I’m not the most outgoing person. When I am in my comfort zone, with my friends, I can be loud and obnoxious, but outside of that zone I am a closet introvert. I can fake it if I need to. I spend most of my life faking it with strangers.
I am also not even remotely an outdoor kind of girl. I grew up in Arizona where it is too hot most of the year to hang out outside. Moving to Iowa might have rectified this, but with the nicer weather came lots and lots of green things that grow. And produce pollen. That get in my nose. And make me miserable. Nine months of the year. Plus there are the bugs, the snakes, the random rodent things that run around, no plumbing, sweatiness… who wants to deal with that?
So I am not incredibly outgoing and I really dislike going outside for any extended period of time. This makes it hard to establish any sort of friendship with the people who live around me. To make matters worse, there aren’t that many people that live around me. We live in a fairly small, isolated area. My street only has four houses on it.
We have lived in our house for five years now. We made aquaintance with most of our neighbors, but the relationship has never gone beyond waving to each other as we drive by.
The one exception to all of this are the neighbors who live directly across the street from us. J and C are the sort of neighbors that dreams are made of. They have an incredibly well maintained yard. J is always outside working on some sort of project. They decorate their house for Christmas. The host a huge neighborhood party on July 4th (complete with very impressive and very illegal fireworks). They have three grown up children and lots of grand babies. All American and wonderful.
They are extremely wonderful to us. They have helped us with house issues (we are completely inept), lent us tools, watched our dog, picked up our mail, plowed our driveway every time it snows… the list goes on and on. They rarely ask anything of us in return.
Until last week. C texted and told us they were going out of town for a few days and asked if I could pick up their mail. An opportunity to do a favor – yes! I was so excited to have an opportunity to do something – anything – for them.
So excited, it would seem, that I completely forgot. For four days I forgot. In fact, I never would have remembered except that C texted on Saturday and told me they got home a day early. No amount of apology will ever make me feel better, especially since she was so gracious and said it wasn’t a big deal. But it is a big deal. I can’t even remember to do a simple, easy favor for these amazing people who have done so much for us.
I have no idea how to make it up to them.