robert frost almost got it right; good fences make good neighbors-only if you have good neighbors.
we are in the process of replacing our fence, for which we paid 100% of the cost. we have a neighbor, I would guess, doesn’t particularly care for us or she’s a bitter women. want proof? easy peasy.
- the contractor missed two days, leading her to ask when the fence would done for the purpose of “scheduling the finishing on my side of the fence.” I told her we aren’t getting straight answer from the contractor. she replied, “it appears you have given yourselves no leverage with your contractor. Shame and frustration for you…” it is somehow shameful because the contractor isn’t being straight with us? i’m sorry, but I worked with a paint contractor, and the number of times we hit our estimated completion date in 4 years could be counted on two hands. completion days slip, period. that happens in the trades. not to mention, i have eliminated the word “shame” from my vocabulary since, let’s face it, it’s a word used to inflect damage. the correspondence it littered many demeaning and derogatory statement.
- i used my knowledge of painting to justify and explain my decisions. she said i’m “lecturing your neighbors” and “expounding”.
- even though i paid for the fence, for my sanity, or so i thought, I am letting her coat her side of the fence. i offer coating suggestions using words like, “recommend”, “request”, “selection”, “options”. She replies that we are, “telling them what colors they should or should not use.”
- less that 48 hours after she asks for a fence completion date, she gets upset because i have the gall to ask that the fence get coated this summer. btw, two days makes all the difference in the world. furthermore, she claims the fence “would already have a protective coating.” i made no such claim. and if I did, wouldn’t i have told her two days prior she needn’t schedule someone to coat her side of the fence?
- she is god’s gift to fence maintenance because she replaced five rotting boards one time and she repeatedly digs at us saying we are the scum of the earth when is comes to fence maintenance and, “you have never even maintained the portion of fence that separates our property.” selective memory. on, i forgot to mention the fence in nearly 30 years old.
for my sanity, i have come to six conclusions:
- she is crazy, starting to lose her facilities or both. how could she have forgotten a written conversation from two days prior?
- for my own well being, I need to devalue her opinion.
- she really doesn’t like us.
- she’s a bully. who said bullies only happen on the playground? sometimes they are just on the other side of the fence.
- no matter how nice i try to be, she will twist my words to make herself out to be the victim, the martyr or both.
- i need to avoid this women at all costs; she is clearly toxic.
for the most part, i’m handling the situation pretty well. while in the past, especially in depression, one of these interaction would have looped me for days, now they are only looping me for hours.
hence my conclusion, good fences make good neighbors-only if you have good neighbors. if you have bad or mean neighbors the golden fence will still be crap.
Grrrr . . . I have similar neighbors as well. You did well in acknowledging her toxicity. Just to add to your already great analysis: “when you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering” (don miguel ruiz). So, when is the fence going to be ready?! Lol!
thankfully, there is a fence between us again.
additionally, thank you for your kind words. you always are there for me to encourage and affirm. also, thanks for the four agreements quote. it is a good thing to remember at a time like this.
You are most welcome. Anytime!
how about sunday at 3:38 in the morning? 😉
too bad comments can be scheduled. then you could pull that off.
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Oh my lord, what a crappy neighbor. And crabby. Bless you for having as much patience with her as you do.
bullies intimidate me. i’ll just use another entrance to school rather than put up with her bullshit. sometimes avoidance is the best medicine.
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