Okay, I have previously blogged about the lady that lives across the hall, A.
She is relatively nice, well maybe polite is a better word. But she has crossed the line! There have been several occasions she has knocked on our door. Can I borrow your phone? Will you look this up on the internet for me? Will you run down and fix the boiler? Can I borrow your flashlight? Will you call the building manager for me? Can I chat with you incessantly about my issues with the landlord? NO NO NO!!!
Usually we are polite and just do what she asks, because, hey, it doesn’t take that much time out of our lives and then she will leave us alone for several days. We usually try to make things as brief as possible. And, I never, never let her in the flat. It is one room. It would be like letting some slightly imbalanced person that you barely know into your bedroom. no. thank. you.
So about a month ago she knocked on our door at 11:30 p.m. (on a Sunday!) to ask if Rob would be willing to go turn up the pressure on the boiler for her. Usually we would say yes to this request as it takes like two minutes, but honestly. Who knocks on someone’s door at 11:30 p.m. on a Sunday? So I said no. Sorry, we will not be involved in your current level of insanity and we have already showered for the evening. I will happily wash my face in cold water if it means never having to deal with you again! So the tense politeness goes out the window and she gets pissed and starts telling all of our other neighbors that we are rude.
Whatevs. I couldn’t care less. I do not want to be friends with my neighbors. We live in a crummy little flat in a scetchy neighborhood because we are students. Maybe when we move to someplace nicer I will have the desire to knock on my neighbor’s door with homemade cookies in tow, but not now.
Pack to my point, after we rudely told A that we were not interested in fixing the boiler for her we didn’t hear from her for about a month. It was heavenly. Then it happened. Friday she knocks on my door. I don’t answer. I know who it is. She knocks again. She knows I am home, she can hear the T.V. damn. So I open, I am polite, but short with her. She wants to know if I will look something up on the net for her. I say, sorry, I am working on a paper, I have a deadline to meet (which, this is true). She is insistent. I say, I know what you are asking me to look up can sometimes take quite a bit of time, I really don’t have the time. She still is insistent. So I look it up (she wanted the alternative to an 0845 number). I look, there isn’t one so I say, sorry, I have to get back to work. And I practically have to push her out of the flat (which she barged into of her own accord). And tell her that I really do have a lot to work on since I am finishing up my MA right now. She promises she won’t bother me again. Like I believe that.
I was livid. I feel trapped in my own home. This is the problem. She is always polite to me, she always makes it seem like she just has some small request that isn’t inconveniencing me that much. Like I would be a total bitch if I didn’t just do it. So I don’t feel like I can be openly rude to her and say, “Back up lady! Don’t knock on my door ever again!” Which is what I would really like to say. I would love to put a sign on our door to that effect, but she is home, all day, every day. I don’t know what she does, but she never leaves. And, given that I am furiously working on my research, I am home too. So I feel trapped. I feel like if I am not polite to her it is going to get worse. I just feel like I can’t break out of this polite crap and be up front about the fact that it makes me feel very uncomfortable to have her knocking on my door. I would never knock on anyone in my building’s door. Because I don’t know them and I don’t want to. I don’t talk to people on airplanes, I don’t talk to people on the subway. I am not the type of person to say “good afternoon” to someone I walk by on the street. I would just rather not. So, forcing me to know you is rude. I didn’t ask for it!
So, if someone was perfectly polite to you but continually making you uncomfortable what would you do? Drop the act and be like, FYI you totally creep me out? Because honestly, that takes balls.
We have no welcome mat outside our door and guess what, you aren’t welcome.