“I can’t stand you. I’ll say this every day. Asshole”
Those were the words with which my neighbour greeted me as I returned home this afternoon. (We share a driveway, and our car-ports are “cheek by jowl” with no dividing wall.)
I said nothing. This neighbour has orally harassed me on a frequent basis during the years since I have lived here. She’s done the same to many other neighbours.
It’s not that I am perfect. But I am not an asshole.
I tried “killing her with kindness”, especially when her mother died. But I suppose that she could not “hear” this kindness.
On one occasion I yelled at her (and called her a stupid woman) - it was when she alleged that my indoor cat had pooped on her driveway. I immediately wrote and mailed her a letter, in which I apologised for my intemperate words.
My best strategy has been to ignore her; and to refuse to rise to her baits.
So I ignored her this afternoon.
I began to think that her words: “I can’t stand you. I’ll say this every day. Asshole” may have more to do with how she thinks about herself, than with how she estimates me.
Nonetheless her words “bothered me” - at the same low level of botheration as a mosquito bite.
As I thought about them I opted for some subversive action. I will pray for her every day.