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To keep challenging my arsey neighbour?

(29 Posts)
Anjou Mon 18-Aug-14 20:22:05

We've been in this house for 3 years and this neighbour is directly opposite. We both have large bay windows and she often stands staring into our house like a massively rude weirdo.

Things she's said in the past:
"I thought you looked really fat", when telling her I was 5 months pregnant.

"Oh god, are you mad?! One is bad enough!" Said in front of her 5 year old and my 1.5 yr old when I told her I was pregnant with DS2.

"I've seen you've got a nice shelving unit in your lounge. Can I come in and get a proper look" after knocking on our door 1 week after moving in and her constant peering into our house through the aforementioned bay windows.

"I saw your cat on the window sill. I thought DS1 was going to reach out, push him off and KILL him!" Said in front of 3yr old DS & because we let our cat sit on the window of a first floor room, but only when me or DH are with the kids (because who would leave young kids on their own with open sash windows?).

Each comment is made with a false laugh after it (in an attempt to make it seem less aggressive maybe? It reminds me of that awful Umbridge character in Harry Potter).

She's mentioned how much she regrets having kids, how it's ruined her life etc quite a few times - again, in front of her DS, the poor, poor lad. I have every sympathy for those that have pnd or any other form of depression, MH issues, confidence issues etc. but I find it really difficult to bite my tongue when anyone is snide, uses schadenfreude, is passive aggressive etc. Rather than be sarky, I say things like "well, you do put weight on when pregnant!", "I've LOVED being a mum, can't wait to do it all over again!" and most recently "it's a cat. Even if he DID fall from a first floor window, he's going to be fine".

She makes an effort to try to be patronising/belittling every time we speak. I say 'try' as I couldn't give a rats ass what her opinion of me is. DH says I should just smile, nod & walk away, as replying in the straight talking way I do is likely to start aggro. However, I think it's important to show my DC that you can talk frankly & non aggressively when people are being dicks purposefully awkward. I think I'm being very polite to her considering some of the stuff she comes out with!

AIBU to 'rise' to her comments (albeit because I'm trying to show my kids they shouldn't let people try to bully them or bring them down)?

TenMinutesEarly Mon 18-Aug-14 20:25:37

Life is too short I would ignore, ignore, ignore. Although I would hate the staring through the window and would probably dramatically close my curtains every time I caught her being nosey.

StillStayingClassySanDiego Mon 18-Aug-14 20:27:35

Do as your Dh suggests, smile and walk away.

She probably wants a reaction so don't!

She's a tit and get blinds/net for your windows so she can't nose in.

Ignore the daft moose.

KrisBH Mon 18-Aug-14 20:29:44

Ignore her, I manage a polite nod and hello with my neighbours on the way in and out of the house. I like to keep it civil but distant as they can become a massive PITA as your experience illustrates. Give her a wide berth.
Also, if you see her staring in your windows, just smile, wave, then pointedly close your curtains/blinds, even if its the middle of the day. She'll get the message.

Fubsy Mon 18-Aug-14 20:34:42

Could you wander about in a state of undress, or dance perhaps - twerking would be good - then if she says anything about THAT, remind her its your house, if she doesn't want to see what goes on there, don't bloody stand looking straight in!

spongebob5 Mon 18-Aug-14 20:41:46

Just because she's annoying and rude doesn't mean she has MH problems??? Could be she's just a knob! Get some blinds & make a point of shutting your curtains when ever you spot her gawking at you.

roundpegsquarehole Mon 18-Aug-14 20:43:24

get blinds.

i had a neighbour opposite much the same - every airy comment was cheerfully stated while being barbed and spiteful.

i just stopped talking to her. and i got blinds. nosey cow used to watch me doing the most mundane decorating.

something i read recently on assertiveness training is to simply repeat their comment back to them....

so when she says "i saw you cat on the windowsill....i thought your ds was going to push him off and kill him
you just say
oh! you saw my cat on the windowsill and were worried my ds would push him off? thank you for letting me know."

thats it. nothing more - just repeat their comment back to them. im going to try it at work....

TheReluctantCountess Mon 18-Aug-14 20:43:43

Yes, close the curtains when you see her staring. She might (might, might not) get the message.

Cocolepew Mon 18-Aug-14 20:51:14

Get blinds that when closed have "you're a nosy wanker" lovingly embroidered on them.

1sneezecakesmum Mon 18-Aug-14 20:54:58

Do as DH says and smile politely and walk away. Explain to you children after that you were being nice to a lady who wasn't being very nice to you because you are better than her!

Anjou Mon 18-Aug-14 21:01:43

Hmmm. I know you're all right and I should ignore her but it's just so bloody annoying! Spongebob5, I mentioned MH as she's hinted very heavily at having PND quite a few times (the first time I met her she went on and on about how she could never go thorough having a kid again, the first year of having a baby destroyed her, etc - all in front of her DS), so I've kind of made an amateur diagnosis of her. Like I say, I've every sympathy for anyone going through a shit time - particularly if it's due to pnd/MH, as I possibly quite incorrectly assume is the cause of her nastiness. However, I'd like her to stop being so rude in front of my kids.

Blinds aren't an option, I'm afraid, as it would look rubbish with our house/decor. Might try the 'bugger off, you rude twatbag' embroidered on the curtains approach though! grin

OhMyArsingGodInABox Mon 18-Aug-14 21:09:23

Sounds like my SIL. I mean exactly like.

Right down to the age of child , bay window and bizarre comments. Does her name begin with an H?

After seven years of this crap from her I have decided she genuinely has no social skills and massive anxiety.

Anjou Mon 18-Aug-14 21:36:36

Blimey, GodInABox, what a nightmare having a SIL like that. That's a bit more difficult to ignore. No, my neighbour isn't an 'H'. I don't know if I should feel better or worse that there are at least two people who behave like this!

Janethegirl Mon 18-Aug-14 23:02:31

Just ignore her, put up nets (nasty things IMO but they serve a purpose) and just walk past and ignore.

roundpegsquarehole Tue 19-Aug-14 01:04:19

if not blinds what about shutters?
some blinds are trendy....roman? slatted? they dont have to be old fashioned.....

LongFingers Tue 19-Aug-14 01:27:50

Why give her any more than a nod, avoid her, and get some sort of window dressing.

FatherDickByrne Tue 19-Aug-14 09:57:27

We've got a bonkers neighbour whose name starts with H. She is always out on the street talking to anyone & everyone and if you're the one talking to her, she gives you a running commentary on whoever's passing: 'I hate her', 'He's really upset me' etc, etc. She also doesn't like people parking in front of her house even though she hasn't got a car. It's in case her son might need a space when he visits.

PenisesAreNotPink Tue 19-Aug-14 10:03:48

Can you get one of those signs for cars - " if you're reading this you're too close asshole" and stick it on the lounge window?

Whatisaweekend Tue 19-Aug-14 10:45:17

How about some of that film that you apply to glass that makes it look frosted? You could have clear borders down the side and it still lets all the light in. I also tried the spray but couldn't get it right without it going streaky.

(And when she says "oh! You got frosted glass!" You can reply, "yes I was sick of you people looking in and commenting you nosey cowbag!!")

CookieMonsterIsHot Tue 19-Aug-14 10:46:00

I have a standard protocol for knobs like this (I have some hideous family members).

If feeling non-goady: raise eyebrows, look faintly confused or amused depending on the comment, say "Well this is lovely but I must be off now." Then leave. Even if she is talking.

If feeling goady: raise eyebrows, look faintly surprised, say "What an odd thing to say. Where did that come from?", head tilt. If she is genuinely crying out for help she might ask for it at this point. If she is simply a knob she'll squirm and come out with all sorts of verbal diarrhoea, which you must memorise and report here. It is your MN duty.

hesterton Tue 19-Aug-14 10:53:59

Could you 'step outside' her words and comment on them as if you are an anthropologist/psychologist?

'How interesting. You have made a remark which suggests to me that you feel threatened by those who have a happy experience of parenting.'

CookieMonsterIsHot Tue 19-Aug-14 10:55:19

Staring contest.

When you catch her looking in, look straight at her and stare her out, stony faced, until she folds.

That'll freak her out.

Or quickly lift your top to show her your tits then carry on as if it never happened.

Or moon her.

Or turn around and wiggle your bum at her (fully clothed).

Or wave wildly and grin manically. Every time.

Get a goat's head mask , keep it under the bay window. Every time you catch her looking, duck down, put it on and stand up. Then carry on as normal.

CookieMonsterIsHot Tue 19-Aug-14 10:59:40

Did I really just suggest that mask thing? Can you tell I have a deadline I am ignoring. Oh the joys of freelance working.

I am stepping away from the mumsnet.

MN is like crack for procrastinators.

CrapBag Tue 19-Aug-14 11:22:43

I would refuse to engage. If you stop responding altogether she may get fed up and stop annoying you. Even with your reasonable responses you are still giving her an audience.

ASmidgeofMidge Tue 19-Aug-14 11:26:26

The goat mask thing is genius. <also procrastinating this morning>

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