The Patch

April 17, 2007

Monday 16th April

Filed under: Miscellany — alice86 @ 1:11 pm

 Firstly, a profuse apology for my sporadicness of late. Illness, essays (of which I still have numerous amounts) and travelling (and internet access) have contributed to this. Inexcusable, but  I will be more reliable come the future.

As the ladies on Wisteria Lane undoubtedly know, not everybody has good neighbours. Some of us are cursed with those who shout and scream in fun, in anger, in fear at four am in the morning. Others appear to have a succession of serial killers, which isn’t that great to be honest. And if you live in Erinsborough, then there is an exceedingly large chance of people dying prematurely on your street, going crazy, or having affairs. Compared to Soapland, real life is boring.

   Right now, my neighbours consist of students: loud, food-stealing, messy students. It’s bearable and completely understandable. I live in student halls, after all. At home, my neighbour has a dog, Rags. Now this Jack Russell terrier was sweet and rather fetching at first, until the neighbour decided it would be fantastic to teach her how to bark. So, bark, yip, growl she does at anyone and everyone passing by. I wouldn’t mind, but I live in a cul-de-sac and I wish, heartily wish that she’d stop chasing the entire family and creating a riotous uproar every time one of us tries to enter our house.

   But that doesn’t compare to other neighbours I know: those who come a-calling on your door and begin to rant and rave at you, blaming you at the top of their screeching voice for some loud arguments, a party and fighting that allegedly happened at your house whilst you were away. (And, in actual fact the incident occurred over the street.)

   Gone are the days when people nipped across the corridor to borrow a cup of sugar, the days when you could leave your spare door key in the hands of your neighbour or under the doormat, fake stone, plant pot or, forbid, gnome without the fear of being robbed or spied upon. Who knows when your neighbour could turn out to be a paedophile, really who knows? (But even if s/he should and you take it into your head to form a vigilante lynch mob with placards, banners and posters, for the love of everyone’s sanity, get out your dictionaries first and learn how to spell suitable nouns for the molester in question, please!) Gone are the days when, should the weather suddenly turn foul, your neighbour would pop around and take down your washing for you so it doesn’t get drenched. Instead, they wait for the opportune moment (when your clean, damp washing is drying on the line) and light up a bonfire which immediately taints the clothes with a smoky odour.

   And you can forget about free babysitting in emergencies, a helping hand with the shopping you are struggling with, or even a few gabs round a coffee table every now and then. Animosity and ambivalence runs rife through societies nowadays. Trust and loyalty are a thing of the past, and should you choose to do a good deed, rest assured no-one will return it unless the reciprocity is an expansive bitch session the moment you are away. If you need a helping hand or a life raft when you’re drowning they will turn away unless you really have found someone special. People these days are horrifically disappointing. Take, take, take. It shouldn’t be such a huge surprise when something nice does happen to you, when someone stands up for you, helps you in your time of need, but alas it is.

   So why do we even bother with people who will only stab us in the back? Why do we repeatedly give them second, third, seventy chances before we finally work up the will-power and guts to tell them to sod off? If you are “nice” then you will be used nowadays. If only it were so easy to tell straight away whether someone wanted a good, reciprocal friendship or neighbour as opposed to a pick me up and drop me fair-weather affair.

   People are disappointing, but everyone needs good neighbours. Loyalty. Think about it. And the next time anyone remotely even tries this on you, say goodbye for good. Finite, finis, the end. They are not worth it. It’s just the guilt you get when you try to tell them this…

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