Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Keeping The Peace

She must have spotted the Tesco delivery van pulling out of my drive, besides, she never knocks, so I couldn't pretend to be out even if I tried. I bid her to stick the kettle on as I continue to unload.

"Oooh, grapes - l can never buy those when my lot are here."

"Really? Why?"

She shrugs, "Well, they eat them.."

(Is it just me?) I place the bowl in front of her, leaving her to help herself.

"Good thing for you, you got your delivery today, Ben-Ma-Chree's not sailing tomorrow."

I agree. Ben-Ma-Chree is our only food supply route from the mainland, as well as passengers, it ferries the shipments that stock most of our Supermarket shelves. Our local produce of meat, dairy and bread gets stretched pretty thin when the storms blow in. It's not unusual to receive a phone-call to say all Tesco home deliveries have had to be cancelled.

I wonder if hubby's flight home will make it over on Friday, being only a hundred seater, it's often grounded when the weather turns sour. Heading to the utility room, I leave her scoffing grapes as I re-stock the freezer.

Returning, I grab my ciggies en-route, and usher her through to the conservatory, opening the double doors for a smoke.

"Actually, I've come over to ask you a favour.."

She waves her hand in front of her face as I light up, nose wrinkled. Resentfully, I Step out into the garden.

"What's that, then?"

"Um, well - you know Andy?"

"Your married toy-boy?"

She giggles.

I don't know him, I've never even set eyes on him, but I certainly know of him. He lives with his wife and two kids, just a few streets away. When she is on the island, which admittedly is not that much now - not since she drained the joint bank account of her errant, absent husband's life savings, she and this guy (two years older than her son) have been having this rampant fling together.

I say rampant. He comes over during the day to get his leg-over. They can't be seen out together, as she's a "friend" of his family, and people might talk.

"Well, I was wondering.."


"Would it be alright if he parks his car in your drive when he comes over?"


Clocking my face, she rushes on, "Well, no one can spot it from down here, can they? He can't park up at the top, everyone sees.."

I'm gob-smacked. No one can ever accuse her of being the most sensitive of souls, granted, but even I am surprised at her audacity. Separated from her husband, it's up to her what she chooses to do with her dubious love-life, but I'll be damned if she's dragging me in there.

"You nuts? You do realise I'm the one with the husband who works away?"

She shrugs, grinning. "But, you know hardly anyone anyway, it's different, I mean, everybody knows me over here, and well, it's not like your drive isn't shielded from the road, is it?"

Darn cheek! She is happy for me to look the scarlet floozy, just so long as it deflects any gossip away from her door. Do I really have "mug" tattooed across my forehead? This is rich, even coming from her!

Truth is, I never befriended this woman, she just took me over. I don't even like her. She never has a good word to say about anyone, myself included (as I indignantly discovered from a mutual acquaintance). So, why do I put up with it? I'll tell you why, because I hate unpleasantness, and we are neighbours, I tolerate her to keep the peace, and besides, she is a person known best not to cross. But not this time, nu-uh, there is a line, even for me.


"Sorry, no can do. He'll just have to jump on his bike, and hope for the best."

It sailed clean over her head. She left genuinely puzzled as to what the big deal is.

Hmn. Human relations, complex, aren't they?


Fen said...

Wow, audacious lass eh! Good on you for standing your ground, as if you want to be drawn into a world like that. I can't stand people that have no thought for others, sounds like she's one self centred lady.

Jazz said...

This woman really needs to get a clue...

Matt Conlon said...

People suck. Imagine the nerve!

...Eating your grapes like that!


Well done.

järnebrand said...

Well, I guess there's just all kinds of people out there, huh? I feel so sorry for you though, having a neighbor like that! And she ate your grapes too! You seem a very nice person... :) It's good you told her "no", though. Somehow I think she needed to hear that. (Even if she didn't seem to fully understand). People should never be allowed to step all over you.
It turned out a great post however.
Thank you for sharing! /Jo.

Paul C said...

Interesting portrait of human nature. 'I tolerate her to keep the peace...' Some people can be annoying but we try to get along... up to a point.

Fletch said...

Nice 'throw-away' line at the end (the one she 'didn't get'), about him having to "... jump on his bike."

Reminded me about RAFANN, actually a very nice girl with a raging libido, who was known as the camp bicycle - for the obvious reason.

That's another story ...

laughingwolf said...

glad you stood your ground!

now if only that floozy stayed away forever...

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Keep the environment peaceful... by making love and not war!!

TechnoBabe said...

I am so glad you said no. It is necessary to get along with the neighbors but what she asked was so beyond good neighboring!!!

BRUNO said...

Why, I thought THAT kind of disgusting-stuff happened ONLY on my side of "The Pond". So, question now:

WHO taught WHOM, eh...???


Wow, that was awkward said...

Ha. I'd keep her around too - because she seems to be of great entertainment fodder. Good call to reject her request though.

Michelle H. said...

The nerve of some people. And she didn't even offer to pay for the grapes she ate.

I'd be careful though, she might happen to just go ahead and tell the guy to park in your drive, conveniently forgetting the conversation with a laugh and a shrug.


#1 if i was a smoker no way would i go outside to smoke for a non smoking guest who is an asshole anyhow.
#2 i would have thrown her out on her ass with that tacky question..and not have given her any of my fecking grapes..but then..Im tacky that way..

billy pilgrim said...

riding a bike would do wonders for andy's stamina.

Tgoette said...

Amazing that some people can be so completely clueless! Good for you for telling her no. Why would anyone put themselves in that position, let alone ask someone to? Great post!

Leslie: said...

And that would be a great example to set for your own kids, right?!!

Sheesh! Indeed!!!

She Writes said...

Truth is, I never befriended this woman, she just took me over.
She is a cougar, after all!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Wow, you are way nicer than me. That was so not cool of her.


Anna said...

lol Shrinky, I really think that some people are 'air heads' lol, not to call anyone names, lol. That was funny real story. I do to try to be good with my neighbour, but then she goes and weeds out my flowers because they were slowly moving into her property. And then try to convince me that they are weeds - they were my beautiful forget-me-nots, lol. Thanks for sharing your story, Anna :)

Land of shimp said...

Oh, Shrinky! Lock the doors!! What a horrid, horrid thing to ask anyone to be involved in. Tell her to head out and buy an ounce of shame. Inform her that you're all under quarantine for a malady that has the potential to permanently sap the sex drive, and may cause incidental toenail loss.

Claim to be busy. Put all foodstuffs under lock and key.

Better yet, every time she shows up, hand her a mop, or a sponge and scream with near delight, "Oh I'm so glad you're here! I could use a hand cleaning the fireplace (bathroom, oven)." Claim there is a snake loose in the house, and she's just the person to help you find it. "You can't miss it, it's as big as a was just here...oh dear, so was that cat...Oh, you have to be leaving so soon, what a pity."

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh, my gosh, Shrinky!!!! Talk about NERVY!!!!! I CANNOT believe she asked that of you!!! I'm CHEERING for you!!!! Standing ovation!! You go, girl! Glad you showed her the door!!! And as always, you are so very witty ;-)!! Love you!!! Janine XOXO

Akelamalu said...

Well the cheeky b*****! You did right telling her no.

secret agent woman said...

I'd keep the doors locked to force her to knock. And I'd have said no, too. That's not a reasonable favor.

Sling said...

That's just crazy!..I suppose if she had just robbed a bank,she'd figure you wouldn't mind all that much holding onto the loot for her,until things calmed down.

PRH....... said...

Human Relations? No wonder I prefer the company of Airedales..... :)

tattytiara said...

I'd let him park in my driveway, just as long as he mowed the lawn and kept up with the rest of my yard work while he was there.

imbeingheldhostage said...

Holy cow. I think I would've stood there with my mouth hanging open! Wow. I'm going to go kiss all of my neighbors now and tell them how much I appreciate them.

Skunkfeathers said...

Whaddaya know...Alice Kravitz (from Bewitched) mated with a horny bulldozer, and of all the little islands scattered round the orb, she winds up on yours, as your neighbor.

I think you should let her boy-toy park in your drive. And soon as he does, put a sign on the back of his moto-cah: "He's Up The Street Doin' Whozits".

Truth in advertising, doncha know ;)

Rock Chef said...

"Jump on his bike". I love it!

Did she really not get it?

Carol@ Writers Porch/ Book House said...

YOU GO GIRL !!!!!!!!
NO floozy is gonna one up you Shrink! Loved it! XOXO :)

Mushy said...

Nice photo...most people would have just centered it!

Sandy Kessler said...

You must be very approachable..good job but it is funny isn't it the levels of madness in this

dykewife said...

holy something-or-other! that's amazing! apparently she was in the wrong line where brains and empathy were handed out before she was born.

i'm not a big one for neighbours so i'd have no problem kicking her out of my house and calling the police to have any offending automobile parked in my driveway towed away. but hey, i've always been a bit of a misanthropist.

your composure is more amazing than her cheek.

CJ said...

Good call Shrinky. It's not always easy to stand firm when asked a favor. You did the right thing.

SJ said...

Brits! *eye roll*