I finally decide to introduce myself to the neighbor who looks cool but I hadn't ever talked to because, I don't know, we've only lived near each other for three years. I went old school, taking her a homemade peach cobbler. I figured she'd have to like me if I take her food, and what girl doesn't want dessert at 11am from an unshowered neighbor she's never met?
So Jane and I got to chatting, she sews, loves serving dishes and is generally disinterested in all things uncool. I watched their dog. We had them over for dinner. They got us really drunk one night. Perfect! Then Jane ordered a pumpkin latte from Starbucks and everything changed. "Oh, you should come see my husband's band play next week," she said.
"His band, the Pigdogs, will be playing and then after them is another cool band with this guy Nato Wolfgang."
"Huh? Nato Wolfgang. That sounds really familiar. Why do I know that name?"
"He's like two cars in front of me in the Starbucks drive-thru. He lives in our neighborhood."
"Oh yea, I do know him. Well, I know his mom from my yarn store days, and his sister does my hair!"
"Wait, you know Julia?"
"Wait, you know her?"
That conversation was just too weird for me to handle. Since moving to California I have been relatively anonymous. It wasn't like in Pennsylvania where people would accost me and say, "You look like your father." Or "How's your mother doing?" Or, "Jennifer, Jennifer!"
My siblings are quite a bit older than me and my parents had a different circle of friends by the time I came along. The old friends would see me about town and shout various things at me. I would come home and describe the situation, where I was, what they were driving, etc. and my parents would say, "Oh, that was Nancy's best friend in fourth grade, how's she doing?" Uh, yea. She's great. WTF?
But if you ever want to remain anonymous, don't open a yarn shop where you meet thousands of women. Last night I went to happy hour with my neighbor and some of her other friends. Jane was recounting the story about how we know the same people and then one of the other women pipes up and says, "Yarn shop? You must know Moira!"