

I can't believe this thing. I just looked it up. No, it's not California only. Yes, it's nation-wide. No goodgodno am I going to sign up. Some things are better left, um, unknown.

But I love this:

Mine is a little, how shall I put this delicately… bananas.

And this:

It’s a small price to pay for my lovely home in this dog friendly town drenched in sunshine.

I love your sun-drenched town and state. But we had sun today! Sun! So much sun! A drenching sun-storm.

This is a happy ending to a tragic tale of woe and your girl must have been so happy. You too. In the Keys once I had my entire pouch returned to me from a rain puddle it had fallen in the night before. And the very best part of that story? I had not yet realized it was gone.

And yes. YES. How deeply I would love to be your neighbor.

Love you, schnook.


Boring Neighbors in Central PA said...

Pretty cool story. Yes, we here in the extended winter of Central PA have the nextdoor app and my in very dull and information driven...who put your roof on? missing dog? need a babysitter? I should check in more often in case I'm missing out on some "bananas" posts while I'm not looking.

Central PA correction said...

*mine is

Bree said...

A friend added me as her emergency contact on NextDoor and it was at that time that I signed up for it. I promptly filtered all of the emails into a separate folder because oh my heck my neighbors post a lot.

Now, I feel like I should go see what kind of gems there are.