The Bad Neighbor…
We are the bad neighbor. But not like you think.
Here’s the background: immediately upon moving into the new place six months ago, the next door neighbor came over to introduce himself. The slightly odd things immediately stood out, but others after. The immediate red flags were that he made a point to be negative of the neighbors on the other side of him, as well as the ones on the other side of us (who moved out shortly thereafter, but that’s beside the point). The other is he made it a point to convey the idea that he had different “arrangements” with the owner.
In the case of the first red flag, it seemed to us to be completely unfounded. The family on the other side of him wasn’t anti-social, and turned out to be the first neighbors to reciprocate later when JoAnn baked and delivered a variety of holiday cookies to each of the neighbors.
The second red flag was a bit more concerning as time went on, especially the part about the “agreement” about mowing the part of the front lawn that is connected between the houses. Even if there was such an agreement, we were not a party to it, nor was it in our lease. And frankly I wasn’t all that comfortable having someone I don’t know that close to the house and cars on a regular basis (plus, well, my initial intuition was to not really trust the guy).
Over the winter, during one of the snows that we had, he let his dogs (3 or 4 of them) loose (a regular thing), and during that time, they pooped in our part of the yard (multiples). So JoAnn made sure to ask him to pick up after them, and that’s when I think things went south.
Anyway, fast forward…there have been a couple times now where I’ve made it clear that I wasn’t going to uphold the lawn agreement–I mowed straight down the middle. But he’s continued–with one exception–to keep mowing the both parts. A week ago, I came out through the garage, and think I might have surprised him–he was over on our side with a pesticide sprayer, clear over by our cars, said a quick “good morning” which I returned, and then he turned immediately away and walked towards his house. Was odd, but didn’t think much of it at the time.
This weekend the kids were playing out in the yard, and Joshie had some sort of reaction to something, either something in the grass or the grass itself. It was minor, but a reaction nonetheless. We haven’t wanted to escalate this issues, but at the same time want our lawn to be our lawn, and want our privacy and boundaries respected. This reaction provided a good opportunity, so JoAnn went over, knocked on the door, explained that Josh was having some sort of allergic reaction, said I’d seen him spraying, and asked what it was. He indicated he’s sprayed over by his fence (and to his credit, it is brown there), but acted as if he hadn’t on our side (which may be the truth, but then begs the question of what he was doing way over on our side that morning I surprised him). JoAnn simply stated that we’d like to be responsible for our own lawn care.
Seems basic enough of a request, no? Apparently not, and this is why we think we are now the bad neighbor in his eyes: he did a wave-off with his hand, said “whatever”, turned around, and shut the door with JoAnn still standing right there.
Yeah, we’re the bad neighbors.
We are the bad neighbor. But not like you think. Here’s the background: immediately upon moving into the new place six months ago, the next door neighbor came over to introduce himself. The slightly odd things immediately stood out, but others after. The immediate red flags were that he made a point to be negative…