Saturday, 4 December 2010

Let me insult you

This cold weather has brought with it lots of well intended advice, but some of it is difficult to follow.

We have a retired couple living next door to us.  I have no idea how old they are but they were a retired couple when we moved in eleven years ago.

They seem fit and healthy but the Government have told me that they need my help.  So what do I do?  Do I wander round, knock on the door and say “You seem to be a kindly, elderly couple, can I help you survive this terrible weather and nip to the shops for you?”

How would you feel if you were perfectly fit and able and you were visited by your neighbour who offered help with the implication that you were no longer capable?

I am happy to help, and my contribution was to clear the snow from my neighbour’s piece of pavement without being asked.  I just feel really awkward about offering help in such a way that it could be insulting. 

I remember my Dad refusing to ask neighbours for the tiniest bit of help when he needed it, and he would have been most put out if anyone offered help when it wasn’t required. 

I guess we just don’t know our neighbours well enough.

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