Our welcome to the ‘hood pack says they think this will be the best place we’ve ever lived.
Of course I use the term ‘hood without a prefix because I don’t want to get into a fight with my new neighbors as they choose to refer to themselves. Arguing about ‘proper english’ vs North American english reminds me of when I was sixteen and had a thirty minute argument with my twelve year old cousin about aluminium vs aluminum, when I was living as a guest in his house and his country. I couldn’t be the bigger person and let it go then, I’m not sure twenty five years or so has changed me much. So best not to start down that road this early in my relationship with our new country of domicile and its residents.
In the interests of anonymity for my new neighbours – much in the same vein as Wendy Wax’s character Vivien wrote her Postcards from Suburbia column about her East Cobb experiences in Magnolia Wednesdays (an apparent must read for new arrivals) under the pseudonym Scarlett Leigh, I will just say we have moved into a ‘sought after swim/tennis community’ somewhere in East Cobb county, Atlanta, Georgia. There are many to choose from so I don’t fear giving away my exact location.
A swim/tennis community is exactly what it sounds like. A small group of conjoined streets and cul-de-sacs with a central clubhouse, swimming pool with life guard and heart starting equipment alongside tennis courts on which I imagine many a ‘domestic goddess’ in appropriate dress, more old school Wimbledon than Serena Williams, glistens (never sweats) in the early morning or late afternoon to improve her tennis game and engage in social chit-chat.
I have more than once described our South African golf estate living as a mix between Pleasantville, the Truman Show and Wisteria Lane. While admitting its very early days yet, I fear it may fall far short in the long run in comparison to our time as East Cobb Expats.
Included in the welcome pack along with our own set of registration forms to complete is a comprehensive list of those who live in the community, their addresses (physical and email), names and occupations, schools and pets. There is a separate attached list that specifically identifies those who are happy to help out as Babysitters, Mother’s Helpers (no definition of this but I am wondering if it includes ironing sheets), Pet sitters, House sitters and Yard workers.
It seems we are on the same block as two ‘Domestic Goddesses’ and one ‘Household manager’ and a Ballroom Dance Instructor. I have to pause here and wonder if Magnolia Wednesdays was in fact fiction – what are the odds of a Ballroom Dance Instructor? Around the corner there is a bearded dragon called Malisa Bob and a little along from there a Guinea Pig called Lightning. Also residing in our community are a wide assortment of cats, cock-a-poos, a gecko and plenty of regular old-school ‘dogs’. I don’t know about you but I am excited as all get-out to meet my new neighbours/bors . Just struggling with my own directory title as I am not at all domestic after nine years as a pampered expat princess living in countries with excessive amounts of household help and a goddess in no way at all. I was thinking Queen of some description – probably drama, social media addict and serial expat. Do you think that moniker would have the domestic goddesses baking cookies and pies to drop round in welcome just to see who the new crazy family were in the street?
In closing I would like to leave you with a thought that we are presented with every time we drive out of our beautifully manicured suburban residential location – Y’all go and Make a Great Day!