Friday, July 24, 2009

Get the hint buddy!

One of my daily rituals is to go to my mailbox in the early afternoon. Today I heard young male voices yelling down the hallway to allow them entry. I was hobbling over to the front gate with every intention to scold him for being loud and for trying to enter private property obviously uninvited.

My neighbor who happened to be going to the mailbox at the same moment beat me to it and brilliantly shunned off the youngsters. As it turns out these two boys were pretending to need entry in order to clean someone else's condo. They kept pleading and could see from our expressions that we were not taking the bait. Didn't they get it? No the more aggressive one kept pulling things out of the clear blue sky [I observed him scrambling to think quickly], as young people do, "But we have to clean the unit today." "See we tried calling the owner... blah, blah, blah." This kid was getting on my nerves (he sounded like Charlie Brown's teacher wamp,wamp waaamp), I mean didn't he know who I was. I already flexed my chest showing off my "S" (as in superwoman). That should have been enough for him to go away. Then my neighbor chimed in stating that he'd better leave. My neighbor's voice is deep and he's a big [in stature] guy. What I viewed as a titanic sized "S" om my chest turned out to only be a lower cased "s" so I buttoned up my shirt covering up my "S" oops I mean my "s"as my ego deflated and watched my neighbor win this round. That is fine; we just wanted them to go away no matter who intimidated them mostly. Sometimes that happens, people case the exterior of my complex hoping to meet a sucker who'll buy their lame story of needing unannounced entry. Anyway 5 minutes later they returned with a team of 4 other "cleaners" trying to work on our sympathy, holding up a sheet of paper pointing to a bogus number claiming they could not reach the owner of the unit.

Now as a native New Yorker I've been exposed to almost every type of scam [artist] there is so the story obviously still wasn't working. These youngsters were neither bright nor creative. They didn't get it. So my neighbor said he was security for the building and without proper authorization from the owner they would never be allowed entry. All six of them turned with twisted expressions, sucking their teeth in defeat and returned to their flatbed truck. A moment later a neighbor was leaving the building with her three toddlers to watch them play in the 90 degree sun and the front entry fountain although we have a perfectly great swimming pool on the grounds. I swear, I'll never understand people. I saw one of the perpetrators turn to look at the woman to see if she'd hold the door open for them, she didn't. I'm still watching from the inside playing Gestapo at the front gate with my neighbor. They saw me see them, hopped in their truck and just sat there. Me and my neighbor then walked outside starring at the truck to let them know we were watching. We also began talking with our other neighbor, since she was clueless to what was happening, pointing to the truck as a sign of intimidation to them but really letting her know that whenever she decided to enter the building again, she should watch her back and not allow anyone from that truck to enter. She complied, the kids played and ran around, the truck drove off 5 minutes later out of sight. Success!!

I was proud that their plan was thwarted.

My neighbor /accomplice is someone with whom I've never spoken. So while we were puffing out our chests (he still with the big "S" me with the little "s" glowing through my shirt) he randomly started telling me about his life, failed marriage, education and employment history. All experiences that prepared him for a moment like this.

He watched me begin to walk and asked me what happened. I averted that conversation by saying [with a smile] that I was sick and the limp is a result of the illness without giving further detail. Did he get it? I didn't want to talk to a stranger about a personal illness that rendered me handicapped. Nope he kept pressing. So I changed the subject by recounting how nervy those kids were by trying to enter a secure complex with a lame scam. Success!! That worked accept for one thing, he kept talking about how smart he was.

He was a nice man who with his cadence an enthusiasm has the gift of gab. That was a 30 minute conversation that in spite of my inching away toward my unit he began following me to continue. I was gracious and added the occasional "un hun," and "really? You're so smart." You know soundbites that are hints to the speaker that you are ready to end the conversation. Did he get it? Nope, he kept talking. Well I kept inching and finally when he took a third breath and began another part of his life story I abruptly apologized and said I had to remove something from my oven, I began hobbling back to my unit. I felt bad but he finally got the hint. He even apologized about asking me personal questions. We pleasantly shook hands and said goodbye.

You've all met/know a person like this. Talk talk talk with hardly a breath in between. Should I feel bad? I mean job well done but let's get on with our lives.

Or should I have indulged his conversation for I'm fairly certain would have been another 45 minutes?


  1. Oh no...time is precious. We have a neighbor we call the "Trapper" because he attempts to trap with endless and boring blah blah blah...painful. We shut him down now everytime. SORRY..I am right in the middle of something and off we go.

  2. You Go Girl!! I think your S is way bigger than the chatty self centered neighbor. He has his physicality and gender to fall back on.

  3. Some people are very lonely and yearn for any amount of human contact. Your neighbor sounds like one of those people.

  4. Just coming over from SITS. I know a couple of people who don't have any social compass and are clueless to normal clues that people put off. It is very frustrating.

    I'm glad the kids didn't get into the complex!

    Take care!

  5. You are a great neighbor! I wish more people looked out for each other! Sometimes I indulge talkers, sometimes I don't. Just depends on time constraints and weirdness factor!

    Thanks for coming by on Tuesday for my SITS day.

  6. wondering how much of your recount lines up with "the four agreements"?...
    -be impeccable with your word
    -don't take anything personally
    -don't make assumptions
    -always do your best (which includes doing your best to keep the other 3 agreements)

  7. After 3 brain and 1 spinal surgery and relearning how to walk and write twice, I am doing good - walk with a cane and drive with hand controls. But I never understand people who ask me how I hurt myself or 'What's wrong with me?"
    Know they mean well, but --!



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