DARYN KAGAN: The new crush who moved into my neighborhood


There’s a new crush in my neighborhood.

I walk by just about every day.

Sure, I make it about stretching out my dog’s walk an extra block.

But really, who am I kidding?

It’s to get a glimpse.

An extra look.

To check if they are as attractive in a different time of daylight.

They are.

Not that my crush knows I’m alive. This love is unrequited, no doubt.

I don’t take it personally.

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As magnificent as my crush is, I realize the limitations.

After all, my crush is a house. The new house on the block. Well, two blocks over from ours.

Has this ever happened to you, Dear Reader? Developed a crush on a house?

Here’s the thing. It’s not like it’s the biggest or grandest house in the neighborhood. Which is exactly the point.

We live in a historic neighborhood. A mixture of grand old houses, modest bungalows and the inevitable — the McMansions built on lots where old bungalows are torn down.

Surely, I figured, that is what would be going up on the lot where my crush showed up. The dilapidated house that barely stood there was a tear-down if there ever was one.

That was expected. What came next was not.

The lot was leveled.

Way in the back of the lot, the frame of a small, modest house went up.

“They’re just building the carriage house and garage first,” was the buzz among the neighbors in the know. “The actual house-house will come later.”

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Not the way you usually see construction around here, but OK.

Only, the big house-house, the expected McMansion, never showed up. Instead, the modest small house in the rear of the lot was finished.

In went a long stretch of simple green lawn and a vegetable garden.

That’s it.

Small house.

Lawn.

Garden.

Simply enough.

I still have no idea who has moved in.

I’m tempted to knock on their front door and tell them, “I love you,” as soon as they open the front door.

I love you for not needing to fill every possible square inch of your lot with house.

I love you for not needing to build the biggest house in the neighborhood.

I love you for simply wanting enough.

It’s as if by not needing to impress the neighbors, you have, well — impressed the neighbors.

This one, at least.

This neighbor who increasingly replaces “How much can I get?” with “How much do I really need?” I suspect it is something that comes with age.

And having many opportunities to re-learn that stuff doesn’t make me happy.

Certainly, not lots of it.

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Enough does.

That is why I love this house, and these neighbors I don’t know.

Do I go crazy stalker lady and knock on their door?

I’m still fantasizing about that.

Would be such a shame to scare them off so soon in our relationship.

Think I’ll just go walk the dog.

A couple extra blocks.

Just to get another look.



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