Kucing Gatal Speaks

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Dealing with a nosy neighbour

An email from another troubled reader:

Dear Kucing Gatal,
I have a very busybody neighbour, she likes to make it her business to know about my business, then will carry tales to my mother. She likes to peep out her window to see what I'm doing and who I'm with, especially if I arrive home late at night. I've been very tolerant of her, and polite to her face, but I feel like killing her each time I hear my mother say, "Mrs C told me that some boy drove you home yesterday, who was it?" Mrs C knows my friends by sight, so whenever she sees some new male, she quickly tells my mother. How can I tell her to back off and mind her own business?

Signed,
Fed Up

Kucing Gatal says:

Dear Fed Up,
Some neighbours do take it upon themselves to be your self-appointed guardian. I don't know why this is so, but it seems to be more prevalent among the older generation, perhaps due to their caring nature (which some would interpret as being a bloody busybody). I myself have neighbours who probably wouldn't give a hoot if you were being attacked by a mob and screaming for help. They live in their own world and we've never exchanged more than a hello and a wave. I do remember, however, that in my old neighbourhood where I grew up, my neighbours would become family friends, popping over to our place regularly and vice versa. I guess communities were more close-knit back then; these days, the younger generation seem to prefer keeping their distance.

Therefore, I assume that Mrs C is from an older generation, and finds it perfectly acceptable to spy on your activities and inform your mother about it. She probably means no harm and is genuinely concerned about you. I doubt she is doing it with malice. However, I understand your irritation with her. No one likes a peeping tom, much less one that carries tales.

In this situation, you'll have to get the support of your mother. I think Mrs C assumes that your mother is ignorant of your activities and takes it upon herself to "educate" her. The best thing for you to do is to be honest with your mother, tell her everything about your social life (except of course the most important bits like who you're currently sleeping with and what your favourite sexual position with him/her is). And tell your mother how much you dislike Mrs C talking about you behind your back. If your mum is supportive, she will take your side and the next time Mrs C opens her mouth, she'll be able to say, "Oh yes, I already know. My daughter told me it's one of her friends," without divulging any more info. Once Mrs C finds that your mum is no longer receptive to information from her, she will probably find something more constructive to do with her time, or choose another neighbour to peep on.

In any case, she'll finally be out of your hair and you'll be free to return at whatever time you like with whomever you fancy.

Word of caution though, from a caring Kucing: be careful when arriving home late at night, or who you get lifts from - even friends can't be trusted these days.

Hope this helps,
Kucing Gatal

P/S If your mum takes Mrs C's side, then it's probably an issue of trust, and much more complicated than a simple nosy neighbour issue. Do let me know if this is the case, and I will tweak my advice accordingly.

Till next time, this is Kucing Gatal signing out with a neighbourly Meow.

2 Comments:

  • Read in the E paper last nite abt a man in his 50's died after arguements and fighting over neighbours making lod noises. what a way to leave this world...

    By Blogger Golf Addix, at July 23, 2005 10:19 AM  

  • Fed Up could consider buying a pit bull and training it to bark like mad whenever it detects the scent of Mrs C at her window.

    Train the dog well, so it only barks at Mrs C.

    By Blogger tigerjoe, at July 23, 2005 2:04 PM  

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