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Old 01-28-2009, 09:32 AM
Gue
 
24,120 posts, read 5,861,847 times
Reputation: 60852

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Had this problem with a user of a neighbor. Kept waiting for them to offer to reciprocate. Never happened.

I would drive the kid to school but you really have to elaborate on some of the questions posted here. Why would the mother come along too? I would never drive the mother back & forth.
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Old 01-28-2009, 11:56 AM
SYS SYS started this thread
 
297 posts, read 635,791 times
Reputation: 160
There were many posts with many issues raised to my "situation," so let me just pull out the most recurring themes and respond to those:

1) “No Big Deal, Just Give Them a Ride”

For the next THREE YEARS! You must be much nicer human being than me to offer this suggestion, or you didn’t read the “three years” part somehow.

My “obligation” as a good neighbor and a decent citizen is to help the fellow neighbor in need -- temporarily. That’s my civic obligation and duty. What’s her obligation or responsibility as a newcomer? Instead of purchasing a car as she initially said she would, she and her husband went out on expensive furniture shopping sprees, the kind of items that we'd love to own also but didn’t buy because we also had to budget for other pressing things in life, such as cars to commute to our work and to take the kids to school and grocery stores and so on.

It doesn’t end with the expensive shopping sprees. Our life styles differ quite a bit, apparently. It is my belief that we’re better off than they are financially, but we try to live within our well disciplined budget plans so we don’t become a burden on others. While I believe in organic food whenever we can, all of their food is from a local Whole Food organic store where you can easily spend hundreds of dollars just to feed their small family for a few days. She enrolled in this trendy “steam” yoga place. My wife and I would like that very much, too, except when we saw the monthly membership fee, we decided to stay with a local YMCA. We don't go out to wine and dine as often, dumping our kids at other neighbor's house by turns in the process, although we'd also like to do that more often and really live it up. The point? You can’t be skimpy on certain things in life (whatever the reason may be) in order to maintain certain amenities of life and become a burden on strangers in doing so.

2) Choice, Decision, and Consequences

While she led me to believe that I was giving her and her daughter a ride to school as a temporary cover until she gets a car, it turns out that she’s not going to do that. When I asked her about the car purchase most recently, she said she’s planning on walking her daughter to school for the next three years regardless of the winter weather. (Translation: “who needs a car when we have you and other generous neighbors?”).

This new neighbor Mom made her choice very clearly and in no uncertain terms. So why is she NOT walking her daughter to school each and every day? You made the decision to walk, so walk instead of going around ringing doorbells of neighbors. You can’t make a verbal commitment for one thing and contradict in action.

3) Why is Mom Getting Rides with Daughter?

Simply because her daughter is a 1st grader who is highly extraverted and hyper. It’s not that the Mom feels she needs to be in my car per se but she feels, rightly, the need to supervise her daughter when standing in line at the school classroom entrance and don’t get into trouble. She has gotten in trouble once already and had to meet with the school administrators…

4) Reciprocation?

All I wanted to do was to provide a temporary cover for the rides. I never expected any reciprocation. However, this glaring lack of any attempt or even a simple gesture of reciprocation or compensation did say something about the character of the person even after she had clearly indicated to me that the ride arrangement is going to be a long and permanent term for the duration of their stay.

And then add: “I’ll charge you $45 an hour of piano lesson should you choose to have your boys take piano lessons from me.”

5) Two Other Significant Reasons for "No Rides" for Next Three Years

One, all my neighbors know that I try to avoid (except in urgent or emergency situations) having my boys in someone else’s car and likewise other kids in my car. It’s for legal reasons. When one of my other neighbors told me one day that both her brothers are lawyers and she’s going to “sue that person for all his worth if anything happens to my children,” I told myself that I’d much rather take precautions than be sorry later. Parents being parents, knowing that auto accidents can happen, there would be blames and blames when one of their children gets either killed or badly hurt. Even if there’s no lawsuit to deal with, I’m not willing to deal with my conscience being eaten away slowly for the rest of my life.

Two, that Mom and her daughter are both extreme chatterboxes. I don’t know how their brains are wired, but they both drive me nuts. You can’t have any normal conversations with the Mom. Regardless of inside the car or at home, my wife and I try to avoid ever getting into the conversation. Once you start, it’s at least an hour of your valuable time gone. We tried diplomatically to cut her non-stop-bullet-train-to-hell conversation, but of course we found that avoiding her all together is more effective.

6) Conclusion

In spite of my natural desire to give them a ride, for all the reasons states above, I decided very firmly that I’ll make a rule not to give them another ride. Before someone tells me that I’m being a mean person, please go give someone a ride yourself for the next three years first before labeling me such.
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Old 01-28-2009, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
9,395 posts, read 16,003,951 times
Reputation: 5044
Quote:
Originally Posted by SYS View Post
6) Conclusion

In spite of my natural desire to give them a ride, for all the reasons states above, I decided very firmly that I’ll make a rule not to give them another ride. Before someone tells me that I’m being a mean person, please go give someone a ride yourself for the next three years first before labeling me such.
Well said! I do not think anyone would label you as being mean when you assert your own right to drive whom you want, when you want. It's your business, after all, and you have every right to assert yourself in this situation, setting a boundary. It's not the ride, itself, but the perception of using neighbors for this family's own purposes that's the issue, and it's time that you take a stand before it turns into a three year ordeal.
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Old 01-28-2009, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Florida
6,270 posts, read 12,503,237 times
Reputation: 4551
wait--you're going to the same destination that her daughter is-right? What's the big deal? It's a ride to school. Sounds like you're jealous they are buying expensive things you can't so you'll cut off some of their buying by not giving the kid a ride to school. How much in gas are you spending and how much more are you purchasing by giving the poor neighbor kid a ride?
Ask the mom for gas money if it bugs you that much. Stop hiding and speak up like an adult. The only time I wouldn't give the kid a ride is if my own child was not going to school that day for whatever reason.
As for the free babysitting--same rule applies--if you or other neighbors don't want to do something--speak UP. Golly it's real easy to do.
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Old 01-28-2009, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
973 posts, read 2,114,728 times
Reputation: 1177
SYS,

I don't think it is confrontational to ask your neighbor outright about her transportation needs. It's a valid question. She indicated that she was going to get a car and now the story has changed.

In the morning, when she comes over for her daily ride, say..........

SYS: Good Morning Mrs. XYZ. I've been meaning to ask, have you found a car you liked yet? Last month you mentioned your intent to purchase a second car.

Mrs. XYZ: Well, no. We were going to put off purchasing a car for a while.

SYS: I see. Well, I will not be able to continue driving your child to school after this week and hoped that you had made other arrangements.

Mrs XYZ: Why can't my daughter continue to ride with you?

SYS: I expected this arrangement was short term. The commute to and from school is a time when I discuss school/family concerns with my son. He and I look forward to father/son time alone each day. I'm sure you understand. Perhaps I can recommend a reputable car dealer.

Does that sound confrontational? If this woman has any class or decency, she won't challenge you on this.
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Old 01-28-2009, 12:41 PM
 
Location: USA
2,134 posts, read 1,553,538 times
Reputation: 3509
If this woman had any class or decency, this wouldn't be an issue.
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Old 01-28-2009, 12:47 PM
SYS SYS started this thread
 
297 posts, read 635,791 times
Reputation: 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmobizmo View Post
SYS,

I don't think it is confrontational to ask your neighbor outright about her transportation needs. It's a valid question. She indicated that she was going to get a car and now the story has changed.

In the morning, when she comes over for her daily ride, say..........

SYS: Good Morning Mrs. XYZ. I've been meaning to ask, have you found a car you liked yet? Last month you mentioned your intent to purchase a second car.

Mrs. XYZ: Well, no. We were going to put off purchasing a car for a while.

SYS: I see. Well, I will not be able to continue driving your child to school after this week and hoped that you had made other arrangements.

Mrs XYZ: Why can't my daughter continue to ride with you?

SYS: I expected this arrangement was short term. The commute to and from school is a time when I discuss school/family concerns with my son. He and I look forward to father/son time alone each day. I'm sure you understand. Perhaps I can recommend a reputable car dealer.

Does that sound confrontational? If this woman has any class or decency, she won't challenge you on this.
I agree, that's exactly what I need to do -- and I will.
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Old 01-28-2009, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Long Island
445 posts, read 687,358 times
Reputation: 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanker View Post
Tell her that your rate for taxi driving is $45.00 dollars an hour.

LOL! That was great! You should charge her for the gas that you are using everyday to bus her kid to school. It is not your responsibility to be be driving her in the first place.
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Old 01-28-2009, 12:50 PM
 
Location: mass
2,905 posts, read 4,604,541 times
Reputation: 4897
yeah, I'm sorry but this is just childish.

You mention that you are wealthier than her, but make judgments on what they purchase. You feel that they should have spent their money differently. It's not your decision to make. You sound petty and jealous. I know people who make different financial decisions than I do, ones that I respect and ones that I don't.

I also know people that will use you for things and you are never going to get back what you put in. When you are in that position, you have to decide what you are willing to give while getting nothing or little in return.

I was assuming that you dropped the children off and left. It sounds like you have to go to the school, and then wait for her child to be brought in and then bring the lady home. If you have the ability to just drop your child (and I assume you do since I believe you said he's in what, the fourth grade?) this would constitute a pain in the ass for you. What starts as a two minute task for you turns into 10-15 minutes and that is a lot to ask.

I am wondering where you live that your 4th grade son is going to be in the same school as a 1st grader for three years? It's either a small town w/K-6 in one school or you are over-dramatizing and exaggerating, or you have a younger child who will enter the same school with the girl before your other son leaves it.

In any event, STOP giving the lady's kid a ride. You obviously don't want to, so just tell her that you don't want to anymore. Tell her that there is only so much you are willing to do for someone and that the ride exceeds your threshold. Don't worry about which neighbor she will hit up next. You seem to think that she is incapable of walking her daughter a mile to and from school. It might sound far but perhaps she really would be willing to do it instead of buying a car. If she is that into organic foods perhaps she is that concerned about the environment as well and prefers to be a one car family. Perhaps since she goes organic, she realizes that is a large expense and chooses to pay for that rather than a car.

you seem to think that she is mooching off you, that w/out you she wouldn't be able to survive w/out the car. Cut her loose and see what happens.

It sounds like you and your neighbors talk about people behind their backs a lot and this stirs up negativity. It's not constructive and one reason I probably thought you were a woman not a man, most men (AND yes I know I am generalizing here) compared to women steer clear of this. Be nice, Be honest, Be open, Be true to yourself and others.

And for the love of God, just tell the lady you don't want to drive her kid. Buck up, Stand up, be an adult about it, and then live with yourself over it.

And the liability is just an excuse. You are liable every time you get behind the wheel, from those in the car and those outside the car.

If you've "decided very firmly" then go ahead and tell her.

I like gizmobizmo's suggested conversation. Sounds good to me.
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Old 01-28-2009, 12:55 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
22,485 posts, read 27,075,498 times
Reputation: 23044
Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamWeavin View Post
wait--you're going to the same destination that her daughter is-right? What's the big deal? It's a ride to school. Sounds like you're jealous they are buying expensive things you can't so you'll cut off some of their buying by not giving the kid a ride to school. How much in gas are you spending and how much more are you purchasing by giving the poor neighbor kid a ride?
Ask the mom for gas money if it bugs you that much. Stop hiding and speak up like an adult. The only time I wouldn't give the kid a ride is if my own child was not going to school that day for whatever reason.
As for the free babysitting--same rule applies--if you or other neighbors don't want to do something--speak UP. Golly it's real easy to do.
Given that the OP has made his point very clear and has further corrected those who failed to properly read his initial post, I guess I'm missing your point. If you read his latest post it's pretty obvious why he's chosen not be be stuck in this situation any more and also why it's easier for him to deal with it in a way that's simpler for him given the woman's gross insistence and obvious inability to take "no" for an answer.
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