Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Extreme Rudeness: Trenches Edition

Hubby and I know this guy who used to live in our neighborhood. He and his wife divorced, and they both have since moved out of town. But their daughter is best friends with our next-door neighbor's daughter. And their son is Eldest's age and was a good playmate for Eldest. So, needless to say, this father, "Larry", still hangs around a bit.

Have you ever met someone with NO social etiquette whatsoever??? Someone who makes you inwardly cringe as you try to think of ways to avoid him/her? Someone who is just so boring and rambling and always seems to overstay their welcome? Well, that'd be Larry.

Instance #1: He was dropping off his daughter next door a few weeks ago, and ambled over to our yard just after Hubby was done splitting wood (my very own Paul Bunyon!). Hubby was desperately in need of a shower and sustenance but Larry plunked himself down in a lawn chair to chat. So Hubby hung out with him for a beer or three.

By then it was dinnertime. I was cooking so it was indeed a gourmet offering of a Bertolli frozen meal for us and mac&cheese for the boyz. Certainly not something I was inclined to serve to a guest (and his son). Finally, after mentioning a few times, "Boy, I reallllyyy need to shower," Hubby finally excused himself and went inside.

The next thing I knew, I saw Larry, through my kitchen window, just chilling on my back deck alone, watching the children play on the trampoline! Leave, already, you FREAK!

Instance #2: Last Sunday, after Eldest's football game, Hubby made it clear that he just wanted to chill in front of the TV for hours on end to watch the Patriots game, the Nascar race, and the Ryder Cup (a veritable trifecta of sporting pleasure for my Manly Man who was eager to assume The Position - feet tipped back in the recliner, one hand resting in his shorts waistband, the other gripping a can of beer, remote on his lap.) Which was fine. A lazy Sunday in the Trenches.

Next thing we know, we see Eldest playing outside with another child. Larry's son. Which meant Larry wasn't too far behind. Shit. Sure enough, he came in, uninvited, took off his shoes, and proceeded to hang out in the sunroom and visit while Hubby ATE HIS LUNCH. This time, even though it felt rude, I didn't offer him anything to drink, not even water, for fear that he would settle in for the long haul.

After about 30 minutes, he said casually to Hubby, "Hey, do you mind if "Lee" (his son) stays here for an hour or so to play with Eldest? I'm just gonna run up the street to visit with my buddy." Now, since we totally weren't doing anything, I acquiesced, even though I was a bit irked by his rudeness. Seriously. Hey, watch my kid for an hour, will ya?

When he came back, almost 2 hours later (the boys played fine together the whole time - as far as I know, anyway. I made them stay outside!), he again came in, took off his shoes, and went down into Mantown where Hubby had assumed The Position. And stayed. For another hour. Gah.

Instance #3: Today Hubby received an e-mail from Larry that said, and I QUOTE:

"Lee was asking about a sleep-over with Eldest and I was wondering if you guys were ready for such a thing yet?

If you are, my daughter is sleeping over next door on Friday night and I was wondering if you would like to have Lee sleep over with Eldest?"

Ok, this is just WRONG on so many levels!
1. They're 6 years old. Way too young for a random sleepover with a casual acquaintance.
2. It's Wednesday. You're asking about Friday, a mere 2 days from now?

So the two of us conspired and Hubby wrote back this response:

"Unfortunately, Eldest and I are both busy through November with football practice on Fridays and Saturdays, and games on Sunday mornings. It's just not a good time. Thanks for asking though."

And now that we know he'll be lurking around to drop his daughter off on Friday and to pick her up on Saturday, you can bet that our garage door will be closed, and the shades will be drawn!

Can you believe the NERVE of some people???


Maureen said...

We have a Larry. He just moved into the neighborhood. Same exact background story. My husband only grunts responses to him. At first, I thought husband was being rude. Then I realized it's all about self-preservation. Good luck!

Claire said...

Wow. I can't stand being put in those situations. Somehow I always feel like I am the one coming off acting rude, by trying not to let the other overstay his welcome. So aggravating!

Michelle said...

I think everyone knows someone like Larry. The problem is these people don't get it unless you are rude and that's something that is hard to do. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I totall y agree with #3. Maybe this guy is just a little whacked after the divorce?! He clearly doesn't want/know how to hang out with his kids.

Heather said...

My next door neighbor is a Larry....with a dose of "CREEP" added into it. He seriously approached me over the fence one time talking about all the hot tail he was hoping to get now that his divorce was final...GROSS!

Then he remarried and rented out his house. This summer, a mere 14 mos after getting hitched, he is back in the house sans his newest wife. Huhm...wonder why?

Sheila said...

We don't have a Larry. We have a Larry's daughter.

It's the litte kids that I worry about. We have 6 and 7-year-olds show up at our door constantly and I'VE NEVER MET THE PARENTS! But the parents think it's okay to tell them to go play at a friend's house.

And then when I try to send them home, I find out that it's just an 11-year-old sibling looking after them, and they don't have much for dinner.

So half the time I feed them!

One summer we had a neighbour who spent the entire summer vacation at our house. She ate lunch there probably 85% of all the days. But the parents had hired a baby-sitter, who sat at their house and watched TV all summer while the daughter was at my place.

I minded, but at the same time I knew she was being watched better at our house, and I got sort of attached to her. But that really irks me!

Visit To Love, Honor and Vacuum today!

Hf said...

e are lucky we moved from our Larry, it was bad. Close the blind, walk away or better yet fake a nasty disease every time he comes near ;)

Anonymous said...

Maybe I am just paranoid but Larry really sounds a bit creepy. All the hanging around, watching the kids.

This Crazy Thing Called Motherhood said...

Yikes! One of my big fears about becoming a homeowner is the neighbor situation.

My sister has this one neighbor who always wants to drop his kid off in her yard to play, since she runs a daycare in her home and has a really awesome backyard full of fun stuff. Now they share a fence, since his yard and her yard are neighboring and the guy is sorta friends with her husband, so its not like he is some random near-stranger. The thing that makes it annoying for her is how he is always just plopping his daughter over the fence to play and then going about his own business, without telling her. (He would be outside in his own yard, but he wouldn't really be watching her. He'd be chatting with friends or painting his deck, etc.)

One day, she had parents coming to pick up their kids and one of the them spotted the girl in the backyard, alone, and thought my sister had left one of her daycare kids out there by mistake!

My sister finally had to tell him that although she didn't mind if they wanted to use her yard to play, he HAD to be in the yard with his daughter and actually watch her!

Sounds like you handle it pretty well. Good luck with any future "are you friggin kidding me?!" moments with Larry!


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