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April 23, 2007


"Hi, can I come in? Thanks. My kids are sick right now and I need something to bring their fever down. Do you have anything? Maybe 10 or 12 pills?"

"Hi, can I come in? Thanks. Do you have any NyQuill?"

"Hi, can I come in? Thanks. I'm having some money issues right now and need to know if I can borrow $10 to pay for my anxiety meds. I get paid on the 1st or the 3rd."

How do you say no to a neighbor you really don't want to piss off?

Until recently we called this family in the rental across the street "The McCreepys" because, well, they creeped us the fuck out. I did my best to avoid them, although it's hard, since they are often on their porch, drinking *many* beers, and they love our dogs.

A few months ago Mrs. McCreepy saw our mail get stolen. She told me about it, and I thanked her profusely for letting me know. Since then, she will randomly knock on the door, invite herself in, dump all her problems on me, then plays with the dogs and cats for a half hour before asking me for something she needs.

Not only does it really bother me that she invites herself into my house, but I don't care to hear about how her doctor won't prescribe her narcotics, or her kid has lice (ew) and got sent home from school, again (double ew), or even, that her older child's friends are not allowed to bring guns into her house - they have to leave them at home(!!). I'm glad she feels comfortable chatting with me, but I'm really not happy with the apparent level of intimacy that we seem to have instantaneously developed.

And the money borrowing thing. That really bugs. It's not the money itself - I have the $10 she needs - it's the fact that we hardly know each other and she is asking me to loan her cash for a couple of weeks. I know it was probably hard for her to ask, and I know it sucks to need money, but there are places that exist solely to assist with this sort of thing.

And the fact that she has plenty of cigarettes and beer while asking me for money...don't even get me started there.

Help me out - internets. Is this normal and I'm just being touchy? Or can I politely tell her to shove it?

Posted by Ensie at April 23, 2007 02:53 PM

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I think you need to just start becoming more unavailable whether talking on the phone or heading out to a meeting (a.k.a. chilling at a nearby coffee shop). Don't think there's any other graceful way out of your new found relationship.

Posted by: KevinFreitas at April 23, 2007 09:36 PM

That's a bummer. She's not going away anytime soon. You will be forced to endure her or be rude. Keep us posted.

Posted by: AP at April 23, 2007 10:18 PM

I'm afraid you're both right. I really don't want to be rude, so I may employ the coffee shop technique. I would like to think she'll take the hint after a few times, but I seriously doubt it.

Posted by: ensie at April 24, 2007 08:16 PM

Tell her off. Politely but firmly. Or evade her as best you can. I'd hate to be in that situation. You should be comfortable in your own home.

Posted by: Violet at April 25, 2007 07:15 AM

You could refuse to lend money, period. No discussion. (To make it easier on your want to help, think of it this way, you are really paying for the beer, the extras, not the medicine.)

Don't let her invite herself in. Stand outside and talk for a few minutes, perhaps, and then make an excuse to go back in.

She may need a friend, and a few kind words from you may make a difference, but it can be done without infringing on your rights.

Posted by: Marcia at May 4, 2007 08:13 AM

Thanks Marcia. I appreciate the advice, and will likely follow your suggestions.

Posted by: ensie at May 4, 2007 09:11 AM

Been there. Including people I'm related to, which means I can't just tell them off. (Though I have in my dreams.) So far, my thoughts on folks like that is that changing their behavior is pretty much out of the question, so you have to change yours. Out of the goodness of your soul, give the 3-5 minutes when you can, but then be prepared to offer your apologies on why you must go/get back to work/clean the toilet/etc. You know it's coming ... so just be prepared.

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