Social Insecurities: The New Neighbour - The Gloss Magazine
2 weeks ago

Social Insecurities: The New Neighbour

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The daily anxieties of modern life …

1
Two houses have gone up for sale in your vicinity. Though not sorry to see the back of Number 12 – a passive aggressive nosy parker – fleetingly wonder if you are the problem.

2
You’ve always been friendly and polite, though have never subscribed to the popping-in-for-a-cup-of-sugar school of neighbours.

3
Covertly watch removal men install Number 12. Quite clearly she is one of those – white kitchen, natural linen sofas and Luke Irwin rugs. Irish weather does not lend itself to such a decor scheme without live-in help.

4
As you have not yet met over the garden fence, decide to leave a card and small gift (homemade Ottolenghi pistachio biscotti) on the doorstep to say hello.

5
These remain in situ for 24 hours. Decide to remove in dead of night as biscotti will either attract squirrels or have gone soggy – not a good start.

6
As you approach, you hope there is no hidden camera picking up your (second best) dressing gown. Best dressing gown is kept for birthday breakfasts.

7
Before you can replace welcome offering, new neighbour pops a card in your letterbox with notification she (Helen) is changing to gas. There will be extensive drilling and roadworks.

8
The renamed Hellish Helen is repainting her house purple, rendering your Gustavian blue frontage anaemic. Wonder if planting a fast-growing wisteria will “marry” the two exteriors?

9
You finally meet when you are at peak post-shopping frazzlement. HH announces she has plans to hardscape the back garden, as hubby Henry hates the crazy paving.

10
Ruefully invite them over for drinks on your crazy-paved patio. Ponder if it’s time to escape to the country? Call an estate agent for a valuation and return to musing over paint finishes.

Illustration: Becky Donnelly

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