Remember Gladys Kravits from Bewitched? She was always spying on Darren and his beautiful wife Samantha, who just happened to be a witch. Whenever anything unusual happened, like when the real Benjamin Franklin popped in for a visit, she would let out a loud, nasal pitched scream to her husband, "Abner," as she peered out the window, At which point he would continue reading his newspaper. Things were never quite as exciting at our house, but she would always find something to stick her nose into.
When our boys were in second grade together, she invited my son over for a playdate. She complimented him on his pants, and asked who the designer was. After he shrugged his shoulders, she asked what size he wore. He was two for two and continued playing with her son. The suspense was killing her, so she reached in his pants to get a closer look at the tag. Then she went about her business.
Later when I asked her why she accosted my son she giggled, "Oh, he didn't seem to mind." I decided to be neighborly and keep the peace, but it didn't last for long.
If she saw me walking with a friend, she would want to know why I was walking with the other woman instead of her. Then she would ask me all kinds of questions about what her husband did for a living, and what kind of activities her children were involved in at school. She was determined to know everything to insure that her son was never going to be left out.
It got to the point where if I saw her coming, I would head in the opposite direction. Though somehow she would always manage to catch up to me even if it was only to take a gander at my shopping cart. "Oh, so you let your kids eat those snacks? I would never buy those for my children. Oh, I see you bought some generic brands, don't worry I won't tell."
Not only was she competing with me about friends and groceries, but her son started competing with my son at school. Since he couldn't keep up with him academically, he decided to duke it out with him at gym class. My older son held the grammar school record for pull-ups, and he was determined to beat him. He came very close, but my son won out in the end. I was waiting for his mother to install a pull-up bar in their driveway for our husbands to have a go of it.
As the boys grew older, we saw each other less often. I'd still have to endure the occasional jab, "Oh, I think I saw your son earlier. I'm not sure it was him, because he was driving too fast to tell." Then I'd respond by saying something like, "Oh, is your son driving yet, or is he still waiting for his booster seat, so that he could see over the steering wheel?" Nah, that would have been a cheap shot, and it would've taken me way too long to get to the punchline. I wonder if it's not too late to install a booby trap in my shopping cart?