The Sticky Files - Marisca Bakker

Why isn’t there a word for someone who is a neighbour and friend?

Marisca ponders what she sees as a gap in the English language

Merriam-Webster’s word of the year, gaslighting, was chosen by the dictionary as its top word because it was the favoured word for the perception of deception.

There are plenty of other ways to say lie, dupe, and mislead. Is it necessary to have so many words that mean the same thing?

Then there are words that don’t exist that should. I think there should be a word for someone who is your friend and your neighbour. I have lots of those and when I try to describe them, I don’t know if I should say my neighbour or my friend. Why can’t it be a two in one word?

Why doesn’t a word exist in the English language that means both? I can’t be the only one in the world that considers their neighbours as their friends.

I live in a neighbourhood with plenty of them. And I feel so lucky that’s the case.

One of my friends/neighbours (see? Isn’t that annoying?) brought me plenty of meals when I was pregnant with my third baby. She had just had a baby herself and she was also taking care of me and my family. I’ll be forever grateful for her soul-comforting food during a tough time.

I also have a neighbour/friend who has kids the same age as mine and she helps to look out for mine when they are at school or on a class trip. She even once picked up my daughter from the bus stop when I was running late … even though her kids weren’t on the bus that day.

My next door neighbour/friend often sends me a text when she’s at the grocery store to see if I need anything and the comfort I get from knowing she is always close by is something I’m extremely grateful for.

And then there is my neighbour/friend who is an incredible source of knowledge. Whenever I’m not sure if it is pyjama day or hot lunch day, she knows. She also shoots me texts when she hears the bus is going to be late or cancelled.

Everyone needs neighbours like I have, supportive, incredible moms who are always there for each other. Like a little village. Raising kids is tough, having people nearby to help is amazing.

Even if we don’t see each other as often as we would like, I know they are a phone call away. And I hope they know I am too.

READ MORE: The world doesn’t need billionaires


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