We live in an interesting street.
It’s a nice little cul-de-sac in Melbourne’s ‘bagel belt’ (And a mighty “shalom” to all my Hebrew readers).
Despite being near an old school pub, it’s relatively quiet and the residents are a good mix of young families,
bums students, and ‘Dinks’.
There’s a real community feel about the street and this is especially evident at Christmas.
One resident takes it upon herself to organise a street Christmas party. Usually coinciding with the last day of the school year, the residents of our street congregate at the sac part of the cul de sac for an afternoon of BBQ, beers and getting shitfaced general good cheer.
Having not lived in the street for overly long, I’ve been to a few of these soirees and generally had a good time. But – oh yes, you guessed it, there’s a but (I don’t have a post category called ‘curmudgeon corner’ for the alliterative value alone) – this year, I’m thinking of giving the Christmas drinks a miss with extreme prejudice.
As much as I really admire the idea of getting to know your neighbours and as much as I like the idea of a street party in a really relaxed setting, I’m thinking this year,
they can go and kiss my arse I may politely decline their most gracious of offers.
Numerous times throughout the year, most of the neighbours seem to fresh air me whenever I say hi in the street, or at the local supermarket. I’ve even caught a train home from the city with one neighbour who gave me nothing between Richmond and Windsor stations.
I didn’t have all that much to drink at any of these street Christmas parties, so it’s not like I pissed in the punchbowl, tried to root someone’s missus or did anything untoward.
I kept myself nice and I can’t recall saying anything that upset anyone, so I’m at a bit of a loss to work out why the bonhomie of the annual street Christmas party has disappeared quicker than last week’s pay.
Anyways, if they want to give me the cold shoulder, that’s fine. It’s all well and good to throw one’s arms open at Christmas, but I’m not sure if I could put up with being nice to these folks – or stomach insincere “so-good-to-see-you’s” for one night when they ignore you for the other 364 days of the year.
The pub at the end of the street is much more welcoming, and they make no secret of only being nice to you because they want your money. And coz: well… beer.
The flip side, of course, is that not attending the party could be seen as bad move on my part. The GLW* is a long-time resident of the street and get along reasonably well with everyone. That is to say, they say “hello” to her on the street on days other than the 18th of December.
There’s plenty more important things in life than worrying about attending a street Christmas party, I know, but if anyone has any suggestions on how to attack this, I’m more than willing to hear them.
Incendiary suggestions – as always – are welcomed. Sometimes, a scorched-earth policy is the most effective policy.
And yes, I’ve already thought of throwing my own ‘Hookers ‘n Blow Christmas Party’ on the same night, but finding 20 hookers on short notice at this time of year ‘aint no picnic.
Have you have any similar situations? Have you been to parties with neighbours, or co-workers for example, only to find that once the last of the drinks have been drunk, you’ve been made to feel about as welcome as a pap-smear?
*Good Lady Wife