4 days ago

We are now using our Florida home after owning for 7 years- I’m enjoying the weather and seeing renovating finally taking place.

We are in a small gated communities made up of separate HOA’s.

Mine has 15 homes built in a circle.

Sime are full time with the majority being snow birds.

A tradition has started called ”drinks on the driveway.” Every Monday is a standing night to gather in a rotating driveway to get together with appetizers to share and your own beverage.

DH has been down supervising the renovations and has attended all of the Mondays.

Last night was my second time and I walked away feeling trapped!

The people are nice, but considerably older. They will be good neighbors but looking around at the attedpndees last night, I can’t see any as friends.

Our next door neighbor told DH the reason this started was because the days could get long.

Here is my question. I don’t want to feel obligated to do this every Monday, especially when I have visitors.

DH seems to be okay with going. Not all the residents go but the core is about half. One husband comes alone always. His wife never comes and we were told she wasn’t social!

So, wwyd? Make it a point to now skip a few? Go to a few more and then skip?

Am I obligated to make an excuse? So far which driveway info goes to DH.

Comments (36)

  • arcy_gw

    I don't think I would feel obligated one way or another. Go when you are free to or inclined to. Rather like using one of the amenities. It sounds laid back enough... I would be most concerned about when my driveway is the host driveway. Does the host provide the snacks? Is that REQUIRED --to host?

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  • ratherbesewing

    The middle ground is the easiest solution. Go to some of the festivities to meet the neighbors. You don't need to be best friends with these people, but being friendly is easier and you might hear about activities, etc going on that you might be interested in. Is everyone friendly? Gossip-y? (The comment about the one spouse who isn't social is a flag). In my head, once a week meet ups is a lot. If your DH is willing to attend without you--great! Tell him not to make excuses for you not being there.

    eld6161 thanked ratherbesewing
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  • IdaClaire

    I would feel no compulsion to go or to make excuses for not being there. Some people enjoy those kinds of get togethers and others don't, and either way it's fine. I don't drink and don't particularly want to hang out with a group that is doing so, so for me that might be a deciding factor (but again, I wouldn't feel the need to say this). I'd continue to be friendly and approachable, but if a social (that sounds like it amounts to a standing happy hour) held no appeal, I certainly wouldn't be compelled to participate. If they "talk"? Well, that's their prerogative I guess.

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  • maddielee

    I would attend those when it’s convenient for me to do so. Being part of the community usually holds few negatives.

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  • justerrilynn

    The small community thing can get tricky. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to, but, if you go once in a while try to hit all neighbors at least once. It will be noticed if you only visit a particular house.

    eld6161 thanked justerrilynn
  • graywings123

    I agree with what's written above and will add that you don't have to be besties to hang out with people, especially in such an informal setting. Cultivating a good relationship with your neighbors is worth a little effort.

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  • littlebug zone 5 Missouri

    I am a bit offended with the implication that a NOT SOCIAL person is a bad thing.

    Who cares if a person is not social? Some people like seafood and some don’t. How is this different?

    All that said, I would go once in a while and call it good. And send DH to have a good time.

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  • sushipup1

    If you sit out too many of these gatherings, then you'll be labelled as non-social. Just saying. Nothing wrong with showing up, saying hello to all, then excusing yourself to tend to something on the stove.

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  • runninginplace

    We have a somewhat similar situation-we moved to live FT in our vacation home post retirement. It's a small neighborhood that's remarkably friendly and cohesive, only 3 streets' worth of houses with a mix of full time residents and second/vacation home folks. Like your situation, there's a group of couples who hang out together and socialize often as well as host gatherings at their houses. We're in the Florida Keys so hanging out on a dockside patio is a year round pleasure. They all enjoy their cocktails ;).

    My husband tends to be out and about so he talks to everyone and we are included either by specific invitation or by, as in your case, the neighborhood understanding that everybody's welcome to come by. I'm not as social as he is although I am friendly with the neighbors too. Neither of us drink regularly but we'll go down once in awhile to hang out.

    In addition to the gatherings, it's also possible to become part of the group by judiciously being a good neighbor in other ways. I occasionally take care of one neighbor couples' pet ducks when they travel. We take another elderly neighbor to doctor's appointments when he needs a driver. We are both involved in our neighborhood homeowners group.

    So you may not need to become a fixture at the driveway soirees to be known as a good addition to the neighborhood. Obviously you don't want to turn into the neighborhood uber driver or go-fer, but a little bit of helping hand always goes a long way in getting folks to accept and like you even aside from what I'm sure is your native likeability!

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  • Martha Scott

    I would go when I felt like it but would not feel obligated to go especially if DH is making appearances for "the family". Or I would go but would not stay long -- just make an appearance and then leave presumably to finish getting dinner ready.

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  • eld6161

    Last night when I wrote this in the middle of the night, DH asked me why I was up.

    It turns out he is on the same page as me. He is not one for idle chit chat but wants to be a good neighbor. I thought he didn’t mind going as he kept attending them while working on the house.

    DH is very knowledgeable in many areas and has already given advice and helped a few of the neighbors.

    I like to not feel obligated to go every Monday. Sushi I think it would be rude to leave because it only lasts for one hour.

    It is true that activities are shared. There will be an art festival coming up that I learned about but maybe it’s because the person that told me sells her art there.

    Arcy, everyone brings something to share. When it’s in your driveway I think you provide napkins and paper plates.

    i don’t want to step on toes or “insult” anyone. But I do feel that we need to set the precedent now.

    Thanks, I feel better about all of this now.

  • IdaClaire

    I think the question posed as "what would you do?" might've gotten you some varied responses, as we'd probably each approach the situation a bit differently. Or maybe even radically differently. And that's ok. You do you. ;-)

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  • Lukki Irish

    Haven’t read the other responses, but I think you’re over thinking this. Be friendly, go when you want to go, don’t go when you don’t want to go and stop worrying about what others might say or think. There’s always going to be at least one or two people who like to gossip, judge or label and those are the people I tend to worry about the least.

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  • mtnrdredux_gw

    I think you don't want to go regularly, which I understand. But I also would not want to be known as the people who "never" come. Go occasionally, better yet host occasionally (then at least you are busy).

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  • Fori

    I'd go sometimes. It's actually a pretty great tradition to have in your neighborhood, but dang. Every single week!!??

    Maybe look up the Not Social lady. I bet she's worth knowing. :)

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  • mtnrdredux_gw

    LOL Fori

  • eld6161

    Fork, DH was out for a run and ran into this couple, so he has met “Mrs Not Social.” He said she seemed fine.

  • Zalco/bring back Sophie!

    When you fo, you don't have to stay. Show your face, say hello, and take your leave shortly.

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  • blfenton

    For me, it would feel like an obligation so that I don't appear to be the Unsocial Lady. I would go every couple of weeks or if I felt like it. But every week oh wow.

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  • dedtired

    I’d go once in awhile, often enough not to appear standoffish. I think you and the hubs should go for dinner on some Mondays so you have an excuse. Once a week seems very frequent. Not much happens in a week so conversation would be difficult. This is when people start talking about each other! I agree that hosting and making it very nice would be good and stave off the impression that you don’t care.

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  • eld6161

    Yes blue tin and ded! Exactly.

    Zalco, it only an hour so it would be rude to leave early. We all sit around in a circle and it would be noticed.

  • maire_cate

    As others have posted I'd go often enough to feel friendly and comfortable but not regularly - especially since this is such a small group - only 15 homes.

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  • justerrilynn

    Go once a month with a pitcher of Cosmopolitan’s. All will be well!

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  • Bluebell66

    As an introvert and mostly non-drinker, I’m not particularly social but see great value in at least knowing some neighborhood faces and names, so I would maybe go once a month or so and not feel bad for one second for not attending the other times. Go when you feel like it and not when you don’t.

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  • OutsidePlaying

    Maybe Mrs Not Social doesn’t drink and not attending is her way of avoiding alcohol. Who knows? I would not attempt to pre-judge.

    I would not feel obligated to attend every one, but in the spirit of being a good, friendly neighbor, I would attempt to attend a few, and try to host at least one. It sounds like an easy ‘host’ thing, since everyone brings some appetizer and their own drink. How long do these things last? An hour or so? As others point out, you might discover other things about the neighborhood you wouldn’t know about it any other way. And it pays to have a neighborhood connection when you aren’t there full time.

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  • chispa

    "The people are nice, but considerably older. "

    One day (soon) you'll be one of those considerably older people in the neighborhood ... are you saying you won't be good friend material for a younger woman that just moved into the neighborhood?

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  • eld6161

    Chispa, I have friends of various ages. I was just explaining the make up of the group.

    But to be honest, yes I would prefer to make new friends closer to my age.

    Looking at my social circle, no I do not have any close friends that are 15 to 20 years younger. Do you?

  • chispa

    I think the difference between 30 and 50 is a lot greater than between 50 and 70.

    I'm also moving to a new area where we'll be the "younger" ones and barely know anyone in the area, so I'm not going to rule out potential new friends because they are older. By the time you get to 50, most of us have gone through the "standard" stages in life, after that it is mostly the same, except you get a year older every year, and are glad you made it that far!

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  • eld6161

    Yes I can see what you mean Chispa.

  • jojoco

    When I was a realtor, I had one client who was desperate to move away from the folks in his small HOA neighborhood. The neighborhood hosted regular block parties and this person felt trapped in his own house because he had no interest in attending, but felt that he couldn’t use his front yard/porch during these occasions.

    Go once or twice. Not because you should, but because you might meet someone you actually like. You never know.

    Good luck.

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  • LucyStar1

    Go occasionally. But don't go and then leave. That will cause people to notice. Once you are there, it is only for an hour and it will go by fast.

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  • beaglesdoitbetter


    Only half kidding, LOL. I guess I fall into the "not a social person" category because I'd be horrified if I was expected to go drink w/ my neighbors once a week.

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  • Zalco/bring back Sophie!

    OT a bit, but I have always liked hvaing older friends. They are invaluable to me for showing me what the road ahead looks like.

    PS And while I am super social, I would feel uncomfortable with a weekly hour long happy hour amonst all the neighbors. Too constricting for me and literally too close to home.

    eld6161 thanked Zalco/bring back Sophie!
  • nini804

    My small neighborhood of custom homes has a happy hour in someone’s yard one Friday evening per month Spring thru Fall. I have literally only been to one bc Friday nights are just bad times for us (dd cheers football games Friday nights, and a few times in the Spring we were out of town, etc.) No one seems to care...and surely they don’t think I’m anti-social! (Surely? Lol) I agree with others that EVERY Friday is insane!

    We’ve been here 8 years, and in our little town 13 years before that (moved here as newlyweds) so admittedly We had a strong social network before building this house BUT...I will say that I have actually loved getting to know the folks who are older & in a different life stage than us. One of my favorite friends on our street actually is close to my parents’ age. They built bc they wanted to design a home that could accommodate all of their grandkids and kids when they visit. She shares my love of design and always shows me her latest acquisitions. :)

    I guess WWID....I’d attend an occasional Friday but certainly not fret about missing the majority of them! As long as you are friendly and warm...no one will call you anti-social. You are fortunate they only last an hour, regardless! I find it hilarious that they have such a sharp cut-off as to the time, you’d think they’d have the gatherings quarterly with a more relaxed beginning and ending. The way it’s currently set up reminds me of playgroup when my kids were little, lol!

  • bbstx

    We live on a small circle. I think there are a total of 40 homes on the circle. At one end is a green space. When the mood strikes, those of us who want to meet on The Green for drinks, generally late afternoon on a Sunday. When it happens, one of the guys will send a blast text letting everyone know we have gathered. BYOB everything including your chair. Because I am the closest house, I will sometimes bring some cheese and crackers.

    I cannot tell you who comes and who does not come, who leaves and who stays late. I suspect no one else notices either.

    Go when the mood strikes you, don’t if it doesn’t. Leave when you want to. You will be less noticed than you think.

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  • maddielee

    Our weekend (weekend for us, most are full time residents) lake community has weekly happy hours. We are not always there but did attend the one 2 weeks ago. If we had not attended we might have missed the chatter about recent Bald Eagle and Otter sightings. Because we heard about them we were on the lookout and were lucky enough to see both the next day.

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