Why Me?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Clearly, I must be a compassionate, sensitive listener who gives off good vibes. Here's the problem...my neighbor insists on having a full-blown conversation each morning at the bus stop. Now, I don't know this woman very well. We met at a block party two years ago and hadn't spoken a word to each other until the first day of school this year. Since Emma is in first grade (a full day), she now takes the bus with the "big kids". Whereas last year, Kindergarten was a half-day, and thus, she was the only child from our street on the bus. So said neighbor and I are the only two at the stop. As soon as the bus pulls away, and usually before I have a chance to blow a kiss to Emma, she starts chirping in my ear.

Now, I'm all for small talk. But, pleeeeease, I don't have time for mini therapy sessions with someone I'm not close to. I've heard about her financial crisis (she and her deadbeat husband haven't paid income taxes in years and have had to fold their business and borrow money from her parents to avoid a lien on the home...which she co-owns with her parents), her squabble with the neighbor up the street, her sick dog and how it requires expensive knee surgery, and her stressful classes at the local community college. It's too much information for me. I don't want to know this much about my neighbors.

But I can't exactly duck and cover. She may not back off even if I did. But why does she bare her soul to me? And I know it's November, but she has divulged the above details to me during the first week of school. So, I've decided that the next time she needs to vent, I will tell her that I am flattered that she feels she can confide in me, but at the same time, I'm not the best person to help her.

Stay tuned for more on this subject.

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