City folk love their privacy. Think for a second the overwhelming surge of icky anticipation that climbs your throat when someone knocks at your door. People in Seattle don’t get random knocks on their door…. unless someone wants your money or someone over dressed wants to rattle your cage with questions like “have you thought of where you will go when you die?” I’m certain no one obtains their belief in a higher power from over dressed bible thumpers at their doors? I could be wrong.
What light this sheds is two-fold. One, we are private, and scheduled and clutching at our wallets too often in fear. Two, in an age of increased technical communications wired and Googling every detail, there is a real lost art in simple communicating, person to person, door to door. Talking to the neighbor is a lost opportunity in building the “peopleness” that makes a community-and it comes from being a bit less private. Where once we might have been delighted to have a knock at the door to find Mrs. Van Damm with a casserole explaining she’d heard the other neighbor say we had the flu when Dad was away on business now we are disgruntled to have a world sadly-with no busy body’s at all. Instead we are alarmed by a knock… to have to step away from our Facebook pages, our household PR, and remedy the ruffling of our moral feathers as we open the door- our candor, thick with suspicion when we ask-“where is your organization located, can I see the address?”
Being well over twenty and certain that to rant is to infer a need for action, not simply just to be heard, I propose we do something…..The timing is perfect! Take hold of the holiday excuse to knock at a door. Yes, go out a rattle the Seattle cool privacy a little, while at the same time practicing your small talk before the holiday parties-Do some communicating with live people! Make a plate of ghost cookies for the neighbor, leave a bag of pumpkin candles and votives on the step with a note that says-our lights flickered-did yours? In November make a real pilgrimage with some cranberry spice muffins left in secret-to get the neighbors questioning each other to solve the mystery of who left them…or EVEN invite the couple you know has no plans, to sit at your table this year! A least have them over for pumpkin pie or to trade recipes for the best stuffing. Maybe, suggest a field trip to the fancy spice store downtown prior to the big Holiday cooking days ahead. Connect, people! Throw on some boots and buy yourself a five star umbrella-because we live in a dark, dreary place to whole up too long without a neighborly knock-where we ask for nothing but a welcome smile at their door.