As if the Christmas period wasn’t already stressful enough, some fool on my street has seen fit to declare an ‘all-in block party’ for the neighbourhood, to take place on December 23rd. Participation is compulsory in the overly enthusiastic eyes of this person, or at least that’s what the phrasing on their flyer would have you believe.
What’s worse is that are to be a number of planned activities, including a ‘community cake stand’ and a ‘plant swap’, as well as a prize awarded for best festive garden display. That seems entirely pointless to me, as the prize is obviously going to Fran and Bob with their climbing bougainvillea plants and LED reindeer that glow in a perfectly coordinated shade of pink. Everyone can see that it’s the winner; there’s no need to make a song and dance about it.
On a similar note, why would I want to swap plants with my neighbours when I can buy flowering shrubs at the nursery? That way, I can avoid having to engage with Jan, the local begonia fanatic, and that guy with all the succulents who seems to spend most of his waking hours lying in a hammock in his carport, blasting speed metal.
It’s not that my neighbours are bad. It’s more that I’d rather keep my distance socially, to balance out the lack of geographic distance. I mean, what if we got chummy and then they wanted to hang out all the time, swapping plants and cakes and critiquing each others’ summer garden displays? I barely have enough time to myself as it is, without adding a motley crew of neighbourhood pals to the mix.
Besides, who has time for a block party at this time of year? I’ve got three different family functions to attend that week, for crying out loud, plus a work thing the week before and four assorted social catch-ups, one of which involves crafting ‘new year vision boards’. Call me curmudgeonly, but I can really do without a block party on top of all that.