Very often another post inspires a post bringing out something that had been percolating. Thank you Bethany!
We lived here about ten years then a couple built a mammoth house right smack next to us. They could have moved over a bit because they have a double lot. But no, as close as could be. They were selfish acting and self-centered. Perhaps they both have chips on their shoulders because they have divorced others to marry. Not that that’s a problem for me, but my bet is they’ve taken a lot of heat from others involved.
When I didn’t reciprocate because I liked my privacy, like not enjoying him yelling off the balcony when I was tending my flowers, they became more intrusive not less.
So last summer I took over my most splendid flowers in a huge bouquet with a note also personalized with a photo of one of my flowers and explained that I am a private person, but wish that they enjoyed this little plot of land as much as I do. I also gave my telephone number in case she’s alone and feels the need to call for help.
They haven’t bothered me since other than the barking dog when they chain it out, but seem to like to buddy up with the neighbors across the street, the ones who have always been very friendly, but since the new ones came and have interacted with them, she is no longer friendly to me. Samuel thinks I’m just imagining it.
My sense is that the new people gossiped about me and she believed the gossip. It has happened to me before in the workplace, when a co-worker spread gossip and the friendly secretary became suspicious of me, unfriendly, removed and cautious, as if a viperous snake had entered her space, not a good feeling in my gut.
Lynn, our once friendly neighbor across from us, used to come sit with me on occasion when I was out in the driveway with my grand-children. She stopped coming. At Christmas, no card or plate of cookies. She has known me in a neighborly way for over ten years. She brought gifts, once her hand-painted trivets that still hang on the kitchen wall. Another time a photo of our house with a rainbow behind it. She framed it with her hand painted two color brush stroke. Yet a newcomer shows up and nothing, no hi’s, nothing.
She believes whatever gossip she is told? That is my definition of weak, like sheep in a herd. And do I care if I’m not friendly with Lynn anymore, who lacks her own sense of what is right and the character to believe what she has learned about me herself over the years, not some one-sided gossip?
And what evil horrible thing could they have told her? That I wasn’t friendly? Well that much is true. I feel I have to close the borders because there aren’t any except a cup of air. I haven’t offed anybody in real life, so I’m safe on criminal acts.
It doesn’t seem much compared to be being run down in the road by a car as Bethany was. I cannot even think of a word to describe such an evil act.
Still, it is bothersome how others cling to gossip or each other when another doesn’t give them what they want, or behave how they want. I choose to keep to myself, and cannot be so friendly that each time I go back in my gardens they want to talk or interact, they are just too close as it is. They put their path to the creek right next to ours, their garden, their shed, etc, I can hear them talk they are that close. This is the country where people live because they want space. Coming from the city she wants closeness. We are oil and water.
It is interesting how the two neighbors cling together, as if ostracizing me, bringing up family of origin feelings of being left out, unloved, and invisible.
It took me over a year to speak up to the neighbor on the other side, also close, who chained their doberman pinscher up every day by the door and it barked continually for an hour or so. Not one prone to headaches, I began having them.
Finally I called and complained. It took several calls leaving a message because they wouldn’t answer the phone. I am so glad they didn’t. It was hard enough to speak my truth in a civil way to a machine.
People tend to be selfish. It takes a very greasy wheel to get others to SHUT UP, or SHUT UP THEIR DOG, or to do the right thing. Otherwise they tend to do what is easiest for themselves.
I hate having to speak up to people to do what they ought to know what to do without me having to tell them. Even over the phone my hands shake, and my voice rises from the backed up emotions.
Good fences make good neighbors. (Robert Frost) Even Benjamin Franklin is known to have said, “Love thy neighbor, yet don’t pull down your hedge.”
Our 20 pine trees keep growing!