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Old 02-05-2012, 03:32 PM
 
2,676 posts, read 4,543,557 times
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Carl, I also liked Toosie's idea and would point out one more thing that I don't think anyone's mentioned.

The upside to living in a neighborhood like this is that, if--nature forbid--anything were to happen to you or your wife (or to your home while you are out of town, etc.), it MAY be that at least some of your neighbors would do what they can to offer help to you. I say MAY, because they could all decide to stop being neighborly, or decide that whatever befalls you doesn't qualify, etc., etc. But my guess is that unless there is a complete turnover in residents, they may be there for you when you want/need help.

So aside from the general idea that it is nice to be polite for its own sake, you may also want to consider that how you handle this may also affect how willing your neighbors (not just the pushiest ones) will be to help you in an emergency.
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Maine
2,018 posts, read 2,714,404 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACWhite View Post
The upside to living in a neighborhood like this is that, if--nature forbid--anything were to happen to you or your wife (or to your home while you are out of town, etc.), it MAY be that at least some of your neighbors would do what they can to offer help to you. I say MAY, because they could all decide to stop being neighborly, or decide that whatever befalls you doesn't qualify, etc., etc. But my guess is that unless there is a complete turnover in residents, they may be there for you when you want/need help.

So aside from the general idea that it is nice to be polite for its own sake, you may also want to consider that how you handle this may also affect how willing your neighbors (not just the pushiest ones) will be to help you in an emergency.

I guess I'm too independent and old-fashioned. It's not an upside to a neighborhood if there's considerable Mom Mafia pressure to sign up for donating meals when THEY dictate an excessive volunteer schedule to all the neighbors. People should be able to help because they are choosing to, not because they will be shut out of any future help from their neighbors (should they need it) if they do not step in when summoned.

We had an experience like this in a snooty Northern Virginia neighborhood. Several moms in my daughter's class at a FCPS elementary school decided to do a project that was very expensive and superficial. They did all the purchasing and the work, then they turned around and asked all the parents for money to pay for it. They did not get permission from FCPS, it was stupidly implemented, yet *THEY* wished to do it, so they did. They were bullies about it. Moms who did not chip in were definitely snubbed/shafted. There is no upside to being in a community that behaves in this way. If this is how they behave when they are trying to do good, what happens when something really does go wrong? From my experience, the egocentric, pampered kinds usually don't have the character to help when it truly matters.

Last edited by Fern435; 02-05-2012 at 04:36 PM..
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Old 02-05-2012, 06:19 PM
 
2,676 posts, read 4,543,557 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fern435 View Post
I guess I'm too independent and old-fashioned. It's not an upside to a neighborhood if there's considerable Mom Mafia pressure to sign up for donating meals when THEY dictate an excessive volunteer schedule to all the neighbors. People should be able to help because they are choosing to, not because they will be shut out of any future help from their neighbors (should they need it) if they do not step in when summoned.

We had an experience like this in a snooty Northern Virginia neighborhood. Several moms in my daughter's class at a FCPS elementary school decided to do a project that was very expensive and superficial. They did all the purchasing and the work, then they turned around and asked all the parents for money to pay for it. They did not get permission from FCPS, it was stupidly implemented, yet *THEY* wished to do it, so they did. They were bullies about it. Moms who did not chip in were definitely snubbed/shafted. There is no upside to being in a community that behaves in this way. If this is how they behave when they are trying to do good, what happens when something really does go wrong? From my experience, the egocentric, pampered kinds usually don't have the character to help when it truly matters.
Fern, if you read my first sentence, you would see/have seen that I liked Toosie's answer. She/he did not suggest capitulating to pressure, nor did I. Please re-read her answer.

You seem to be equating the behavior of the two ringleaders of this particular email with that of all the neighbors. I do not. Carl. and others noted that they were concerned about how other neighbors might react to whatever response he might choose. The point is that if he chose another option -- let's choose an extreme one just to make the example clear -- of telling off the ringleaders, that could alienate the other neighbors who might otherwise be sympathetic, and he could accomplish his objective very nicely without having to go to that risk.
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Old 02-05-2012, 06:21 PM
 
2,676 posts, read 4,543,557 times
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Originally Posted by toosie View Post
I agree with your take on it Carl. I'd respond via email just to the project initiators. My email would say something like: "What a great idea! As it happens, though, we've already chosen a different way to welcome the new baby. Good luck with your project - they're sure to appreciate whatever you're able to do. Thanks for including us on the initial distribution."

<sigh>

ETA: oops was interrupted while posting and now there are tons more posts lol. I agree with everyone! Especially Pandora saying no explanation - I really wouldn't get into much beyond what I said in my email example here.
Here's Toosie's answer--Miss Manners would probably be proud!
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Old 02-05-2012, 06:27 PM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,740 posts, read 8,988,325 times
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AC, Fern: Thanks for the additional thoughts. Strange as it might sound, I think I agree with both of you. Yes, as AC said, totally spurning their idea in an overly dismissive way would burn bridges. And we're not rude people. (OK, I might be on occasion, and only when I'm driving--when it's called for.) At the same time, what Fern says rings true to me. The idea is so overboard, it's baffling. And to try to corral everyone into going along I think reveals some unmet need to control others.

Fortunately, we have relatives who live nearby, so if something were to happen to one of us or we needed some kind of help, we'd go to them.

As an update, we e-mailed the organizer woman this morning. (Technically there are two, but the one seems to be the real instigator.) We were polite and basically said as I've suggested earlier in the thread--wonderful idea, they'll be touched, but we have health issues and barely manage to prepare our own food during the week. If someone would hold that against us, then they're not worth bothering with. She didn't reply, which is a little surprising--but whatever.

The truth is, although we have some really likable neighbors--a great many, in fact--we don't really care about fitting in if it means going along with some pushy human border collie's dumb ideas. Because there's only one way to leave the Mom Mafia, and it ain't pretty.

Maron! The nerve of this guy!*

Last edited by Carlingtonian; 02-05-2012 at 06:42 PM.. Reason: This will make sense if you've watched The Mompranos.
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Old 02-05-2012, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Maine
2,018 posts, read 2,714,404 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACWhite View Post
Fern, if you read my first sentence, you would see/have seen that I liked Toosie's answer. She/he did not suggest capitulating to pressure, nor did I. Please re-read her answer.
ACWhite,

Please read post #15. I read toosie's answer as well. My response to your post has nothing to do with toosie's excellent post. That's why I did not include it in the quote.
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Old 02-05-2012, 06:41 PM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,740 posts, read 8,988,325 times
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Fern, AC, you've both had some really helpful comments! So thank you both.

I'll let everyone know if my car is covered with chicken cacciatore and tuna casserole next week.
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Old 02-05-2012, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Maine
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AC White, you added a second paragraph to your post. I agree with what you say about not alienating the neighbors. Again, my earlier response is to your remark about neighbors deliberately WITHHOLDING assistance in a time of real need/crisis. Perhaps you have misconstrued my point of view.
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Old 02-05-2012, 06:53 PM
 
35,108 posts, read 40,336,188 times
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Wow, I birthed three children without having food delivered to me for six weeks after they were born. I was home from the hospital the day after they were born and up cooking and taking care of them the day after that.

If you are friendly but not close I wouldn't worry with any of it. When they are outside with the baby at some point be friendly but anything past that in my opinion is too much. A congratulations card mailed would be a nice gesture but only after you know for sure the baby is born, home and all is well with both Mother and baby.

In my opinion the care of Mother and baby after they get home from the hospital is the responsibility of the husband or other family members who choose to help not neighbors you are friendly with but not close with.
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:02 PM
 
Location: Gainesville, VA
1,261 posts, read 5,055,627 times
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Ahhh... life on Wisteria Lane.
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