Posted by: Hannah | 01/31/2012

Over-Sharing Neighbour, Part 2

Remember Over Sharing Neighbour (OSN)? I haven’t mentioned her lately because between Christmas break and Hubs being off work I got out of bus stop duty for a few weeks. I’d even convinced myself that maybe she wasn’t as bad as all that – I was one cranky bitch in November & December, and now that I’m not pregnant anymore I can acknowledge that with a rueful smile.

But that last week or so I’ve been up and around again, and bus stop time coincides with Baby G’s first nap of the day – and oh my. Yeah, I’d forgotten what a puddle of batshit crazy she is. Not only her, but her whole family. There Goes The Neighbourhood crazy. OUCH.

Let’s see… so many sad / ridiculous / you’ve got to be kidding me stories, where to begin?

The Car Accident

Her husband (who isn’t actually her husband, I’ve found out – she called off the wedding at the last minute because she had second thoughts, but still moved in with him and had his baby because OF COURSE SHE DID) was rear-ended by a speeding cab on his way to work one day. The vehicle was written off and injured his shoulder quite badly; since he works in a physically-demanding job this is a problem. I sympathize! I do! That sucks! However, Mr. OSN seems to view this as winning the lottery only with better drugs. Probably because he’s watched too many American TV commercials for Cellino & Barnes, he thinks he will get a Fat Settlement of Awesome if he just keeps rejecting every completely reasonable offer that is presented to him. So he sits at home, not working, smoking two packs a day and taking heavy-duty painkillers, waiting for his ship to come in.

The Grandkid

You may remember that her 18 year old stepson and his 16 year old ex-girlfriend are expecting a baby. This is just a sad story all around; the baby has a heart defect and will require surgery immediately after birth; the teen parents have been fighting and hurling accusations at one another for the entire pregnancy; and OSN’s family have made several very racist comments about the young mom because she’s native and that’s about what you’d expect from one of ‘them’. Most recent event, after a knock-down drag-out fight brought on contractions, the girl was placed in the hospital for observation. She’s still in there and ex-boyfriend is too (no one finds it strange that he’s lurking by her bedside even though he’s the one that put her in there in the first place). This morning I hear that stepson called home last night at midnight demanding that someone bring him some leftovers to eat because he’s starving. Also a cup of coffee. And step on it.

The Haunted House

Also this morning, OSN asks if I know anything about the previous tenants in their house. “We’re really trying to find out,” she says with her usual wide-eyed and dramatic delivery. I don’t know anything about the previous tenants, and tell her so, but then comes the bit I dread – the bit where she keeps talking. “Mr. OSN thinks the house is haunted. By the ghosts of dead children. He thinks that’s why we fight so much; it’s the dead children trying to make life difficult.”

Um. Yes. THAT’S obviously the problem. Dead children. Because it’s entirely possible that a bunch of kids could have died in that house and I’d never have heard about it. In this neighbourhood, where over-sharing is actually something of a hobby, this is unlikely. Also, I doubt very much that any vengeful young spirits would seek to right wrongs by causing the breakdown of a not-quite-marriage. I think I saw that movie once.

So here we are. OSN’s six year old wants to be friends with Harry – and on the face of it that would be ideal, because everyone wants a friend who lives practically next door. But here’s the thing: you go for nine months with no caffeine, watching what you eat, keeping your stress levels manageable. You labour for nearly 30 hours to bring your firstborn into the world. You spend six and a half years of your life trying to make him a productive member of society. You’ll be goddamned if you’re going to just stand there and let him hang out with chain-smoking crazy people. I recognize that when he gets older I won’t have the luxury of vetoing friends that I find undesirable, but for right now I have that right, and I’m exercising it.

However, I’m still a people-pleaser. So today when her parting shot was “can Harry come bowling with us on Saturday for my kid’s birthday?” I didn’t say “OMG NO NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS WILL I ALLOW YOU TO HAVE RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY OF MY CHILDREN DEAR SWEET JESUS” I instead lied and said he was going to his grandmother’s. I hate lying. But it turns out I hate confrontation even more.

 

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Responses

  1. I’ve exercised that right before. For much of the same reasons. In the hopes that they would make the same choices on their own when older.
    R has one friend who has nut job parents. Parents who leave the kid stranded at our house, not returning or answering phone calls after their OWN KID has been calling ALL DAY. Anyway…he’s nice kid, but. Thankfully, R recognizes that even though he’s a nice kid, and friend, he doesn’t exactly share the same family values or life goals (R decided that on his own).
    Did I mention R is a very good boy?

  2. “I see dead people – they’re everywhere.”

    “REDRUM REDRUM REDRUM”.

    Ack, this is over the top crazy. I know a woman who can barely keep track of her kids; once she offered (although, not really, more of a lip service thing) to pick my kids up after school when I had my vein surgery. UM NO. I thought “You forget your own kids half the time, I’m not handing you any more responsibility!” Eeee.

  3. My mother, told me some 35 years ago, that if ever anyone suggested something that I didn’t think was a good idea, that I had her permission to lie and tell the person that either a) my mum wouldn’t let me, or that b) I had a family commitment that particular day/time and my mum would be really mad if i didn’t participate.

    Now she had in mind all those peer pressure scenarios of drugs, sex and rock n’ roll – but I think that rule would apply here too. So using a grandmother as an excuse, to avoid a situation that would be unduly stressful, unhealthy, or even dangerous totally works for me.

  4. Bummer. On the other hand, isn’t it sort of nice that your assessment was validated instead of having to be written off as part of The Crankiness? I always find that rather satisfying.

  5. Did you laugh out loud at the dead children haunting them thing? Because I just did. I might have snorted as well. I kind of wish I could rescue those kids though (the 6yo and the baby) because they just seem doomed to carry on the crazy.

    • Marilyn: My jaw actually dropped and while I didn’t laugh, I did say that I thought Mr. OSN needed to get out of the house more. Once I got back in the house I laughed until I cried.

      Samantha: It is, actually. I mean, I know I was horrendous for those two months but at least I wasn’t delusional.

      Catherine: My mom told me something similar. Still, I suppose I’d better call her and let her know that she’s been used as an excuse in this particular case.

      Nicole: But don’t you find it hard to tell people outright that you’d rather eat live toads than let them have charge of your kids, even for a little while? I wonder why that is? Anyone?

      Misty: R is a fantastic kid. And I did have a conversation with Harry this afternoon about the lie I told, and why. I hope it makes an impression on him that he’ll remember when they are all teenagers.

  6. Hey, if there’s an upside to you having an over-sharing neighbour with a crazy family, it’s that we get to hear the stories! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Hah. This is actually quite funny. Well, maybe not to you… 🙂

  8. You’re a better person than I am. I’d be tempted to make several vague references to the mysterious family who use to live in her house, who were nocturnal and liked to dig in their backyard when the moon was full. Then I’d glance around nervously and change the subject. Try it — it’ll freak OSN out, I’m sure. Maybe after she goes, new/normal people will move in.

  9. 1. Of course she didn’t MARRY him. I mean, having his baby last 9 months, but marriage photos are FOREVER.

    2. I assume he cut the cab off. But maybe I’m just making malicious assumptions. And by maybe I mean probably. But that doesn’t make me wrong.

    3. Oh my gawd, that poor unborn baby. It’s had more prenatal bad luck than I have had my whole life.

    4. Remember, kids – when Mommy and Daddy fight, it’s your fault. EVEN AFTER YOU DIE.

    5. While I wholeheartedly endorse your keeping Harry out of this woman’s clutches, especially on field trip type enterprises, I wouldn’t worry too much about keeping Harry away from this family in general. I remember as a kid being very sensitive to the atmosphere in other people’s houses, and feeling very averse to repeating uncomfortable house visits. Coming from a household where parents rarely fought, never smoked, and things were reasonably clean, I hated visiting kids who had parents who quibbled like children, smoked, or left general filth lying around (one of my friends’ houses frequently had DOG FECES on the floor).

  10. Ooh, or, OR, you just tell them that you told Harry about their GHOST CHILD problem and that he’s too scared to go near any of them but too shy to admit it.

  11. […] when he was in a car accident? My god, I blogged about that in JANUARY 2012. So, creeping up on two years ago now. He was […]

  12. […] Part 2 […]


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