Blake’s Advice Column
I need help dealing with a neighbor problem. “Diane” and I have been neighbors for five years. We both have daughters in elementary school who ride the bus. At the bus stop, Diane always manages to point out something about my daughter or me that makes me uncomfortable. She’ll ask things like, “Are those new shoes?” “I like that jacket. Was it expensive?” “You have a new hairdo; did it cost much?” Or “Wow, how can you afford such nice clothes for your daughter?” “Are those new jeans? How much were they?”
I find her prying annoying and quite rude. Most of the other parents avoid her, probably because of this behavior. I work to afford the things I have, and I don’t feel I need to discuss what I spend for my child or myself with anyone. Other than this, she’s a nice neighbor. What’s the best way to get her to stop asking these questions? I try to ignore them, but this has been going on for years, and I’m at a loss.
From Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
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Diane seems to be relentless in asking personal and awkward questions. Giving it back to her in spades should shut up that irritating busy body. So here are some of things I think you should consider saying to that nosy little twit. Such as… “You seem glad to come to the bus stop every day. Do you like getting out of the house because your man is beating you?” Or you can say to her daughter, “Never hold it against you mother by the way she dresses you, because all women don’t have fashion sense.” She asked you about your hair, so ask her this, “What salon did your hair, and have you reported them yet to the better business bureau?” And this last one will rattle her cage, bigtime. Ask her this question. “That lady that I saw your husband with walking hand-in-hand in the park, is their relationship serious or casual? After that, you may not ever see her daughter again at the bus stop, because it depends on who the judge awards custody to after Diane files for a divorce. I hope this helps.