Saturday, August 6, 2011


I received a comment on my post about the Chasewood block party that my words were extremely offensive to my neighbors, and I am writing this as an apology. A lot of what I write is meant to be a joke, and I know I tend to present the world in an ugly way, and the comment made me really think about how I sometimes go overboard in being cynical, overly critical and rude.
Writing about the block party was not meant to criticize the effort to have a block party, but the only reason I posted anything about it is because our family felt really bad and embarrassed that we had to interrupt the entire party with our stream of cars and everyone had to move the tables and chairs, especially since we had been notified in advance that there would be a block party. My mother wanted to say hello, especially to our newer neighbors who, since the block party, she has specifically told me have been particularly friendly. She is shy and didn't go, but we don't think anyone would have had a problem with her or her hijab, and they never have in the thirty four years that we have been living here.

And as an American, I have nothing against the posting of the American flag on the lamppost, and I'm sorry that my tone insinuated that I did. When I was on Fulbright, I did my best to represent America with pride.

Chasewood Lane is very close to my heart, and was an amazing place to grow up. I remember running down the street in a towel because I was invited to one of the houses in the double-digits to go swimming, and how the couple next door used to hang Easter eggs filled with candy on the tree in front of our house because their children were already grown. And how our neighbors helped us when the tree in our backyard was struck by lightning and set our pool on fire. I remember how countless families on the street bought girl scout cookies from me even though they probably had to buy them from tons of other girls. And I remember eating popsicles and collecting caterpillars a few houses down because we didn't have a willowtree, swinging on other people's swingsets, and playing in the treehouses down the block. And these are just my random memories of how other families have been hospitable, friendly and thoughtful, I know the other members of my family have their own.

So I am offering this apology, it has been a year since I wrote about the block party but I hope that anyone who was offended will have an opportunity to read this. I agree that I was being extremely facetious, and I hope it doesn't reflect on anyone's opinion of the rest of my family. Neither my parents nor any of my siblings would ever say anything disrespectful about anyone in our community. I hope that my neighbors can accept my apology, and that I can have the opportunity to thank them in person for actually making the effort to bring our neighborhood together for the first time I can remember since the Fox Hunt Farms phonebook, from which this map is taken, from 1984, the year I was born.

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