August 31 2013,
Setting boundaries is important for kids, it is more important for adults.
Our friend / neighbor had invited us to barbecue the other night. Before she invited us, she warned us that the father of the play date for her son was joining us for dinner. From the stories we've heard it was not good news. This guy is off the wall and has no social skills. He's one of those guys who was probably bullied when he was younger and is over compensating now and needs to attend Emily Post's school of etiquette.
Our neighbor had lent us her grill for the summer, so it was in our back yard. To mitigate any unforeseen circumstances, I told hubby that I did not want the guy in our house in any way, shape, or form. Next I told hubby that we were grilling at her house instead of our house so that there was no reason for him to come into the house. My strategy was to be polite and try not to be in a room alone with him. I just did not feel comfortable with this guy.
Came dinner, we rolled the grill across the street and placed it in front of her garage. He came out and said that it should be rolled over to the other side. Hubby said that it was fine where he had placed it, because it was getting dark, hubby placed the grill underneath the spotlight so that he could see what he was doing.
The guy started to move the grill trying to take control of it. He said something along the lines of, "We've got this," with a dismissing tone of voice and an attitude that I interpret as trying to get rid of both of us altogether from dinner.
I wanted to tell this guy, "Excuse me? Don't you know that we are joining you for dinner?"
Hubby stood his ground and said that he was fine and turned on the grill.
I guess the guy understood hubby's point and left us alone.
When the food was grilled, we went inside and ate.
The family has a dog, a medium size dog. The dog is a drooler and this dog ended up having a grand time on my neighbor's couch. OMG. This is why we set boundaries early on so that everybody understands what is allowed and not allowed in one's own dwelling. This guy acted like it was his house, and that was why I did not want him inside our house. Rumor has it that he wanted our house when it was on the market. Our neighbor has repeatedly told us that she is very thankful that we moved in instead of this guy.
When our neighbor's daughter comes over to our place with her dog, she always asks whether the dog can come in. I tell her that the dog can come in, only if she is holding him in her lap. One time, she came over and the dog was in her lap, but ended up on the couch. I reminded her that the dog was only allowed in her lap. I will continue to gently remind her of the rules of the house.
I also purposefully place shoes and slippers in the front doorway of the house as a hint for visitors that I take off my shoes and / or sandals before going into the house. Some visitors will automatically take their shoes off, others will ask if they need to take it off, another will wipe their feet well in the door mat, some barge into the house. The last bunch of people, I will remind them to wipe their feet well before coming in, especially in the winter. After the third time, they'll remember because I sound like a broken record.
Why do some people have common courtesy and others don't?
Quilt & Bitch