Monday, July 17, 2006
I consider myself a fairly outgoing individual. I make friends easily, I enjoy large gatherings of people and I love having friends to go on outings with.
I am also quite shy. I put on a good front, but underneath, I often quake with insecurity and feel out-of-place and ill- at-ease. I also think that as I get older, I like people in general less and less.
I am also notorious about my desire for neighborhood anonymity.
This doesn't really work too well in happy, friendly, know-what-your-neighbors-are-up-to, Cache Valley.
My idea of a good neighbor is one who doesn't flip me off as we're both going into our respective houses. Maybe a polite, "Hey". Or, "Hot outside today, isn't it?" is ok, but that is about it.
Why am I this way?
Dunno. Could be many things. Maybe it is because my mom was always ultra concerned with what other people think. I think I inherited that trait. I SUCK at trying to keep up a facade, though, so my solution? I just don't answer my door. Seriously. If my house is unacceptably messy and you knock on my door, I simply won't answer it 80% of the time. You know that you have reached the "Inner Sanctum of Loralee's Friendship" when you can just walk in and yell, "Loralee!! Stop watching TV in your bedroom and get your lazy ass out here!!!!"
I am also uncomfortable with my kids having friends over when I don't know in advance.
It's a rule. You have to ask before playing or having friends over. If you ask on the same afternoon, it's usually okay, but you have to play outside.
Lame of me. TERRIBLE of me, but true.This rule also seems to come stem from my inadequate/lazy housekeeping status.
James brought one of his friends from school home with him once on a day that was too cold to play outside and I was chastising him for breaking "The rules". Well, this kid's mom was standing where I couldn't see her on the porch. They live 20 minutes away. I was trying to explain that I was trying to get my house cleaned for company to come over that evening. She said, "That's ok, I'll help clean while the kids play". She came in the door and started CLEANING MY HOUSE.
NO, NO, NO, NO!!!!!
Not that I didn't appreciate her kindness, generosity, whatever. It's just that no one I am not very, very,very,very,very comfortable with shall lay one finger on my house.
Do you know what happens to me if I am not a said level of comfortable-ness with a person that isn't cleaning my house??? I get pressure of speech. Terrible pressure of speech. The kind of pressure of speech that makes my entire life story pour out of my mouth before I can stop it, leaving me feeling like I need an emergency shrink session or quart of vodka or both. Now add cleaning my house to that equation and you have nuclear distaster. Yup, that day sucked six ways from Sunday.
I tried extending (A BIT) to my neighbors. That was a mistake.
We have a family with 4 kids that have been living next door for a year. It has pretty much, you guessed it...SUCKED.
"Honey, the neighbors used the lawnmower and didn't replace the gas."
"The neighbors opened all the doors of the van!"
"The neighbors caused a cholera epidemic that destroyed half of the valley!"
Okay, that last one hasn't happened. Yet.
At first I felt sorry for them and I have SO many flaws as a parent, who am I to judge, right?
I have the most frustration and trouble with the 4-year-old girl. She is allowed out all by herself all the time. I rarely see the mom even check on her. We live on a busy street. She is always dirty and her hair is never combed. She interrogates me, my kids, my husband and everyone who comes to my house about who they are, what they are doing here and worst "What is that? Can I have some?".
She cut my sons hair, I came home to her eating an entire bag of my popsicles out of my freezer and she walked into my bedroom. Did I mention that Jon and I were IN IT at the time. She gets into the stuff on my porch, leaves her toys and crap all over my yard, stairs, and porch, uses all my kid's sidewalk chalk and picks and kills my flowers. She turns on my hose and leaves it running, then gets mud everywhere.
"The Neighbors _(Fill in blank)_" has become almost a catch-phrase in our household.
Talking to her nicely does no good. Her mom screams at her all the time and I think the screaming makes her immune to listening. Talking to her mother is just about as effective as talking to her daughter. I know, I know..."The poor little girl" and blah, blah, blah. I felt that way for forever and tried being nice. If you are nice to her it gets worse. Trust me on this. I love kids, but this one has sucked all good will out of my soul.
So now I have to lock my doors when I'm home and resign myself that I will never have peace again until I move or they do.