Saturday, August 07, 2010

Kill 'em with kindness, right?

This has been my mantra.

Since we have moved into our new house, almost 3 years ago, we realized that we will never be considered "mainstream neighbours". Our yard is never perfect, our kids are always fighting, our dog barks and runs away and we may have some stuff on our porch.
We could be compared to rednecks, and would probably fit in well in the community (to a point;-)

During the first year that we lived here, there was slight issue with one of the neigbours boys and a few kids that were at my house (my own and others). I brought it to the attention of the parent next door, not dropping full blame on her kid, but saying it was a mutual blame, but I thought she should know the situation.

It made me uncomfortable to do that, seeing as we moved in next to who we thought were friends from previous years, and Christians to boot. Win win in our eyes.

Ever since I confronted her, all we have received is retaliation and cowardly behaviour!! Their one son kind of creeps us the point where we will call the police if it continues. Who, in a normal state of mind, walks up and down a sidewalk glaring into the window of their neighbour?


The parents are no better...who sits on their porch and watches as the neighbour kids (my kids) mow the lawn with a dull manual mower...and then tell them that it is dangerous...when we have given them permission to use the mower (because it was not dangerous for them).

Not only that, but the parents took turns sitting on the porch staring at my I said, not normal and kinda becoming creepy!! Talk about socially inept people!!

2 weeks ago we hired a "handyman/gardener" of sorts. We knew that we had very little time to deal with our yard and it was becoming an eyesore...we knew that. We paid this man to cut our lawn and clean it up...

2 weeks ago he cut the lawn. He made arrangements to come back this past Friday and finish up the gardens and the driveway weeds.

On this past Friday we received a by-law notice that our grass was too high as were our weeds. I know for a fact that our grass was not over 8 inches and yes I knew that our weeds were too high, hence the gardener.

If our neighbours were not such cowards, and had actually spoken to us, they would have been aware that it was being taken care of and the city would not have to be involved - what a waste of our tax dollars!!

Anyhow, between yesterday and today, our gardener got the yard looking amazing!! He really has an eye for landscaping and we are glad to have him. He is even willing to build that garden around the fence and also to rip up everything around the pool to start it all fresh!!

There were a few comments made by the neighbours next door...that are just laughed off as them being socially inept and then this one person made a comment to Mr. H and it really set me off when I was told about it...

I got home from the market and I was told that the neighbour across the street, the ones that we have made meals for when he had a stroke, they gave Mr. H little jobs, we have always been very nice with, apparently said to my son "I don't mean to be rude, but your dad is lazy"...

Umm...seriously? I think I have the hardest working husband in the history of the world!! We have been married for 15 years and I have never had to hold a job and we have never been on welfare (except 3 months following our move to Ontario). Pete has held down 3 and 4 jobs at a time to support us and for me to be a stay at home mom, and a homeschool mom.

Not only does he work, he does housework, he cooks and he does laundry. He loves to work on the pool and loves to keep the vehicles in good condition...he doesn't have the skill or desire to do yard work. And he can admit that!! Mr. H generally does all that stuff, because he enjoys that kind of work and he usually earns some spending money when doing things outside the basic runnings of our house.

I went across the street and told him that he was wrong to speak to my son that way. An adult should never tell a child that their parent is lazy...that is just uncalled for in my books. My children respect us as parents and then someone steps in to try to undermine that relationship? Don't mess with me!!

I told this 70/80 year old man that he was rude and disrespectful and that my husband is anything but lazy. Pete works 10-12 hours a day driving and throwing garbage, then he comes home and some nights I am at work which means he is the only one home to deal with the kids, supper, clean up and bedtimes...and he doesn't consider it babysitting.

Then he also helps out at the church in various ways, he helped with the community centre this year delivering their flyers (volunteered his time) and he drives his kids to various activities they are a part of. We have 5 kids...5.

This man then proceeded to say that he "calls it as he sees it" and if he could work 14-16 hour days and still come home and mow the lawn...and Pete can't, then he is lazy.

That is when I lost it. That is when I said that lazy is a person who is on welfare when they are capable of working. That is when I called him an ignorant old man. That is when I told him that he should be apologizing for being rude and for speaking like that to my son, a child. That is when I felt my blood boil and I knew I had to leave there.

He said that if Pete was upset why hadn't he come over to talk to him...I said that Pete respected him more then I did...then he said that if Pete and Mr. H went over there, he would apologize to them.

So, I sent Pete and Mr. H over for their well deserved apology. The gentleman (the rude man) says "I am sorry for saying you are lazy, but I call it as I see it", you call that an apology???

He continued to call Pete lazy, to his face...because Pete wasn't the one doing the yard work...we had hired a gardener remember? And Pete is lazy because someone else was cleaning up his yard!! How many people have a house cleaner? A paid snow shoveller? A paid mower? If that is you, then you are lazy!!

He commented that Pete was lazy because he always has his hands in his pocket or a coffee in his hand...and Mr. H is a hard worker because his hands weren't in his pockets...that is when Mr. H put his hands IN his pocket. He also said that he was not the only one on the street to think Pete was lazy...I plan to ask the surrounding neighbours as I see them in the next few days if they think my husband is lazy...I want the other neighbours to know that he is speaking for I can clear it up once and for all, that Pete is not what they think...

I think that if this man worked 14-16 hour days, and apparently was active in raising his 2 (yes, only 2) children, then he obviously didn't have time to sleep properly and that has led to his obvious medical conditions (strokes and heart attacks).

If my husband is lazy because he takes time to rest, and he pays someone to deal with an area that he is not strong in, then I am glad I have a lazy husband. He is going to live a long, healthy life and will be able to enjoy his senior years...

Oh, and the next time the neighbour wants to pay Mr. H for shovelling the snow, or cleaning out their eavestroughs...I will kindly decline saying that my son does not want to contribute to the laziness of others...

Kill them with kindness? I think I am done with that now...and if I hear the "I call it as I see it" phrase again, I will respond with - "You need your eyes checked again then, cause your sight is a bit blurry" (Thanks C for that one!!)
My kids have the worlds hardest working daddy...and we are blessed with him in our lives!!


  1. I can relate to you. We had such bad neighbours we had to move. They would play there music at all hours and even went to such extremes to move their entertainment center to the upstairs bedroom that shared our wall (Duplex.) It was hell, and we were in military housing at the time too. I feel you.

  2. Good for you Ruth.....It's good to see that whether they are elderly or not, they have no right to be rude and ignorant. Where does that person get off thinking that your husband is lazy. He was probably one of those husbands that just worked and came home and did nothing but the outside work. Anyway, good for standing up to him.