Posted by: Hannah | 09/27/2013

Over-Sharing Neighbour, Part 5

I haven’t blogged about Over-Sharing Neighbour since FEBRUARY. I deserve some kind of award for my restraint, really.

(Actually it’s because it was more of the same, day in and day out. Then summer came and we had two blissful months of zero interactions.)

It’s almost October, though, and while there haven’t been any great huge revelations like there were last year, there are still tidbits coming through that just make me laugh and laugh. Sometimes I even laugh out loud and say things like “but that’s ridiculous!” or “seriously, are you hearing yourself?” This has done one positive thing – she’s stopped telling me this stuff in front of the kids. FINALLY.

So, let’s all get up to speed, shall we?

The Stepson

Remember him? The 18 year old illiterate baby daddy on probation with anger-management issues and a drug habit? He’s gone. As soon as his probation was up, he moved to Ontario to stay with his aunt. She was supposed to keep an eye on him. He’s in jail now. He was convicted of NINETEEN COUNTS of break and enter.

OSN of course told me this with glee. Apparently Mr. OSN is saying that Stepson should come for a visit once he gets out, and OSN is refusing to countenance such a situation since he did in fact steal from them, too. I’m Team OSN on this one. However – imagine his aunt, for a minute. Let the notion of someone agreeing to take in an adult nephew for the ostensible purpose of supervising his “fresh start”, only to see him get heavier into drugs and start breaking into every house in the neighbourhood for saleable goods to feed his habit? Yikes.

The Grandson

Not a peep about him and I’m not about to ask. However, he’s not living with them, so I’m guessing Mr. OSN lost his bid for custody.


Remember 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 rear-ended, same as we were.


Yup. Two years. Two of them, folks. He’s been home. Just… home. Well, except for when they’ve been apple-picking and camping and driving to Ontario and all sorts of other physical pursuits that don’t seem to bother his back but, you know, his back is too bad for him to go to work.

He’s still getting disability payments, I gather. Which he is using to fund his new get-rich-quick scheme. (Brace yourselves, kids). He buys things on eBay. Like, a lot of things. Like, every day he’s getting half-a-dozen packages from all over the place. He’s stockpiling them in the garage, and he is going to resell them for fat cash, yo.

Wait! Let me tell you, in his own words. (Oh yes, did I mention that he’s started coming to the bus stop in the afternoons, too? I didn’t? Yup. It’s been not at all awkward.)

You know stuff you can buy at Wal-Mart? I did some research and you know what I found out? What they’ll sell for $15 only costs them 50 cents to buy from China! (ed. no shit, Sherlock. Figured that out all on your own, didja?) And you can buy that stuff on eBay! So I’m buying a bunch, and I’ll sell it on Kijiji for $10! I can’t lose! (ed. He actually said ‘I can’t lose’. You can’t make this up, people).

He also auditioned for Big Brother Canada, which he confidently expects to not only get cast on, but also to win. He’s got the prize money spent already. He wanted OSN to go line up with him at 5AM so his 32-month-old daughter would be in the lineup too because “the producers are a sucker for a cute baby.”

Over-Sharing Neighbour

Maybe I’m mellowing in my old age. Maybe comparing her to the new mom in the neighbourhood is making her look downright reasonable in comparison. (And no, I won’t be blogging about that one – there is other stuff going on in that situation that crosses the line from schadenfreude to kicking a puppy. It’s just sad.) Or maybe, just maybe, OSN has grown up a little bit.

She doesn’t irritate me as much as she used to. And we’ve actually shared some pleasant chats.

I know.

It’s not all hearts and flowers, though, dear me, no! There’s still more than enough crazy to keep me from inviting her in for tea some morning.

The big story this week was that – once again – she told me in tones of Great Seriousness that she was leaving Mr. OSN. See, she always wanted him to leave, because she’s the one with the kids and the dog. They’re renting a house right now and she’s quite right when she says that it would be difficult if not impossible to find another house, at a comparable rent, with a backyard. And as it happens, I agree that Mr. OSN should be the one to leave if they decide to end their relationship. BUT! Why would he leave? If he stays, his laundry is done, his meat is carefully cut up for him, his house is clean, and the bills are paid (she works nights at a minimum-wage job). All he has to do to keep the gravy train rolling is… nothing at all, and he knows it.

Anyway! Step one in her “I’m leaving” plan is to get a car, because she will need transportation. She asked me my opinion about a 2005 Elantra. I suggested that if she’s going to borrow the money, that she ought to get that squared away before she started car-shopping. That was yesterday morning. She was going to call the bank! She was buying a car! She was going to keep it and pay for it with her money and only have one set of keys, and one fine day she was going to drive away in it, presumably like Thelma and Louise, or something.

By afternoon bus stop, that had all gone to poo… because she called her dad and asked for a drive to the bank. And he asked what I was borrowing money for, so I told him. And he asked what Mr. OSN thought of it, and I said I wasn’t telling him until the car was bought. And dad chewed me out for keeping secrets, and said he wouldn’t take me anywhere until I told the truth. So I did, and now I’m not getting the car because Mr. OSN says we don’t have the money.

There are no words. I can’t even begin to parse everything that is weird about that story. I don’t even know if it’s true. I don’t think the situation she’s in is abusive, or hopeless. I think she’s bored, and frustrated, and wants out – but she only wants out in a way that means she doesn’t actually have to do anything. I find that strange. I’ve put more effort into grinding coffee beans in the morning, for heaven’s sake.

Best part of this story? She told the whole thing to new neighbour and I, in a series of rapid whispers, as Mr. OSN picked up another armload of counterfeit Chinese goods from his mailbox.




  1. What a great Dad she has. “No, I’m not helping you leave your toxic relationship! It would be bad for your relationship!”

    • Right?? That’s it exactly! I know my face had a quizzical expression on it at that point. I could actually feel my brow furrowing in confusion.

  2. Can’t the woman just take a bus or taxi or something to the bank? Get a ride from a friend?

    • To be fair, there is no bus service where we live. A taxi to the nearest bank would run a fair chunk of change. And her friends seem to be in worse straits than she is. Her best friend in the whole world is a single mom of 8 week old twins. She doesn’t have a car, either.

      • If this woman has no way to leave her house independently ever, this is a Crazy problem.

  3. I liken people like OSN to dangerous snakes at the zoo: from far away they look almost tolerable, but close up they are terrifying and I really want a nice pane of thick glass between us.

    I’m probably becoming too cranky in my old age, but I find I’m less and less able to deal with some people’s constantly messed up lives that never improve because they expect a solution to drop out of the sky on a sparkly pegasus or something (shakes fist)

    • Love it. And yes, I just have no patience for it. She’s not actually trapped, she just likes to pretend she is. NUTS.

  4. OH SHUT THE FRONT DOOR. What? Wow, that is seriously messed up on so many levels. But ha, ha, ha, I laughed about the Chinese goods. LIGHTBULB!

  5. OMG. You mean stores pay LESS for the stuff than they SELL it for? Bastards!

    And you HAVE to stand there. You can’t get away! Do you get periodically tempted to stab out your own ear drums just so you can honestly say sorry, I can’t hear you? Ahhhhh, the crazy, it burns.

    • Yes, and they have a 3 year old too, so that means I’ll be standing at the bus stop with them for years and years and years. *weeps*

  6. You might not like talking about OSN, but I sure like *reading* about it… (*evil cackle*)

  7. […] Part 5 […]

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