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Drunk and Disorderly

At 6:45 p.m. the neighbor lady knocked on my door. I pretty well know if she shows up after 5 p.m. she’s going to be tipsy. Tonight she wasn’t. She hadn’t been drinking wine all afternoon. No siree — today is a holiday so she was drinking JD — and was drunk off her butt.

She sat here for an hour and ten minutes and told me the same six stories three times — or the same three stories six times … I quit listening. The stories didn’t bother me so much, but there were a couple of small things ….

First off, when she knocked on the door and I opened it, the telephone rang. I wasn’t going to take the call but it was a coworker and she doesn’t just call to visit, so I answered. So, while my coworker is telling me she is enrolling her nephew in his first day of preschool in the morning, and asking me to meet with her proby teacher to make certain he’s all squared away on the morning’s lessons, my neighbor lady is trying unsuccessfully to close my front door.

Okay, to be fair, closing my door is difficult. I live in a house with “personality.” To latch my front door you actually have to hold it closed while you lock it. A task which takes more coordination than my neighbor can manage even on a sober day. Tonight she was worse. I told her to leave it open but no — she kept trying to slam it harder and harder.

Finally I told my co-worker I had her bases covered and hustled her off the phone so I could rescue my door from Joan. My photo of Brandi had already leapt off the wall, but luckily it landed on the couch. I grabbed the door and Joan hung the picture back on the wall.

I hang my car keys from the door knob. I keep them there because it’s hard to lose them that way. In her zealous effort to close my door, Joan had bent my car key at a 45 degree angle. When I showed it to her she started laughing and couldn’t stop. I took my hammer, wrapped the key in a towel, and went out to the porch to hammer it back into an almost straight position.

It starts the car. Since that’s what it’s supposed to do I guess all is well. Except — as I’m stepping back out of the car Joan says, “I’m sure glad you fixed that key. I need to go to the store on Friday.”

Silly me. Not once did I condsider that bent up key might be an inconvienance to her. When did I become a mandatory taxi, and not a favor? I didn’t say anything because I know better than to argue with drunks — but she’s reminding me an awful lot why my exhusband is my ex-. How does one divorce a neighbor?

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. haha…….ohhhhhhhhhhhh you are a bigger person than me………well, I know what you mean, you can’t say anything while she is drunk….and she won’t remember when she is sober. hmmmmmmmmmmm well maybe you could set her house on fire then she will have to move. No, you don’t want to go to jail, well then……let me think….

    Do you want to still be friends after you are done, or does it matter..???? Because after what I would tell her, I doubt you would ever see her again….but then we are back to square one, you are a nicer person than me…..

  2. Nea,
    Usually she drinks wine and is much easier to cope with. There is something in Jack that just makes people obnoxious.
    Luckily she only comes over about once per week, and usually doesn’t stay for more than 30 minutes. Due to a past incident, she knows I won’t take her to the store when she is drunk. If I talk to her when she’s sober she’ll get the point.

  3. I am so sorry about your neighbor. She sounds like a real handful.

    I know what you mean about Jack – I don’t know what it is but once when I had a Lynchburg Lemonade I must have decided I was Hercules in girl-form and thought I could take on every person I saw. Daniel said I was never allowed to drink JD again. It was a nightmare.

    I hope you have a great week! Oh, and check out my blog when you get a chance – I finished that contract section! YEA ME!!!

  4. Quilly. I always suspected that you as nice as this. Now I know. If you don’t want to take her to the store, say no. Make alternative plans this Friday. (Chrissy told me there is a really cool movie playing which she has to catch, and she was hoping you would go too, call it a date)

    Don’t be like me. I only stopped ferrying a so-called friend round the place when she (note: she, not me) stopped talking to me. I was no longer even good enough to be a taxi driver. Yeah man!

    Just say no. Works for drugs, should work for drunks as well.

  5. Oh Lord, this is a tuff one. Park your car out of sight and pretend to be out!!! Your heart is in the right place to drive her about but she needs to be “responsible” for herself. I have a low tolerance for this problem, over exposure in childhood. Keep yourself at the top of the to-do-list. Do not be enabling her to continue along with this problem ….Sorry no simple answer here. Pain and quilt for you with caring; anger from her for abandonment. What does the twelve step recommend. Search your heart.
    P.S. I can no longer log on to Bills blogg, Nothing opens except his lovely picture. Do I need to change to Beta as well? I don’t want to lose new friends. Help, “Now I’m the one knocking at your door!” Keep a smile on your face and a song in your heart 🙂

  6. you don’t answer the door or return phone calls. if she persists- you tell her that the relationship is over because you will not be party to enabling her to continue drinking–and you aren’t interested in hearing anything she has to say. unless of course you want to be friends with her- and then you have to put up and shut up unfortunately.

  7. Giver her a heads up and say, “I just want to let you know you may want to find other arrangements for shopping because I have other commitments which really need my attention . I am really sorry but I need to focus on this time in my life but I wanted to let you know now so you can try to make other arrangements. ”

    Make it all about you and not about her.

  8. Jenn is right always be prepared with alternative plans. This will work when she drops by without calling,too. “Sorry, I was just on my way out,I wish I had known you were coming.” You may have to screen your calls for a while, but it shouldn’t take too long, before she gets the idea.

  9. She’s drunk – have fun with her. It would be a perfect time to put saran wrap on her toilet and any other juvenile thing you can think of. I wouldn’t answer the door if you know it’s her and leave without her Friday. She will probably be so mad, she will get drunk and vow to not ask YOU for favors anymore…….you sober unreliable person.

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