So we have this neighbour. Our next-door neighbour. He’s called Eddie and he’s probably in his 60s. I’ve never particularly liked him. I dunno why. But he’s always been friendly enough and to start with it was nice having a pleasant neighbour.
Pretty soon after we moved in he started asking little favours. This and that; no biggies. One time he asked Hedgehog to drive him somewhere when he didn’t have his car, for example. Then when I was in labour with Nookie we asked a big favour of him, as we were desperate, and asked him to dog sit for us until our paid dog sitter could get here. He did, and even went and got her when she got lost. We thanked him profusely and got him a bottle of wine for his trouble.
All good. But then the favours started escalating. At first we didn’t mind. We figured we owed him one. Sometimes he wanted to borrow £10. Sometimes he needed a lift somewhere. A couple of times he was going away for a week and needed me to feed his dog while he was away. But over time the favours have become more numerous and more outrageous. He’s becoming a nuisance!
For starters, over a month ago he borrowed £10 that he still hasn’t paid back. I’m a bit peeved about that really. And then the other day he accosted me whilst I was in the garden playing with Nookie and sheepishly asked another “really big favour”. Here we go, I thought. It transpires that he was caught driving over the limit recently (apparently there was still alcohol in his system from the night before and he hadn’t realised), and has been banned from driving for two years! And guess who he wants to be his personal chauffeur from now on…?! I was quite flabbergasted actually that he would ask something like that of his next door neighbour! I didn’t know what to say. I’m not the most assertive of people and I always try to be polite and nice, but I was so dumbfounded by this request that I couldn’t do anything but mumble about how difficult that would be for me. In the end I tried to make it clear to him that it’s not really workable for me to do something like that, and that it would have to remain for emergencies only. He assured me he wouldn’t ask all the time, and it would only be for important stuff, but somehow I’m not reassured.
What kind of person asks something like that of a brief acquaintance?! I wouldn’t ask such a huge “favour” from a close family member! It’s ridiculously imposing. And I say “favour” because, well, that’s not a favour! That’s a job! I’ve decided that from now on if he knocks on the door and asks I’ll tell him I have plans or have been drinking myself, or any number of things. Unless it’s something trivial he wants me to drive him for and then I’ll have to be assertive and tell him it’s not on! I don’t feel like I can go outside any more because he’ll accost me again. And his favour-asking is getting to the point where… I don’t want to live her any more! I can’t imagine living next to him for the next however many years.
Couple that with the fact that today we got a letter from the council telling us a neighbour has complained about our dogs messing in the communal garden, and us apparently leaving it there. I can’t tell you how annoyed I am about that! The communal garden is full of little piles of poop from all the neighbourhood dogs and it drives us crazy because Nookie runs around out there barefoot. It’s digusting! We ALWAYS clean up after our dogs. I take them out three times a day, equipped with poop bags, and clean up every time. The only time I leave anything is if they’ve got diarrhoea, and then what can I do? I do my best to clean up the liquid but there’s always something left behind that I can’t do anything about. But for one of the neighbours to suggest otherwise strikes me that one of them has a vendetta against us. Probably the same person that keeps leaving huge scratches down the length of our car!
All in all we’re starting to feel a bit resentful of our neighbours and a bit persecuted. And it’s making us seriously reconsider whether we do actually want to live here any more. I used to like living here, but some of the neighbours that have moved in lately are blatantly rude to us. The two neighbours across from us never say hello and often throw dirty looks my way when I’m out there with Nookie. The guy who recently moved in to the left of us has already told Nookie off for running through his garden (because, you know, she might disturb the grass or something!), and always gives me dirty looks when he walks past. And with Eddie now becoming such a nuisance… well, I don’t want to live here any more.
So… that’s sort of scuppered our future plans. We’re going to look into moving into a house. We are entitled to, and I’m sure the council will be more than glad to get their supposedly disabled-adapted bungalow back now we no longer need it. But the idea of moving doesn’t fill us with relish. Moving with two dogs and numerous cats was hard enough. Stick a toddler on the top of that, and the fact that Hedgehog now only has one leg, and it’s a recipe for a first-rate fucking nightmare! *sigh* On the plus side, we could get a house with a garden, and a bath-tub, and a whole lot more space. And we would never have to deal with our bloody neighbour Eddie ever again!