Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009
Waning Moon
Sunny and COLD!

A day without retrogrades, can you believe it? But Mars goes into retrograde soon, so . . .sigh. I can never remember if that means I get crankier and more prone to fights, or have trouble standing up for myself. Guess I’ll find out!

I keep thinking today is supposed to have some deep personal significance, but damned if I can remember what it is!

Having some nice discussions with UK producers about my plays. My work tends to do well over there. Fingers crossed.

Yesterday was just flat out frustrating. I got some errands done. I can’t find my hot glue gun, so I sprang for the $10 to get a new and better one. Actually, I had a 40% off coupon, so it was much less than $10.

By the afternoon, I was finally able to start pulling Christmas decorations out. It was total chaos, so, of course, one of my least favorite neighbors shows up at the door in the middle of it in a panic about a situation that has nothing to do with me, and there is nothing I can do to help her. I explained that this was a really bad time to interrupt me, and that there was only one small thing I could do to help. I was willing to do that one thing, but that was ALL I could do. She’s always trying to get me to do things for her — I don’t mind helping out when I can, and I set firm boundaries, but when I say, “This is what I can do for you, no more” and the response is, “ But I need this, this, and this in addition”, my response is “If what I’m able to do doesn’t work for you, then I can’t do anything.” I will NOT be guilted, manipulated, or bullied into doing things I don’t/wont’ do. She’s also a nasty old gossip, and always trying to get into the apartment to see what’s on the desk or on the altar and then gossip about it.

She finally agreed to what I said I could do. I told her I had everything scattered all over the floor, and she could borrow my cell phone, but we had to do it in the hallway; she could NOT come in. So what does she do? Tries to push her way into the apartment. I realize it’s rude to manhandle senior citizens, but when I say NO it means NO, no matter who you are. She would have broken her neck if she’d tried to pick her way through wires and half-opened boxes of decorations. Plus, I don’t want her in there and talking about how the apartment looks when I’m in the middling of decorating.

I took care of her business, told her that was all I could do, I wouldn’t be around most of the weekend (which is true), and I was in the middle of something and this was it. So what happens? Not only does she knock on my door a half a dozen times more throughout the afternoon with this request and that request — none of which I could fulfill because I was up to my armpits in fabric and glue and tree branches and ribbon and stitching and a lot of other stuff — but she goes to another neighbor and GIVES OUT MY CELL PHONE NUMBER as her contact.

I basically melted down. Not at her — won’t give her the satisfaction — but the lack of respect just galls me. The complete and utter disrespect for my time and my boundaries is completely unacceptable. Whenever someone called, I said that I had allowed her to use my phone as a courtesy and that was the extent of my involvement. I could not take or deliver messages, nor could I serve as coordinator or point person on this situation.

I realize she and another nasty old gossip (they talk about each other behind each other’s backs all the time, yet spend all their spare time together) are in a competition to see who they can get to do more for them, but I am NOT playing. I have my hands full taking care of my own mom, handling her medical appointments and cooking and laundry and all of that. I don’t mind helping out my neighbors, but when I tell them what I can realistically do, I expect those boundaries to be honored.

If I’d been on a deadline and writing, I would have gone ballistic, and there would be bits of the building missing.

Needless to say, I got very little done. I have the tree table set up and the tree on it and fluffed, though not decorated. I have the Advent table set up, although not decorated yet. Part of the faux mantel is decorated, and I wrapped some things in the hutch and built and stitched the bows, shown in the photo above, because I thought it was cute and a little different. And that’s as far as I got.

Today, before I leave for my friend’s place, I’m going to wrestle the lights on the tree, and then, bit by bit, over the weekend, I’ll finish the decorating. And not answer the door OR the phone.

In spite of all the chaos, I had some very good writing sessions yesterday. I have to back up my computer — Time Machine reminded me that I hadn’t backed up in 30 days, and really, given my history of technical difficulties, didn’t I think that was damned stupid? And here I thought I was backing up faithfully once a week! So I’ll do that. I’ve got the holiday cards and lists packed in my writing bag, and I’ll take my other writing. The laundry’s ready to go. I’m going to a friend’s this afternoon to do laundry, write cards, and then cook dinner as a thank you for letting me do umpteen loads of laundry. (LIke I said, they never replaced the machines in the laundry room after the floods a few years ago, just hosed them down, and I’m sorry, but no cholera panties for me).

I baked mini scones for breakfast. Pretty good, but again, even the dough isn’t holding together properly. I think they’re processing flour differently. I will ask Pillsbury. I’m having trouble with anything I make using Pillsbury flour. I think I’ll just switch back to using King Arthur — I can completely trust their quality and consistency.

Backing up, back to the page, and then heading out!



  1. It’s a shame you answered the door the first time, she knew you were home then. I’d do the same as you now, ignore the door, switch the doorbell off, pull the curtains, only have lights on where I need them, switch off the phones, and get my head down. I’m itching to do some work this weekend, which is a good omen. So I’ll be doing the same as you – just make sure you do it too. 🙂

    All I did was write and post my overseas cards. I may write the home-postal cards over the weekend. I can’t see me getting the tree, etc, out of the loft unless I get a real surge of energy.

    • She saw me come in after my errands. I tried NOT answering the door after I told her this was it, but what she does is keep pounding on the door and calling out, and then gets the super to unlock the door “in case something is wrong”. I’ve told her that there are times (especially when I’m writing) when I CANNOT be interrupted. She completely disregards it.

      • People think that because you work from home you obviously have nothing to do all day. That’s one of the reasons I once hired an office – that and kidding the (now ex-)husband into believing I was actually working for a living too and not just sitting there waiting to darn his socks and get his dinner on the table. Shame she saw you come home, really.

  2. How infuriating having a neighbour with such bad manners. She sounds vile.

    Glad you managed to get your decorating started and I hope she leaves you alone to do the rest.

  3. Emotional leech. I hate those. I have a particularly bad taste for people who position themselves as helpless – victimization for emotional profit. I have one particular friend who grates on me when she pulls the Emotional Cripple card. Even my better half noticed and said it was too draining for him to be around.

    It’s selfish behavior, your neighbor. Imposing in general is selfish, but to continue to do so after being told you’re unable to help and too busy is thoughtless. Gossip be damned – put the old girl straight and refuse to answer the door.

    • I refuse to open the door as much as possible, but, like I said, then she gets the super to open it with the key, because “something must be wrong; I know she’s in there.”

      I put the chain on, but they try to wrench the door open and call, etc. I have repeatedly asked her not to do that, and am ignored. I have repeatedly asked the super not to come and unlock the door upon her request, and am ignored.

  4. GEEZE. I bet you can’t wait to move and have some peace. Have a good weekend!

  5. Um…can you say RESTRAINING ORDER???

    If I had a neighbor like that, it would turn violent. I would be YELLING. Just because she’s older doesn’t mean she doesn’t know how evil she’s being. You are a saint. Good Grief!!!

  6. This is going to sound wrong, but some elderly people think their needs supersede everyone else’s. They expect manners in their direction but don’t think of returning the same consideration.
    I use Kind Author flour and have for years. You’re right they’re very consistent and I am never unsatisfied with their products. Plus, their cookbook is awesome. *G*

    I hope you have a better day today!

  7. “If I’d been on a deadline and writing, I would have gone ballistic, and there would be bits of the building missing.” –LOL!

    Your neighbor is a fright. Some people! It’s a shame how she took your act of kindness and stretched it beyond belief.

    Wishing you a merry season, and a prosperous New Year! d:)

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