Last night I was surrounded by friendly faces, witty and wise conversation and the kind of buzz that comes from a good night out. Amazingly, I was actually with the very people I see almost everyday: my neighbours.
Just after 7pm, with the kids in bed, four front doors suddenly opened and our street’s finest firmly strode out and into the waiting taxi. The ladies of our street had organised a night out away from our wonderful children and partners just for the pleasure of being together.
We had all wanted a real night out which meant heading to a hip drinking spot on the city’s edge. We wanted views and ambience and we got them. The Bar at the End of the Wharf at the Sydney Theatre Company Pier 4 is a big, airy space but still somehow manages to encourage the cosy chat session we had in mind.
I’ve been out on many girls’ nights before which start with such promise but quickly descend into pseudo counselling or husband-bashing sessions and it is a pet hate and secret fear of mine when conversation drifts this way. Usually I say something inappropriate like “if you don’t like it why don’t you leave him?”. Not recommended. I did not want to go down that ugly road given I would wake up this morning and see those same faces as we got about our day (and their husbands too)!
I need not have feared. We waxed lyrical on the world’s problems from Climate Change to Australian Political Squabbles/Faux Leadership Challenges to the Internet to Children’s Education and all the way back again.
“Honest” was what I kept thinking to myself; “everyone is being honest”. What I mean is that everyone felt entirely comfortable to say what they thought and that their viewpoint was worthwhile hearing and discussing. This is such a refreshing way to have a conversation.
Of course, we all know each other pretty well, having lived literally next door to each other for the past 2 years. Somehow though, in just a couple of hours (and a couple of bottles of vino) we cemented the friendship that can take us beyond being just good neighbours.
Hopefully this is more than a passing moment in time. I’ve moved around a lot and I can honestly say there is really only one neighbouring couple that I still stay in touch with and even so mostly by Facebook these days, although I do still really get a buzz out of seeing what they are up to and watching their boys grow up via photo and status updates. But my former neighbours Dave and his family are the exception for me. After all, people come and go, they move, they return to their homelands, things change and usually we all just get on with the next chapter of our lives.
After last night I find myself hoping and wanting to ensure that whatever happens in the future my friends, who just happen to be my neighbours, and I take our friendship with us. I don’t want to hold hard on to the present, I just want these ladies to be part of my future as well. And as with all good friends, I have a suspicion they think the same way.