Author Topic: Neighbors1015-01 Friendly, nice neigbors - oh, the horror of it all!  (Read 16800 times)

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kingsrings

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Good manners forced me to sell my house and move to a rural area because of the hovering neighbor, that lived next door. I just couldn't tell them to get lost - I was a 19 year old kid with my first little house and they were in their early 40's -they just didn't know when to allow us some privacy, and all I had ever learned was to always be polite - especially to my elders. They were afterall my elders.

I was home with my baby while my husband worked and would anticipate their arrival easily 3 times daily that typically began at 8:00 a.m. I suppose they felt I would be lonely if they didn't come to visit - and since shift work and early retirement allowed them to be home all day - why not spend the day together - right??? Not..../

Last year, now 31, I purchased now my 4th home in a mature neighborhood in Toronto with a nice sized lot, backing onto parkland. The hunt for this home took 3 years; as I was determined to live with a certain level of privacy. The back of our home is an open window to trees and acres of green land, which was the selling feature of the house. I refuse to speak to the neighbors other than a friendly hello for which my husband thinks is a riot because I love meeting new people, love to socialize and adore entertaining.

Then we met the "Smith's", I immediately share with them my fear of attachment to neighbors and my need for privacy - "just call me before you come over and I will always do the same". A little bit of idle chit-chat in the park with these neighbors that live a few streets over, very slowly led to dinner and somehow a weekend at their cottage etc. Following which they continued to invite us to share in their time, basically whenever we are free. Fortunately, September and October has been action packed with 5 showers and 4 weddings. My husband and I love each other and enjoy spending time together on our own, as hard as that may be for some people to understand. Unfortunately these people are relentless. They've come up at our door with a homemade pie while we are preparing dinner. What does one do in this situation? The polite thing to do is invite them to stay right? Well, this is the 3rd pie this month....I'm losing my mind.
Neighbors1015-01

Some people would give their eye teeth for neighbors like this. Perhaps if you had reciprocated the dinner and weekend visit to their cottage, they wouldn't be making such blatant hints with their aptly timed gift of pie.



Wow...when and if I ever settle into a house in a neighborhood, the neighbors in question are just the type I hope to have.

DottyG

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Re: Neighbors1015-01 Friendly, nice neigbors - oh, the horror of it all!
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2007, 01:36:26 PM »
I would love to have neighbors like that.  Ones that actually care about you and want to be there for you?  Homemade pies delivered to my door?!

The poster is an idiot.  And, a jerk.  I'm glad she moved away from people.  She doesn't deserve to have nice neighbors.

(Before anyone jumps on this point, let me say that I know there is a limit as to how much one should visit.  However, it's completely possible to say to your friendly neighbor, "I'm so sorry!  This just isn't a good time right now.  Could we visit later?"  There's no reason to be as rude as this poster was.)


caranfin

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Re: Neighbors1015-01 Friendly, nice neigbors - oh, the horror of it all!
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2007, 02:06:57 PM »
All right, I'll be the beeyatch. Showing up at your new neighbor's house with a pie is kind and generous. Showing up at your existing neighbor's house with a pie, right as they're preparing dinner, when they have a history of inviting you to dinner when you do this, and when they've already told you they crave privacy and appreciate a phone call before you come over? That's not kind and generous. It's manipulative.
He was not at all afraid to be killed in nasty ways.

DottyG

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Re: Neighbors1015-01 Friendly, nice neigbors - oh, the horror of it all!
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2007, 02:14:50 PM »
Edited.....I think I'm misunderstanding the story and who's who in it.



« Last Edit: March 07, 2007, 02:16:21 PM by Dottyg »

kingsrings

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Re: Neighbors1015-01 Friendly, nice neigbors - oh, the horror of it all!
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2007, 02:29:57 PM »
All right, I'll be the beeyatch. Showing up at your new neighbor's house with a pie is kind and generous. Showing up at your existing neighbor's house with a pie, right as they're preparing dinner, when they have a history of inviting you to dinner when you do this, and when they've already told you they crave privacy and appreciate a phone call before you come over? That's not kind and generous. It's manipulative.

True their timing could of been better on that one. But her overall attitude of basically spitting on acts of such kindness and generosity is appalling. She and her husband need to move to a place where nobody else is around them if they can't bear the thought of being friendly with neighbors and people showing up announced, because that is what happens often in a neighborhood. But then I wonder what they would do if they were ever in an emergency.

ccnumber4

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Re: Neighbors1015-01 Friendly, nice neigbors - oh, the horror of it all!
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2007, 02:48:25 PM »
Boy, can I relate to this.  I have these really awful neighbors who keep an eye on my home when I am out of town.  And once, they helped me move a couch into my house.  And sometimes they even have the nerve to Sweep My Sidewalk. 

lkl492

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Re: Neighbors1015-01 Friendly, nice neigbors - oh, the horror of it all!
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2007, 06:42:03 PM »
Boy, can I relate to this.  I have these really awful neighbors who keep an eye on my home when I am out of town.  And once, they helped me move a couch into my house.  And sometimes they even have the nerve to Sweep My Sidewalk. 

LOL!

We also have neighbors like that.  One is self-employed and the other is an elderly woman so on both sides of us we  have neighbors who stay home most days.  Yes, at times they are a bit nosy, but I can guarantee you that if there was someone snooping around the house who didn't belong there, they would notice.

caranfin

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Re: Neighbors1015-01 Friendly, nice neigbors - oh, the horror of it all!
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2007, 09:31:04 AM »
All right, I'll be the beeyatch. Showing up at your new neighbor's house with a pie is kind and generous. Showing up at your existing neighbor's house with a pie, right as they're preparing dinner, when they have a history of inviting you to dinner when you do this, and when they've already told you they crave privacy and appreciate a phone call before you come over? That's not kind and generous. It's manipulative.

True their timing could of been better on that one. But her overall attitude of basically spitting on acts of such kindness and generosity is appalling. She and her husband need to move to a place where nobody else is around them if they can't bear the thought of being friendly with neighbors and people showing up announced, because that is what happens often in a neighborhood. But then I wonder what they would do if they were ever in an emergency.
You know, I love being friendly with my neighbors. They do things for us, we do things for them. I love knowing I can count on them. But if they made a habit of showing up at my door unannounced and uninvited, after I had already told them I don't like this, and they tended to do it at dinner time... I'd find it annoying, and I'd feel I was being used. I'm sorry, I don't think the OP is overreacting at all. Nor do I accept Ms Jeanne's suggestion that their gifts of pie are a hint that they expect reciprocation. I think it's just a way to get their foot in the door. A door that they've already been told that they prefer to keep closed unless it's arranged in advance. I wonder if everyone would feel the same way if, instead of neighbors, these people who kept showing up at dinnertime were in-laws or coworkers.
He was not at all afraid to be killed in nasty ways.

lady_disdain

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Re: Neighbors1015-01 Friendly, nice neigbors - oh, the horror of it all!
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2007, 09:54:08 AM »
Let's change the story a bit: instead of a couple and their neighbours, supose it is a young woman and a man. It would scream stalker!

I like my privacy as well. I know my neighbours' name, I greet them when our paths cross but I don't want any more contact than that - am I a monster? If my neighbour showed up unnanounced at my door, I would be very upset!

ganjin

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Re: Neighbors1015-01 Friendly, nice neigbors - oh, the horror of it all!
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2007, 11:34:31 AM »
I was a little bit hurt when the lovely doorbell set with the pretty brass plate was still in its box several months after I gave it to my parents as a gift.  THEN, when they were out of town for a week and I ran by on my lunch to feed the fish, I realized why (explained further by my Mom later).

The elderly lady next door came over the MINUTE I drove into the driveway.  I had brought my salad from home, intending to spend my bit of free time lunching in front of my folks' CABLE TV, but she came in, and stood in the kitchen, swaying back and forth, and talking of everything under the sun.  There was a long list of who had incurable illness, of who had "passed on" and who did or didn't go to church.

I was afraid to invite her on down into the den, hoping she'd go soon, but she just stood there.    I said, "I'm just here on my lunch hour; I've got to get back soon."   She just stood swaying and talking.   She's a dear old thing, and was living next-door before I was born, but she's just so lonely, I suppose, and just doesn't realize that she isn't welcome every minute you're home.

So I finally ushered her out, with minutes to spare for lunch.   The next day, I was on my guard, and saw her curtain drop as I drove in.   I knew I could get into the house before she could cross the yard, but she would KNOW I was there.   And for someone to wait and watch---stalkerish as it is, was so pathetically needy---what a lonely life she must have, to time her whole MORNING to that moment when a bit of human contact could be had.

So I chatted a minute in the drive, and headed into the house.   She followed me up the steps and caught the screen; I said I have to eat quick and get back.   She said don't mind me---I've had mine.    And stayed.    I just hate like anything to make someone leave my home, my space, and know how I'd feel if someone just put me out and closed the door.  

And every day, like clockwork, she appeared the moment my car entered the driveway.   One day she had a piece of needlework to show me.   Another, she had her windup clock in her hand, inquiring the correct time.   (All she had to do was wait til the stroke of Days of Our Lives---one of her main topics of conversation, then she'd KNOW it was one o'clock).  I'd stand blocking the door; she'd suddenly need a cup of sugar or some aspirin---Id go to get it, shed follow, and it was like herding cats, taking many repetitions of "I'm really busy" and the repeat of "I must eat and run"/"Oh, Honey, don't mind me."   I DID mind, and just hoped not to explode before my week was out.

 And thus, I am now at a loss as to the cheery welcome those uninvited neighbors would receive from all the posters who would usher them in with open arms.   Every time.   OP DID say she loves entertaining her friends, but wishes to have the luxury of inviting them and preparing accordingly.

She's acquainted with the neighbors, but from the first, she's told them her wishes and her terms---we'll do each other the courtesy of a call before coming over.  

Three weeks in a row these people appear armed with pie?   Always at dinnertime?   It loses the kindness and generosity of a gift because of the accompanying expectation of entertainment and dinner.    It's sweet blackmail, because she's accepted their hospitality, and they insist on receiving hers.   And it works for them.   But how many dinners will pay off the debt?  It's beginning to sound like living down the hall from the  Castevets.

I'd like to take a poll of all the posters: How many times have you cheerfully invited in an unexpected guest at dinnertime?  How many weeks would you succumb to their bait, even if it IS pie, before calling a halt?

And my parents never DID install that doorbell.




« Last Edit: March 11, 2007, 10:51:14 AM by ganjin »

kingsrings

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Re: Neighbors1015-01 Friendly, nice neigbors - oh, the horror of it all!
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2007, 11:39:22 AM »
To me, it's just the general, ingrained culture of neighborhoods and what you choose to be exposed to when you move into one, especially in suburban America. People who live in the same place are friendly and social to one another and sometimes show up unannounced at each other's doors since they do live in the same place. You're not a monster if you don't like this, but you are going to have to put up with it if you do choose to live in a neighborhood because that is what it is like.

lady_disdain

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Re: Neighbors1015-01 Friendly, nice neigbors - oh, the horror of it all!
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2007, 12:09:26 PM »
To me, it's just the general, ingrained culture of neighborhoods and what you choose to be exposed to when you move into one, especially in suburban America. People who live in the same place are friendly and social to one another and sometimes show up unannounced at each other's doors since they do live in the same place. You're not a monster if you don't like this, but you are going to have to put up with it if you do choose to live in a neighborhood because that is what it is like.

I'm sorry - I don't agree. It is about boundaries and what everyone feels comfortable with. Being nice is one thing, pushing yourself after the person has told she does not feel comfortable with that interaction is not acceptable.

If someone does not respect boundaries, they need a clue by four. No one "has to put up with" pushy people.

caranfin

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Re: Neighbors1015-01 Friendly, nice neigbors - oh, the horror of it all!
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2007, 01:08:59 PM »
To me, it's just the general, ingrained culture of neighborhoods and what you choose to be exposed to when you move into one, especially in suburban America. People who live in the same place are friendly and social to one another and sometimes show up unannounced at each other's doors since they do live in the same place.

No, it's not about being friendly. I do not think ignoring someone's explicitly stated wishes is friendly at all. This is not about your typical genial neighbor who might show up out of the blue. This is someone who has ALREADY BEEN TOLD TO CALL FIRST. Sorry to yell, but people are really missing this point. The OP told the neighbor that she doesn't like people dropping in. And they do it anyway. Please explain to me why this is not rude. I don't mean in a general "all good neighbors do this" kind of way. I mean, for this particular neighbor, who has been told that the OP prefers visitors to call first - how is it polite and friendly to ignore that request?  ???

Quote
You're not a monster if you don't like this, but you are going to have to put up with it if you do choose to live in a neighborhood because that is what it is like.

My neighborhood is nothing like this, thank God. We are all very friendly and sociable. We mow each others' lawns, shovel each others' snow, feed each others' pets. But we don't come over uninvited if we've been told someone prefers a phone call first. We don't show up uninvited on someone's doorstep at dinnertime with a Trojan pie. I don't feel anyone should have to put up with such selfish users just because they can't afford to live on an acreage, or choose not to.
He was not at all afraid to be killed in nasty ways.

ccnumber4

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Re: Neighbors1015-01 Friendly, nice neigbors - oh, the horror of it all!
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2007, 02:05:14 PM »
I think the issue that many have here is not that the writer of the story wants some privacy, I think we can all agree her request is pretty reasonable.  I think the issue is her obvious disdain for these people who bring them....wait for it.......homemade pies.  They even invited the writer and her husband to their cottage for crying out loud.  If this woman was so upset, why didn't they decline that invitation?  The simple solution would be for her to say, "Oh thank you for the lovely pie!  Sorry we can't visit right now, but I'll phone you later this week."  Be polite, set your boundaries and don't go looking for the bad in people who are just baked you a pie.   

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Re: Neighbors1015-01 Friendly, nice neigbors - oh, the horror of it all!
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2007, 02:08:42 PM »
It is about boundaries and what everyone feels comfortable with. Being nice is one thing, pushing yourself after the person has told she does not feel comfortable with that interaction is not acceptable.
If someone does not respect boundaries, they need a clue by four. No one "has to put up with" pushy people.

I have to agree with this. We know all our neighbours; we're friendly and cordial. We've borrowed cups of milk occasionally; they've borrowed books or tapes; we've swum in each others' pools. The usual. My mother even ran out of our yard screaming at the tops of her lungs when some crooks were cleaning out the house opposite (they left some stuff on the lawn, slammed the back door of the mini-bus, complete with VCR and TV cords still trailing out of the back) and it was appreciated.

But I would still get irate if they just showed up and wanted to come in and have a 'chat'. I don't always have beverages on hand; sometimes there's something I have to be doing, etc.

My aunt (previously posted about) often just shows up, then gets cross because "There's no CAKE!!!"

After a while one just gets less polite. "No, you can't come over. The gate is locked. My brother has the key. He's not here." (Or whatever.) Geez, take the hint already!


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