Do or Don’t: Randomly Stopping By Friends’ Houses


Alison Piepmeyer

A few nights ago, the boys were happily melting their brains during screentime, so I decided to take a little walk around our neighborhood…

And, while admiring Halloween decorations and texting my sister, I realized that my friend Alison’s house was on the next block. Yay, I thought, I’d love to say hi and maybe do a pratfall for her six-year-old, so I walked to her stoop and ran the doorbell.

Do you stop by friends’ houses, and vice versa? Or does it sound like your nightmare? I sort of love the Seinfeld vibes of it all.

My personal rules:
* I do it only with certain close friends, who I know are relatively extroverted and usually up for a chill conversation
* I stay for five minutes max, unless they insist I stay longer, and then still for only 15-20
* Witching hour seems like a good time with young kids, since who among us has not stared down that 5 to 7 p.m. timeframe and prayed for someone to come help mix it up
* Sometimes I’ll text 10 mins beforehand (“up for a drop by?), other times I’ll just ring the doorbell
* Now and again I’ll bring a little treat (say, a few cookies from a neighborhood café) for them to enjoy later
* And if they seem busy at all, I just say a quick hi/bye and walk on!

Brooklyn family

How cute are these little dudes?

As an extrovert, I LOVE when people stop by our place, too. My friend Rob will often swing by for a “chinwag,” as Alex used to call it; and our friends down the block sometimes walk by on their way back from the playground and end up staying for dinner. It makes the big city feel like a small town.

Do you ever stop by people’s houses? Did you growing up? Would you love it / hate it / somewhere in the middle?

P.S. How to be a neighborhood aunt, and how to say goodbye at a party.


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