Facepalm Mute: Social Faux-Pas Chatting with Neighbor Yesterday

Tyuk

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Hi all,

I'm posting this for therapeutic reasons because I'm still thinking about it and believe it will help my conscience to share, especially if anyone has any similar anecdotes.

For context, my wife and I hadn't seen our resident 'nosy neighbor' (nice but nosy) for what felt like a few months and have made some comments to each other about it.

Yesterday, I was having a brief conversation with 'nosy neighbor's wife' and towards the end of our chat, I said "Say hi to G----- for us!" in an attempt to be friendly. Turns out G----- has been dead since last September and we just never knew! I immediately felt horrible, gave my condolences but ended that conversation so I could crawl into a hole as fast as I could.

I feel so bad because the neighbor looked like they expected us to know (relatively close neighborhood) and I think my mentioning their deceased partner's name caused them pain. Please tell me I'm not a horrible person? :cry:

As it is the neighbor across the street from my house, the only sensible solution is to never go outside again to avoid them, right?! Or tunnel my way to family in NZ?!

EDIT: Thanks for the words of wisdom all! A little more context: we always say hello/wave but this was my first real conversation with the person after living across for the street from them for 5+ years and that's how it goes. :lol: I'm not dwelling on it but wanted to re-assure myself that this type of thing happens. Onto the next awkward social interaction!
 
Last edited:

buster poser

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Well, how would you have known if you guys don't talk. If you knew, she may've felt like there was gossip, like "how'd you get that info."

It sucks... but it's not your job to keep tabs on your neighbors. You're not a horrible person, at least not because of that. ;)

Now this is a horrible faux pas.

 

Shaolin Wolf

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Context: My wife passed away one week ago, so this is kind of in the realm of possibility for me now. It's difficult to notify people of a death. There are so many, and it's just hard to do. I went through both of our Contacts lists and sent an email to everyone that needed to know. I told our upstairs neighbor and and hope the grapevine works. There's no real way to let neighbors know unless you run into them. Then you don't want to outright tell them first thing. Neighbors usually ask about my wife, so it'll be an easy in for telling them. If you didn't know you didn't know - don't sweat it, you offered condolences and I'm sure the neighbor felt awkward about it, too. The fact that you didn't know makes you a "not nosey" neighbor, so I think you're good, carry on, maybe send a sympathy card. If that happened to me, I wouldn't be insulted or hurt, no harm no foul, you just didn't know. And stop digging that tunnel...
 

teletimetx

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You are not a horrible person. And if your location info is at all accurate, you are at least Canadian! No wonder you are feeling somehow chagrined; yet you did nothing wrong.

A few neighborhoods have some info networks - but in many neighborhoods, there is very little, either by choice, design or urban practice. Many people have no clue who their next door neighbors are and many like it that way. Good fences make good neighbors, at least in the words of one New England poet.

A card is not a bad idea - but who knows?

It is kind of weird. About the end of May, I got a random text from a long time ago friend, which was only a picture of another long time ago friend, who helped manage refugee camps for UN agencies. We all have known each other from grade school days. There was no explanation or other text, just the photo. I replied with a thanks! and a thumbs up. Ok!

Almost two weeks later, I hear from another friend that our mutual UN worker friend is now in hospice, not seeing anyone but family. No other details. Then just this Thursday, I get a PM-type message from one of those social spiderwebs that our mutual friend has passed.

Just last fall I had called this UN fellow to see if he wanted to go skiing. Without mentioning details, he declined. We had skied at a number of places near our hometown in Colorado when we were in high school.

Not sure what the point of all this is; probably that people don't like talking about death.
 

schmee

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Well, how would you have known if you guys don't talk. If you knew, she may've felt like there was gossip, like "how'd you get that info."

It sucks... but it's not your job to keep tabs on your neighbors. You're not a horrible person, at least not because of that. ;)

Now this is a horrible faux pas.


Hah! Kathy knew nothing about what she was saying. Doesn't surprise me. Very common these people have no idea about anything they are asking but have notes provided to them. I'm surprised this stuff doesn't happen more often actually. Martin handled it well like the Pro he is, saving her a** by not calling her out. I love that guy. Kathy, not so much.
 

Si G X

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It's ok, I asked one of my actual friends how his missus was .... turns out she'd left him over a month before.

... apparently everyone on FB knew but of course I didn't.
 

String Tree

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Dec 8, 2010
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Up North
Hi all,

I'm posting this for therapeutic reasons because I'm still thinking about it and believe it will help my conscience to share, especially if anyone has any similar anecdotes.

For context, my wife and I hadn't seen our resident 'nosy neighbor' (nice but nosy) for what felt like a few months and have made some comments to each other about it.

Yesterday, I was having a brief conversation with 'nosy neighbor's wife' and towards the end of our chat, I said "Say hi to G----- for us!" in an attempt to be friendly. Turns out G----- has been dead since last September and we just never knew! I immediately felt horrible, gave my condolences but ended that conversation so I could crawl into a hole as fast as I could.

I feel so bad because the neighbor looked like they expected us to know (relatively close neighborhood) and I think my mentioning their deceased partner's name caused them pain. Please tell me I'm not a horrible person? :cry:

As it is the neighbor across the street from my house, the only sensible solution is to never go outside again to avoid them, right?! Or tunnel my way to family in NZ?!
Been there, done that.
My next door neighbor had been dead for over a Month before we found out.
He told his wife not to tell anybody he was sick with Pancreatic Cancer or, to tell anybody of his passing after the fact!!!

She is a sweet, sweet, lady.
My wife and I wrote her a Note telling her that she will never be alone and can speak with us anytime she wants or needs.

-ST
 

brookdalebill

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Send her a pie, or something.
Maby make it yourself.
I’ve had to extricate my size 11’s from my yap a time or two.
Don’t beat yourself up too much.
 
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FuncleManson

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My Mom had a neighbor, eight houses away, ask how my Dad was doing years after he had died. In fairness, Dad had emphysema and didn't get out of the house much his last couple years. Uncomfortable at the time-- sure--but not a big deal. Mom wasn't offended.
 

skunqesh

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no need to beat yourself up - as others have suggested - perhaps deliver a brief sympathy card or some form of kind gesture?
September wasn't that long ago, especially when a loved one dies. acknowledging their loss is still timely and neighborly.
Good luck!
 

Tyuk

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BC
Welll. I was teaching art to 4th grade class on a Monday and I opened class with " so how was your weekend kids!"....
One little girl raised her hand and said her mother died over the weekend...... There are no words!!!!
Ooof. That puts my incident in perspective. G----- was 70+ and had known health issues.
 

nojazzhere

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Hi all,

I'm posting this for therapeutic reasons because I'm still thinking about it and believe it will help my conscience to share, especially if anyone has any similar anecdotes.

For context, my wife and I hadn't seen our resident 'nosy neighbor' (nice but nosy) for what felt like a few months and have made some comments to each other about it.

Yesterday, I was having a brief conversation with 'nosy neighbor's wife' and towards the end of our chat, I said "Say hi to G----- for us!" in an attempt to be friendly. Turns out G----- has been dead since last September and we just never knew! I immediately felt horrible, gave my condolences but ended that conversation so I could crawl into a hole as fast as I could.

I feel so bad because the neighbor looked like they expected us to know (relatively close neighborhood) and I think my mentioning their deceased partner's name caused them pain. Please tell me I'm not a horrible person? :cry:

As it is the neighbor across the street from my house, the only sensible solution is to never go outside again to avoid them, right?! Or tunnel my way to family in NZ?!

EDIT: Thanks for the words of wisdom all! A little more context: we always say hello/wave but this was my first real conversation with the person after living across for the street from them for 5+ years and that's how it goes. :lol: I'm not dwelling on it but wanted to re-assure myself that this type of thing happens. Onto the next awkward social interaction!
When I was growing up, nearly EVERYONE took and read the newspaper, and virtually every local death was reported in the obituary pages. There was little excuse for NOT being aware of a death. But today, few people read newspapers, or even check online obits, plus many deaths aren't reported to papers. (due to the outrageous charges to even list in obituaries) You're not to blame for not knowing.....unless your wife was told and forgot to inform you. (which I assume is NOT the case)
Next time you see the neighbor, just repeat you're sorry to hear this, and offer to be available if she needs anything.
BTW....unless just really obnoxious, a "nosy" neighbor adds to a neighborhood's safety and security. ;)
 

Toto'sDad

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Hi all,

I'm posting this for therapeutic reasons because I'm still thinking about it and believe it will help my conscience to share, especially if anyone has any similar anecdotes.

For context, my wife and I hadn't seen our resident 'nosy neighbor' (nice but nosy) for what felt like a few months and have made some comments to each other about it.

Yesterday, I was having a brief conversation with 'nosy neighbor's wife' and towards the end of our chat, I said "Say hi to G----- for us!" in an attempt to be friendly. Turns out G----- has been dead since last September and we just never knew! I immediately felt horrible, gave my condolences but ended that conversation so I could crawl into a hole as fast as I could.

I feel so bad because the neighbor looked like they expected us to know (relatively close neighborhood) and I think my mentioning their deceased partner's name caused them pain. Please tell me I'm not a horrible person? :cry:

As it is the neighbor across the street from my house, the only sensible solution is to never go outside again to avoid them, right?! Or tunnel my way to family in NZ?!

EDIT: Thanks for the words of wisdom all! A little more context: we always say hello/wave but this was my first real conversation with the person after living across for the street from them for 5+ years and that's how it goes. :lol: I'm not dwelling on it but wanted to re-assure myself that this type of thing happens. Onto the next awkward social interaction!

I've posted this before on the forum, so I'm not just making it up to fit the situation. I once asked a woman how her husband was doing? AT HIS FUNERAL! Taking no chances, about six months later we saw the lady out while we were shopping, and I asked her AGAIN HOW HER HUSBAND WAS DOING?
 

Tyuk

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Posts
157
Location
BC
I've posted this before on the forum, so I'm not just making it up to fit the situation. I once asked a woman how her husband was doing? AT HIS FUNERAL! Taking no chances, about six months later we saw the lady out while we were shopping, and I asked her AGAIN HOW HER HUSBAND WAS DOING?
You’re making me look like a saint. Thank you.
 




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