Awkward... — The Bump
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Awkward...

My next door neighbor handed me a "flyer" yesterday detailing how she is organizing the residents of our small street (about 15 homes) to prepare freezer meals for another neighbor who is due to deliver soon. I am finding this a bit awkward as I only know this woman enough to wave and smile as I drive by.  Others in the neighborhood have had babies in the past - if you were close to them you gave them a gift, but there was nothing like this organized.  It puts the receiver in an odd position too, having gifts of food solicited on their behalf from strangers.  And maybe I'm odd, but there is no way I would be eating food prepared by people I don't know, lol! The thought is lovely but that food would be destined for the garbage.  So I am in the position of saying, "sorry, I don't really know this person and won't be participating" - my neighbor on the other side feels the same but says she may send something so as not to rock the boat, though she is relieved that she's not the only one who thinks this is a bit weird.  Am I just being difficult here?

Re: Awkward...

  • Very true, you have a good point.  If this is a friend thing, then ask other friends.  If this is a neighbor thing, then it should be done for all neighbors.  


    aditigirlombradellarosa
  • Not an organized neighborhood at all - there are small groups that socialize or are friends but nothing neighborhood-wide.  I,like many neighbors, keep to myself for the most part.  Had a really bad situation several years ago that was almost a stalker thing, and was so relieved that they finally moved away...have never struck up friendships with neighbors since :(

     

  • You could just not participate.  If you don't know the woman that well, I am assuming the neighbor wont be offended.

     

    BFP 1- EDD 2/09/11 Missed MC DX @11 weeks D&C- 7/25/10 BFP 2- EDD 12/22/11 Natural MC @ 5w 2d BFP 3- EDD 1/25/12 DD Josephine born 1/16/12

    Lilypie - (TUWi)

     

    [Deleted User]aditigirl[Deleted User]
  • Yup - that was my first instinct

     

  • I am with you on the "why her and not everyone else" idea.  I'm guessing the organizing neighbor probably just thinks it would be nice to be more systematic about it, and she hasn't thought about how it looks that this wasn't done for other neighbors.

    I think you can handle it however you feel comfortable.  You can just buy packaged muffins, or bagels and cream cheese or something for their breakfast... or you can decline altogether and tell organizing neighbor that you don't know the pregnant mom at all, and that you don't want to put her in an awkward position of having to eat (or throw away) food from someone who is basically a stranger.
    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
  • To be fair, I doubt the MTB knows anything about this.  If anyone is offended by my non-participation it would be the organizer, but we are really just acquaintances as well so I'm not worried about that.   Thanks for the thoughts!

     

  • I agree with all of the points above. If the neighbor who is organizing this approaches you simply saying you will not be participating would be sufficient. Seems like this neighbor has good intentions, but it really does make it uncomfortable for the neighbors who do not know the MTB very well.
    BabyFruit Ticker

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  • If you feel you should contribute, what about a gift card to a food place that delivers in your area.  I can see that being really appreciated. 
    Pregnancy Ticker

    EDD: September 23
    PGAL: September 2010
    AMA:

  • I saw my neighbour outside this morning, and before I had a chance to say a word she told me not to worry about the meal because the majority on the street didn't really know the Mom and didn't want to contribute.  I mentioned that it would be awkward for the MTB as well, accepting food prepped by strangers.  She replied that it's just too bad that neighbors don't like to do nice things for each other anymore and stomped in the house.  I understand her disappointment but she needs to see the situation for what it is, from all sides. 
    [Deleted User][Deleted User]
  • That's what I was thinking too, lol!  This is also the family on the street that lets their dogs [email protected] wherever they like and never pick up after them, have loud parties on weeknights until 2am, etc.  Real neighborly... I think she had boasted to her friend how she was going to rally the neighborhood to provide her family with meals when the baby comes, and now has to eat a little crow.  Guess she better start cookin'! 
  • I think it is meant as a really nice gesture, and I'm sure the parents will appreciate it. I would just send something even if I barely know them... but I love cooking and love babies! A good idea would be to at least ask the neighbor who gave the flier if they have any preferences... since most homes do have something someone wont or cant eat.

    My SIL and MIL are coming over in my 9th month to help me prepare a ton of freezer meals. I agree that I wouldn't eat things someone I didn't know cooked but from a neighbor I probably would. Also, you don't know their meal preferences so it is hard. Our family doesn't eat red meat and my husband is lactose intolerant and is sensitive to gluten. I can pretty much guarantee no one would give us anything he could eat since it basically changes the recipe for every casserole, pasta, etc. 
    BabyFetus Ticker
  • No, I have decided not to participate and I am not alone, as it seems most of my neighbors have also opted out.  It would be a nice gesture but I have enough friends and family who I would like to give gifts to but cannot due to financial constraints.  Drawing the line at people I don't even know.
  • I guess I am sort of imagining it as my neighborhood. We aren't super close with our neighbors (but we know everyone's names and chat if we are outside. It is a really family centered community and most people have young kids who play together. Every family is very nice... so if I got a note like this I would likely just make something healthy and send it over without thinking much about it. But that is my neighborhood and my financial situation, no everyone elses so I get where you're coming from. Good thing others felt the same, easy out! :)


    BabyFetus Ticker
  • ElaineMOH said:
    I saw my neighbour outside this morning, and before I had a chance to say a word she told me not to worry about the meal because the majority on the street didn't really know the Mom and didn't want to contribute.  I mentioned that it would be awkward for the MTB as well, accepting food prepped by strangers.  She replied that it's just too bad that neighbors don't like to do nice things for each other anymore and stomped in the house.  I understand her disappointment but she needs to see the situation for what it is, from all sides. 
    What a child.
    BabyFruit Ticker Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers
  • If you don't know her you don't know her diet requirements!
    It really is a nice sentiment though. Just not really a place for it with strangers.
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