Monday, February 4, 2013

Moochers


When I was a kid, there was a woman living just a few houses down from us that dropped by regularly – at least once a week; sometimes more - to ‘borrow’ food from my mother. An onion or two. A couple of potatoes. Celery. Some rice. Pasta. A few tomatoes. A cucumber. Salt. A cup of milk. Butter. Three or four eggs. And so on. This chronic ‘borrowing’ went on for ages, and she’d always promise to pay my mother back. She never did. Not one onion’s worth. But she still had the nerve to show up regularly for her borrowing mooching sessions. My mother was too polite to say no and kept handing out food. I’m not sure exactly how long this went on, but I do know that it lasted for quite some time. And I’m not sure if my mom was the only person this shameless woman mooched from. It’s possible there were others who helped trim her grocery bill.


In an apartment in a building next to the one we lived in, we suspected a family of mooching toys. If you left toys unattended outside, and the brother or sister in that apartment were around, they disappeared. The problem is that we never caught these kids in the act of ‘borrowing’ toys. We were certain that this is what was happening because the sister (5 or 6 at the time) would say something like “we put the toys we find in a box so we can take them to our new house”. And when you asked her what toys were ‘found’, she’d mention something you – or another neighbourhood kid - had ‘lost’. Coincidence? I think not. So we were certain that our stolen lost toys were in that home, but just couldn’t prove it. What bothered everyone the most is that the parents of these kids encouraged this behaviour. Instead of drilling their kids to find out where these toys came from in order to return them, they kept them! Not long after, this family moved away --- and so did all those mooched toys.


These are just a couple of examples of mooching I witnessed as a child; a behaviour that grinds on my nerves. Fortunately, I haven’t been targeted by people like this in my adult years, but I imagine it wouldn’t last long with me. If the recurring “sorry I don’t have any” response wouldn’t clue a mooch in, I’d just ignore the doorbell when they dropped by for their weekly goodie bag. I’m an introvert, and introverts are experts at ignoring doorbells and telephones when they don’t want to hear from a particular individual, or when they just want to be left alone.

Have you ever had to deal with moochers?


24 comments:

  1. No, not unless you count the furry &/or feathered kind :) Hmmm... that old neighbour of yours was quite enterprising, I wonder how many people she hit in her rounds? Lol!

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    1. I suspect there were quite a few. She probably trimmed her grocery bill by a substantial amount. I wonder sometimes what other things she mooched. It wasn't long after that the family bought their first home. Bet they easily saved up the down payment! :)

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  2. Oh yes. When I was in college I lived in a sorority ... funny how 'sisters' are always mooching from each other! I lost quite a bit of jewelry during those years. Too bad I wasn't making any at the time so I could replace it! I'm like you ... I get very good at ignoring the front door or the phone.

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    1. Yes, I can only imagine how much they mooch off each other, but if they all do it, it balances out in the end!

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  3. Yes, we had relatives who were moochers, primarily of meals, cigarettes and "temporary loans." But they lived in another town and had no vehicle, so it wasn't a problem until that one summer when they did acquire a car for a couple of months and terrorized us, LOL!

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    1. That must be family in the series of posts you had on your blog at one point. That was hilarious!

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  4. Of course most people who are begging on the street are poor and homeless. But I recall that, a few years ago, the Toronto Star investigated some of the regular panhandlers in downtown. They discovered a few who lived in nice homes in the suburbs and had comfortable lifestyles. Begging on the streets was their regular "job" and they did very well financially. I would call them moochers, or worse.

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    1. That's what gets to me. There are people who really need help and you have moochers who give them a bad rap. Disgusting!

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  5. I had many kids steal my toys as a child. I once had a "friend" steal a good bit of my pokemon cards.

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    1. Terrible what some kids do. I always wonder how their parents don't notice 'new' toys. Or do they just not care?

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  6. No, Martha but my sister lived beside an Olympic Gold medalist in this event.She borrowed all the usual milk,tea,coffee,sugar etc. Then she moved on to my sister's wardrobe! Thankfully she moved away, but honestly, some people have no shame!

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    1. Yes, some people have no shame. I think it's important to learn to say no. It's hard, especially if you're very polite, but these people won't stop otherwise.

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  7. Luckily most people in our neighborhood know I am an introvert so they don't come by unless it is an emergency. What really ticked me off was two years ago. I only go home every other Christmas, and two years ago was one of those times I didn't go home. My parents sent our gifts thru the mail but the UPS driving delivered it to the wrong home by mistake. Well the people he delivered to kept the box and denied getting anything. People suck.

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    1. That is really disgusting! I can't believe people would sink that low (or maybe I can), particularly around the holidays!

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  8. Loved your post, Martha! No truer words than the second to last sentence! I do miss chickadees - I've only seen one or two in our area. They are the sweetest birds. After all these years of looking at muleys, those white-tailed deer ears look odd! I hope that you are having a good Monday!

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    1. I adore chickadees. They are such fun little birds. They visit my backyard regularly --- as long as there is food to be found!

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  9. I love those wild animal moochers...the human ones, not so much.

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  10. Isn't that funny! I was just going to say how much I loved that little moocher on your hand. And it is your hand is it not, martha? Such a wonderful photo!! I don't know too many human moochers, maybe even none. Guess I don't have anything worth mooching ha ha!

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    1. Hahaha...you silly gal, you! I'm sure you have something mooch-worthy, but you've been fortunate enough to have avoided this type of person so far!

      That is not my hand. I snapped a photo of a young girl feeding a chickadee when I was hiking through one of the conservation areas near my home. A lot of people feed the animals in that area, and some of the little birds are not very afraid of humans.

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  11. Moochers.....elementary school.....my Dad owned a corner grocery store...
    I had the BEST recess snacks around.....one fellow would always run up to me (not rudely) when I had an apple and ask for 'the core'......I would say yes, and he would follow me around till I gave him the core.....which he would devour seeds and all in a flash......his family was poor.....and I imagine he was hungry. He was a very different from those rude moochers for which I had no tolerance.
    Your mother sounds like an angel and very non-judgemental.
    Your photos Martha are so cute......animals can be moochers in my books!! lol

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    1. That is such a sad but sweet story, Jim. Yes, I imagine he was quite hungry. I wouldn't classify him as a moocher; more as someone in desperate need. To me, moochers are people that sponge off others because they are cheap or inconsiderate or selfish. When people are hungry and in need, that is where my compassion and generosity are given.

      My mother has a big heart and a lot of compassion. She knew that this woman was mooching, but she let it go. She felt she was doing the right thing, and that was enough for her.

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  12. Sounds familiar, I have this relative who thinks it's not mooching if you are related. Since they are the moocher it works out well for them. Your photos are adorable!

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    1. Mooching relatives are some of the worst! And it's funny how moochers always come out ahead!

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