Zone of privacy (not just physical space)

I’m having a problem with my plumbing and my neighbor offered to let me take a shower at her house. I’d rather take a “camping shower” for a few days instead. (We are friendly but I’ve only been inside her house a handful of times).

My MIL thinks I’m crazy – but I feel like that would be an uncomfortable breach of my zone of privacy.

Said MIL has also shared my plumbing issue with everyone on my block (she’s currently visiting us and is friends with most of the neighbors). Not a big deal, but I sort of feel that’s my business and it should be up to me to discuss with my neighbors if I wish.

(Side effect – every neighbor has an opinion of what I should do and what my plumber is doing wrong.)

Anyway, I assume everyone has a different size zone of privacy. My MIL is the type of person who will discuss everything with anyone, and report back to me on their bowel movements etc. It’s not a gossip thing with her – she just likes to share and feel involved in people’s lives.

Maybe I just like to keep to myself?

Just pointless musing . . .

It’s your life, do what makes you feel comfortable. Even telling your MIL to quit spreading your business to the neighbors, if that will make you feel better.

I understand you and am an incredibly private person, and people don’t get this. I am more open on the Interwebs. And the MIL would drive me batty. It’s one of the reasons I am careful what I say at work; everything is bandied all over the office. People are like, what’s the big deal? And I feel if I tell you something, it doesn’t mean I want everyone to know, even if it is minor.

Back in my youth, I rented an apartment in a old scummy Manhattan walk-up apartment. Our fire escape was shared with the building next door.

So, one January, our refrigerator breaks down. We began the process of dealing with our slumlord landlord who would’ve rather seen our apartment vacant…we know that getting our fridge repaired or replaced will be a long process. In the meantime we started leaving our perishable food out on our fire escape.

The woman in the next building who shared our escape ( and who we had never met before this incident) had a cat. She was not crazy about us leaving food on the fire escape as the cat had access to the escape. So we met out on the fire escape and worked out a plan.

For 2 months, we left our food in this woman’s fridge and we we needed it, we crawled out the kitchen window onto the fire escape and into her kitchen window. We became friends during this time. If the tables had been returned I never would’ve made the offer she did because it would’ve seriously violated my privacy to have my next door neighbor breaking into my kitchen 3 or 4 times a day but she didn’t seem to mind.

This has become one of my classic New York stories

I confess to the mods that this is a sock account and can be deleted. Sorry, boozilu. We obviously are one and the same person.

I would call you a liar except in my life it’s my FIL who is guilty of oversharing with my neighbors. I guess it could be a thinly disguised sock account.

Apparently we’ve been split into three; my MIL does this too. I’ve had a recent set of embarrassing and worrying doctor’s appointments, one of which my husband attended, and I cringe at the idea that my MIL has more than likely already told her daughter about it. I barely mentioned it at all to one of my brothers, and only because he called me and asked me what I’ve been up to lately.

My sense of privacy is a bit more than the average person in my area, but I also slip into TMI for most people pretty easily; I guess I’m situationally private. Casual friends can hear more personal stuff, but I’m not terribly interested in sharing my personal problems with my coworkers until we’ve gotten to a point of being comfortable with each other as “work buddies”. I have a highly variable sliding scale, but generally if I’m at work, I don’t have a great interest in sharing my personal life with coworkers unless I’ve known them for at least six months or so. Unfortunately, this situation-based sense of privacy is something that sometimes causes people to label me as cold or aloof until they get to know me better. I don’t always want to share.