In the past several years, I’ve become somewhat addicted to Next Door. You know Next Door, the social networking platform that is designed to pit neighbors against neighbors and to scare the daylights out of you. It can make you so paranoid that you are liable to shoot your neighbor if he or she has made the unfortunate decision to bring you a loaf of homemade banana bread after sunset. After all, it could be a drug addict trying to steal your catalytic converter or someone allowing their dog to poop on your grass without cleaning up after it. It’s why I don’t own a gun. I liked my neighbors and would have been sad to inadvertently shoot one of them.
Prior to moving from our old house, it had gotten to the point that I was paranoid to go to the grocery store in broad daylight. The Next Door horror stories — probably many of which were true — warned me of purse thefts or indecent exposures or stumbling upon used needles and other paraphernalia. While I never once faced any such danger, it seemed as though it was just a matter of time. Tick tock, as it were.
I was relieved when we moved to Wind Crest so that I could sign on to another neighborhood’s Next Door. After all, it seemed like the biggest problems facing the people of Wind Crest would be driving over the posted 15 mph speed limit or the ubiquitous allowing your dog to poop on the grass without cleaning up after it. (After all, dogs will be dogs; poops will be poops; people will be people.
As it turns out, the Next Door that I now follow isn’t limited to Wind Crest. In fact, I might be the only Wind Crest resident that subscribes to the site. The area which I now follow includes nearby neighborhoods of which I’m totally unfamiliar. Included are parts of Littleton, much of western Highlands Ranch, a slice of Englewood. Apparently drug users and catalytic converter thieves have not yet discovered the south and southwest suburbs. Or maybe people around here don’t know that they even have catalytic converters and just think that their cars are starting to run rough and blow out a lot of dark smoke lately.
My new Next Door features a lot of posts like looking for referrals for someone to watch our two snuggle bug puppies over Thanksgiving. Or, I have some old men’s suits that I would like to donate to someone down on their luck. Any suggestions? Or I’m wondering what time people are okay with trick or treaters. We have small children and want to go out early, but we don’t want to bother people. These, my friends, are real posts from my new Next Door neighborhood. Not a single gunshot warning to be had.
I was surprised this morning to see a post that included a video of a purported homeless drug user looking into the windows of a car that was sitting on their driveway the night before. I looked at the neighborhood from which this post originated and discovered that it was from my old neighborhood. Somehow it had snuck into my new neighborhood’s Next Door.
I’m glad I got out of there alive.