Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Neighbor or Nuisance?

Well, I am annoyed. And so I am going to talk about my annoyance. Because this is what blogs are for, right? Sharing one's annoyance with the world. So listen up, world!

My neighbor is is fairly bad shape financially right now, (as who isn't!) and has been relying increasingly heavily on me to assist them in their life. For example, I take them shopping once a week, and allow them to use my computer when they wish, and run them on errands, etc. Mostly it is my car and my computer that they seek. However, this fairly reasonable requirement has increased over time, to being nearly every other day, and taken pretty much for granted. And if it is something that my neighbor feels uncomfortable asking me to do, they won't tell me what it is until they are already in my car and we are on the road. Thus I cannot, really, refuse to do the series of errands they want my chauffering for, without looking really obnoxious and witholding.

So there have been a few times when I have expressed myself -- such as "No, I'm not taking you to buy liquor twice a week -- besides the trip to the liquor store you always make when we grocery shop -- because even if you are willing to spend that kind of money on liquor, I am not willing to contribute to this problem." The result has been an offended and angry neighbor, who feels quite free to express this anger and offence to me. And I agree, I should not be involving myself in this drinking problem, as I am not their mother or their boss, but then, they should get themselves to and from the liquor store without asking me to chauffer them.

And then there are the annoying opposite times, when I am ready to help Neighbor in some way -- like this past Friday morning, when I had the house ready for them to come and use the computer -- and they did not arrive when they said they would. Or at all, in fact. And I, waiting nearly an hour past my usual Leave-for-work time, had called and left messages, and finally said, "Okay! I'm leaving!" and left. And the only reason, which they left on my answering machine later that morning, was that they didn't get up in time.

Okay. So this morning. My neighbor had called and told me that they were coming to use my computer today, and so I needed to pick them and their son up in the morning, and take the son to school and then take them back to my apartment, where they would be until the son got out of school, and then they would find their own way home, unless I let them wait in my apartment until I got home from work, and then took them home. Oh, and the son-to-school-in-the-morning thing would be every morning this week and a few next week, too. When, for several seconds, I was unable to respond, such was my shock and surprise at this series of demands, they added, "Please."

So, I began preparing my house for this, since, although tidy, it is not company-ready at all times, (plus I just had a migraine) and it was going to have a non-family, non-friend in it all day long! I left some of the tidy work to be done in the morning, and went to bed. However, last night was a white night. I was completely unable to sleep. Listened to three CDs of my book on tape, and finally got a bit of sleep between six and seven in the morning. Didn't make it out of bed until seven-thirty, though, and was due to pick up Neighbor and Son at 7:50. So I raced around, putting dishes in the dishwasher, closing my bedroom door on my unmade bed, etc. Remembered the vacuum cleaner in the back seat of the car when I hurried out to the car and found it! Had to run back upstairs with it, and finally made it to Neighbor's house, five minutes late.

Neighbor said, "Oh, no -- I'm not coming over this morning. I've got errands to do, and all. Just take Son to school, and I'll see you later. Maybe do some shopping tonight?"


They did give me some gas money, though. I am really frustrated with this. To what degree am I supposed to be giving and helpful, and to what degree is this person just imposing themselves on me?

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