I was a stay-at-home-mom for a long time and I liked knowing what was going on in the neighborhood. Except that we didn’t live in a neighborhood. We lived in a house on 13 acres. So, of course, I needed binoculars. I kept them in my kitchen because you never know when a bear or bigfoot was going to come traipsing through the property. I needed to be ready.
My husband, (now my ex), called me Gladys Kravitz all the time. Gladys Kravitz was the nosy neighbor always yelling, “Abner!!” on the tv show, Bewitched. I don’t know what the hell he was talking about. I looked nothing like her.
I don’t think I am nosy. I just like to be aware of my surroundings. I’m not alone. Several months ago, I heard a helicopter that sounded close and when I looked outside, I noticed one landing in a field across the street from my apartment. I guess Healthnet lands there. Well, I noticed that people were walking from all parts of the town to see the helicopter land. Parents with small children were pointing at the helicpoter. I do think that it would be fascinating for small children to see a helicopter in action. People were pulling into the town parking lot. It had become a spectacle. Just to watch the rescue squad load a man into the helicopter. I knew it was a man because ..um…I saw him through my binoculars.
Once again, this is my mother’s fault that I am nibby. Nibby isn’t a vocabulary word that should describe me, though. I am inquisitive. I am prodding. That’s how I was when I was little. But, I always got the same, stupid answer from my mother.
“Because I said so.”
How does this help an inquistive child? So, I kept asking “Why?…Why?…Why?” on a daily basis. I knew I was driving her crazy. Well, I didn’t drive her crazy, but I met her halfway.
For example, I wondered why a family friend was all of a sudden, asking me if I said my prayers and other church, God-like questions. Didn’t he know we went to Isaly’s after Sunday School and skipped church? But, here he was, telling me that God loved me and other Jesus-devoted remarks. He creeped me out. My mom wasn’t much help.
“Vickie….he is sick…….Well, he had a nervous breakdown……………..No, he wasn’t shaking……he just needs some rest……well, he is sick in the head……No, he isn’t retarded…..No, he doesn’t have a cold…..Vickie, I don’t want to talk about this anymore. He is sick…..Because I know……….I just told you………..Well, Jesus does love you………….Because I know……Vickie, please go outside and play…….I know there is a lightning storm….please go outside.” (Ok, I am lying about that last part, but I am sure she was thinking about that.)
So, when I grew up, I was curious. You’d think I would like Science, but I hate it. I don’t care that if you mix baking soda with vinegar, you’d get a bubbling volcano. I couldn’t care less. I was more interested in why my teacher put lipstick on at the end of the day? I’d like to know where she was heading.
In college, I had a professor that was giving a lecture when all of a sudden a man came into the lecture hall, said a few words to her, and grabbed her purse, which was on the long table by the podium. He ran out of the room. We were all stunned. But, then, after about 3 long minutes of being out of the room, the professor told us it was all set up, to show that people see things differently, and what do we remember about the guy?
Well, hell, I didn’t remember anything about him at all. He could have had a third eye and I wouldn’t have been able to describe him. Other class members remembered that he had tennis shoes with orange laces. Other remembered that he had a wallet sticking out of the back of his black jeans. I didn’t know it was a man. I was focused on the damn purse.
I knew the color of the purse and was quickly asking myself questions, like “I wonder if she had a lot of money in it?…….Did she have more than one credit card?…..What about her checkbook?……Were there a lot of pictures of her kids in her wallet? What about medicine? ..My God, she could have had birth control in her purse..She can’t skip a day… Dear God, now she is going to get pregnant….” This is what concerned me, all in a flash.
I guess I’m just a curious person. I’m not a nibby, nosy, meddlesome, intrusive, peeping, snooping, busybody. Nope, not at all. I like to think of myself as an investigative, examining, inquiring, interested, inspecting, wondering, and probing kind of gal. Yes, I am investigative. I wonder. But, to call me Gladys Kravitz is just wrong.
Think about it, though. Gladys had a concern. Her neighbor, Samantha Stevens, was a witch. Hell, I would be sneaking over to look through the windows too. Gladys was just doing her job as a citizen. She was not nibby. She was investigative.
Just like me.