My so-called life

I really need to get the appearance of a life some time soon.

My neighbor, day before Thanksgiving:  Can you bring over your dining room chairs* tomorrow morning?  I’m having company.

Me:  Um, no, I can’t.  I’m going to be using them.

Neighbor:  Why?  Is somebody coming over?

Me:  Um, yes.  I’m having company.

Neighbor:  Questions about who, their relation to me, where they live, etc.

Me:  Answers.

Neighbor:  How long will you be using the chairs?

*I will note that I did once lend my chairs out.  But not on Thanksgiving.  Also, the previous Thanksgiving I was asked to loan a roasting pan.

Same neighbor, yesterday:  Are you going to be around on Christmas Eve?

Me:  No.

Neighbor:  You’re not?  Why not?

Me:  Because I’m going out.

Neighbor:  Questions about where, who, why, etc.

Me:  Answers.  (Note that one of the answers included the details that I’m going to cook for one of my relatives.)

Neighbor:  Well, what time are you coming home?  Because we will get home around eight and I’d like to have you take a family picture then.

Me:  I won’t be home until much later.

Neighbor:  Well, what about Saturday morning after church?

7 thoughts on “My so-called life

  1. I am trying not to laugh at the intrusive neighbors and you reaction to them but it is hard. Deep down though, they are sweet, I can see they consider you family. I have a similar relationship with my 96 year old neighbor who collects my mail so that it does not get stolen and then forgets to give it to me.

  2. Wow. You are so much nicer than me. I would ask how come they don’t read their camera manual and learn how to use the timer.

  3. Oh, and also tell them about the folding chairs available just for this type of thing, they are availaebl at Walmart, Target, and online if they don’t want to go shopping. Then they will always have them.

    You are SO much nicer than me.

  4. Yoli nailed it; I think my neighbors think of me as extended family. Also I have no doubt that if I asked to borrow anything they would freely give it.

    What’s really interesting to me is my relationship with them makes me think about how boundaries are so different for so many people. Typically I would never ask so many questions. I really do think they see it as expressing interest and caring.

    But it strikes me as funny sometimes. When one of the neighbors was over the other day, she went through all of the holiday cards that were lying in a heap on the table. Then she asked questions about all the senders, especially the photo cards. (Example: How old was your cousin when he had his baby? How old is his wife? How long have they been married?)

  5. It’s cultural difference!

    Most American neighbors I know just want to talk about themselves (on and on and on) and show no real interest in knowing me. I don’t take that as respect of my privacy. I just think they are self-absorbed.

  6. I definitely think it’s a cultural thing for me. All of my Filipino family will think nothing of hugging and kissing someone they just met or asking a billion questions that most people would think would be too personal to ask. My haole husband is always saying, “Why did you need to know that?” when I’ve asked someone something. By contrast, his family just makes boring chit chat.

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