lundi 29 juin 2009

School's out and I'm popular

Too popular. I hate it when it doesn't rain.

I used to love it, I prayed for it, waited for it, exulted in it, when school was in session and the neighbors-- the 9 year old girl across the street and her two playmates -- were there instead of standing at my gate, ringing the bell, practically in their swimsuits already.

The telephone just rang, after Sam told the little girls that I was busy and locked the gate, and one of their mothers came to ring herself to see if they couldn't come swim, and when I didn't reply (I was vacuuming), she waited an interval and called. I ignored it.

I ignored it all. I admit it. I have things to do. Lots and lots of things to do. I am not the community pool.

The gate bell rang again in the seconds after she finished leaving her message.

I have told them, "We'll invite you," and we have invited them. My husband tells me to do it more often, so they will ask less often. I had to inform him that it doesn't work that way, as nice as that would be. It's that old "give an inch and they'll take a mile" thing.

We have a local beach. It's about a mile from the house, on a lovely little lake by the Seine, where there is fishing and sailing lessons. It even has sand and a snack bar. However, it's a lot harder to find reason to head back home once the kids are established in the water there.

As for bringing one's own snacks?

"J'ai faim." I have been told, " Est-ce que tu as quelque chose qu'on peut manger?" Ice cream is preferred. I don't think they recognize shock and disbelief as a possible interpretation for a facial expression, all of which, for them, seem to amount to, "Sure, honey, help yourself!"

The other neighbors, with whom we get along just as well, bought an inflatable pool for their young son and the new baby. They would not ask, and I am so much more tempted to invite. Spiteful, just a little? I know, just tell them. Make the rules clear. The problem is people who don't hear what they prefer not to hear -- and having to explain manners to people who manifestly see little need for them --, and that we lack courage. So I hide.

In my house.

I think I will take to shocking the pool, daily.
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