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#1 of 35 Old 08-10-2007, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've lived two doors away from this family for five + years. They are a mom, dad and daughter a year younger than mine.

Upon meeting this family (theirr dd was about 18 months than) they seemed like the nicest people you could know: outgoing, generous, friendly, helpful. And they seemed (seemed being the operative word) kinda crunchy (mom was still nursing, co-sleeping, etc.). We struck up a neighborly friendship.

The mom sometimes rubbed me the wrong way b/c she could sometimes be on the condescending and bossy side with me that I attribute to her being 15+ years older than I am. She also, to this day, makes really snarky comments about dp's and my relationship, rolls her eyes whenever I say we went out to a play or something, and makes a lot of references about I'll see how it is one day when the magic wears off and such.. as if I were a 15 year old in pupply love versus and 30 year old in a committed partnership. Just cos your marriage sucks, doesn't mean everyone's does!

As their dd got older, I realized that, for lack of a more eloquent description, their parenting is jacked up. Very manipulative, inconsistent, shaming... and it's just all over the place. Coddling and rewarding really poor behaviour and then totally punitive, shaming over-reactions to totally normal age appropriate stuff. And there is this huge overall sense that they just don't know what they are doing, their marriage isn't good and essentially dd runs the household totally to her own detriment. She's a bright and imaginative girl. She's also snotty, bossy, VERY easily frustrated, screams in her parent's and her peer's faces (in front of them; they usually do nothing or sometimes they coddle her and make excuses or sometimes they freak out and yell or sometimes they put her in time-out.. you get the idea; they never do the same thing twice in a row), won't share or play cooperatively, etc.. If you happen to get her away from her parents (which is exceptionally hard; besides school she usually throws fits that are truly frightening if her parents try to take her to a playdate by herself or drop her at a birthday party or stand ten feet away from her at the park), she's generally as sweet as can be. When there are clear expectations layed out, she seems to have no problems following rules (does pretty okay in school from what I can garner), not screaming, etc..

It's become clear, over the past 2-3 years (from various incidents and conversations with her H) that the mom must have some issues. She has managed, over the years, to alienate most of the families in our neighborhood. If you're on this woman's good side, you are golden. She bends over backwards and goes out of her way to be nice to you, wants to do anything and everything for you, sometimes to the point of being pushy. If you are on her badside (and one never knows what will get one on her badside) she can and has been irrational, bitter and cold. I was on her badside a little over two years ago, or she was on mine as the case may be. At this particluar point, her dd and my dd were good friends. Then out of the blue she explicitly accused me of stealing a piece of cutlery from her home (yes, cutlery). Her reason for accusing me? It was expensive and she knows I'm poor. : I flipped out on her, slammed the door on her face and then wrote her a lengthy letter that I put in her mailbox telling her how out of line she was, how hurt I was, that poor doesn't equal thief and that she's messed up and classist for thinking so. She tried to apologize a week or so later and I told her I wasn't interested. Her H (whom I like a lot, a totally sweetie with absolutley no back bone) was terribly sorry and upset and embarrassed by the whole thing, as he knew I didn't steal anything and he made references to her having done things like this before that caused them to lose friends.

We didn't talk for a year... which was really awkward considering we live two doors apart and hang out at the same parks, etc... But the girls would get SO excited whenever they saw each other, they played together at the park and at neighborhood gatherings and such. At some point, the ice was broken and we slowly started to talk again and the girls begged to play together constantly. So we'd meet at the park and stuff but I was not comfortable going anywhere near the inside of their house.

During this time, she managed to completely ruin friendships with two or three other families in the neighborhood, again based on totally inaccurate and irrational things. None of those friendships have been mended. Their poor dd has pretty much NO ONE but my dd to play with. So they call looking for dd all the time. I think a lot of it is is that they (the mom and dad) can't handle her without her having a distration there. I think their dd is incapable of entertaining herself so they can't get anything done without their dd having a playdate. I think if they could, they'd have my dd move in with them.

When we weren't talking, I was honest with dd about why. I told her that her mom had accused me of stealing and that I certainly hadn't and that I was not comfortable being friends with someone who thought ill of me and didn't trust me. And dd would always say, "But just b/c you don't want to be friends with her mom, doesn't mean I can't be friends with her dd." I told her that was true but that as her mama I needed to feel good about the places she played and the people around her and that I didn't in this case. DD would always say, "But mom, she's (the mom) always SO nice to me." So as time went on, I always felt torn about honoring dd's own friendships and relationships and choices and not feeling very good about this woman as well as her family/parenting dynamic.

Things between us were so normal and peaceful and amicable (albeit distant and reserved) for over a year that I think I allowed myself to be lulled in to a false sense of security. At the beginning of this summer, I started letting dd go over there for brief periods of time. It's two doors down, they primarily played in the front yard in the sprinkler or riding bikes up and down the street so I felt okay about it.

But everytime dd plays with her, she comes home in a grumpy and snotty mood that she takes forever to shake. I've pointed this out to her and she tells me its because the little girl was being bossy or screamed at her the whole time they played or wouldn't share any of her toys, etc. I had ongoing dialogue with dd about how I expect my friend's to treat me well, to be nice and share and not scream in my face and that if I was feeling bad all the time after spending time with someone, that I would stop spending time with them.

Every couple of weeks dd would decide she didn't want to play with friend. She'd say she needed "a break for a while" and she'd not play with her for a two to three weeks. Everytime, the whole time, they call and stop by non-stop. I'll ignore the phone the first time they call (usually 9:00am Saturday morning : ) and they'll usually call two or three more times and then they'll ring my buzzer. I'll ignore that too. I've told her (neighbor mom) before that if she calls and I don't answer it means we're busy/sleeping/showering/etc and to please not ring the bell. But they continue to do it.

Then dd will run in to her and want to start back up playing again. And it's the same thing all over: the first time they have a blast, but by the second or third time dd's having a terrible time. Well, the last time, which was about a month ago, I went over to get dd as we had plans. I walked up to the door and neighbor dd was screaming (and I mean SCREAMING) in dd's face, neighbor mom was yelling at them both. I was like, "WHoah! There is a lot of yelling going on here. This is not cool." The mom mumbled something about them being difficult and I just took dd and left. DP and I talked about it later and decided no more. We want to honor dd's choices but we also recognize that we need to step in in this situation. If they see each other at the park that's fine. If their dd wants to come over, that'd be fine too, although she won't because she never has because she won't go on playdates. Later that night at dinner dd brought up how neighbor dd was treating her and we all had some dialogue about it. I told her I asked her how it felt to have her friend screaming in her face like that. She said, "She's too young to know any better." That's totally her mother's line. She's been using it since I've known her and for the same things (not sharing, hitting, screaming, etc). I told her that I didn't think that was the problem. I pointed out to her that at that age (a year ago) she wasn't screaming at anyone and listed a number of her other friends that didn't/don't either. I said her mama and papa have to help her to communicate in other ways. She said "they try". I asked her how. She said, "Sometimes they make her sit on the step, sometimes they make her go to her room, sometimes they take her toys away, sometimes they just scream at her and sometimes they hit her." I asked her i they hit her while dd is there and she said "only once or twice". I asked her if she saw it and she said they go in a different room but they told her that were taking her for a spanking.

So, obviously we are done. Done. Done. No more. The thing is, I can't shake this woman. It's been a month. A month of me blowing them off, telling them we have other plans, etc.. and they still call non-stop and they still come over and ring my buzzer if I don't answer my phone.

The other day, DP and I were on our way out the door and she ran up to us and said, "What night can you guys come over for dinner next weekend?" Exactly like that. What kind of way is that to aks someone over fro dinner. She totally caught me off guard and we were in a hurry so I told her I'd have to get back to her. On Wednesday, I walked past her while I was on my cell phone. I tried to just wave and keep walking but she grabbed my arm (not rough or anything) and said, "Can you guys come Sunday instead of Saturday?" I indicated that I was on a call and I'd have to get back to her, but that I thought I had plans on Sat. Yesterday, she left me a message saying, "Actually, our plans are for Saturday, not Sunday, so how about you guys just come on Sunday? Okay? See you on Sunday."

Aye yaye yaye! She's not taking the hint. And it seems like the more I distance myself and my family, the more she pushes. Her dinner "invitations" and subsequent pesterings are intense. It's like she knows somewhere in her head that we are checking out and she's panicked because we've been, for a long time, the one remaining neighbor that she has a sort of positive relationship with.

Do I out and out say, "I don't like how your dd treats my dd and I don't like how you respond and/or don't respond when it happens. I think you overstep boundaries by calling us and stopping by all the time. I'm tired of your snarky comments about my relationship. I'm not interested in spending time with you anymore."???? She can be very combative and nasty and I kinda fear that. Is there a better way to try to drop someone who won't take a hint?
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#2 of 35 Old 08-10-2007, 05:34 PM
 
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well. It looks like your only choice is to actually steal one of her damn forks.

no? not the golden advice you were hoping for? lol. That sounds likr a MESS. I've had a similar situation with a neighbor girl. DD always wanted to play with her but was misreble the whole time. They moved and it solved our problem. So I don't have any real answers, just a sympathetic hug.
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#3 of 35 Old 08-10-2007, 05:42 PM
 
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well. It looks like your only choice is to actually steal one of her damn forks.


Oy. Maybe gently tell her that you get the feeling the girls aren't getting along very well and you think they should give it some time. I know. Gross passing the buck to your DD.

I dunno.
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#4 of 35 Old 08-10-2007, 05:43 PM
 
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I don't know what to say, except that we moved away from 'that' neighbor and I didn't realize how much it stressed me out to be in a similar situation to yours. I don't suppose moving is an option?
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#5 of 35 Old 08-10-2007, 05:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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well. It looks like your only choice is to actually steal one of her damn forks.

no? not the golden advice you were hoping for? lol. That sounds likr a MESS. I've had a similar situation with a neighbor girl. DD always wanted to play with her but was misreble the whole time. They moved and it solved our problem. So I don't have any real answers, just a sympathetic hug.


It was actually a steak knife of all things. It was a running joke for a long time among friends and families; ie Shonahsmom's here! Hide your steak knives!

PajamaMama, moving is not an option for at least a year.
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#6 of 35 Old 08-10-2007, 05:58 PM
 
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I think I'd be a little more direct with her. You don't have to tell her why, or not in any detail, anyway, just that you don't want to go to dinner with them. If she presses, just say, look, I'm not comfortable spending time with you.

I dunno, I favor the direct approach partly because I'm so bad at taking hints myself.
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#7 of 35 Old 08-10-2007, 06:02 PM
 
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Wow, just reading that stressed me out! I'm sorry you are actually having to live it.

You may just have to be blunt. Does it help that she's been so obnoxious up until now? I find it easier to tell off those ones
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#8 of 35 Old 08-10-2007, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, just reading that stressed me out! I'm sorry you are actually having to live it.

You may just have to be blunt. Does it help that she's been so obnoxious up until now? I find it easier to tell off those ones
The thing about being blunt is that she can be really, really reactive and hostile. I guess I'm just being a scaredy cat.

But yeah, the obnoxious thing does help cos eventually I'm probably just going to snap and be all, "Yo! Why you gotta be all up in my grill?!"
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#9 of 35 Old 08-10-2007, 06:35 PM
 
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The thing about being blunt is that she can be really, really reactive and hostile. I guess I'm just being a scaredy cat.

But yeah, the obnoxious thing does help cos eventually I'm probably just going to snap and be all, "Yo! Why you gotta be all up in my grill?!"
So, here's a thought. Go outside with your cell phone to your ear. Wait for her to accost you. Put her off a few times and and then, say to her, "We don't want anything to do with your family ever again!" Then, before she can freak out on you, go back to your phone and say, "I'm sorry, officer, you were saying something about a restraining order. . .?"
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#10 of 35 Old 08-10-2007, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, here's a thought. Go outside with your cell phone to your ear. Wait for her to accost you. Put her off a few times and and then, say to her, "We don't want anything to do with your family ever again!" Then, before she can freak out on you, go back to your phone and say, "I'm sorry, officer, you were saying something about a restraining order. . .?"
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#11 of 35 Old 08-10-2007, 06:53 PM
 
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And I thought I was the long winded poster on MDC!!!

I'm sorry mama. This is tough. Those who don't take hints are terrible to deal with. I know this for fact!

You will have to be straight up and just say -- "Your presence is not welcome anymore. Do not call. Do not invite us over. Do not step in my yard." If she ask why KISS (Keep it Simple S....).
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#12 of 35 Old 08-10-2007, 06:57 PM
 
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Not much advice from me. But, I just had to say that you have the best signature on MDC!!
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#13 of 35 Old 08-10-2007, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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And I thought I was the long winded poster on MDC!!!

I'm sorry mama. This is tough. Those who don't take hints are terrible to deal with. I know this for fact!

You will have to be straight up and just say -- "Your presence is not welcome anymore. Do not call. Do not invite us over. Do not step in my yard." If she ask why KISS (Keep it Simple S....).
I know, this was crazy long winded. I think I needed a purge.
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#14 of 35 Old 08-10-2007, 07:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Not much advice from me. But, I just had to say that you have the best signature on MDC!!
Awwww! Really? Thank you mama!
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#15 of 35 Old 08-10-2007, 07:04 PM
 
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Move
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#16 of 35 Old 08-10-2007, 07:10 PM
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well. It looks like your only choice is to actually steal one of her damn forks.
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#17 of 35 Old 08-10-2007, 07:12 PM
 
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I like the "the girls aren't getting along" excuse.

Good luck!
Lisa

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#18 of 35 Old 08-10-2007, 07:12 PM
 
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Ask all the other neighbors how they did it.

You can find me on Facebook. PM for info.
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#19 of 35 Old 08-10-2007, 07:17 PM
 
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Do I out and out say, "I don't like how your dd treats my dd and I don't like how you respond and/or don't respond when it happens. I think you overstep boundaries by calling us and stopping by all the time. I'm tired of your snarky comments about my relationship. I'm not interested in spending time with you anymore."
YES. In addition, add that you feel she is mentally unstable, needs professional help, and possibly add that she is not to call you, ring the doorbell or otherwise have anything to do with your family until she finds that help she needs. Maybe talk about getting her DD some counseling, too? (From having dealt with a mother who has a possible mental illness and has been completely irrational to her, I mean.)

Oh, and send it to her in a letter, so you don't have to be afraid of her hostile reactions. Since she's really not getting the hint then I think everything just needs to be said straight out, without holding anything back.

Sorry you're dealing with this.


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#20 of 35 Old 08-10-2007, 07:20 PM
 
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Perhaps something like - life is reall busy right now and you'd prefer if they did not call or drop by.A slightly more direct blow off without getting into the details. Be vague but firm.

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#21 of 35 Old 08-10-2007, 07:20 PM
 
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well. It looks like your only choice is to actually steal one of her damn forks.
OKay, that is so not right. Picture this, I've just read this entire long affair, and I'm thinking really hard about how I might handle this situation. The kids are playing together very nicely in the background, and I'm deep in thought, reach up to grab my mountain dew while I read what others (who might be wiser) and came before me have to say....



Yup that's me, and now my monitor and keyboard are mountain dew coated.




So, now back to the OP. Jeesh.
I think if being subtle is not working then maybe you have to be more direct, although I personally am a big fat chicken and would just keep avoiding her. The girls not getting along sounds like an excellent excuse.
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#22 of 35 Old 08-10-2007, 07:22 PM
 
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I worry about the girls not getting alone excuse because mom is unstable and I would hate for her to take it out on her dd that she ruined mom's only friendship!

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#23 of 35 Old 08-10-2007, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ask all the other neighbors how they did it.
Ya know, none fo them are clear on what they did to get on her sh*t list, nor how I've managed to stay off it for such a long stretch.
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#24 of 35 Old 08-10-2007, 08:56 PM
 
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Wow! What a nightmare of a woman. I am so sorry you have had to deal with her sh*t for so long.

I agree with just being up front and honest about it. That way she can't really take it out on her dd like someone else mentioned. I know how hard it is, though. I am not a confrontational person at all and would have a very difficult time in this situation.

However, it's clearly not healthy for you or your dd, so you definitely need to don something.
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#25 of 35 Old 08-10-2007, 09:07 PM
 
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I just noticed something. Correct me if I'm wrong.

You don't want to set a firm boundary because you are worried about how the mom will behave.

And yet, isn't this part of the problem with this mom's parenting? That she won't set normal healthy boundaries with her own child?

If you can set a boundary, you are modeling this for your child.

I know it's a struggle but I feel that only good can come from setting a firm boundary, even if the other mom throws a tantrum.

Think of her as a child.

I would find one or two short sentences/phrases that you are comfortable with and repeat, repeat, repeat them. Instead of "I'll have to get back to you" (Which naturally makes her keep asking) something like...

"No thank you."

I can totally see you must be envying the people on her *(&& list!

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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#26 of 35 Old 08-10-2007, 09:29 PM
 
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Do I out and out say, "I don't like how your dd treats my dd and I don't like how you respond and/or don't respond when it happens. I think you overstep boundaries by calling us and stopping by all the time. I'm tired of your snarky comments about my relationship. I'm not interested in spending time with you anymore."???? She can be very combative and nasty and I kinda fear that. Is there a better way to try to drop someone who won't take a hint?
Yes, I think that's what you need to tell her. She doesn't seem to be able to take a hint, and there's no reason to bend over backwards to accommodate a pest. I wouldn't worry about whatever backlash she might try to cook up; from the sound of it the whole rest of the neighborhood is sick of her, and whatever "drama" she'll try to create will probably be ignored by your neighbors.
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#27 of 35 Old 08-10-2007, 10:04 PM
 
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I'm kind of surprised no one has suggested talking to her (more reasonable sounding) husband. Explain your concerns to him then say goodbye?
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#28 of 35 Old 08-15-2007, 04:48 PM
 
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I just noticed something. Correct me if I'm wrong.

You don't want to set a firm boundary because you are worried about how the mom will behave.

And yet, isn't this part of the problem with this mom's parenting? That she won't set normal healthy boundaries with her own child?

If you can set a boundary, you are modeling this for your child.
:

This is such a good point and one I didn't think of...have you talked to her at all?
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#29 of 35 Old 08-15-2007, 05:31 PM
 
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Wow. Just ... wow. Perhaps steal a steak knife for real, and then leave it planted in their welcome mat?

Remember this: "no" is a complete sentence.

Slightly more socially acceptible variations are "no, thank you", "no, that won't work for us", and "sorry, no" (though I don't say sorry unless I really am, and in this situation you have nothing to be sorry about, so I'd scratch that last one). Unless the woman is a total cluebag, she should *eventually* get the picture. If she *is* a total cluebag, it's time to bring out the big guns and get blunt about WHY you're saying no.

Also? Disconnect your doorbell. Seriously. Can't hurt, will probably help.

Mama to DD : (7/23/03) & DS : (10/27/06) married to DH 7/20/01
and yet 90% more mainstream than the rest of MDC
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#30 of 35 Old 08-15-2007, 08:19 PM
 
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And I thought I had an annoying neighbor.....
we moved...and she still calls occasionally but I never answer and she doesn't leave a message or anything.
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