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Situation: My husband is working temporarily out of town for 2 weeks (maybe more). I have 3 children ages 11, 8 and 3. All female. 2 out of my 3 daughters attend school. I am home all day without any "adult" interaction. (Except for my blogging. I always have YOU. ;) Thanks for that.) I have a neighbor. Imagine that, there are people that live next to me. ;) Anyway, there used to be a nice older woman who lived there with her son. (Actually they are still nice.) This woman's shrew of a daughter moved in WITH her four children. (Her children: Also pretty good kids. I enjoy hanging out with them too.) Also, her longtime friend, Let's call him Steve* (to protect the innocent), has moved in with her to help watch the kids. He cooks, cleans and takes after these boys and one girl. He disciplines these children when they act up. He loves these kids even though they are NOT his children. Steve is 47 years old and he is very much a people person just like me. The shrew also has a brother (36 years) that lives there. He has had numerous heart surgeries and strokes, and he has severe acne--He actually is a pretty nice guy, up until a couple of weeks ago.
Here is what happen that really got me angry yesterday. The shrew mother came home from the grocery store yesterday. She headed over to the pool where Steve and her youngest daughter was. I was there with Steve and Julia* (another woman that lives in the complex) and we were talking. This is what MOST adults do. Make friendly conversation with each other. However Julia had left about 5 minutes before the shrew actually arrived. The shrew comes in, and asks me, "Where are YOUR children?" I tell her, at home.
She says, "Your children are at home alone?" (The pool in my complex is located about half a second's walk from my home AND I had only been talking for about 30 minutes or so. AND my oldest knew exactly where I was. She is 11 by the way.)
I said "Yes."
She laid into me like there was no tomorrow. First she said, "How would your husband feel if he knew you, a married woman, were talking to Steve out here?" She continues to run her mouth at 80 miles per hour and make me think I am the worst mother in the world for leaving my precious children who are about half a second's walk from me, for leaving them a home ALONE.
I don't have a pool key. (They changed the locks and it costs about $25 for a replacement key.)
I walked to the gate, along with the shrew. and told her, "Do me a favor, don't ever write a book--'how to win friends and influence people, because quite frankly it would NEVER sell.'"
She just shook her head and said, "Listen lady, I'm not your friend and never will be." She opened the gate and let me out, still running her mouth. I normally don't cuss at all, but I had some adrenalin in me and I told her, "Shut up Bit*#!" She told me NOT to call her that again or she would call social services on me and HAVE my kids taken away from me for leaving my kids home alone for such a long time. *sigh*
So there you have it folks. I am a bad mother because I left my very capable daughter who is 11, in charge for a half hour or so, while I ran over to the pool and chatted with some friends. Yup, that's it. Married people can have friends OF THE OPPOSITE SEX AND not be attracted to them. Yup. It's true. And I did tell my husband about this run-in with the shrew. I even told him about the nice neighbor Steve, who I talk with on a daily basis, and wants to meet my husband when he comes home. (By the way, Steve used to be homeless. He has no where to stay, and the shrew's mother, knowing this, invited Steve to stay with her because her grandchildren just love him.)
What do you think? Am I a bad momma for leaving my 11 year daughter who is very capable of staying at my house while I talk to some friends IN our apartment complex, OR am I a good mama for telling shrew lady where to shove it?
By the way, this shrew always finds something to complain about. She is NOT happy unless she is complaining about something. I know, Steve has to live with her and he has told me. The shrew does NOT discipline her children much, Steve does, she rarely spends any time with them outside, and she yells at them practically all the time. I know, I can hear her from my house screaming her head off at her children.
Thanks for listening. Sorry I ranted, but I had to get this ugliness OUT of my system. Next time I see her, I am going to politely suggest smiling a little more instead of scowling, she might gain a friend or two IF she smiles.
Additional Note: The shrew is a divorced woman of 4 children trying to make ends meet. That must be hard. I feel for her. Especially in this economy. Everyone has it rough these days. But sometimes, when you face what life has given you, with a smile instead of a scowl, you pick up some support (friends) along the way. I am grateful that I am a people person and that I talk to people so that I can gain more friends. Life is hard. Who wants to be stuck up on the inside with no friends? Certainly not me. And I am NOT having a hot, torrid love affair with the neighbor next door. He's just a friend. Do YOU married people have male friends aside from your spouses? If my husband was home, this neighbor would be my husband's friend too. I'm not hiding him from anyone. I'm just shooting the breeze with some friends because I need to get out of the house to for adult stimulation.
Again, Thanks for listening people. Leave the discussion below in the comments. Please! ;)