To give some background, we live in a pretty upscale community. We have been in our home for 8 years. My daughter is currently 15 years old. Out of the 8 years we have been her, I can count on one hand the number of times my daughter has played outside in our neighborhood as she attends a different school so most all of her time is spent elsewhere. Over the past 8 months, we have had two significant hail storms rip through our area. It is safe to say that 90%+ homes in our community had to have at least their roofs replaced.
Last Monday, the roofers arrived at our house. They got to work immediately but as most people know, you probably need 2-3 days to complete a roof (plus gutters and screens). On Tuesday after work, I decided it was a nice day to go over the operation and safety of my daughter’s new motor scooter. I purchased this for her about a month ago so that she has transportation to and from her high school for summer practices. In our state, you must be 15, hold at least a state ID card, insured, and registered. Additionally, if you are 15, you must wear a full face helmet with eye protection. (She has all of the aforementioned.)
Since our house is in a cul-de-sac, I walked her scooter into the cul-de-sac and (after putting on her helmet), my daughter got on her scooter. After the initial “speech” I instructed her to go very slowly the 20 yards or so down our street and come back a few times to get the feel for it. We were out for about 15 minutes (with ZERO traffic, mind you) when our neighbor began yelling something to me. I couldn’t hear him due to 1. His location and 2. The nail guns being used on the roof. When I approached him, he yelled, “Those roofers have been here too long! They need to get their (derogatory Mexican verbiage) out of here!” He then yelled and said, “Why is she on that thing in this cul-de-sac?! I pointed to my house and said, “We live right there,” to which he replied by standing up and applauding!
The “Old Me” would have torn into this guy, but I am getting older and more tired so I just turned around and continued to instruct my daughter. I was NOT going to be intimidated by this man! After about 15 minutes, we decided to pack it up so I sent my daughter into our garage to park and as I was leaving the cul-de-sac I turned to my neighbor and said, “Now you have a good evening! My door is always open so feel free to stop by for coffee anytime!” His reply was the one finger salute!
After having mulled on that experience overnight, I decided to send my neighbor a friendly card. Just a simple card that said something to the effect of, “I hope you have a great day”. My husband said that this was just provoking him. My thought is that he will either receive the card and reflect on his behavior or he will just toss it. My great grandma always said to “Kill them with kindness!”. 0520-13
I would have done exactly as you did with the exception that old age and tiredness would not have been why I choose that response. This is a perfect example of doing the right things all the way through the entire situation so that you have no regrets, you walked away retaining your dignity and power and now you know what a jerk your neighbor can be.