Thursday, 6 August 2009

MULTIPLY United Friends Challenge #168: She was just misunderstood

Qwith's Challenge

From Barbara DeMarco Barrett's book "Pen on Fire" - Chapter 101 Compassion p. 160

1) Pick someone to write about who really bothers you, - perhaps someone who makes a nuisance of themselves--a brash teenager who speeds down your block playing (loud) music...,your next-door neighbor whose cigar smoke wafts through your open window, a woman in your condo...who lavishes attention on her cats, but just about runs you down if you happen to cross in front of her car.

**Keep in mind these are examples only.**

Write a description of this person and

2) Do it without turning them into a caricature. Look beyond the surface. You could try writing from their point of view, if you like.

I think some people are just doomed to misunderstandings throughout their life, no matter how hard they try. I am convinced that Mrs. Grey was one of these cases. People love spreading rumours, and there were enough reasons to spread them as far as Mrs. Grey was concerned. Her reputation had already preceded her before she moved to her new bought apartment. She was the owner of a house and lived there together with her husband and son. She moved because her husband had bought her a new apartment. That was the first rumour. Actually he had no intention of moving with her as he wanted to fit his new bride-to-be into the house with him. Unfortunately his untimely death brought this plan to an end. Apart from this gun threats to her previous neighbour also made headlines before she moved. This had long been forgotten and is also not so important any more, but she did threaten her neighbour with a gun and it was reported to the police that were called to smooth out the differences. Poor Mrs. Grey, she had no chance before she moved to her new apartment.

So there she was alone with her son surrounded by new neighbours who only meant it well with her. After all the events that happened in her old place of habitation were things of the past, and probably very much exaggerated.

She was a wealthy widow in some ways, had wonderful woven genuine woollen carpets. Now how was this known; probably because she threw them over the railings of the balcony every day to beat the dust out with the explanation that the hoover made them kaput. Unfortunately this did present a problem with the neighbours living direct under her balcony on the ground floor, as they had to sweep the dust away from their patio quite often. Wanting to keep the peace, these neighbours said nothing. After all Mrs. Grey was used to living in a house for herself and had to learn that she was now sharing certain things where she was living.

So time went on and it was noticed now and again that her son was more at home than at work. Then came the day when her son decided to move in with his friends and leave his mother. This was known by all who lived in the area, as many words were exchanged outside on the path on the day that the son left, quite loudly and mother was not happy. It was even reported that Mrs. Grey shouted at her son and shed a few angry tears; yet again a misunderstanding, a family misunderstanding this time. Another rumour circulated that the son was starting his own business with his colleagues. After a few months it seemed that this business endeavour was no success and the son returned home. He was more or less at home, but seemed to spend a lot of time on the streets of the town smoking strange cigarettes and was once even warned by the police for lighting a fire in a park and roasting sausages. The things that you hear and so we would perhaps feel sorry for Mrs. Grey if the following had not happened.

Unfortunately the cellars in the apartment block were flooded due to heavy rain falls and building errors. This meant that some items of furniture had to dry out. The neighbours that had already been bothered by the dust from the carpets had to find somewhere for a few articles and put them in the washing space to dry in the small corridor shared by all. Unfortunately Mrs. Grey had decided some time ago that two old chairs she had would look nice in this corridor. This was a problem as they had to be put on one side to accommodate the damp furniture. Mrs. Grey was just overstrained with this decision and even insulted as her wonderful furniture was pushed on one side. A discussion arose in the cellar where it was mentioned that Mrs. Grey should at last leave those nice people alone and after all it was just some damp furniture which would be removed as soon as it was dry. It was then that Mrs. Grey’s son arrived on the scene and decided to threaten the nice neighbours with the damp furniture by showing his fist. What did Mrs. Grey do? The poor woman was so surprised that she patted her son on the head and congratulated him for supporting his mother. Probably she had lived through so many disappointments that she was grateful at last for this positive sign. The neighbour was not very pleased and when the son decided to threaten another neighbour that had come to help, the misunderstanding was complete. Rumour had it that every time the son met the neighbours involved he would shake their fist at them. As well as these warlike signs, he also removed the damp furniture and kicked it around, causing slight damage.

So where do we go from here? You go to the police and file a complaint. “Who” they said “ah, Mrs. Grey, oh yes that case is known to us”; strange how things happen.

Eventually the complaint was dropped as Mrs. Grey through her uncertainty would have been capable of financially dragging the whole case through the courts causing a lot of expense and trouble to everyone concerned and who knows? It was after all rumoured that she did once threaten a neighbour with a gun..

In the meanwhile the son disappeared once again. It was known that he had fallen victim to smoking certain tobacco and mixing with people having a criminal reputation. Eventually he was removed from the streets and looked after in a place of correction and Mrs. Grey was left on her own to combat the trials in her life. Things did quieten down. Now and again she would shake her expensive carpets over the balcony just to prove that she had a right to do this, but words of greeting were never heard again between her and certain neighbours.

One positive result was that the son in questions seems to have become a non-smoker, helping his mother where he can and no longer seen to show his fists when seeing certain neighbours.

Now and again Mrs. Grey decides to go on a long holiday far away and peace has returned to the place where she lives, all neighbours hoping that one day she will decide to perhaps move.

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