I’ve talked a bit about my neighbour here in this post about her shaming me for being a Working Mother but lately I’ve been thinking about why she says what she says.
Here are a few things that have happened:
Story #1: Big Cheque
When I told her (she asked if I took a mortgage) I truthfully told her that no, I paid my half of my house in cash, and I (not meaning anything by it because they have a lot of money too), said proudly that had never written such a big cheque in my life ($300,000). I wrote the cheque and almost cried a little, I told her.
Instead of just simply congratulating me, she tells me:
Oh $300,000 is nothing.
When I worked as a teller I used to see cheques like that weekly, bla bla bla…
Did I ask her to tell me the biggest cheques she has seen?
And more importantly, has SHE ever written a cheque that big in her life out of her own personal account?
I’ll be damned but it made me feel like crap, and it kind of made me feel bad for being proud about it.
Story #2: Luxury Cars
Her husband recently picked up a used car and she was marvelling at how this particular brand has such comfortable seats for the price tag. She goes on to comment:
I have no idea if YOUR car has these kind of luxury seats, but OURS does.
All this, knowing that my car cost about twenty-two times more than what hers does.
KNOWING THIS. I don’t say anything snarky but just nod and say yes, my car has nice seats. (It better damn well have nice seats for costing over $100K.)
She knows I paid the car in cash too. I could only think of it being such a dumb remark to make.
Story #3: Oh Little Bun reads now?
I recently went to go pick up a gift she had for Little Bun’s birthday and as he is reading the card, she says:
Oh he reads now? MY son would be reading too but I can’t read or speak to him in English because he is learning (insert other language).
I didn’t say anything but … I wanted to ask if her son reads in her native tongue, because frankly, nothing was stopping her from teaching him to read in her own language even if it wasn’t English.
She felt the need to crap all over an accomplishment that my son has achieved by comparing her son to mine and making up an excuse for why her son was not reading.
Honestly, I could not care less if anyone can read!!!! I didn’t even ask or try to brag that Little Bun was reading, it just simply happened and SHE IS THE ONE WHO ASKED.
But as a fellow parent, at least acknowledge when another child is doing well instead of bringing them down.
What’s the point? THEY ARE KIDS.
They should all be encouraged for their strengths no matter what they are.
Story #4: Lawyer recommendation
I recently asked for a recommendation for a lawyer to update my will and her response was:
Well we used a very expensive lawyer and unless you have assets like my husband you should find someone cheaper.
Did I ask for her opinion on my finances?
I only asked for a referral in that they worked with someone in person that they felt were worthy enough to talk to.
I didn’t ask for her to comment on what I owned and what I could afford. You don’t know what I can or cannot afford.
Story #5: Working Moms
When I told her I was going back to work she immediately told me about research about how I’m going to eff up my son if I leave him in the hands of strangers until the age of 3. Apparently that is the most sensitive time for boys.
I ignored her and stuffed him in daycare. Natch.
Then, as I worked and then bought my car, etc, she said how SHE wanted to get back to work but wasn’t sure what she would do and bla bla bla.
Then she ended with:
I think I couldn’t work any more. I can’t deal with all that nonsense and I am glad I don’t have to.
I see you all stressed out and I don’t want that for me.
I kept my mouth shut because as much as I hate to say it, she has an elitist position to be able to decide NOT to work, and she also hasn’t worked in 5 years.
And yes, I am stressed out at certain points particularly as of late because this client is just forcing work down my throat, BUT… there are times where it is really good.
I make great money, make connections with others, love what I actually do (aside from the office politics and managerial crap), and feel useful, which is the most important part of work for me.
I feel good about myself when I work (and my brain), and I don’t feel the need to crap on people who work or don’t work, or whatever. I do it for me.
There are countless articles out there talking about how working mothers who stop, get penalized as they are no longer seen as relevant and are unable to get even the most basic of jobs even if they were executives before.
Frankly, I’m being a bit snarky here but I doubt she would be able to get a job other than something minimum wage at this point, not having gone to college or done anything but minor positions.
So all of that? It is just her working out her own stuff but pushing it on me.
She is insecure and jealous AF
People who are confident and solid in what they have achieved and earned, do not feel the need to crap on other kids and people’s achievements.
Her husband hasn’t said anything to me directly but I am CERTAIN he has said to her in some form or another when she recounts the gossip she gets from me in paying cash for everything: “Wow, it is kind of impressive how young Sherry is to have achieved that much and to have worked so hard.”
I know this because he has said “Congratulations” to me when I bought my car, but sincerely and with a little admiration. He knows what I’m doing, what I have done, and the work it took to get here.
In a way, I have his respect and perhaps for her, it is like a black mark against her, even though it is my accomplishment and not something that anyone should take as an affront to what and who they are as people.
She also knows I buy all of my own things, have really nice items (designer etc) and the other day in the elevator was speechless seeing me casually carry my (secondhand) Chanel Lambskin Double Flap Bag. I could see her dying to ask if it was Chanel (yes it is), and other such questions.
She sees my coats, my things, and it is stuff she cannot buy on her own “income” (she has none), and can only buy on credit cards which her husband gives her, sees what’s on there, and questions the amounts.
There is no way she could buy a $2000 coat and slip it by him without him having kittens.
This is fine if it works for you (you accept the rules of whatever relationship you are in, the same that I do with my partner for other topics), but then she goes on to make pointed remarks about how she doesn’t feel the need to have designer coats or fancy things because it is so expensive and she could buy a coat for MUCH cheaper, bla bla bla.
(This was after admiring my Burberry coat then realizing it was Burberry.)
Are these really her thoughts? Or her husband’s?
She was pretty excited and happy when her sister-in-law gifted her with a (hideous) Céline tri-tone bag that looks exactly like this:
She KNEW it was Céline and was thrilled when her sister was green with envy.
What she says, doesn’t seem to match up with her actions, is all I am saying.
For me, it is completely fine to love and want designer things or really well made expensive #%(#*%…
I am the epitome of reflecting how great it can elevate an outfit or make you feel on any given day. What I don’t like, is denying it under the guise of being a Consumerist Hypocrite Martyr who shuns all physical goods and doesn’t look at brand names, but then secretly is envious.
When other people do well, it isn’t against you
It is simply that THEY did well. Period. It has nothing to do with you.
However when someone takes it personally, and feels the need to constantly repeat how NOT snobby they are, or how they’ve come from humble backgrounds, crap on others’ achievements, it usually means they are insecure and/or jealous that they can’t say the same.
And that is why I don’t say anything any more.
I just keep my mouth shut and have slowly been distancing myself from her.
It is a decision I made after my partner bluntly said that she wasn’t a friend and she was just using me to feel better about herself by lording all over me with her husbands money as the tool and making these kind of backhanded comments.
I’m not even sure she realizes she is doing it, frankly.
But I am not into friendships just because we are neighbours with sons of similar ages, and at the start she was a good friend but I am seeing that I make her uncomfortable, which in turn makes me feel like crap when she has to lash out.