Friday, January 15, 2010

The Unprepared in Action

One of our neighbors is currently using our shower because her family fails to prepare each and every time winter comes around.

They know that their water lines are going to freeze and rupture because that happens to them every year: as soon as we get a decent freeze, something bursts over there. They don’t get off their butts and wrap their pipes, which is insanely cheap and easy to do: just use newspaper and duct tape if that’s what you have on hand.

What’s worse is that, even though they know the consequences of their decision to avoid preventive maintenance, they don’t keep extra parts or supplies on hand. Instead, they wait for the pipes to freeze and then make a special trip all the way into town to buy what they need.

This time, they sent the guy’s daughter, who has no idea of what to buy. She came back with fittings that were too large and the wrong type of PVC glue, so they still don’t have running water. Even worse: the father, who does know what to buy, went into town after the pipe burst – but did not bother stopping to pick up the necessary supplies. He sent his daughter out on another trip even though he knew that a) he was already right there in town and b) she had no idea of what she was doing.

Oh, yeah, and they do have television, which does broadcast weather-related information. They know when a freeze is coming and have plenty of prepping time, but still choose to sit around and wait for the inevitable.

I’m just ticked because one of the neighbors is using our stinkin’ shower. Why should we help them out? They aren’t even trying, so we’re only teaching them that our family is right here to bail them out despite their lack of effort.

They have no idea that we’re prepared for bigger problems than ruptured pipes. They don’t know that, should the food supply go haywire for whatever reason, we aren’t nearly as worried as they’re going to be. They shouldn’t come knocking on our door, but something tells me that they will anyway because they’re being taught that we can, and do, solve their other problems. Will it really be beyond their rudimentary imaginations to think, “Hey, maybe they have food?” because we already provide the shower, among other things?

Society is full of people who rely on others to take care of the essentials. I have too much pride and work ethic to let other people take care of me, so I can’t imagine being like the neighbors. How can they be comfortable letting us provide them with running water? Why don’t they feel like crap for not being capable of taking care of themselves? What is it about them that prevents them from saying, “This is embarrassing. I’m going to make sure that this doesn’t happen again”?

I don’t know the answer to any of those questions. I don’t understand the unprepared person’s mindset; all I know is that, when things are really bad, there are going to be a lot of people in this country with no idea of what to do – and they’re going to try to find the natural leaders who were prepared in advance.


  1. Personally, my opinion is you should tell them exactly how you feel- in a diplomatic way, of course. In conclusion, tell them your shower's now for family members only. Or, if you really want to test their resolve, tell them the cost is now $5 per head- towels are $5 more and soap is $5 per use. After all, you have to clean the bath, do the laundry, and the added inconvenience... dang, lotsa reasons they should get their own water fixed.
    What's happening is you are 'enabling' them with your generosity. And when the doodoo flies, they're going to be the first banging on your door wanting in, food, shelter, showers and anything else they can get from you.
    What are you going to tell them then?
    So, IMO, tell them the train just left the station and they missed it. It's time for the man of their house to Man-up.
    And 'Manning-up' is exactly what the fed in control does not want us to do.
    Shy III

  2. The word NO can set you free. It is liberating and just. I always figured that if I didn't know what to say NO to how could I fairly say YES.
    It always shocks people when one says NO. BUT, they may be angry for a short while but will learn some respect for others.
    People do what works.
    I've been where you are. Try saying NO.


“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
-George OrwellAnimal Farm