Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Soft Answer Turneth Away Wrath... ~ Proverbs 15:1

....and the rest of that scripture says: "...but grievous words stir up anger".

I've put this to use in Life so far with some pretty amazing results. I put it to action again on Friday when one of my neighbors lit in to me:

"Why don't you have a car? How do you expect to take those kids anywhere if you don't have a car? I never have understood why you have two trucks! You could at least have a King Cab!"

I told him we prefer trucks. And I said, "You see me out walking them all the time. We go all over the place on foot and by bus."

"I feel sorry for you. You don't have a life. They better be compensating you well for all the time you take care of those kids! You're a recluse. You never do anything. I never see you do anything as a family. You're so strange. What's the matter with you?!"

I told him I'm very content with my life; I'm doing exactly what I want to do with it. How much they pay me isn't an issue. I am getting close to 60 years old and when I have my weekends I like to relax and recharge my battery; that my son works most Saturdays. Both he and his wife work many hours.

"You never do anything with people! What's the matter with that part of your religion?! How come you never have family or friends over? Why aren't you taking those kids to Disneyland? Why don't you take them to Pioneer Square?"

I told him I get up at 3 and go to bed at 7. Dear Hubby gets up at 1 and goes to bed at 6. We don't have TIME to have people over. Plus, my family is so small I have very few members. The kids and I go downtown on the bus. Dylan is going to Disneyland next Spring. Cooper is too little.

"Well, I've just never seen anything like you! You have the strangest set-up I've ever seen. I feel so sorry for you. Tell them they need to send you on a cruise so you can meet some people."

And when I started to answer that --- that I suffer horribly from motion sickness and don't WANT to go on a cruise -- he picked up his phone, turned away from me, and ignored me.


I didn't have any clue where that tirade came from. We've lived next door to him for 28 years, quite peacefully, and even tho he's always been a busybody, he's never blown up at me like that.

To say my feelings were hurt is the understatement of the century.

Good thing he wasn't home when Dear Hubby got here. When I told him what happened he was absolutely livid! But the neighbor was gone until late Friday nite. Lucky for him, haha!

Yesterday morning I took off to buy my groceries. When I came home, there's the neighbor sitting on his porch. Uh oh. Now what? But as I got out of my TRUCK he called out to me. He said, "I want to apologize for my behavior yesterday, Kris. I don't know what came over me. I had no right to treat you like that. What you and your family do is your own business. I think I'm just becoming a grumpy old man." As we talked some more, come to find out he'd gone to visit his daughter at the coast and the two of them had had a huge argument. He said he'd been trying to tell her what to do, too, and she hadn't appreciated it at all. So he came home stewing and fuming and took it out on me, and that wasn't right and he was sorry.

I told him how much I appreciated his apology, that what he'd said had hurt my feelings more than just about anything that had ever been said to me in my life so far. That really made him feel badly...he told me he'd never meant to do that.

And now...we're back to being friends. Living peacefully next door to one another again.

Life goes on.


Judy said...

Oh wow, Kris. I'd still be reeling, even after the apology.

You DO have a life, and it's a good one!

Pam said...

Wow! That was really outrageous and very strange. It is nice that he apologized, though. Still not sure what he was thinking.

Betty said...

You are an inspiration Kris. I can´t say that I would have been able to forgive and forget so easily. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Jeanie said...

I would be reeling over that kind of tirade too. It is a tribute to you that you are able to forgive and forget.

Dori said...

I read something the other day to effect kinder than necessary, everyone is fighting their own battles...and just like this, it really made me stop and think about how I respond to others when I get my feelings hurt!

And if what you have isn't a life, then I'm not sure I want to know his definition of "Life"! :)

starsimplified said...

What really disturbs me about this is how many private details of your life he mentioned. Doesn't he have a life of his own?

Fortunately, you, like the dignified, classy lady you are, handled the situation perfectly! Good for you. Your patience and kindness paid off.