Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My husband is in the military, and we live on base. He is gone a majority of the day, and sometimes I get bored. Usually I do chores and go on the internet or play video games. I am applying for jobs, but don’t have one yet.
So sometimes, I like to walk around my house and look outside and such. Sometimes, when I look outside, my neighbors happen to be out. I don’t, like, stare at them. But I do look for a second and then go back to what I was doing. I was kinda doing that today, but this time I believe they saw me looking. Now I’m worried that they believe I’m some creepy loser who just watches them from the window. I don’t mean to be creepy. I just get bored and get curious what people are doing. Do I just avoid them or tell them I just look outside sometimes?
Dear Peeping Penelope,
::sets down binoculars::
Listen, it’s perfectly normal for you to look out your damn window. All of us do it when we’re bored or daydreaming or worried that there’s a serial killer lurking in the bushes. In fact, when I go for walks around my neighborhood, I am compelled to look in everyone’s garage, should it happen to be open. I can inventory half my block’s lawn equipment. AND THAT’S OKAY.
What’s more worrisome is the fact that you seem trapped indoors. And that when you see these neighbors of yours, you hide behind the curtains rather than wave hello. As for approaching them with an explanation, you may come off like a lunatic if you try to rationalize your anti-social behavior. (Been there, done that, Penelope. Trust me.)
As a woman whose husband is in the military, I can attest to how difficult it can be to meet people on base, especially if you don’t have any children to use as social pawns at the playground. But as difficult as it is to put yourself out there, it’s absolutely essential for survival, Penelope. SO ::smack:: PULL ::smack:: YOURSELF ::smack:: TOGETHER!
A few ideas!
1. Ask your husband to invite some of his friends or co-workers (and their spouses) over for a dinner party. Talk about anything other than how much you like staring at people from the window.
2. Look up and contact your base’s Family Readiness coordinator. This is often a spouse that can put you in contact with social groups and gatherings in your community. (I’d steer clear of the Neighborhood Crime Watch.)
3. GO OUTSIDE. Looking wistfully out the window is a very clear sign that you want to be out, interacting with others. Go for a walk, read a book at the park, anything! (Just leave the binoculars at home.)
You’ll need some patience with the process and confidence in yourself, but you’re bound to make friends as long as you’re not holed up inside.