I am a married man with two children. I live in a compound with two houses; a bachelor occupies the other.
My problem is my wife. She frequents my neighbour’s house to watch African Magic channels because he has a DStv decoder which I don’t have.
Sometimes, she gets from him meat, chicken and sausages on the days we have beans on our menu, because, she says, she doesn’t like the legumes.
When our neighbour washes clothes and they are left on the line till late, she collects and keeps them in our house.
When there is a shortage of water, she draws it for him.
When I ask her about it, she downplays it by saying that I have fear of the unknown.
I suspect that my neighbour’s handshake has gone beyond the elbow. What should I do: confront my neighbour, warn my wife off him or move house?
UM by post
My dearest UM
Fortune—in case you didn’t know—favours not only those who have the resources, but also those who are close to the resources. Your neighbour is feeding your children, your wife and, in all probability, yourself. Be thankful to him for supplementing home diet. He is just being neighbourly—just as your wife is being neighbourly by drawing water for him and keeping his clothes safe.
Any of the three options—confront my neighbour, warn my wife off him or move house—you wish to take will either boomerang or reflect badly on you. You have a huge dilemma on your hands. Let us look at each one of them on its own merits.
Confront neighbour: It is the obvious means to asset your territory and rights and warn an encroacher. The downside to it is that your relationship with your neighbour and even your wife will be irreparably damaged and it will be all downhill from there; there won’t be meat, chickens and sausages when your menu is beans, beans and more beans. And, I fear, your neighbour might be tempted to make good of your innuendos and munch the goods, if he hasn’t done already. By the way, what sin or crime has your neighbour committed? He doesn’t come into your house to seek your wife, watch your TV or get beans from you; it’s your wife who does. Talking of your wife…
Warn your wife: Warn her for doing what? Is watching TV a crime? Unless she gets a different type of sausage from your neighbour (which you should pray she doesn’t), you have no case. You will only succeed in coming off as the worst case of inferiority complex. Maybe, if you tried hard enough to buy DStv, provide meat, chickens and sausages, she wouldn’t have to find her comfort and better nutrition in your neighbour’s house.
Move house: The biggest mistake you can make. If you move house, any inhibitions your wife and neighbour may have now because of your proximity will be off. Take it from me, your wife is hooked on that Africa Magic (the name says it all) and she would, once in a while, come around to your neighbour to watch the channel. The problem is you won’t be around to see what sort of magic your neighbour is capable of conjuring up or what sort of sausage he will be giving her.
My advice is: work extra hard to buy a decoder, beef, chickens and sausages and build a house on island. Only then will you be rid of that neighbour or any other.
Theme song for the week: Eddy Grant’s Neighbour Neighbour