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Monday, July 30, 2012

"What Will the Neighbors Think?"

"What will the neighbors think?" Oh my freaking Gawd I hate that question!  Stupidest mother fucking question ever asked in the history of all time as far as I am concerned.  It was, of course, my Mother's favorite question, which may have some bearing on why I have such disdain for it.  I swear I must have heard that question at least once a day, every day, for most of my childhood.  What makes it all the more ridiculous a question than I might normally perceive it to be was that fact that my parents were never friends with any of their neighbors, they didn't even like the people.  Why the Hell do you care what they think?

If you have read anything I have written or seen what I post on Facebook, you know by now that I don't give a damn what anybody thinks about me.  Never have.  That was the biggest problem I had growing up in my family, everyone else thought it was extremely important and I didn't care in the least.  Maybe it is because I am crazy, but I find it extremely amusing that the people who seem to like other people the least, care the most about what those other people think about them!  Or, maybe it is just much easier for me to Love everyone, because I don't care what they think.  I don't know, but I find it funny anyway.

My Mother thought it reflected badly upon her if I did something weird, or socially "unacceptable", or otherwise "bad".  I never had the heart to tell her that our neighbors thought badly of her and dad because were more concerned with their appearances than they were with their kid, I doubt she would have understood the concept anyway. 

The kids in my Junior High School taught me that it really doesn't matter if you do everything right anyway, people are still going to think badly of you if they want to.  I watched a young woman's life destroyed when she was raped and had the audacity to report it.  "The Neighbors" called her a "whore"and thought she did something wrong!  These are the people who's opinion I am supposed to care about?  I don't think so.  "The Neighbors" are fucking idiots.  End of discussion.

For years I did let concern over what my Mother would think prevent me from doing a lot of things.  Some of them it was a probably a good thing that I didn't do, but I also let it keep me from my art and especially my writing, and that was not good.  For years I could not write anything because I was terrified it would get out and my Mother would read it. And, no matter how hard I try, when I try to write without offending her, whatever I write just turns out to be boring drivel.  I knew even as a child that if she ever knew everything about me she would disown me.  So I kept quite for 30 years, out of fear of offending my own Mother by being myself.  Damn, that is a fucking sad statement.  I mean, if I was a serial killer, or some other hurtful type of person, that might make sense, but there is nothing hurtful about me.  I strive to be exactly the opposite, I give from my heart to the world everyday, in anyway I can, but that is not acceptable behavior in my family. 

 I do still tend to guard my words in fear, but only in fear of my government now.  And that is also a very sad statement, one that I will address another day perhaps.  But as for the neighbors, or the rest of the world, I couldn't care less what they think.  I seriously doubt that any of them waste a whole lot of their time thinking about me at all!  And on the rare occasion that they do think about me it is probably as "the quiet, crazy lady who does all kinds of weird stuff in her front yard", and that's okay with me.  I know that where we live right now, half of the neighbors think my husband is the greatest thing since sliced bread, and the other half think he's a raging asshole.  The funny part is, they are all correct!  And at the end of the day, he doesn't care what any of them think any more than I do, thank goodness!

If there is one thing I do know to be true in this life it is that no one is ever guaranteed a tomorrow.  You can plan for the future and  pray for an after-life till the cows come home, that doesn't prevent you from dying before the sunrises.  So whatever time I do have in this life is far too precious to me to waste any of it worrying about what somebody else thinks about me.  If you Love me, I will Love you.  If you hate me, I will still Love you., I won't want anything to do with you, but that doesn't mean I don't Love you.  But Love me, hate me, or anything in between, either accept me as I am or don't bother me, because I really don't care what you think.  I am far too busy thinking for myself to be bothered with any of that.


  1. I'm posting this here, Mother, instead of commenting on your Facebook post, because I've made a habit of observing the general public, and most of them are too lazy to click on a link and read an entire blog. And the few that really know me don't need to be reminded that I also had to put up with my own threat of "What will the neighbors think?" Only it didn't take very long before everybody in the neighborhood couldn't stand my mother, so she changed it to "What will my friends think?" And I privately thought, "Well, they're going to think what you TELL them to think because you're the one running your damn mouth to begin with!" I wouldn't dare say it out loud, though, or give any indication that I was doing anything other than hanging on her every word, because I'd gotten beatings far too often for something as simple as changing the way I was breathing during one of her lectures. I grew up in an era where it wasn't child abuse unless the kid landed in the hospital, and sometimes not even then if a semi-plausible story could be concocted.

    So I'm with you, Mother. Not only do I not care what the neighbors think, I'm pretty sure I've become invisible in the past several years, since if I happen to see one of my neighbors outside, I've got a better than 50% chance that he or she will immediately turn away so there's no chance of interaction. I don't know why, but it doesn't matter because I don't care. It's actually rather convenient, because if I'm still in my nightgown and notice the hummingbird feeder is empty, I don't worry about putting on a robe. Nobody's going to see me. Even if they do, they will pretend they didn't!

  2. I adore reading your thoughts and wish i had realized sooner that there was a blog behind that funny facebook page.
    i too lived in the world of what would the neighbors think and spent far too many years worried about what my own mother thought of me and feared to open my mouth. In my late 5o's now and I say what i want and have learned to stop pretending I care about what any one thinks of me or what i do...bravo to anyone (like me) who isn't afraid to go outside in her jammies to make sure the birds have what they need!