No More Mrs Nice Girl

Lit cigarette

 I try to be a good person. I believe that we reap what we sow and the elders in my family are a good, generous loving breed and I have been heavily influenced by them. However sometimes being good or helping others isn’t always rewarding. I don’t mean being paid for acts of kindness, I mean sometimes our good nature means we can get taken for a mug and believe me, I often think that I’ve got ‘MUG’ tattooed on my forehead.

Take some of the neighbours in my neighbourhood, for instance. Now I’ve always been brought up to keep on friendly terms with the neighbours as you never know when one’s hour of need might fall upon you and you need their help. I also have compassion for people struggling. I’ve struggled near enough my whole life, and with the economy being in the poor state that it is at the moment everyone is suffering hard times. Cue the family of immigrants that moved in a few doors away from me a few months back… I show them a friendly face to make them feel welcome in the neighbourhood. Two of their three children attend the same school as my daughter so when the mother is struggling with the baby and cannot get them to school on time, I offer to take them for her. Not a problem to me. Anything to help someone out.

My friendly gesture gave this lady the impression that I’m up for babysitting duties and she often leaves all three kids here whilst she ‘pops to the supermarket’, returning some 4 hours later (even though she has a car). Now once again, I don’t mind helping people out but this Madam seems to be making a regular habit out of it. Her husband, as charming and polite as he appears also likes to hone in on my kindness. Can I lend him a few quid? Can he borrow my garden tools, a dvd, a cd? And what does muggings say? Yes, of course. The problem is I have to practically beg to get my belongings back. My brand new strimmer was ruined due to his carelessness during the summer. Did he offer to replace it. Did he heck! I didn’t even get an apology.

Almost a week ago he really rattled my cage when he was banging at my door in the late hours of the night almost crying for a cigarette. I only had two and wouldn’t be able to buy any more until the following day. I told him this and he reassured me that he would return a whole packet of 10 to me in the morning as I was always giving him cigarettes. Hmph! Morning my arse. I seen him two days later and the guy practically ran away from me and the Mrs can barely look me in the eye when I see her down the school. I didn’t want or expect a packet of cigarettes in return from him but the one I loaned him would’ve been enough because as any smoker knows, that morning fag is the most important one of the day. I’m not going to ask him back for it, the drama’s over for me now but I’m ready for him and his Mrs the next time they come beating down my door along with the whole other list of liggers who continually take the piss out of my kindness.

I’ve had it with people take taking and no giving back. No gratitude, no thankfulness, nothing. In the words of the beautiful Angie Stone‘s ‘Twenty Dollars’, “…What do you do when you’re through? When your always helping people and nobody’s there for you…”. No more niceness from Donna from now on. If I act more selfishly I might find it more rewarding.

 Excerpt from ‘Twenty Dollars’ Gerald Isaac, Al Green, ‘Mahogany Soul‘ Angie Stone, J Records

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