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Last night the across the street neighbors had their Halloween buffet ‘block party”. They’ve done this for 4 years now. Someone and I have never been invited. When we moved here in 2005, The Lovely Neighbor every year threw a Halloween buffet block party from her driveway and everyone was invited. It was always a big hit. About 5-6 years ago the old neighbors slowly moved away and were replaced by the current ones. She tried to make friends and welcome them but she got the cold shoulder.  About two years ago, while TLN and I were setting up her annual affair across the street the new neighbors were literally setting up their own party. They had been invited of course to hers, but they made their own.  There we sat as ‘us’ vs. ‘them’ literally across the street as neither side acknowledged the other.  The Lovely Neighbor and her mother were offended by this snub and defiance. After her mother died, she moved away.  I’ve resorted back to handing out treats from my door. Many times last night I went out to check on the pumpkins and lights only to see the across the street neighbors at their party. No one waved or called me over.  I don’t sense this as an oversight. My intuition tells me this is a slight if not a downright insult.

I suppose I am more saddened than angry by this annual exclusion. Our neighborhood used to be so friendly and well-knit. We all ran errands for each other and watched things.  Now it is a street of strangers – at least for me.  It could be they are all chummy and I am the one left out.  It makes me wonder ‘why’: is it a ‘gay thing”? Is it we are seen as ‘On the side that was the Lovely Neighbor?”  Maybe they sense our politics which are not their own. Perhaps they don’t like the way we painted our house or place our garbage – who knows.  It all touches upon the inner-monkey brains that make us want to be included. This gets touched even when The Tribe snubbing us isn’t even one we want to be part of.  Truth be told I don’t especially want to be part of their Tribe. All the same, as I looked across the street at a group enjoying themselves I wonder what I did wrong to be excluded so.

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