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Killing The Neighbor With Kindness

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.


{ 49 comments… add one }
  • --Lia May 21, 2013, 8:58 am

    Yes to the friendly offer of coffee any time.
    No to the “have a great day” card so soon after getting the finger.
    Wait until the roofers have gone and the guy has had some time to enjoy the quiet and get out of his grumpy mood. That’s not because “kill ’em with kindness” doesn’t work. It’s because, if he knows he’s wrong, the card will be like rubbing his nose in it, and if he doesn’t know he’s wrong, it’s not going to do any more than the friendly offer did. Give him time to pretend he never made the rude gesture. Then go back to being nice and see what happens.

  • Kimberly May 21, 2013, 9:00 am

    I would not send him a car. Your husand is right. This would just be provoking the neighbor.

    After your interaction, you did turn to him, (and I am assuming nicely, I hope), told him to have a good evening, to which he replied with the one finger salute.

    If your neighbor was going to reflect on his behavior at all, he would have done so by not giving you the salute and saying, “Thank You”.

    He clearly has no intentions, (at this time, it seems), of being neighborly.

    What I might do each time I was out and about is wave and smile and kill him with kindness this way.

  • betty May 21, 2013, 9:07 am

    Sending a ‘have a nice day’ card does seem to be provoking him. If this were a neighbor who normally acted neighborly, the letter writer could send an ‘apologies for the noise from the roofers, thanks for being a good neighbor’ card.

    But in this case? A card is passive aggressive and can only lead to more aggravation down the line. Skip it. When you see the guy, don’t go out of your way to get his attention (and it’s ok to ignore him if he is being rude). Then go on your day.

  • Beth May 21, 2013, 9:29 am

    There seems to be a fine line between ” killing them with kindness” and being passive aggressive. I think the card OP wrote crosses that line. The rest of her response was great though!

  • Lo May 21, 2013, 9:35 am

    I do think you did the right though, though I would not send a card, simply because even though you are doing so for the right reasons I think that it may indeed be seen as provocation.

    I would just smile and greet this person politely whenever you see them while still making it known that you won’t stand for any rude nonsense.

    There is a certain kind of person that triggers a blanket of cold, calm politeness in me and this sounds like the type. Especially if he threw out an ethnic slur– that automatically puts me into overpolite lockdown mode. I try to be genuinely kind (but morally uncompromising) with prejudiced folk who aren’t trying to offend me but merely ignorant because I truly believe that throwing hate against hate teaches no one anything and we should be examples. But I would bet money he was just trying to provoke a reaction in you by saying such a thing and wanted to make you angry. That calls for the most dignified sort of polite response, one that relieves the recipient of any doubt that they can move you with their evil words.

  • Mamamia May 21, 2013, 9:42 am

    So many times these things are triggered by something terrible a person is going through, and they take it out on the first person they see –I’m not saying it’s an excuse, but I think in this world with all it’s trials and troubles, we should give each other a lot more grace than we do. If you have lived in this house this long without a confrontation with this individual, I’d say this man is going through something that is very upsetting to him, and in his emotional immaturity, reacts in the only way he may know how. I’d let it go–once–and see what happens after this.

  • Shalamar May 21, 2013, 9:44 am

    I would have done everything you did except for the card. I agree with your husband – you’re just going to provoke him. If he’s the kind to respond to “have a good evening” with a one-fingered salute, who knows how he’ll respond to your card?

  • The Elf May 21, 2013, 9:49 am

    You did absolutely the right thing day-of (and I applaud you for your restraint), but I’d forgo the card. I agree with your husband that this would just be provoking him. I think it would be better to assume he was having a particularly bad day and the noise of the multi-day roof repair was getting to him, and that this sort of incident wouldn’t repeat itself. The best you could hope for is that he is embarrassed at his own behavior, which might create new and different problems. The worst is that this wasn’t a one-time thing, he really is that awful, and you’ve now set him off again.

    If something like this happens again, then there’s some other actions you can take, but for now I think a one-time offense it is best forgotten by everyone.

    As a motorcyclist, would you mind if I offered a bit of advice? Have your daughter take a motorcycle safety class. There might be one specifically for scooters, but even the motorcycle one would be a good idea. The worst thing that happens there is she learns to drive a more complex vehicle (clutch vs. automatic). Even if your state does not insist on a license for scooter drivers, if she will be on the road with cars then she needs to be hyper aware of them. Good motorcycle/scooter skills are a must because I guarantee the average car driver isn’t aware of her. I have 13 years of riding under my belt and a whole lot of near-misses, most of which were caused by car drivers just simply not knowing that I’m there. So, anything you can do to make her stand out on the road would be great. A bright or reflective jacket is nice, and they make lightweight ones that can withstand a skid.

  • Ergala May 21, 2013, 10:02 am

    My flabber is gasted. Well now you know what a nasty person he is. Now that you’ve killed him with kindness I’d completely ignore him except for the casual niceness (nodding at him if he waves at you etc…).

  • AMC May 21, 2013, 10:09 am

    People who are happy and at peace within themselves don’t go around treating others like crud unprovoked. That poor, miserable man acted that way not because or you or your daughter or your roofers, but because of himself. OP, I commend you on keeping your cool and not sinking to his level. By not responding to him in kind, you are robbing him of a justification for his behavior. I think you and your daughter should take him a fresh batch of cookies. It’s hard to hate someone who brings you cookies.

  • Allie May 21, 2013, 10:10 am

    I’m curious as to why you felt the need to add that this is an “upscale” community. I don’t see what it adds to your story. Yes, proper roofing takes at least 2 days, as they should spend much of the first day preparing the work site with safety features. Only then can the real work begin. Sounds like your neighbor is a crackpot and a racist one at that. I would not recommend sending the card. I think your husband is right. You risk escalating a situation that is hopefully (now that roofing and scooter practice are concluded) at an end.

  • Cherry May 21, 2013, 10:19 am

    I think you handled the situation very well. People like that infuriate me. If I’d been in that situation with such a racist jerk, I’d either have been struck speechless or furious beyond belief.

    Neighbours are always extremely tricky to deal with, because you may have to deal with them for years, even decades. In the end, the kill them with kindness technique is probably best. If your neighbour claims to anyone that you were trying to “provoke” him with the card, he’ll just sound completely irrational.

  • Cat May 21, 2013, 10:34 am

    Two thoughts: money does not purchase class so it may be that your neighbor is just a jerk with some money and, too, it may also be that he may not be a jerk, but may be mentally ill.
    I would have stuck to the anwers to his questions. First,” It takes several days, regardless of your ethnic background, to put on a new roof. I cannot verify your assumption as to the ethnicity of the workers, but it will be the end of the week before the work is finished.” Second, “She is learning to ride the scooter. I prefer that she practice where I can see her and we live here.”
    I would have turned my attention back to my daughter and not responded further. There is no point in getting upset and trading words with a man like that.if he is the garden-variety jerk. If he is mentally ill, he may escalate the problem to a point you would be unable to handle.
    Do not invite him to your home. You may find him standing there one day and he will be able to say in all honesty that you invited him and declared you have an open-door policy. Not in this day and age, especially when you do not know exactly what you will be dealing with.

  • Margo May 21, 2013, 10:42 am

    Well done for not responding in kind to your neighbour’s rudeness. However, so far as the card in concerned, I agree with your husband that this is likely to backfire. What I would suggest instead is a breif note to let him know how long the re-roofing work is likely to take, and that in future, if you are having work done which is may affect your neighbours that you let them know, by dropping off a note, or calling round to say (for instance) “Just to give you a heads-up, we’re having to have our roof redone – the roofers will be here on Monday an the job is likely to take about 3 days. They should not be here before 8 a.m. or after 5 p.m. and they know not to park except on our property, or on the street. ” If there are other potential issues such as the workers having to go onto your neighbour’s property, or the risk of their driveway being temporarily blocked if you have a big truck bringing beams, or anything of that kind, speak to your neighbours in advance.

  • Ashley May 21, 2013, 11:02 am

    How long did he expect the roofers to take? And I have a scooter, those things aren’t especially loud. My fiance’s truck makes more noise upon starting and no one has ever questioned it…

    This whole thing reminds me vaguely of one fourth of July when my brothers and I still lived at home. Every year after the city fireworks show, it was tradition for my family to put on a fireworks display for the rest of the street. People brought chairs out to watch, we followed all safety precautions we possibly could including having two hoses and buckets of water at the ready. Safety glasses were also enforced for anyone lighting anything. But anyway, while we were driving home, my parents noticed we were following some of our neighbors. We got to our street, watched them pull into their driveway, and then the kids IMMEDIATELY started running around the yard, playing with basketballs and such, and their parents did NOTHING at all to make them go inside. (they live close enough that we could see and hear everything) We figured they were being allowed to stay up since it was a holiday and there was no school the next day. So, we proceed with our fireworks show. The kids down the street stop and watch for a bit, then go back to playing. Their parents did not come outside at all during any part of this. I went inside to use the bathroom and noticed the answering machine light blinking, so I pressed play. There was an irate message from the woman down the street saying her kids were trying to sleep and could we stop shooting off the ****ing fireworks. The very same woman whose kids were playing outside from the moment we got home and were still outside for another HOUR after we finished with the fireworks.

  • Stacey Frith-Smith May 21, 2013, 11:14 am

    Sometimes it’s just not worth it to try to work with a provocateur, which is what your neighbor seems to be. His bad manners are neither a reflection on you nor should they interrupt your day any further. By engaging with him at all after his initial display you appear to have ceded a bit of power to him (at least in his estimation). His status as your neighbor is immaterial- his rudeness is insupportable and you should not be trying to “kill him with kindness”, “converse with him civilly” or anything else. Simply ignore him and continue on with your life. The fact that your daughter isn’t known to all of the neighbors or that the area is upscale is irrelevant. Rude neighbors are to be given the bare minimum of effort needed to coexist. Sending a nice card or explaining your right to exist in your own home and on your own street is just ridiculous and has the sad consequence of inflating his sense of entitlement to express his complaints publicly. Bah! Humbug.

  • Lychii May 21, 2013, 11:15 am

    The old man was cranky and rude (which could have been caused by all the noise), but I don’t think OP’s fake “kindness” is any better. Yes, sending the card would be a provocation.

    A true kindness would have been to say “Is the roofer’s noise bothering you? Don’t worry, they will be finished in 2 days.” and “I’m just teaching my daughter the basics, be assured she’ll not be making laps around the block for long!”

  • Anonymous May 21, 2013, 11:16 am

    >>I’m curious as to why you felt the need to add that this is an “upscale” community. I don’t see what it adds to your story. <<

    Maybe the OP mentioned that because, usually, in "upscale" communities, the houses are bigger, so a bigger house would have a bigger roof, which would take longer to redo. Although, I've seen it take two days to do the roof on a simple townhouse, so YMMV.

  • Mae May 21, 2013, 11:23 am

    I agree with @Margo (comment #2) and your husband. The card is a bit too much. You were polite and even tried to end the confrontation on a nice note, which earned you the “finger”. I would just let it go but be alert and let my daughter know that if he should confront her or anything of the sort, to immediately call me or let me know so I can handle it.

    Also take Margo’s idea of letting neighbors know if you have a home improvement project that may take a couple of days, etc, in person and by note to Mr. Middle Finger.

    @Ashley (comment #3) we also do a neighborhood fireworks show on 4th of July! We also do them on NYE because my son LOVES fireworks. Never had a problem except for this past NYE when our new neighbors left their teenage daughter at home with friends while they went out to party and I guess they were scared, or just acting silly, because they would scream bloody murder when my son set off a particularly loud one. I think they were just girls acting silly and having fun because the neighbors never said anything about it. I tried to catch them at home to ask if the girls were really scared of fireworks but they never seem to be home!

  • Mae May 21, 2013, 11:25 am

    Sorry, Margo’s comment is #13 & Ashley’s is #14. My computer is having issues.

  • Julia May 21, 2013, 11:34 am

    I agree that it must be hard to hate someone who brings you cookies. Our next door neighbor is not liked by many, and has been cold towards us since we moved there approximately three years ago. My husband has baked large batches of cookies (I burn them) and distributed them to neighbors for the past two Christmases. After the first, we received a polite wave; after the second, a thank you card!

    He’s still a curmudgeon though. *shrug*

  • Lisa May 21, 2013, 11:52 am

    I am the person that submitted this story.

    I would like to own that the card was indeed, passive aggressive. Additionally, it was a handmade card from Mexico from a stack that I purchased while on vacation.

    Out of 80+ houses, ours is close to the last one that has had their roof repaired. (The neighbor had his done two weeks ago!) If this were a one-off, I would have informed my neighbors, but it is a continuous cycle and has been for the past several months. ALSO, this neighbor lives 4 HOUSES FROM ME! He is not right next door!!!

    I added that we live in an “upscale” community as I use to live in a lower end community and there was ALWAYS neighbor drama, plus noise issues, plus anything else you can think of! “Upscale” doesn’t eliminated it, but it does decrease it.

    I found out a bit of history on this neighbor. He use to live in a neighborhood that one of my close friends lived in. He would throw his dog’s feces in their pool because he didn’t like the kids outside making noise! (They had a 6 foot privacy fence!) Additionally, he sprayed grass killer on his other neighbor’s lawn for no apparent reason!

    I have continued to wave to him when he is out. No salutes have been given to me thus far 🙂

  • Christine May 21, 2013, 12:02 pm

    It appears that the OP herself has done little to get to know her neighbours in the 8 years she has lived in the cul de sac. Children are not the only reason to interact with neighbours in such a small community (I consider a cul de sac a microcommunity). Perhaps, since she was aware that her roof was to be replaced and some extraneous noise was about to occur, she could have dropped a small, home-copied notice on each neighbour’s doorstep, letting them know when the noise would start, the duration each day, and when the job would finish, just as a courtesy. People are more tolerant when they receive an apology in advance and have some knowledge when an annoyance will end.

    As for the card – that is definitely a provocation, not a neighbourly act. If she is truly attempting to be a good neighbour, send a card apologizing for disrupting the neighbourhood, perhaps with some home baking, and behave graciously. My sense is the OP’s actions were not attempt at defusing the situation, but at getting under the neighbour’s skin without resorting to bad behaviour herself.

  • Cami May 21, 2013, 12:03 pm

    Examine your motives in sending the card. Are you trying to improve this guy’s day and if so, do you think a card from you will accomplish that? Are you trying to prove that you’re the bigger (better) person? Are you trying to provoke him?

  • Gen Xer May 21, 2013, 12:30 pm

    I think everyone agrees that the neighbour is a miserable old goat and you were a paragon of restraint and dignity while you were outside with your daughter….but I have to say you lost me with the so called friendly card. Maybe I am cynical but I don’t see it as friendly – I see it as deliberately goading him.

    Do you really think he is going to appreciate it or reflect on his behaviour? I highly doubt it. Frankly it sounds like you’re trying to get the last word in, however sugarcoated it might be….and that is likely how he will take it too.

    Sorry if this is harsh….but just drop it.

  • Yet Another Laura May 21, 2013, 12:47 pm

    I had roofing done last year and the roofers stayed as long as there was daylight. Since it was June, that meant until close to 9pm at my latitude.

    The banging can be loud, but you mentioned that most roofs had to be replaced, so he shouldn’t be surprised. If the roofers were still there after his preferred quitting time, I’m sure that was the case for everyone else who needed a roof done.

    In my opinion, the sounds of construction are so much more pleasant than blared music that you can hear inside your house on the opposite side of the source.

    Good for you for not stooping to his level. I’d skip the card, though. He’d interpret it as a counter attack.

  • Jewel May 21, 2013, 1:32 pm

    I find it odd that this neighbor was so hostile without sufficient provocation. In your 8 years since you bought your house, is this interaction the first you’ve had with him or do the two of you have some “history”? If all your past interactions with him have been neutral or pleasant, I’d wonder if he’s recently suffered a brain injury. His reaction just seems incredibly out of scale with the situation. What’s the “rest of the story”?

  • Lisa May 21, 2013, 1:38 pm

    I agree with those who said to forego sending the card.

    Your initial response was spot on though, and you set an example for your daughter for not rising to the bait.

  • Abby May 21, 2013, 2:07 pm

    Agree with everyone else, your response at the time was good, sending a card was very passive aggressive and ill advised.

  • inNM May 21, 2013, 2:41 pm

    First of all, congratulations on not descending to his level. As a reformed hothead, I know it takes a lot of control to not verbally send someone to e-hell, first class.
    It could be that the neighbour in question was going through a rough time, needed quiet, etc. It could also be that the neighbour is one of those who wants the neighbourhood actions to be dictated to his pace. While I personally don’t have neighbours like that (I have the kind that wants to help you do whatever you’re doing, even if you don’t need help), I was recently talking to a friend who has a neighbour who climbs up to look over the 6 ft fence to peer into her yard regularly, then attempts to get her or her husband’s attention to address the “problems” he sees in her yard (which, by nature of being confined in her yard, are not, and will not be his problems in any way). It has gotten to the point that she will only venture into her yard if she knows he’s not home. We haven’t found the solution to dealing with people like your neighbour and her neighbour yet, though.

  • S4R4H May 21, 2013, 2:52 pm

    @Lisa, ok, ok, yes the card was too much but a big piece of me loves that you sent. I have to admit I grinned ear to ear reading about your special choice of stationary!

  • June First May 21, 2013, 3:02 pm

    OP, I applaud you for owning up to your motivations for the card. My cattiness enjoyed that it was a card from Mexico, no less. My sensible side agrees that you’d be “poking the bear” with the card. Do not poke the bear!

    Waving is good. Make sure you use all your fingers.

  • Mae May 21, 2013, 3:09 pm

    @inNM- your friend’s neighbor climbs to look over a 6ft privacy fence?!? Could that be considered a “peeping Tom”? That is way over the line. Why does he care what their yard looks like if he doesn’t see it unless he climbs the fence? It isn’t likely that any guests of his would be climbing the fence!

  • The Elf May 21, 2013, 3:34 pm

    Lisa, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation has a pamphlet online about learning to ride a scooter safely. I know they have motorcycle classes – it was by far the best $100 I ever spent with regards to my bike. The pamphlet has tips about braking in turns, what to do about tailgaters, bad road surfaces (like pavement under repair), etc. This is all good stuff to know on the road. I hope your daughter checks it out or reads something similar before going out there to compete with the cars.

  • Angel May 21, 2013, 5:30 pm

    I think that if you send the card you might find your trees tp’ed, or even worse, one or both your cars keyed! Don’t provoke this guy I have a feeling you won’t like the results. He seems a little nuts.

  • Marozia May 21, 2013, 5:45 pm

    Well done for not going down to his level of vulgarity. Waving, smiling and good morning/afternoon always gets them too.
    Good idea with the coffee (Good Marozia would’ve done that).
    Not so good with the card (Evil Marozia would not have shoved it in the letter box).

  • Kali May 21, 2013, 6:02 pm

    I’m really confused by him standing up and applauding when the OP told him where she lived. Was it sarcastic? I’m just really baffled by what he could possibly have meant with that, and what was understood by it.

  • VanessaGa81 May 21, 2013, 6:16 pm

    As everyone else has said, no to the card but you were not at all rude. As for the OP not getting to know her neighbors, I am not terribly involved with mine either. I have a full time job and 2 children and I’ve no more baked them cookies than they’ve done for me but I would never think that was a reason to give them the finger if their home improvements were a little loud. I must have missed that section in my HOA handbook!

  • MichelleP May 21, 2013, 6:36 pm

    I’m baffled by the criticism of OP in this post, particularly by Christine. There is no excuse for the man’s actions; the OP handled it beautifully.

    I was under the impression that the card was not sent, she merely considered doing it.

    As someone who has had a more than one neighbor from hell, I giggled at the thought of the card. Don’t engage the crazy, and continue being the decent person.

  • Kate May 21, 2013, 8:18 pm

    I agree that the card was provocative and passive-aggressive, but at least OP is owning that! I would probably ignore him from now on, though, in case he tries to up the ante.

    On a side note, I understand that sometimes people’s politeness falls by the wayside when they are feeling bad. However, I don’t think that is ANY excuse to start using racial slurs. I don’t go around throwing the n-word out there when I’m having a bad day. Neighbour’s crankiness at the noise levels is understandable but the racial abuse is not.

  • Fiona May 22, 2013, 12:25 am

    @ Kali May 21, 2013 at 6:02 pm
    [quote]I’m really confused by him standing up and applauding when the OP told him where she lived. Was it sarcastic? I’m just really baffled by what he could possibly have meant with that, and what was understood by it.[/quote]

    My guess is that Mr. Grumpus realized that the OP was the one responsible for the roofer noise, and the applause was his passive-aggressive-sarcastic response.

    I completely agree with those posters who said “Don’t engage the crazy”. Sending a card or inviting him to your house is just begging for trouble. Keep your distance.

  • --Lia May 22, 2013, 5:13 am

    inNM– Your friend should be advised that when the neighbor starts to climb the 6 foot fence, she should quick call the police and tell them frantically that someone is trying to break into her home while explaining the exact circumstances of where the person is and how the fence is laid out. The police arrive with sirens and blue flashers. They then discover that it’s the neighbor and ask him what on earth he was doing. Repeat as necessary.

  • BMS May 22, 2013, 9:45 am

    I’ve lived in both economically depressed areas and reasonably affluent areas. Noise happens in both. But I have noticed that the more expensive the houses, the more entitled certain people seem to feel. “I paid $xxxxxx for this house! How dare he/she/they disturb the peace, put up that fence I don’t like, play their music, etc.” And if you spent all your days in upscale places like that, you never get a chance to grow the same thick skin that you grow when the houses are literally 3 feet apart. My neighbors could be practicing a tuba naked on the lawn and I probably wouldn’t be bothered with it, because hey, it’s their lawn, and as long as it isn’t 1 in the morning, they should be allowed to play their tuba (I might close the shades though – don’t need to see the neighbors naked. Ever. Shudder.) Some people would probably be best living smack dab in the middle of 5 acres of forest so that they never encounter any other humans that might disturb them by existing. However, there are not enough acres of forest in the world, so people need to learn to give and take, regardless of the price tag on their house.

  • Christine May 22, 2013, 10:49 am

    @Michelle P – As I read the OP’s story, the incident had ended and the two parties were no longer interacting when the OP said “Now you have a nice evening …” and her neighbour responded with the one finger salute. Extremely rude on his part, but would he have done it if she had not spoken? I believe her actions were passive aggressive and unnecessary; the incident was over. She poked the bear and then sought to continue the situation by sending another PA card. What was the point? Certainly not fostering neighbourly relations.

  • inNM May 22, 2013, 11:39 am

    @Mae, I did ask about the peeping tom scenario, since it is *finally* summer and she likes to sunbathe in her yard. I also suggested that she mention her concerns about the neighbour being a peeping tom to his wide.
    @–Lia, I like that idea, but my only concern is that if the police don’t consider it a threat they may fine her for wasting police time, or at least send her a bill for the cost of sending the police out there. Extreme I know, but I have know situations where a person was charged for a false alarm.

  • lakey May 22, 2013, 1:56 pm

    I agree that refusing to be drawn into a nasty confrontation is the best way to go. My reasoning is that when someone is this out of control over your perfectly reasonable behavior, you can bet that pretty much everyone in his life knows what a jerk he is anyway.

  • Ankh May 23, 2013, 12:50 am

    If you send that card you’ll look like a passive-aggressive, stuck-up busybody.

  • LadyPhoenix May 24, 2013, 10:49 pm

    What you first did, telling him have a nuice day, was good.

    And then you completely messed it up by sending the stationary. You have essentially signed yourself up for a world of hurt — especially since this guy is notorious for being the “neighborhood tormentor.” I won’t be surprised if he tries to damage your daughter’s scooter or trash your flowers.

    This guy is just a jerk, period. Nothing you’ll do will improve him and everything you do against him will bring harm unto you.

  • Cher630 June 21, 2013, 9:41 pm

    Ok, I understand the “kill him with kindness” but inviting him over for coffee was just silly. Smiling and waving when you see him leave for work in the morning is one thing, but I think too much kindness to someone being a jerk is just pointless. And your husband is right – a card would definitely be provoking him and will only make him grumpier. Honestly, you should just ignore him and leave him alone.

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