Kathy Posner

A recent Chicago Tribune/WGN poll showed that 57% of respondents socialized with their neighbors at least once a week. Are the people who answered this survey living in Mayberry RFD or somewhere? People in downtown Chicago do not want to be friends with their neighbors! There is no upside and the downside can be dangerous.

In my August 5th blog, I castigated the Tribune for doing a poll on what is great about Chicago when I saw they surveyed people from a six county area. I pointed out that people living in the boondocks have as much right to comment on living in Chicago as I do about living in Paris. They don’t live in Chicago and I don’t live in Paris; so keep opinions about those cities to those who live there!

It is the same with this poll about being friendly with the neighbors. Living in Marengo in a single family house is as different from living in a Chicago high-rise as Beirut is from Budapest. The Tribune needs to stop pretending that the six counties that border Chicago have one iota of commonality with the “Big City.”

Quotes in the Tribune story point out exactly why I do NOT want to be friends with the neighbors, they want stuff. "A lot of us depend on each other, especially with our children," said Debra David, 43, of Elgin, whose three children are ages 12, 6 and 5. ”We frankly don't have time. Our lives are so busy with getting our kids back and forth to where they have to be. Most of the time our conversations are, 'Can you get so and so off the bus?'“ I have my own life to live; I don’t want to live my neighbors’ lives also.

The story also included the information that, “Research has shown that social relationships improve health, providing emotional support during major life events or stressful situations. People with stronger social relationships had a 50 percent increased likelihood of survival than those with weaker social relationships, according to a recent study by Brigham Young University’s psychology department.”

While I agree that social relationships can provide help during times of stress (just ask my friends who were my lifeline when I got out of the hospital on two recent visits,) but that does not mean that the friendship has to be with immediate neighbors. Visit me and then drive away. I have lots of friends, I just don’t want them living next door able to do the “pop-in” whenever they feel like it.

After the capture of Ted Bundy, serial killer, the neighbors almost universally said he “was very charming,” “the boy next door,” and “the last one we would ever suspect.” That is reason enough not to become friends with the neighbors.

Read More From Planet Posner Here....

Editors Note: I wonder what would happen if Lady Shafran and I moved into Planet Posners building. Could we bum a smoke or a cup of sugar or would she think we were serial killers. Would she think The Lady Shafran and I were the boy and girl next door? Just wondering!