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Old 10-04-2016, 09:59 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,081 posts, read 22,914,959 times
Reputation: 35196

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This is especially about women who are now on their own in retirement. Have you experienced having to deal with other single retired women who want you to help them? It's like they're trying to find someone to take the role of their husbands (either ex or deceased, etc.)

I've found that being a single woman in a senior apartment building, and being a very independent retired woman, that other women seem to ask me for favors often. It puts me in the position to have to say no alot, and I really hate it.

My most recent problem is with a neighbor across the hall who will "hint" that she wants me to do things for free for her, or lend her my expensive tools.

Now, this woman is actually younger than me, and makes the same exact income as I do on SSI.

She's constantly "hinting" about needing to make things that would require my paint or tools. For instance, she knows I recently bought some paint that you can "distress" that has metallic paint in it and you use a spray bottle of stuff that quickly distresses it. Like copper paint that will turn a green patina with the substance. And she mentioned she wanted to paint some frames that would turn out the green copper patina, and how much was that paint I bought? Long pause. Waiting for me to offer she could use my expensive paint.....which I ignored, while acting dumb saying it cost somewhere between $20 and $30 and then started blabbing about something else...

Then, today she mentioned (after learning I just bought a Dremel hand saw) how she wanted to make a shelf in her new aparement. And I told her if she bought the board at Home Depot she could get them to cut it for free. Oh, of course, she then says she has an old board to cut. Then, I say well, I have a hand saw (hint hint I don't want you to use my brand new electric hand saw) - oh, she hates hand saws.

Then, after I don't respond, she says, maybe she'll hire me to cut the board for her and I just change the subject. But, she had such an obvious, look and tone in her voice when she said she'd hire me, that shouted out, "but you'll now say you'll help me for free!" Which I ignored.

But, she's relentless! I came home (from the parking lot where I encountered her - surprise - where she could see me from her apartment) so stressed out! I hate having do deal with this kind of stuff!

I feel quite sure she'll ask again to use my saw, or my paint, and I just hate that she puts me in this position. Unfortunately, this is really common when you live in low-income senior housing. Other seniors will befriend you, only to ask you to take care of them in one way or another. I just find it so incredibly rude. I hate it when people put me in the position to have to say no, and then they keep trying a different tact, making you say no over and over - ugh!

Anyway, I guess my question is, how do you deal with other seniors who expect you to take care of them, even though you're in basically the same boat as they are?
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Old 10-04-2016, 10:27 PM
 
5,424 posts, read 3,440,673 times
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The request for your paint oversteps boundaries, but why wouldn't you want to cut a board for her with your new electric saw? Seems like a simple favor, unless there is more to it than just cutting the board.

Is it because you're afraid that if you do this task for her, she will ask for more favors? That may be true. I don't understand though not wanting to cut a board for a neighbor since you have two saws.

You wouldn't need to lend her your new saw - you could cut it for her.
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Old 10-04-2016, 10:51 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
34,667 posts, read 33,667,394 times
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It was no favor to them to be married to someone who apparently did everything for them and that includes working. But it is not just a retirement thing. The same can be said about people whose spouses have died or who left them when they were in their 40s. I know someone who was a serial marrying type just so she'd be sure to have someone to take care of her/do things for her. That is, she made sure she was never single for any length of time. I know of another woman who had a baby every time the last one was ready to start school so she'd have an excuse not to go to work for another 5 years. She wouldn't even learn how to drive and they didn't live in a city. If they are the same way when they hit their 60s, I think they are hopeless.

P.S. She doesn't really want to borrow your stuff, she wants you to do it for her but you know that.

Tell her Home Depot offers Do-It-Herself workshops and free weekly workshops and maybe she might want to sign up for them.
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Old 10-04-2016, 10:58 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,081 posts, read 22,914,959 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraC View Post
It was no favor to them to be married to someone who apparently did everything for them and that includes working. But it is not just a retirement thing. The same can be said about people whose spouses have died or who left them when they were in their 40s. I know someone who was a serial marrying type just so she'd be sure to have someone to take care of her/do things for her. That is, she made sure she was never single for any length of time. I know of another woman who had a baby every time the last one was ready to start school so she'd have an excuse not to go to work for another 5 years. She wouldn't even learn how to drive and they didn't live in a city. If they are the same way when they hit their 60s, I think they are hopeless.

P.S. She doesn't really want to borrow your stuff, she wants you to do it for her but you know that.

Tell her Home Depot offers Do-It-Herself workshops and free weekly workshops and maybe she might want to sign up for them.
So true! I did tell her they'd cut her board for her if she bought one there. And then she said she had an board she didn't buy at Home Depot. Then, when no reaction, the long-suffering routine about how she'd hire me to cut the board for her...long pause.... so obviously asking me to cut the board for her.

Then, I told her I hadn't even unpacked it yet and would have to practice before I could cut a straight line. Then, she proceeded to tell me how she knew exactly how to use it and started to instruct me on how to cut a straight line....

Then another pause waiting for me to just offer to let her use my still unpacked brand new saw.....
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Old 10-04-2016, 11:05 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,081 posts, read 22,914,959 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matisse12 View Post
The request for your paint oversteps boundaries, but why wouldn't you want to cut a board for her with your new electric saw? Seems like a simple favor, unless there is more to it than just cutting the board.

Is it because you're afraid that if you do this task for her, she will ask for more favors? That may be true. I don't understand though not wanting to cut a board for a neighbor since you have two saws.

You wouldn't need to lend her your new saw - you could cut it for her.
This is the question of the day, for people who don't have to deal with this kind of neighbor on a regular basis.

My neighbors in this building either make as much as me, and usually more than me. This neighbor I'm talking about smokes, so she spends some of her income (the same income amount I make) on cigarettes. She's also a bleeding heart regarding the feral cats in our parking lot. So, she chooses to spend money on food for the feral cats.

And she's got a lawsuit going against her family over some inherited property, and so she's saving what she can to pay her lawyer.

Now, is she caring about the fact that I also make the same amount of money as her, and I have had to sacrifice to buy this saw and the blade that goes with it? Nope. She's expecting me to absorb the cost of the saw and the wear on the blade, and spend my free time helping her meet her goals - while not caring about mine whatsoever.

What's so funny here, too, is that we have had conversations where I have said that I like a relationship to be equal - tit for tat. So, if I give someone a ride, for example, they give me something of equal value in return. She has said multiple times that she doesn't like to keep score. Well, now I know why LOL. People who want more than they give don't want to keep score.
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Old 10-04-2016, 11:33 PM
 
Location: Gulf Coast
1,158 posts, read 648,171 times
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Well it sounds to me like she knows too much of your personal business. How would she know what kind of money you make and what kind of tools you buy and materials you own?

Not to sound judgemental to you, but if you want to keep her from asking for favors, maybe put a little "distance" between the two of you and quit giving her information. Or you could decide to be the "good guy" and just help her out now and then. Hmmm, unless it escalates and she wants more and more....
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Old 10-04-2016, 11:39 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,081 posts, read 22,914,959 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat Answers View Post
Well it sounds to me like she knows too much of your personal business. How would she know what kind of money you make and what kind of tools you buy and materials you own?

Not to sound judgemental to you, but if you want to keep her from asking for favors, maybe put a little "distance" between the two of you and quit giving her information. Or you could decide to be the "good guy" and just help her out now and then. Hmmm, unless it escalates and she wants more and more....
Well, I've tried to be her friend and I've told her things I would tell a friend - my goals and projects, etc. But, the problem is that she hears (in my opinion) what I can do for her - as opposed to what a real friend would hear - about my craft projects, etc.

In other words, a true friend would hear about me buying this saw so I could work on my projects and think, Good for you! Sounds like you've got a goal and you're learning new things and have interesting projects to work on."

Where, a needy person would hear about me buying a new saw, and start thinking about how handy it would be to be able to use my saw.

I just found an interesting article while I was looking online about my dilemma about women having a hard time saying no to their women friends.

Saying NO to Friends: An interview with psychologist and author Susan Newman, PhD - The Friendship Blog : The Friendship Blog

I just think it's sad that I have to be careful about telling her about what tools I have, etc. I've just found this to be a problem for someone like me living in a senior building for low-income seniors. It's probably a problem in any senior building, whether it's low income or not. But, I think it's an issue we need to figure out how to deal with.
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Old 10-04-2016, 11:57 PM
 
662 posts, read 476,598 times
Reputation: 1690
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
This is especially about women who are now on their own in retirement. Have you experienced having to deal with other single retired women who want you to help them? It's like they're trying to find someone to take the role of their husbands (either ex or deceased, etc.)
Yes, I have run into this 'be-my-50's-era-husband' experience. Complete with borrowing tools that got broke (and not offering to replace it, so I brought it up, and she was miffed and bought a cheap imitation to replace it), and, even worse, coming over
every.
single.
day.

I finally had to cut her off completely. She just had no appropriate boundaries.

But I've also found that married woman can be just as clingy (wanting to hang out every day - not for tools or tasks).

I have a friend now who won't accept hardly anything from me. It's frustrating, but a refreshing change.

Asking for too much is really pushy. And the roundabout ways they "hint" at getting you to do yet another task for them is sneaky.

And it's never just to cut one board. It's the board, the lawn, the hedge, adjustable wrench, on and on. Oh, and for heaven's sake, if their car is unreliable, suggest they get AAA. I headed that one off at the pass as she began to hint about needing a tow.

Oh, and I'm not in a 55+ or low income area, so it's not relegated to just that segment. I think capable single retired woman are a highly sought after commodity by the takers.
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Old 10-05-2016, 04:27 AM
 
1,706 posts, read 1,222,255 times
Reputation: 4829
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
This is especially about women who are now on their own in retirement. Have you experienced having to deal with other single retired women who want you to help them? It's like they're trying to find someone to take the role of their husbands (either ex or deceased, etc.)

I've found that being a single woman in a senior apartment building, and being a very independent retired woman, that other women seem to ask me for favors often. It puts me in the position to have to say no alot, and I really hate it.

My most recent problem is with a neighbor across the hall who will "hint" that she wants me to do things for free for her, or lend her my expensive tools.

Anyway, I guess my question is, how do you deal with other seniors who expect you to take care of them, even though you're in basically the same boat as they are?
Not retired yet, but will be in 2018, so I take this as a cautionary tale. Friendship is a reciprocal relationship, not necessarily "keeping score", but rather involves a mutual give and take. It is one thing to help a true friend (or someone who is truly in need), but quite another to take on the role of being the building's "favor"/errand/handy person.

A couple of responses come to mind:

1) Sure, I would love to help you out; my fee for handywoman services is $35/hour. Would you like to schedule an appointment?

Or- if that is too direct for you:

2) Let me give you the name of the wonderful handyman I use; I will give him a heads-up that you will be calling him. And then do a quick search on Angie's List
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Old 10-05-2016, 04:29 AM
 
Location: Ypsilanti, MI
2,431 posts, read 3,657,283 times
Reputation: 4758
Quote:
Originally Posted by crusinsusan View Post
I think capable single retired woman are a highly sought after commodity by the takers.
I don't think that being single or retired or female has as much to do with it as the capable descriptor. Being capable, whether single or married, retired or working, female or male, brings forth all sorts of requests from people who never learned how to do things themselves, don't want to learn how, and are too cheap to pay going rates for experts who can do it for them.

I have already told my wife that my retirement WILL NOT be a series of special favors for people such as the lady across the hall - be they neighbors, friends, or family.

"You're retired now and not doing anything, will you do this for me?"

You were 100% correct with the first half of that sentence, I will be doing for myself and not for everyone who asks. I have been burned too many times by requests wherein I have to supply all the materials in addition to the tools and time!
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