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.”