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Update on freeloading neighbor

I was going to just drop this into the comment section in the original post about my freeloading neighbor. But I forgot that webmaster Oliver has closed comments on old blog entries to deter spammers.

So anyhow, here’s an update. It’s been five weeks since Mr. Freeloader has asked for any favors. I assumed (and hoped) that guilt over not returning things was keeping him from asking for anything else.

It may have been. But this morning at 10:00 he showed up again. When I opened the door he was standing there with his hands tented under his chin in child-at-prayer position (amazingly unbecoming in a 200-lb.+ adult man). “Please, please, please …” (yes, he really said that) “I have a huge favor to ask. My wife and baby have a WIC doctor’s appointment at 10:30. I’ll give you a few bucks for gas if you’ll take them.”

I refrained from saying that several buses pass right by both his house and the WIC office in the morning. I didn’t mention that Dial-A-Ride could have picked them up at their door with some advance notice. I didn’t go into female mode and babble apologetically about why I couldn’t just drop everything right this minute and drive to the county seat.

I just said what I’ve been telling myself to say if he ever turned up again: “You should have thought about things like this when you decided not to return my weed whacker and not to repay the money your kids borrowed.”

Though he went into babble mode and clearly had forgotten about the kids’ money (“I can pay you that back on Tuesday”), to his credit he didn’t protest or beg or get mad and threaten. He just left.

It felt as if he and I had both handled ourselves in the best possible way, given the situation.

As Mal said, “Yeah … that went well.”


  1. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal August 21, 2012 7:51 pm


  2. Claire
    Claire August 21, 2012 8:01 pm

    Thanks, Kent. Maybe not awesome. Perhaps just a pretty ordinary neighborhood encounter. But I did feel good that neither he nor I made complete asses of ourselves dealing with this.

    I really hate being taken advantage of. I’m glad I was able to stop that without rancor.

  3. Jim B.
    Jim B. August 22, 2012 1:08 am

    I think he realized from experience that he’d hit the wall with you now. You’ll probably find that he won’t be asking you for anything else. Like anyone else, he doesn’t want to waste his time.

  4. 55six
    55six August 22, 2012 3:34 am

    I have found that saying what you mean is so much better than saying what they want to hear. It helps them to figure out how to be better people, and it keeps your own stress level low. Good for you and keep it up. -55six

  5. just waiting
    just waiting August 22, 2012 4:35 am

    Good for you Claire!

    You could have said: “You don’t know me well, if you did, you would know that asking me to facillitate any gubmint contact is against everything I believe”

    But “Where’s my Whacker Wacko?” worked just as well.

  6. Karen
    Karen August 22, 2012 4:59 am

    There’s a saying, “Poor planning on your part doesn’t automatically constitute an emergency on my part”, which seems quite appropriate to the neighbor situation.

    Like you, I don’t like being taken advantage of. I end up with resentments, which never make me feel good, but the worst part is that I know I’m the one responsible for the abuse I allow, not the other person. Well handled!!

  7. Sam
    Sam August 22, 2012 5:05 am

    The best thing about that post is you quoted Malcolm Reynolds!

  8. BusyPoorDad
    BusyPoorDad August 22, 2012 7:07 am

    One can hope that he starts thinking ahead now, or decides that you’re not an easy mark (meaning someone with compassion and a desire to make the world a better place) and stops trying to freeload.

    More likely it will be a while before he hits you up again. Stay strong, but it sounds to me like it went well.

  9. Matt, another
    Matt, another August 22, 2012 7:26 am

    Can I state the obvious? It’s his job to make sure his wife and child can get to the Dr.

    I found the best way for me to rid myself of moochers is to “loan” them money. I know it isn’t a loan since it will never be paid back, but it is worth the cost sometimes.

  10. Claire
    Claire August 22, 2012 7:49 am

    Thanks, everybody. I really have no hope that the so-called adults in that family will ever get a sense of responsibility. I wish (hate the thought of the lessons those four little kids are learning). But I don’t think it’ll happen.

    Yeah, it’s a pit that it’s our own responsibility — in the face of pleading and manipulation — to avoid being taken advantage of. But as Karen says, better than yielding and being filled with resentment afterward. I just hope this really does get him to go away.

    Whether it will … ? Every time he’s asked me for a ride, it’s been at the last minute because he “forgot” something he was supposed to do to feed or care for his family. I simply don’t understand the mentality of a man who would expect ME to care more about his baby (out of “pity”) than he and his wife care.

  11. Ted
    Ted August 22, 2012 8:01 am

    “I’m gunna tell him…” is often as successful as “I shoulda said..”. Congratulations on making up your script and sticking with it. I know when face-to-face time comes, resolve has a way of melting when in contact with compassion.

  12. Jim Bovard
    Jim Bovard August 22, 2012 8:12 am

    I still think you should consider having a 357 S&W openly holstered on your hip any time you open that front door.

  13. Claire
    Claire August 22, 2012 8:20 am

    That would be a .45 cal Glock, Jim. But point taken. πŸ™‚

  14. Claire
    Claire August 22, 2012 8:24 am

    LOL, you got that right, Ted. β€œI’m gunna tell him…” is often as successful as β€œI shoulda said..”.

    Sometimes it’s downright humiliating, the difference between “gunna say” and actually do say. In this case, I have to admit that the only reason I was able to say exactly what I intended was that I had rehearsed it and it was just one line. EZ even for me. I had made up my mind that no matter what he was asking for, no matter how he justified himself, unless he came to me with a literal life-or-death emergency I was going to say exactly that one thing and nothing else.

    Wish I could appear that resolute all the time. πŸ™

  15. Mic
    Mic August 22, 2012 8:32 am

    Good job! I was afraid as I started first reading that you were going to give in to his “request” to avoid an encounter. You didn’t. Awesome! Hopefully he will stay away now.

    However one thing has become truly apparent through your posts, you do NOT live in Galt’s Gulch if you have people like him there πŸ™ I guess I will have to keep looking for that magical place.

  16. Scott
    Scott August 22, 2012 9:06 am

    I think you handled it just right-he may ask you for a favor again, but you will be way down on his list. I’ve had to say similar things to parasitic relatives-it never goes well, but is a lot easier in the long run. The chances are more than good that you would not have gotten a dime in gas money.
    As with any parasite, he will find someone to attach himself to..

  17. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit
    The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit August 22, 2012 1:29 pm

    Jim’s right – the S&W is more liability proof than a Glock, unless you’ve got a New York Trigger in the Tupperware Gun.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of dealing with defendants. πŸ˜‰

  18. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty August 22, 2012 2:47 pm

    Don’t have any moocher neighbors here, but I did have a solicitor for a famous “religion” come once. (I could tell by the little magazines he was carrying.)

    I opened the door and his attention went to the big, black .45 on my hip right away. His eyes got big and he left suddenly, evidently speechless. I didn’t even get a chance to say a word.

    They have not come back…

    Carry something, Claire. Saves a lot of wear and tear on your psyche and your compassion in the long run.

  19. Claire
    Claire August 22, 2012 3:50 pm

    “Carry something, Claire. Saves a lot of wear and tear on your psyche and your compassion in the long run.”

    I do keep a gun handy around the house. Open carry in the neighborhood I still can’t get comfortable with — though I admit I’ve been thinking about it more often since dealing with Mr. Freeloader. I do see your point, though.

    Love your story about running of the door-knockers. Same thing happened ’round my household back in the 1990s. Very isolated little place in the dark woods. I’d been too polite to run off the JWs. After one time when Charles — big, bearded, armed — answered the door … never saw ’em again.

  20. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal August 22, 2012 5:01 pm

    I have answered the door carrying a Bowie knife that I had been sharpening or a gun I had been cleaning. Not on purpose; I just didn’t set them down before going to the door. The JWs find an excuse to leave quickly, but the Mormons I have had come to my door will stand and talk guns with me.

  21. Debby Rich
    Debby Rich August 22, 2012 8:16 pm

    What Karen said was the most. If I don’t feel liking answering the door,
    I have a very big white dog that won’t let people in.And as I started to type
    this, I realized that we reallly have neighbors that are really bad. But considering the state of the world right now we are really on his good side.
    He is a Col in the Army so he should know better. But he was out on his six
    week duty when his mother left in the middle of it and we had to water the
    plants and take care of the dog. considering that we are now under Martial
    Law and I am not sure even if he is aware of it yet. But maybe we are on his
    good side enought that he might ignore us. Hope so any way.
    Well any w ay blessings,

  22. Claire
    Claire August 27, 2012 12:16 pm

    8/27 OMG. Less than a week after I tell dad no more favors, his oldest kid (maybe 10 years) shows up at my door again today asking to borrow $5. It’s not clear whether dad sent him or he got the idea himself this time. But when I said, “No, your dad never returned the money you borrowed last time,” he responded, “Well he said he’s going to” — which tells me they had a talk about it, at least.

    I sent him away with no money, of course, and told him he could never borrow anything from me again. But this family is getting somewhere beyond creepy.

    There may be no real harm in them; I hope not. But I’m going to go look for the Glock’s good holster. It may be time to start open carrying just to keep these creepazoids from thinking they can intimidate me as well as manipulate me.

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