Part of me feels badly for wanting to avoid her. She is old and lonely and one day I will be that way as well. She does not respect limits or boundaries and so giving her a little means she feels she is entitled to take a lot. When I go outside, when she sees me, she runs over for a visit and to examine my yard and gardens. At first, I allowed her the time she wanted to talk at me. I would give her the hour visit until it became so that every time she saw me she ran over, sometimes 4–5 one hour visits each day.
When I would say I had to go, it was ignored. I actually had to turn away from her as she continued talking and close the door in her face. I could not believe how incredibly rude I had to be in order to get away from her. I would be upstairs and catch her alone in my front yard, going through my gardens. I caught her 5-6 times removing plants she wanted to have and bring back to her own yard across the street.
When I started avoiding my front yard, to focus on my side and back yards and away from her constant supervision, she would open the side gate and just walk into the backyard to find me. So I started locking the gate so she couldn’t get in, even though it meant an inconvenience for me. I would hear her knocking on the gate and whoo hoo’ing for my attention, but most times, I ignored her and continued with what I was doing.
So that’s when she started letting herself into my house. The first time she did it, I had been in the backyard in my vegetable garden, weeding and pinching off runners, staking tomato plants. I heard her at the side yard but ignored her as I had only an hour of gardening to do, before I had to shower and get ready for an appointment. The next thing I knew, my patio doors opened, letting the cat out as she announces “You did not come to door, you must not have heard me. Come. I have plants for you to put in.”
I could not believe she had entered my house. I told her I did not answer because I had very limited time and could not plant anything, that I was busy. “No, it just take a few minutes, you do this (my weeding and staking) later.” I told her I was sorry but I did not have a later as I was going out. I asked her to please not walk through my house. The door was closed for a reason. So, I stopped what I was doing and walked along the side of the house and around to the front. I entered and closed the door, only to see her come back inside through the back door, instead of following me around the house.
I asked her to leave because I had to get ready, and it took about 15 minutes to get her out the door, ruining my morning gardening job and pissing me off.
So, I started locking the front door, but imagine how inconvenient that was, especially with a large family coming and going. She would come knocking on the front door three or four times every day; as I was preparing lunches, preparing dinner, serving it or cleaning up. Sometimes I would answer, sometimes I would send a child. Always she would invite herself in and I would have to ignore her and repeatedly ask her to leave taking up to 30 minutes to get her out of the house.
The last straw was the day I had finished my yard work for the day, gone up to shower and clean up because I had an afternoon Doctor Appointment. I had heard her knocking at the door while I was in the shower and obviously ignored her. as I turned off the water, wrapped my hair in a towel and started to dry off, I thought I heard something. So as I was wrapping the towel around me, I went out into my bedroom and opened the door, jumped back and screamed, as I saw her almost at the top of the stairs.
My scream startled her as well. “You not answer the door, so I come in.” I curtly replied, “ I didn’t answer the door because I was showering, please let yourself out.” Then I closed and locked my bedroom door. I could not believe my neighbour was inside my house and I had to lock myself in my bedroom to try and escape her. I heard her still talking, but then turned on my hairdryer to make sure she knew I was not listening and then after a few minutes I saw her from the bathroom window, heading back across the street, so I ran downstairs to lock the door.
So that’s when we finally decided to buy an alarm system and kept it armed even when we were home. The first time she set it off it scared her half to death, making her toss the plants and dirt she had carried over into my front hallway and all over the door frame. I had been in the kitchen making dinner. It may have been a little mean, but I was at complete wits end. I purposefully didn’t turn the alarm off when she was there and she left after 30 seconds … it was the fastest she had ever removed herself from the premise.
The second time she set the alarm off, I was in the backyard. I had fallen asleep on a lounger while reading when all hell broke loose. Alarm sounding, dog’s barking, her flailing her arms in the air and screaming things in Russian about why I wasn’t answering my door. “What are you doing in my house! The alarm tells the police to come and we have to pay them money.”
That must have terrified her, as she ran from the house like the KGB were after her, looking back over her shoulder, arms wind milling and in a high pitched voice, over the alarm, I could hear words like “Policia”. So that was the last time she entered my house without knocking. Though she has occasionally gone to the front window, through the garden in front of it, to knock on the window and press her nose to the glass to look inside.
But now that I have been spending so much time in my front yard this last month, to clean it up and replant things, she is back in full force. She is coming over to the yard 3-4 times a day and has even moved a few things I planted in the yard. When I brought some mini roses home the other day, they were no sooner on the ground then I turned around and almost ran into her as she was bent over looking at them, telling me where I should put them.
All I could think of what I was going to lose 1 or 2 of them for sure once she decided which ones she wanted. Now I can’t even take the dogs on a walk without her running across the street to try and talk to me as she distracts the dogs, I am trying to get to go to relieve themselves, so I can move onto my day. I have another week of gardening out front to just get caught up and then its just weeding and watering. I will have to be vigilant about keeping the doors locked and my keys on me or the whole over stepping boundaries and coming into the house uninvited, will happen in a blink of an eye.
I have tried going to her yard twice a week and give her as much time as she needed to talk at me, but nothing works. Not hints, not explaining, not outright rudeness on my part. The only thing that works is avoidance and my staying away from her line of vision by going into the house and remaining behind a locked door until she goes away. Even the backyard is not a sanctuary as she will peer between the fence slats if she feels I am in the yard and not answering.
The entire ordeal is frustrating to me for the lack of privacy it removes from me. On the other hand, I feel very sorry for her as she must be incredibly lonely. I will continue to spend 1 hour, twice a week with her on her property, but need to run away if she comes over to mine, just so I can keep my sanity. Looks like my plans have completely changed for the day, as she has tried to come over twice already, before 9am.
Seriously, first world problems.