My home health care nurse has just left after an unannounced visit (Tuesday afternoon, the first time ever), and she has told me she no longer wants to be friends… not because of anything I have done to her or her husband, but because I persist in being friends with another neighbor with whom she has a beef.
I have told her this is unfair and unreasonable, that I have done nothing to justify this. She acknowledges what I say, but she says she wants no contact with anyone who would have anything to do with “that asshole.” That the extent of my contact with the other party is normally just one phone call or two every couple of months is irrelevant. She has also given notice and will no longer continue being a home health care nurse. There’s other stuff she wants to do, she says, and she wants nothing to interfere with it.
I told her that I try to get along with anyone who does not try to hurt me first, that once before I was given a “him-or-me” ultimatum by another neighbor (another “him,” another “me”), and I ignored it. I continue to have cordial relations with both, but my friendships with the adversaries are forever diminished. They’re acting like middle schoolers, not adults.
Yet this situation is different. The problem was initiated when a landowner hired my neighbor to do some earth-moving work to re-route our road from his front yard to a location a little farther away. My neighbor’s big mistake was not turning down the job and instead doing it to perfection. Driving the new roadway takes little extra time and is a smoother drive, just different. But it is a change, and my neighbors obviously resent change.
Also, the previous feuders live a long way away and their enmity made little practical difference to me; this time, however, both feuders live in my immediate neighborhood. I have stood up for both of them to the other and encouraged them to think kindly towards each another. This time, though, one of the feuders lives in my direct viewscape.
This obviously introduces a new “wrinkle” to my home life. I have always valued the friendship I have enjoyed with my neighbors, and am thankful to them in so many ways for making it possible for me to remain at Estrella Vista through my health difficulties. Maybe the affection I felt for them was based only on proximity. Maybe it was misplaced all along. Perhaps the grudge they feel will wear off in time. Maybe it will become more intense. This whole conflict is a mystery to me.
But at this point, it is likely to be a long, long while—if ever—before life returns to normal.
Groove of the Day
83° and Clear, Scattered Showers Late in the Day
PS: I was on the computer this morning and discovered that today is the first day of early voting. Even though I was in town yesterday afternoon, I made a special trip back down there today to help bring an end to this damned election. I’ve done my part. Now it’s over for me.
PPS: Well, Aliana (my neighbor) has just shown up this morning (Thursday, unannounced again) and she apologized for being mean to me the other day. We are apparently still friends and I have learned something about her that I had never seen before: on rare occasions her behavior can be volatile and I should give her a few days if ever she should go off on me again. I’m sorry to have publicly aired the details of this incident, but I honestly believed that this would define how things would be for a long time to come. I had begun thinking about how I could live more independently, which is not such a bad thing afterall. Nevertheless, I feel as if a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders, and I am glad not to have been made to suffer the loss of good friends.