How can I get out of this mess? I’ve really done it to myself this time. Yesterday, out of a crazy sense of social responsibility or something, I offered to take my neighbour shopping every other day of the week, to the Village. She is elderly and she needs to get out and she has been taking the taxi once a week and then borrowing stuff from me that she forgot to pick up.
The poor old dear has been a neighbour for a long, long time and a good friend. I certainly don’t begrudge her the stuff she borrows, but then I run out of that thing she has just borrowed the day before, you know? So I thought it would solve the problem if I offered to drive her more often to the store. But now I’m thinking about two problems: the fact that I’ve just cheated the taxi guys out of some income, and myself out of freedom to do what I want, when I want. Help!
Yes. You are in a pickle. You will have to either go away for a few weeks so that your neighbour gives up on you, or you will have to start a rumour that the taxi people phoned you up and threatened you, but then you’d be spreading nasty rumours about the taxi guys and they have a lot of friends, so that would be dangerous.
Could you invent some problem with the car? For instance, that you’re out of gas? Or that the clutch or some other mysterious organ within the chassis has decided to malfunction, so you can’t give her a ride? Or you could offer to pay for an extra taxi ride a week.
I think a three week vacation, after which your car mysteriously develops a near fatal illness, would be the best solution. Or you could just tell her that you were delusional the day you made that dumb offer of a three times a week grocery run, and you would prefer to make it just once a week.
Oh – maybe you could ask her for a once-a-week grocery list, for things she forgot to pick up, that you could get for her when you’re in the Village?
Or it just might be that your dear neighbour knows very well that you were talking through your hat when you made the offer, and doesn’t expect anything from you. I’ve read that people don’t lose their social intelligence just because they get old.
My husband and I came here as a side trip on the way up island. Now we want to live here. The trouble is, we live in Rhodesia. Any suggestions?
See, it all depends, which side you were on in the last conflict there, and whether you are an environmental terrorist. After that all you have to do is get past Vick Toews, Jason Kenny, and Joe Oliver. Good luck!
For obvious reasons The Flying Shingle tries never to disagree with our Dear Gabby, but unfortunately sometimes we do.
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