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.
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.