Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: Cass on February 21, 2013, 10:39:09 AM

Title: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Cass on February 21, 2013, 10:39:09 AM
I recently moved in with my boyfriend. His sister and her husband Tom live in the other half of our duplex house.

Every time it snows, Tom gets up at six thirty and shovels the driveway. The problem is, we really don't want to join him. I'm perfectly happy to leave the driveway uncleared. The snow's never higher than ankle-high, so you can walk through it just fine, and it's not a problem for any of our cars, either.

I wouldn't mind shoveling snow when I come home from work, but Tom's not willing to leave the snow in the driveway all day. This has led to some bad feelings between us, because Tom feels like we're forcing him to do our portion of the work, too, while we feel that if he wants to do work that doesn't need doing at all, knock yourself out but leave us out of it.

To be clear, there's no legal obligation to clear one's own driveway, and we're not regularly visited by any elderly people who might be in danger of falling in the snow. Do we have some sort of moral/etiquettely duty to help clear our joint driveway, even though we don't mind the snow there?
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: DottyG on February 21, 2013, 10:44:20 AM
Six-thirty in the morning is, as far as I'm concerned, the middle of the night.  If someone wants to get out and do something then, go right ahead.  But I'm snuggling under the covers at that hour and snoozing until I absolutely have to get up*.

I don't think you're rude for waiting until the timing is right for you to shovel it (since you said there isn't an ordinance to do so, and it's not a requirement in some way other than Tom's wishes).

* I realize there are parts of the country where you have to get up before dawn to shovel snow.  I'm not in one of those areas - thank goodness.  Because there's no way I'd do what a coworker of mine does (she works remotely and lives in another state) and get up at 4 AM to shovel snow.

Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: GlassHalfFull on February 21, 2013, 10:48:41 AM
Since this is a shared driveway, I'd say to keep the peace and be fair you should shovel your snow, as it can blow/fall/whatever onto their cleared side.  However, you should shovel it when you want to and can.  How about saying "Go ahead and clear your side whenever.  I'll get our side when I get home from work, and will take care of anything that fell onto your cleared area as needed."
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: heartmug on February 21, 2013, 10:48:49 AM
No, doesn't sound like you are rude.  But to minimize hurt feelings, I think your BF should say this out to his sister.  Or you could offer to do it just one weekday per week.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Sharnita on February 21, 2013, 10:50:30 AM
What are the liability issues if you leave the snow and somebody visits and slips? He migjt not be willing to risk it and might feel you have an obligation too.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: mandycorn on February 21, 2013, 10:52:04 AM
I think that with some communication, there might be a compromise here, but it's going to depend on why Tom's doing the shoveling when he is. Is there any way that he can just do his half and leave yours alone until you're ready to deal with it, or would that not work with your driveway?

If he knew that you'd be willing to do it in the afternoon, would he be okay letting it go that long? It could be that if you've never talked about it, he doesn't know that you'd be willing to do it later in the day, he just knows that it hasn't been done yet, so he thinks that if he doesn't do it, it won't get done at all.

As far as etiquette, I know of no requirement to ever shovel your driveway. I'd say about half my neighbors do and half don't, and it doesn't seem to make much difference as to how long it takes the driveway to clear up between storms (we usually have a good clear stretch between snow storms, so almost everything will melt or blow away on its own).
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Coralreef on February 21, 2013, 10:52:12 AM
I would suggest only cleaning the part of the driveway each household uses.   Clean your side, Tom cleans his, no muss no fuss. 

Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: DottyG on February 21, 2013, 10:54:40 AM
Quote
I would suggest only cleaning the part of the driveway each household uses.   Clean your side, Tom cleans his, no muss no fuss.

This makes the most sense to me.  And this solves the problem of "what if someone does need an uncleared place to walk because of liability?"  Because they can walk on Tom's side and be fine.

His side is cleared in the morning.  Your's is cleared in the afternoon.  And there is, therefore, always a safe place to walk at all times of the day.  And no one is having to do it when it's not convenient for them.

Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: bah12 on February 21, 2013, 10:56:07 AM
So, it's been a while since I lived in an area that snows, but from what I remember, the ability to walk/drive over the snow is not necessarily the only thing to consider when shoveling snow.  Chances are you will drive/walk on the same area over and over...mashing that snow down and leaving the rest of the snow to pile up...this causes "ice ruts" in the spring. (Depending on how much snow you get).  They are a pain and can be damaging to the driveway beneath.

Also, for me (and many people I know) 6:30 is the time that we are awake getting ready for work, so while it may seem early for some, there's a whole lot of us out there who are doing all kinds of necessary things in the morning.

You share a driveway with your neighbors/family and I think that the correct thing to do is work something out with them.  You may not think that the driveway needs shoveling, but they do.  They think that 6:30 is mid-morning and you don't.  So, why can't you talk to them about it and work out something that you all can agree on?  One suggestion would be to offer to shovel the driveway a couple of days a week...but since Tom can still leave for work with the snow on the driveway, on your days, you get up whenever you want and shovel it.  On his days, he can get up 6:30 and do it if he wants.  If Tom is concerned about the possible damage to the driveway, it's unfounded as long as you clear the snow that day.  So, just try to reason with him.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: GoTwins on February 21, 2013, 10:58:08 AM
The one thing that makes shoveling later a bad idea is that once cars have driven over the snow it's packed down in those spots and almost impossible to shovel clear. The the temp goes up and softens the packed snow, then the temp goes back down & turns it into ice. (I'm in Minnesota. I deal with this A LOT.)
I think it's best to sit and have a conversation and reach a compromise. If it snows overnight, they clear the driveway. If it snows during the day, you clear it when you get home.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: DottyG on February 21, 2013, 10:58:16 AM
bah, what exactly are "ice ruts"?  I'm not familiar with that (not living in a place where we'd have those).
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: GoTwins on February 21, 2013, 11:00:42 AM
bah, what exactly are "ice ruts"?  I'm not familiar with that (not living in a place where we'd have those).
See my post above.  :)
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: *inviteseller on February 21, 2013, 11:04:50 AM
Share the shoveling, but let him know you won't do it at the crack of dawn, but ankle deep snow seems a bit high to just drive on it.  What does your lease say about snow removal?  We have 24 hours after a snow fall to clear (altho after the blizzard 3 years ago, that wasn't enforced thankfully).    And POD to Sharnita for the liability issue.
bah, what exactly are "ice ruts"?  I'm not familiar with that (not living in a place where we'd have those).


When there is more than a few inches of snow, what you keep driving on and parking on packs down and turns to ice, making it hard to shovel, and in my lovely hilly town, trying to get off of one of these is not always easy.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: DavidH on February 21, 2013, 11:38:54 AM
I think the answer is to talk to him and find a solution you can both live with.  I like the idea of him clearing snowfall from overnight and you clearing it if it happens during the day.  You never need to get up early to shovel and he never has to go to bed with new snow on the walk.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Cami on February 21, 2013, 11:40:39 AM
I recently moved in with my boyfriend. His sister and her husband Tom live in the other half of our duplex house.

Every time it snows, Tom gets up at six thirty and shovels the driveway. The problem is, we really don't want to join him. I'm perfectly happy to leave the driveway uncleared. The snow's never higher than ankle-high, so you can walk through it just fine, and it's not a problem for any of our cars, either.

I wouldn't mind shoveling snow when I come home from work, but Tom's not willing to leave the snow in the driveway all day. This has led to some bad feelings between us, because Tom feels like we're forcing him to do our portion of the work, too, while we feel that if he wants to do work that doesn't need doing at all, knock yourself out but leave us out of it.

To be clear, there's no legal obligation to clear one's own driveway, and we're not regularly visited by any elderly people who might be in danger of falling in the snow.* Do we have some sort of moral/etiquettely duty to help clear our joint driveway, even though we don't mind the snow there?

I wouldn't agree with  you about leaving the snow there forever and it would tick me off. Driving over or walking over icy ruts is a pain and can cause pain, even for those of us who are not elderly. That said, I'd also be willing to wait for you to do  it when you got home from work or to split the shoveling into overnight/daytime snowfall divisions. Would Tom be reasonable about that split? Or would that split be a fair division of labor (as where I live, more snow falls during the day than overnight so if I took the daytime shift, I'd be getting the brunt of the work).

*The guy I knew who died from slipping on an icy pavement at his workplace was only 32. His surviving family successfully sued his employer for a chunk of money. The coworker who slipped and fell in our icy parking lot was only 55 and she ended up with a massive concussion and 11 stitches in her head.  Both of them, I should note, were wearing boots but ice is icy. So it's not about being elderly and falling, it's about a person of ANY age fallng and hurting themselves. Aside from any moral obligation, there is also the legal liability.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: GratefulMaria on February 21, 2013, 11:41:21 AM
Is there a less immediate swap you could make that works for all of you?  Maybe you guys do some yard work / mowing, dump runs, another common job in exchange for him doing this?  I get that you're fine not doing this, but there might be something you can take on comfortably as a gesture to balance the effort.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: LeveeWoman on February 21, 2013, 11:47:34 AM
Would your boyfriend be willing to do the work?
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: rose red on February 21, 2013, 12:05:47 PM
I think you are fine since you are willing to shovel after work, not outright refusing to ever do it.  I do think it's a good idea to talk about it and come up with a work plan (each does half, morning shift/night shift), but if he can't live with a compromise, then it's his problem. 
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Aeris on February 21, 2013, 12:14:38 PM
He has a right to expect that you guys shovel half the snow, whether you think it's necessary or not. He does not, however, have a right to demand that you do your half at 6am.

Lay it out to him that you are perfectly willing to do your half of the labor, but you're going to do it in the later portion of the day.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: DottyG on February 21, 2013, 12:15:01 PM
Quote
talk about it and come up with a work plan (each does half, morning shift/night shift)

I like this.

I don't see the OP's saying (as others have noted) that she's not willing to shovel the snow.  I'm reading it as she's not excited about getting up at 6:30 to do it.  If there's no reason to have to do it then and the only reason is Tom's desire to have it done then, I can see how waiting works.

If he does his half of it in the morning, there isn't a liability issue for anyone.  There is a cleared spot to walk for anyone walking at that time.  And, likewise, there's a freshly cleared spot later in the day for those who are walking then when it may have snowed some more and become a potential problem again.  It's the best of both worlds.

But the only way this plan works is to communicate with Tom and compromise.  And that, OP, is what you need to do.  The four of you need to sit down and talk about it, and I think you'll come up with a workable plan that makes everyone happy - and safe.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: DottyG on February 21, 2013, 12:16:12 PM
Quote
He has a right to expect that you guys shovel half the snow, whether you think it's necessary or not. He does not, however, have a right to demand that you do your half at 6am.

Aeris, you posted at the same time I did.  But I agree with you here.

Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Judah on February 21, 2013, 12:20:30 PM
Quote
He has a right to expect that you guys shovel half the snow, whether you think it's necessary or not. He does not, however, have a right to demand that you do your half at 6am.

Aeris, you posted at the same time I did.  But I agree with you here.

Question from someone who lives where it rarely snows and has no experience: What if my not shoveling in no way impedes traffic to the other unit? I get no visitors and the mailman doesn't have to come to my door to deliver. My neighbors don't ever have to set foot on my side of the driveway, nor do their visitors. Do I still have to shovel?
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Sharnita on February 21, 2013, 12:25:57 PM
In theory I am not sure how anyone makes certain they nebet have visitors, never need emergency services, etc. I get that to this point you never have but how you know for a certainty uou never will?
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: bah12 on February 21, 2013, 12:28:28 PM
bah, what exactly are "ice ruts"?  I'm not familiar with that (not living in a place where we'd have those).
See my post above.  :)

Yeah, that is what I was referring to.  I made up the term ice ruts :)
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: rashea on February 21, 2013, 12:31:44 PM
I think if your actions only effect you, go ahead and don't shovel. I know my driveway won't get plowed tonight (3/4 mile from the end of the town road), but since we're the only ones crazy enough to live up there and no one would visit without calling, and no one delivers, I'm fine with that. It'll get plowed in a day or two when I make it home. And we're likely getting a foot of snow tonight. Actually, the neighbors know we're home because the drive suddenly gets plowed.

But, in this case it sounds like you share a driveway. So it's time to figure out how to share that. While ankle deep snow isn't too hard to walk on, or drive on, the ice that forms when you do that is really hard to get rid of, and can lead to serious flooding in the spring, never mind slipping in the winter. So, I do think that in that case you should figure something out.

I think it's worth asking if there is a reason that it must be done in the morning. Are they home during the day? Does he get a lot of packages? Is it just that he'd rather do it in the morning rather than when he gets home? Are you willing to do it before you leave for work but after you get up? I suspect there's a compromise.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: rose red on February 21, 2013, 12:56:29 PM
Quote
He has a right to expect that you guys shovel half the snow, whether you think it's necessary or not. He does not, however, have a right to demand that you do your half at 6am.

Aeris, you posted at the same time I did.  But I agree with you here.

Question from someone who lives where it rarely snows and has no experience: What if my not shoveling in no way impedes traffic to the other unit? I get no visitors and the mailman doesn't have to come to my door to deliver. My neighbors don't ever have to set foot on my side of the driveway, nor do their visitors. Do I still have to shovel?

I don't shovel sometimes because you can tell when snow will melt in a day or two, or rain is expected and will melt it away.  You learn by experience  :P.  But I usually do shovel because I have to for heavy snow, and it's a breeze for the light fluffy snow (I actually enjoy shoveling fluffy snow).  Also, if you have a shared driveway, your half of the snow can drift over and make a mess whether by wind, car, or feet.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: snowdragon on February 21, 2013, 12:59:55 PM
I think it's worth asking if there is a reason that it must be done in the morning. Are they home during the day? Does he get a lot of packages? Is it just that he'd rather do it in the morning rather than when he gets home? Are you willing to do it before you leave for work but after you get up? I suspect there's a compromise.

Doing it before they leave would mean they have to get up earlier. I am not sure I would be willing to give a house mate that much say in my sleep schedule for the winter, no matter what the reason he wants it done that early. And I love shoveling snow!

 I would talk to him and tell him that I have no problem shoveling, or doing whatever chores need to be done, but I will do them on my schedule not his. 
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Judah on February 21, 2013, 01:03:35 PM
Quote
He has a right to expect that you guys shovel half the snow, whether you think it's necessary or not. He does not, however, have a right to demand that you do your half at 6am.

Aeris, you posted at the same time I did.  But I agree with you here.

Question from someone who lives where it rarely snows and has no experience: What if my not shoveling in no way impedes traffic to the other unit? I get no visitors and the mailman doesn't have to come to my door to deliver. My neighbors don't ever have to set foot on my side of the driveway, nor do their visitors. Do I still have to shovel?

I don't shovel sometimes because you can tell when snow will melt in a day or two, or rain is expected and will melt it away.  You learn by experience  :P.  But I usually do shovel because I have to for heavy snow, and it's a breeze for the light fluffy snow (I actually enjoy shoveling fluffy snow).  Also, if you have a shared driveway, your half of the snow can drift over and make a mess whether by wind, car, or feet.

Thank you, that makes perfect sense.  We get snow once every couple of years, but it's not much and we just let it melt away.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Erich L-ster on February 21, 2013, 01:04:12 PM
So, it's been a while since I lived in an area that snows, but from what I remember, the ability to walk/drive over the snow is not necessarily the only thing to consider when shoveling snow.  Chances are you will drive/walk on the same area over and over...mashing that snow down and leaving the rest of the snow to pile up...this causes "ice ruts" in the spring. (Depending on how much snow you get).  They are a pain and can be damaging to the driveway beneath.

Also, for me (and many people I know) 6:30 is the time that we are awake getting ready for work, so while it may seem early for some, there's a whole lot of us out there who are doing all kinds of necessary things in the morning.

You share a driveway with your neighbors/family and I think that the correct thing to do is work something out with them.  You may not think that the driveway needs shoveling, but they do.  They think that 6:30 is mid-morning and you don't.  So, why can't you talk to them about it and work out something that you all can agree on?  One suggestion would be to offer to shovel the driveway a couple of days a week...but since Tom can still leave for work with the snow on the driveway, on your days, you get up whenever you want and shovel it.  On his days, he can get up 6:30 and do it if he wants.  If Tom is concerned about the possible damage to the driveway, it's unfounded as long as you clear the snow that day.  So, just try to reason with him.
A lot of this is what I think. Also, even a small amount of snow is apt to melt and refreeze leaving you with a sheet of ice.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: camlan on February 21, 2013, 01:14:08 PM
The one issue is if this is one driveway that is shared by both units. That's the way it is in my duplex--there is one driveway, a little more than one car wide, that leads to the back of the house and parking for all the cars.

There's no way, really, to shovel half the driveway and have a clear path to the street. You'd either shovel the left half of the driveway, or the right half, or the half near the street or the half in the back of the house, but no matter what, shoving half would mean that half the driveway would have snow on it. And when cars drive over that snow, as mentioned by several PPs, the snow gets packed down and is much harder to clear off the driveway.

So Tom may just want a driveway that doesn't have packed snow on it. And the only way to get that is to shovel before cars drive on it and before too many people walk on it.  Waiting until everyone has left for work and then come home after work simply doesn't cut it--there will be packed snow and the chance of "ice ruts" is high.

If that's the case, I like the suggestion above about trading yardwork. Tom shovels the driveway all winter by himself, but in return, the OP and her boyfriend mow the lawn or weed the flower beds or something, so that Tom doesn't have to.

I'm curious. Was the OP's boyfriend living in the duplex before the OP moved in? What was the shoveling arrangement then?
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Yvaine on February 21, 2013, 01:28:08 PM
Is there a less immediate swap you could make that works for all of you?  Maybe you guys do some yard work / mowing, dump runs, another common job in exchange for him doing this?  I get that you're fine not doing this, but there might be something you can take on comfortably as a gesture to balance the effort.

This is my first instinct too.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Morty'sCleaningLady on February 21, 2013, 01:37:24 PM
With a shared driveway, I think you should clear your own side.  I don't know your climate, but where I live, the pretty fluffy snow turns to ice pretty quickly.  Walking or driving over it can lead to dangerous ice spots.  Then when new snow falls, you can not see the ice and it is a treacherous path for all concerned.

Personally, I think 6:30 AM is quite reasonable, as I have to be to work at 8 AM and inclement weather that means no later than a 7:15 departure.  If Tom works long hours, he might want the driveway safe before he gets home at 6 or 7 PM.   Settled icy snow is harder to shovel than fresh fluffy snow.

Definitely open the lines of communication here.  If you chose not to shovel and the ice clogs up the lowest area (his side probably) you are not being a courteous neighbor.

Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: TootsNYC on February 21, 2013, 01:47:13 PM
I would suggest only cleaning the part of the driveway each household uses.   Clean your side, Tom cleans his, no muss no fuss.

that's not going to work with any of the shared driveways I've ever seen--it's a single driveway; both houses use it (often it branches off to separate garages at the end). You can't drive on just one half.

It's not "two driveways next to each other"; it's *A* shared driveway. I grew up with one. We each owned half the drive (split lengthwise), but we *had* to drive on the other homeowner's property.

can you work out a way to share the load in a way that doesn't leave Tom resenting you? Like on some days, he agrees to let you clear it off at 7:30, and you go to the trouble of doing it then?

You do all weekend clearing of the driveway that might occur, but he has to agree tha tyou can do it whenever you want.

I'm guessing he shovels it BEFORE anybody drives on it because then there's no packed snow to scrape off. And because it might melt and refreeze and be harder to snow.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: squeakers on February 21, 2013, 01:53:59 PM
Buy a snow blower.  It can be considered a joint property maintenance item. Makes most snow shoveling jobs go by much faster.. except for when it's that yucky heavy wet snow that you end up doing by hand anyway (or using a snow plow). Tom takes morning shift and you guys take evening shift.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: TootsNYC on February 21, 2013, 01:57:14 PM
If you guys do it together, you might not have to start until 7am.

Or, if you're willing to do it when you get home, you may need to buy an ice scraper and prove to him that you *will* remove *all* the snow, even if it's packed on.

Even that may be enough. Tom would probably like to be snug and warm in bed, too, but you're benefitting from him getting up in the cold and wet.

So I think you do need to get out there, whether you want to or not.

If I were Tom, I might take the "I'll do all weekends and evenings" in trade.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: cheyne on February 21, 2013, 02:01:07 PM
Quote
Tom feels like we're forcing him to do our portion of the work, too, while we feel that if he wants to do work that doesn't need doing at all, knock yourself out but leave us out of it.

To be clear, there's no legal obligation to clear one's own driveway, and we're not regularly visited by any elderly people who might be in danger of falling in the snow. Do we have some sort of moral/etiquettely duty to help clear our joint driveway, even though we don't mind the snow there?

First:  What did your boyfriend do before you moved in?  Did he shovel with Tom at 6:30? 

Second:  There are many parts of home maintenance that some don't feel need doing at all.  Raking leaves, shoveling snow, keeping the trash in the yard picked-up, picking-up the pet "bombs", mowing, not leaving junk in the yard.  Unless there are laws that govern these things in your town, you are not required by law to do them.  However, I believe it's rude to your neighbors to let your yard turn into a mess.  It's unsightly and brings down the value of other homes.  I agree with Aeris et al.  Talk with Tom and agree upon a schedule for shoveling.  Even if you and BF don't think it needs to be done, with a shared home it should be done.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: DottyG on February 21, 2013, 02:17:32 PM
Quote
Second:  There are many parts of home maintenance that some don't feel need doing at all.  Raking leaves, shoveling snow, keeping the trash in the yard picked-up, picking-up the pet "bombs", mowing, not leaving junk in the yard.  Unless there are laws that govern these things in your town, you are not required by law to do them.  However, I believe it's rude to your neighbors to let your yard turn into a mess.

But the OP isn't saying she's wanting to leave the snow there.  So I don't think the above really applies.  She's willing to shovel it.  Just not at 6:30 in the morning.  She's willing to do it after work.

I think my main problem with the issue is that Tom has decided on his own to declare 6:30 as "the time we shovel" without (and I could be wrong - this isn't in the original post, so I realize I'm assuming here) doing just what we're urging the OP to do - talk to the other party and see if this is an agreeable plan for them.  Even if I were up and going at 6:30 in the morning, I'd like to be consulted before someone decides what I'll be doing at that time.  It could be that 6:30 doesn't work, but 6:45 does.  Tom doesn't seem to have done his share of communicating, either (again, I know that's an assumption on my part).

Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: rose red on February 21, 2013, 02:26:02 PM
Quote
Second:  There are many parts of home maintenance that some don't feel need doing at all.  Raking leaves, shoveling snow, keeping the trash in the yard picked-up, picking-up the pet "bombs", mowing, not leaving junk in the yard.  Unless there are laws that govern these things in your town, you are not required by law to do them.  However, I believe it's rude to your neighbors to let your yard turn into a mess.

But the OP isn't saying she's wanting to leave the snow there.  So I don't think the above really applies.  She's willing to shovel it.  Just not at 6:30 in the morning.  She's willing to do it after work.

I agree.  There are posts suggesting the OP trade yardwork for snow shoveling, or telling her that she must share work as a tenant and a roomate.  She's willing to do the work.  Just not at 6:30am.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: citadelle on February 21, 2013, 02:27:26 PM
I am in Wisconsin, and so am quite well versed in snow etiquette. On my street, in a rural, small town (1500), every driveway is cleared by 7 am. Your neighbors will view you somewhat disdainfully if you leave it. It is similar, I guess, to mowing the lawn. Like you want your neighbors to maintain their lawn, you also want them to shovel.

There is also the problem that when the plow comes through, they will leave a huge bank at the end of your driveway. The bank must be cleared for a car to make it out, even if there are only a couple inches of snow.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: BuffaloFang on February 21, 2013, 02:39:56 PM
I think the neighbor should go ahead and let the OP and her BF shovel the snow when they get home, with the caveat that it gets shoveled within 24 hours of snowfall.

If their climate is anything like mine (our snow generally melts within a couple of days at most - with the exception of ice tracks formed by cars) the OP and BF will quickly discover that shoveling at 6:30am is preferrable to chipping away at chunks of ice with their shovels in the afternoon. But even if they prefer to do it in the afternoon, it should be extra work that they are taking on themselves - not work they're foisting off onto the neighbor.  As long as the OP and her BF get it done, I don't see the harm in letting it sit for a few hours.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Yvaine on February 21, 2013, 03:12:05 PM
Quote
Second:  There are many parts of home maintenance that some don't feel need doing at all.  Raking leaves, shoveling snow, keeping the trash in the yard picked-up, picking-up the pet "bombs", mowing, not leaving junk in the yard.  Unless there are laws that govern these things in your town, you are not required by law to do them.  However, I believe it's rude to your neighbors to let your yard turn into a mess.

But the OP isn't saying she's wanting to leave the snow there.  So I don't think the above really applies.  She's willing to shovel it.  Just not at 6:30 in the morning.  She's willing to do it after work.

I agree.  There are posts suggesting the OP trade yardwork for snow shoveling, or telling her that she must share work as a tenant and a roomate.  She's willing to do the work.  Just not at 6:30am.

But I'm not seeing the trade as a punishment or anything. Tom likes to get up really early and shovel the driveway--maybe he works really early and needs it passable then, maybe he's just an early bird, who knows. I see a trade as a way to acknowledge that he's doing the OP a favor while possibly mollifying his belief that he's doing "her work." It's a way to make peace without the OP needing to get up at Oh-Deity-o'clock to do this particular chore.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Cass on February 21, 2013, 03:36:02 PM
To address a few issues people have brought up:

There's no "our side" of the driveway. The way it's set up, everyone uses the whole thing, and it makes no sense to clear half of it.

I already have to get up at 6:30 to get to work, so it's not a question of "sleep in and clear the driveway at 9:30", which I also wouldn't have a problem with, and am happy to do an weekends. I'd have to get up even earlier to make time for shovelling, and it's already killing me to get up at the time I do.

My boyfriend and his sister jointly own the house, so there's no issue with any leases. The driveway is already heavily ice-damaged and rutted, so while it can certainly get worse, it's not a question of preserving a nice flawless surface.

There's no legal liability. This isn't the place to get into a discussion of local laws, so please take my word for it.

So far, it's only ever snowed overnight for some reason. I'll certainly take over shovelling if it does ever snow in the afternoon, but it would not be an equal division of labor at all, and I don't think Tom would be satisfied with it - his problem is he hates shovelling snow at 6:30 as much as I do, and doesn't want to do it either, but unlike me he believes it has to be done, and so he wants us to do half of it.

I'm aware snow is a lot harder to clear once it's been driven over and melted and refrozen, but I'd rather work three times as hard at 19:00 than get up a minute earlier than I have to in the morning.

My boyfriend refuses to do any shovelling whatsoever. If it gets above a foot and becomes an actual inconvenience to the cars, he'll pay for the neighbor to come with the snow plow. This was a point of contention before I ever moved here, but unlike me my boyfriend doesn't care if people get pissed at him.

There's also a summer version of this argument, where my boyfriend and me think that a garden needs to be mowed about twice a summer or so and looks fine as a wildflowery meadow, while SIL and Tom keep a fussy flower bed and a vegetable garden they want our help with. (I have zero guilty conscience towards our neighbors for our slightly messy garden. One has as giant junk heap of might-be-useful-at-some-point car parts, and the other one, a farmer, has a literal dungheap right up against our fence that stinks up the place in the summer.)

I'm aware that I could give in and do the shovelling and mowing on occasion to keep the neighborly peace, but, well. Half the reason I moved here was to get away from my mom and her insistence on me doing chores I considered unneccessary, but did anyway to keep the peace. So I guess I'm not in an entirely rational mood about this kind of request right now. :(

I'm certainly happy to do other small neighborly favors for them, like pen their chickens, or be available if their kids need someone while the parents are out at night. We'll also cook for each other sometimes. This isn't a giant friendship-ending argument, but it does create tensions.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: DottyG on February 21, 2013, 03:39:45 PM
After the update, I'm a little confused on your question then. ???

Can you clarify a bit what you're wanting to know?

Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: bah12 on February 21, 2013, 03:42:27 PM
To address a few issues people have brought up:

There's no "our side" of the driveway. The way it's set up, everyone uses the whole thing, and it makes no sense to clear half of it.

I already have to get up at 6:30 to get to work, so it's not a question of "sleep in and clear the driveway at 9:30", which I also wouldn't have a problem with, and am happy to do an weekends. I'd have to get up even earlier to make time for shovelling, and it's already killing me to get up at the time I do.

My boyfriend and his sister jointly own the house, so there's no issue with any leases. The driveway is already heavily ice-damaged and rutted, so while it can certainly get worse, it's not a question of preserving a nice flawless surface.

There's no legal liability. This isn't the place to get into a discussion of local laws, so please take my word for it.

So far, it's only ever snowed overnight for some reason. I'll certainly take over shovelling if it does ever snow in the afternoon, but it would not be an equal division of labor at all, and I don't think Tom would be satisfied with it - his problem is he hates shovelling snow at 6:30 as much as I do, and doesn't want to do it either, but unlike me he believes it has to be done, and so he wants us to do half of it.

I'm aware snow is a lot harder to clear once it's been driven over and melted and refrozen, but I'd rather work three times as hard at 19:00 than get up a minute earlier than I have to in the morning.

My boyfriend refuses to do any shovelling whatsoever. If it gets above a foot and becomes an actual inconvenience to the cars, he'll pay for the neighbor to come with the snow plow. This was a point of contention before I ever moved here, but unlike me my boyfriend doesn't care if people get pissed at him.

There's also a summer version of this argument, where my boyfriend and me think that a garden needs to be mowed about twice a summer or so and looks fine as a wildflowery meadow, while SIL and Tom keep a fussy flower bed and a vegetable garden they want our help with. (I have zero guilty conscience towards our neighbors for our slightly messy garden. One has as giant junk heap of might-be-useful-at-some-point car parts, and the other one, a farmer, has a literal dungheap right up against our fence that stinks up the place in the summer.)

I'm aware that I could give in and do the shovelling and mowing on occasion to keep the neighborly peace, but, well. Half the reason I moved here was to get away from my mom and her insistence on me doing chores I considered unneccessary, but did anyway to keep the peace. So I guess I'm not in an entirely rational mood about this kind of request right now. :(

I'm certainly happy to do other small neighborly favors for them, like pen their chickens, or be available if their kids need someone while the parents are out at night. We'll also cook for each other sometimes. This isn't a giant friendship-ending argument, but it does create tensions.

You share a yard with these people, so I do think you need to compromise.  It's not fair to say "I'm ok with the ice ruts and the messy garden and since you're not, then you deal with it."  I would be resentful too.  It seems to me that you are going to have to do some "chores" that you don't like to keep the peace...and your boyfriend's sister and BIL may have to compromise a bit on their standards too.  This deserves a conversation and an agreement on what will be done and when. 
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: SiotehCat on February 21, 2013, 03:47:41 PM
I think that doing chores that you do not like is just part of sharing space with other people. You might not be sharing your actual living space, so you do not have to do chores like dishes and such, but you are sharing the yard so you should be doing your share of the shoveling/yard work.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: TootsNYC on February 21, 2013, 03:54:00 PM
I think her question is still pretty clear:
Is she rude for not shoveling the driveway?


OP, I think you might need to talk w/ Tom about why he thinks it needs to be done so early.

Get him to clearly articulate the REASON he thinks it's important. He may have one that you didn't think of. And you can challenge some of his assumptions in return--who knows, he may be shoveling at 6:30 bcs his dad always did, or something.

Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Aeris on February 21, 2013, 03:58:56 PM
Your boyfriend is being childish and a twit by refusing to shovel at all, ever, but I think you knew that already.

Why does Tom feel the shoveling MUST be done at 6:30am as opposed to 7pm? Because I stand by my assertion that he has a right to insist you guys do half the shoveling, but no right to insist you do your half at 6:30am.

They also have a right to insist that you guys do half of reasonable mowing in the summer - and "reasonable mowing" is a whole lot more than 2 times a summer.

I completely agree that sometimes doing chores you don't care for is part of being an adult and a considerate neighbor. On top of 'neighbor', you all are joint owners. I can't fathom *why* your BF and his sister are joint owners, as they clearly have wildly different ideas of what reasonable property management entails, but for the time being, compromise is necessary - whether you personally enjoy the chores or not.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: bonyk on February 21, 2013, 04:08:57 PM
Yes, I think you're rude.  IMO, shoveling needs to be done in the morning so that people entering and exiting the house can do so safely.  I understand Tom's frustration.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Scuba_Dog on February 21, 2013, 04:18:12 PM
Your boyfriend is being childish and a twit by refusing to shovel at all, ever, but I think you knew that already.

Why does Tom feel the shoveling MUST be done at 6:30am as opposed to 7pm? Because I stand by my assertion that he has a right to insist you guys do half the shoveling, but no right to insist you do your half at 6:30am.

They also have a right to insist that you guys do half of reasonable mowing in the summer - and "reasonable mowing" is a whole lot more than 2 times a summer.
I completely agree that sometimes doing chores you don't care for is part of being an adult and a considerate neighbor. On top of 'neighbor', you all are joint owners. I can't fathom *why* your BF and his sister are joint owners, as they clearly have wildly different ideas of what reasonable property management entails, but for the time being, compromise is necessary - whether you personally enjoy the chores or not.

I agree with every point here - especially the bolded.

Honestly, it seems like you and your husband and his brother and wife have very different ideas and standards when it comes to lifestyles.  In order to preserve future family harmony, I'd seriously consider finding a way out of this living situation.

I do think you are being rude by not shoveling your driveway.  Do it in the evening if thats when it works - but you or your husband should be doing it.

Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: DavidH on February 21, 2013, 04:21:22 PM
If the original questions still stands, yes, it's rude to refuse to shovel.  If you don't mind doing it later, I don't think it is unreasonable of you to sit down and say that you will alternate, and the rule will be that the snow must be clear by X time.  I'd suggest X is something before the next morning and after 6:30 AM.  I can see why not driving out a snowy driveway would be a plus, but if that makes no difference to you and is still passable, I suppose it's fine.

I think this is a social unit kind of deal.  Just as you'd expect you and your bf to be invited to a party together, it is up to you as a couple to clear the snow.  It is unreasonable to expect someone outside of your relationship to moderate that.  How you clear it doesn't really matter, you can shovel, snow blow, hire a plow company, so long as it's done. 

For the summer, there is a large around of space between fussy flower bed and mowed twice a summer.  If you are talking about a garden in a town or suburb, wildflowery meadow is not really a reasonable option.  For a large field in the country, it might be a different story. 

As an aside, I'm waiting for a post where someone says that they think having a giant junk heap of might-be-useful-at-some-point car parts and a literal dungheap right up against the fence is fine since their neighbor only mows their yard twice a season and would we consider that rude.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: DottyG on February 21, 2013, 04:27:19 PM
The updated details slightly alter some of what I was thinking with my answer.  In answer to your question of "are you rude for not shoveling", I'm going to have to agree with the others above that you may be.  And I think that you're rude for not doing the summer work as well.  I didn't realize it was quite this much of an "all or nothing" type of situation.

I also agree with the following:

Quote
Honestly, it seems like you and your husband and his brother and wife have very different ideas and standards when it comes to lifestyles.  In order to preserve future family harmony, I'd seriously consider finding a way out of this living situation.

This living situation isn't a good fit for you and your boyfriend.  If you're wanting a place where you can let things be more au naturale, it's fine, but this isn't it.

Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: rose red on February 21, 2013, 04:27:43 PM
Yes, I think you're rude.  IMO, shoveling needs to be done in the morning so that people entering and exiting the house can do so safely.  I understand Tom's frustration.

I can get in and out of a driveway perfectly fine with only ankle high snow.  I'm always relieved when it's that small of an amount so I can wait until after work.

On the other hand, mowing the lawn only two times a year...well, lets just say I don't agree when it's a shared lawn, and I'll leave it at that.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Queen of Clubs on February 21, 2013, 05:01:13 PM
There's also a summer version of this argument, where my boyfriend and me think that a garden needs to be mowed about twice a summer or so and looks fine as a wildflowery meadow, while SIL and Tom keep a fussy flower bed and a vegetable garden they want our help with.

Are your two gardens separate?  If so, you can (IMO) do what you want with yours while they do what they want with theirs.  I don't see why you have to help out with their vegetable garden if it isn't also your vegetable garden, unless you're expecting half the produce.

As for the snow-clearing, I don't see why this should fall to you when your boyfriend refuses to do any at all.  I can understand Tom's frustration though, as it's not fair on him that he has to do all of it.  Can you get him to agree that on alternate days you'll clear the driveway in the evening?  If not, then I think you're stuck with Tom being annoyed about it or caving and doing your (and your boyfriend's!) half in the morning.

ETA: Would it be possible for the four of you to hire someone to clear the drive every morning?  Even though it probably wouldn't be at 6.30am, maybe Tom would be able to accept the drive being done at 9 or 10 as long as it *is* done, and if the payment is split between all of you, then that's fairer than one person being stuck with all the work.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Sharnita on February 21, 2013, 05:02:05 PM
I think that with your views om maintanence work like shoveli.g or the yard you and bf should not share driveways, gardens, etc. A rental or other sitiation where someone else does the work might be for the best.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: MrsJWine on February 21, 2013, 05:22:42 PM
Have you talked with Tom about shoveling later? If he's not willing to compromise on that at all, it's a bit silly of him to expect you to do half the shoveling.

As for the grass, that can become a hazard. Mostly as an attraction for vermin. Despite me being obsessive about wiping the counters and sweeping crumbs off the floor, we got mice a few years ago. The neighbors moved out, and the bank that took their house only did lawn care twice a summer. Come fall, the mice that had been enjoying their pretty little meadow came scurrying into our warm house. It was not my favorite thing. We didn't care a thing about how the lawn looked, but we mowed often enough not to create a habitat for vermin. I had to throw away a bunch of food and spend a lot of time deep-cleaning my kitchen.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: GlassHalfFull on February 21, 2013, 05:36:10 PM
Have you talked with Tom about shoveling later? If he's not willing to compromise on that at all, it's a bit silly of him to expect you to do half the shoveling.

As for the grass, that can become a hazard. Mostly as an attraction for vermin. Despite me being obsessive about wiping the counters and sweeping crumbs off the floor, we got mice a few years ago. The neighbors moved out, and the bank that took their house only did lawn care twice a summer. Come fall, the mice that had been enjoying their pretty little meadow came scurrying into our warm house. It was not my favorite thing. We didn't care a thing about how the lawn looked, but we mowed often enough not to create a habitat for vermin. I had to throw away a bunch of food and spend a lot of time deep-cleaning my kitchen.

I'm guessing that's a bit of an understatement?   ;)
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: MrsJWine on February 21, 2013, 05:47:47 PM
Have you talked with Tom about shoveling later? If he's not willing to compromise on that at all, it's a bit silly of him to expect you to do half the shoveling.

As for the grass, that can become a hazard. Mostly as an attraction for vermin. Despite me being obsessive about wiping the counters and sweeping crumbs off the floor, we got mice a few years ago. The neighbors moved out, and the bank that took their house only did lawn care twice a summer. Come fall, the mice that had been enjoying their pretty little meadow came scurrying into our warm house. It was not my favorite thing. We didn't care a thing about how the lawn looked, but we mowed often enough not to create a habitat for vermin. I had to throw away a bunch of food and spend a lot of time deep-cleaning my kitchen.

I'm guessing that's a bit of an understatement?   ;)

Hah! Indeed. There may have been some swearing and an overabundance of bleach.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: onyonryngs on February 21, 2013, 06:07:38 PM
Driveways and walkways need to be shoveled.  It's part of what you sign on for when you buy a house.  So is mowing your lawn.  Your wildflower meadow is attractive to snakes & vermin.  It doesn't look good.  It sounds like your boyfriend wants the benefits of owning a home without doing any of the work.  At the very least, talk with Tom or pay a neighborhood kid to shovel and mow when needed.  If Tom knew that it would be shoveled before he got home after work, he probably wouldn't shovel at 6am.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Editeer on February 21, 2013, 06:28:34 PM
With the update, I'm thinking that this is an issue between OP's boyfriend and his sister, and it is not the OP's to solve.

Is there a neighbor kid (or adult) who might want to shovel the driveway for you in return for money?
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Mental Magpie on February 21, 2013, 07:12:33 PM
Driveways and walkways need to be shoveled.  It's part of what you sign on for when you buy a house.  So is mowing your lawn.  Your wildflower meadow is attractive to snakes & vermin.  It doesn't look good.  It sounds like your boyfriend wants the benefits of owning a home without doing any of the work.  At the very least, talk with Tom or pay a neighborhood kid to shovel and mow when needed.  If Tom knew that it would be shoveled before he got home after work, he probably wouldn't shovel at 6am.

I disagree with the first part of this.  When you buy a house, within law, you get to decide what you do with it; that includes mowing the lawn and shoveling the drive.  Also, it obviously does look good to some people; many are proponents of natural lawns.

I do, however, agree with the second part.  If you cannot come to some sort of compromise with Tom about who does what when and how much AND you still don't want to do any of it, the least you can do is to hire someone.  It is rude not to pull your weight and that is what is happening.  Sure, both sides disagree on a fundamental level, but it is unfair to expect Tom to do it all just because you disagree.  Try work something out with him, even if it means you exclusively shovel on the weekends and hire someone else to do it two of the other days of the week so Tom only has to do it three days himself.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: LifeOnPluto on February 21, 2013, 08:12:20 PM
I think this is something that your BF and his sister (as the joint owners) need to sort out themselves. I personally wouldn't cave into Tom's demands and get up before 6.30am to shovel snow, simply on his say-so.

I also like the suggestions of everyone chipping in for a professional, or even a neighbourhood kid to clear the snow. But I do think that you and your BF, and his sister and her DH, have different attitudes when it comes to maintaining properties. Getting your own place might be the ideal solution.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: magdalena on February 22, 2013, 07:23:46 AM
I agree that it would be best to either suck it up and join in the shoveling or pay someone to do your share.

I'm in Germany (not sure where you are, OP, I think I missed that) and here we have a legal responsibility to make sure our property and even the side walk in front of our house is safe to walk, and as the snow quickly turns into ice here and we don't want to be responsible (either legally or morally) for our lovely mailman or a neighbor breaking his leg or worse, we pay for a professional service to clear the sidewalk and get up and shovel the walkways and the driveway ourselves. This way, the sidewalk is always clear (and if it's not, we've turned the legal resposibility over to someone else) and we can make sure the walkways are by the time anyone might be coming to our house.

Even if this is not a legal requirement where you are, I think there's a general responsibility that comes along with property to make sure no one's in danger because of it (mailman, neighbor walking their dog, kids playing).

...and this is also reminding me why we bought an older house instead of a brand new duplex that was going for the same amount of money - shared house almost always means that everyone has to do things they don't see as necessary or deal with the others not doing what they think is crucial...

Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: guihong on February 22, 2013, 08:24:38 AM
Agreed that there seems to be too much of a clash around chores to make this living arrangement viable long-term.

In the meantime, is there a reason that Tom's wife doesn't shovel?  If I were Tom, I'd be resentful, also. 

I see two possible solutions: One, each of you takes a turn at shoveling (or lawn mowing and tidying up).  That's once every 8 days, or less.  All four of you have to sit down and come up with standards in between "let it go" and "fussy".    Two, all of you chip in for a lawn service or neighborhood kid. 

Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Visiting Crazy Town on February 22, 2013, 09:12:30 AM
Agreed that there seems to be too much of a clash around chores to make this living arrangement viable long-term.

In the meantime, is there a reason that Tom's wife doesn't shovel?  If I were Tom, I'd be resentful, also. 

I see two possible solutions: One, each of you takes a turn at shoveling (or lawn mowing and tidying up).  That's once every 8 days, or less.  All four of you have to sit down and come up with standards in between "let it go" and "fussy".    Two, all of you chip in for a lawn service or neighborhood kid.

Why does it matter that his wife doesn't shovel,  they probably share household chores the OP and her BF are a separate household. who apparently dislike doing anything to assist with the upkeep of the outside of the home.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: TurtleDove on February 22, 2013, 09:24:05 AM
I live in an area that is quite snowy in the winter.  I think timing is important for the shoveling.  My condo board hired a service that is contracted to have our areas shoveled by I think 7 am, and then continuing through the day as needed.  This is because we need to be able to get our cars out, walk, etc.  Really, I don't think Tom is out of line.  It isn't like it snows 365 days per year, or probably not even 20.  I think a comprimise can and should be reached, and if it cannot, I agree this isn't an ideal living situation.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Sharnita on February 22, 2013, 09:24:39 AM
Somebody form Tom's household is already doing their share.  The question is when/who from OP's household will be doing their share, apparently not just shoveling but summer work as well.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: guihong on February 22, 2013, 09:38:41 AM
Somebody form Tom's household is already doing their share.  The question is when/who from OP's household will be doing their share, apparently not just shoveling but summer work as well.

That's a very true point.  I misspoke.  It still stands that each household has to pull their weight on the outside chores.

Maybe this is a great example of not mixing business with family.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Winterlight on February 22, 2013, 09:48:11 AM
With the update, I'm thinking that this is an issue between OP's boyfriend and his sister, and it is not the OP's to solve.

Is there a neighbor kid (or adult) who might want to shovel the driveway for you in return for money?

Agreed.

Personally, I'd look into hiring someone for this stuff if you don't want to do it.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Twik on February 22, 2013, 09:51:46 AM
I think that doing chores that you do not like is just part of sharing space with other people. You might not be sharing your actual living space, so you do not have to do chores like dishes and such, but you are sharing the yard so you should be doing your share of the shoveling/yard work.

I agree with this 100%.

Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Virg on February 22, 2013, 10:00:06 AM
I agree with the others that you need to divide up the work, and getting past the idea that he's making you do "unnecessary" work is the first step.  Working out a schedule is the best approach to this.  For the snow, perhaps he can trench the driveway (that is, dig out enough to get his car out without driving on the snow) and the  you do the rest that evening.  He gets a driveway without packed snow, and you get to do it later in the day.  For mowing, split the tasks evenly, being aware that cutting the grass twice a summer really is too seldom for reasons stated above.

Once you've worked that out, bust out the shovel/mower, or bust out your wallet.  Others have suggested hiring someone to do the work, but I'll add the suggestion that you offer to pay Tom for the work directly, assuming he's amenable.  It bleeds off a lot of resentment for doing all of the work if he gets ten bucks (or whatever) from you every time he has to crawl out of bed and do it.  So talk it out and find out what's a good compromise.

Virg
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: sparksals on February 22, 2013, 10:12:27 AM
I am in Wisconsin, and so am quite well versed in snow etiquette. On my street, in a rural, small town (1500), every driveway is cleared by 7 am. Your neighbors will view you somewhat disdainfully if you leave it. It is similar, I guess, to mowing the lawn. Like you want your neighbors to maintain their lawn, you also want them to shovel.

There is also the problem that when the plow comes through, they will leave a huge bank at the end of your driveway. The bank must be cleared for a car to make it out, even if there are only a couple inches of snow.

I live in Minnesota and everyone on our street promptly shovels their driveways.  There is no time requirement.  We just do it. We had a largish snowfall last night.   My neighbours go to work early, so they haven't shoveled yet.  She will do it when she gets home.   My husband usually does it when he gets home from work, not in the morning .

We have a very long and wide driveway.  My husband normally shovels it, but he is away on business.  I only shoveled enough for me to get out b/c it is too big of a job for me with a hip replacement and a herniated disc in my neck.   My neighbours won't fault me for not doing the full drive.  In fact, I bet Mr. Neighbour will come over and finish it with his blower.  I would use ours, but it is too hard for me to start. 

I, too, equate it to yardwork.  I hate it that we spend money to treat our lawn every month of the summer to prevent weeds, only for the neighbours across the street to allow their dandelions to go to fluff and fly to our yard... or our next door neighbour with all the thistle along their fence that creeps into our yard.  It is a reflection on the entire street (ours is a court) if one home doesn't do what is necessary to maintain a nice landscape.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: sparksals on February 22, 2013, 10:16:23 AM
To address a few issues people have brought up:

There's no "our side" of the driveway. The way it's set up, everyone uses the whole thing, and it makes no sense to clear half of it.

I already have to get up at 6:30 to get to work, so it's not a question of "sleep in and clear the driveway at 9:30", which I also wouldn't have a problem with, and am happy to do an weekends. I'd have to get up even earlier to make time for shovelling, and it's already killing me to get up at the time I do.

My boyfriend and his sister jointly own the house, so there's no issue with any leases. The driveway is already heavily ice-damaged and rutted, so while it can certainly get worse, it's not a question of preserving a nice flawless surface.

There's no legal liability. This isn't the place to get into a discussion of local laws, so please take my word for it.

So far, it's only ever snowed overnight for some reason. I'll certainly take over shovelling if it does ever snow in the afternoon, but it would not be an equal division of labor at all, and I don't think Tom would be satisfied with it - his problem is he hates shovelling snow at 6:30 as much as I do, and doesn't want to do it either, but unlike me he believes it has to be done, and so he wants us to do half of it.

I'm aware snow is a lot harder to clear once it's been driven over and melted and refrozen, but I'd rather work three times as hard at 19:00 than get up a minute earlier than I have to in the morning.

My boyfriend refuses to do any shovelling whatsoever. If it gets above a foot and becomes an actual inconvenience to the cars, he'll pay for the neighbor to come with the snow plow. This was a point of contention before I ever moved here, but unlike me my boyfriend doesn't care if people get pissed at him.

There's also a summer version of this argument, where my boyfriend and me think that a garden needs to be mowed about twice a summer or so and looks fine as a wildflowery meadow, while SIL and Tom keep a fussy flower bed and a vegetable garden they want our help with. (I have zero guilty conscience towards our neighbors for our slightly messy garden. One has as giant junk heap of might-be-useful-at-some-point car parts, and the other one, a farmer, has a literal dungheap right up against our fence that stinks up the place in the summer.)

I'm aware that I could give in and do the shovelling and mowing on occasion to keep the neighborly peace, but, well. Half the reason I moved here was to get away from my mom and her insistence on me doing chores I considered unneccessary, but did anyway to keep the peace. So I guess I'm not in an entirely rational mood about this kind of request right now
. :(

I'm certainly happy to do other small neighborly favors for them, like pen their chickens, or be available if their kids need someone while the parents are out at night. We'll also cook for each other sometimes. This isn't a giant friendship-ending argument, but it does create tensions.


I think you are not being very compromising at all.  You move into a home half owned by his sister and it sounds like you don't want the responsibility that comes with living in a home that requires such maintenance. 

I agree with Tom, you and BF should be doing half the shoveling and half the yard work.   I do think it can wait til you are done from work and you shouldn't have to get up earlier to do it.  However, since you live there, you really should be helping out with the undesirable tasks. 

Why does your desire to have a long lawn  and a snow covered driveway trump their desire to have a manicured lawn and driveway shoveled?   Since you don't have any ownership in the home and you are not married to your BF,   I would think you would want to help around to pull your weight.  Since you have no ownership in the home, the way you are trying to change things in terms of the joint tasks really isn't your place to change.  I can see why this situation is causing tension.   I personally think you are stepping on toes when you have no business doing so.   
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: sparksals on February 22, 2013, 10:29:32 AM
Your boyfriend is being childish and a twit by refusing to shovel at all, ever, but I think you knew that already.

Why does Tom feel the shoveling MUST be done at 6:30am as opposed to 7pm? Because I stand by my assertion that he has a right to insist you guys do half the shoveling, but no right to insist you do your half at 6:30am.

They also have a right to insist that you guys do half of reasonable mowing in the summer - and "reasonable mowing" is a whole lot more than 2 times a summer.

I completely agree that sometimes doing chores you don't care for is part of being an adult and a considerate neighbor. On top of 'neighbor', you all are joint owners. I can't fathom *why* your BF and his sister are joint owners, as they clearly have wildly different ideas of what reasonable property management entails, but for the time being, compromise is necessary - whether you personally enjoy the chores or not.

Just a note, the OP is not married.  Therefore, most likely has no ownership in the property. 
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: sparksals on February 22, 2013, 10:44:32 AM
Driveways and walkways need to be shoveled.  It's part of what you sign on for when you buy a house.  So is mowing your lawn.  Your wildflower meadow is attractive to snakes & vermin.  It doesn't look good.  It sounds like your boyfriend wants the benefits of owning a home without doing any of the work.  At the very least, talk with Tom or pay a neighborhood kid to shovel and mow when needed.  If Tom knew that it would be shoveled before he got home after work, he probably wouldn't shovel at 6am.

I disagree with the first part of this.  When you buy a house, within law, you get to decide what you do with it; that includes mowing the lawn and shoveling the drive.  Also, it obviously does look good to some people; many are proponents of natural lawns.

I do, however, agree with the second part.  If you cannot come to some sort of compromise with Tom about who does what when and how much AND you still don't want to do any of it, the least you can do is to hire someone.  It is rude not to pull your weight and that is what is happening.  Sure, both sides disagree on a fundamental level, but it is unfair to expect Tom to do it all just because you disagree.  Try work something out with him, even if it means you exclusively shovel on the weekends and hire someone else to do it two of the other days of the week so Tom only has to do it three days himself.

If I were house hunting and there was a house on the street you described with overgrown grass and weeds, I would immediately remove the home I was looking at off my list. In fact, I wouldn't even look at the home if I hadn't seen it yet.  That type of property on the street would be a deal breaker.   I wouldn't want to live next to what would be an eyesore for us.   While home owner can usually do what they want with their property, going so far as not to properly maintain it to the detriment of the neighbourhood or neighbour's ability to sell, that is a problem. 
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: CluelessBride on February 22, 2013, 12:28:11 PM
Driveways and walkways need to be shoveled.  It's part of what you sign on for when you buy a house.  So is mowing your lawn.  Your wildflower meadow is attractive to snakes & vermin.  It doesn't look good.  It sounds like your boyfriend wants the benefits of owning a home without doing any of the work.  At the very least, talk with Tom or pay a neighborhood kid to shovel and mow when needed.  If Tom knew that it would be shoveled before he got home after work, he probably wouldn't shovel at 6am.

I disagree with the first part of this.  When you buy a house, within law, you get to decide what you do with it; that includes mowing the lawn and shoveling the drive.  Also, it obviously does look good to some people; many are proponents of natural lawns.

I do, however, agree with the second part.  If you cannot come to some sort of compromise with Tom about who does what when and how much AND you still don't want to do any of it, the least you can do is to hire someone.  It is rude not to pull your weight and that is what is happening.  Sure, both sides disagree on a fundamental level, but it is unfair to expect Tom to do it all just because you disagree.  Try work something out with him, even if it means you exclusively shovel on the weekends and hire someone else to do it two of the other days of the week so Tom only has to do it three days himself.

If I were house hunting and there was a house on the street you described with overgrown grass and weeds, I would immediately remove the home I was looking at off my list. In fact, I wouldn't even look at the home if I hadn't seen it yet.  That type of property on the street would be a deal breaker.   I wouldn't want to live next to what would be an eyesore for us.   While home owner can usually do what they want with their property, going so far as not to properly maintain it to the detriment of the neighbourhood or neighbour's ability to sell, that is a problem. 

To be fair, I think "overgrown" may mean different things to different people. Weeds probably also mean something different to different people (I have a wildflower garden that I love, but some people would call it weeds - but in my case its in a flower bed, not the entire lawn so its clear that it is intentional-ish).

An overly manicured lawn may turn off other buyers just as much as an overgrown one (for example, I wouldn't buy a house in an area where everyone was mowing their lawn every other day to keep the grass short enough and where a single weed in the garden would look out of place - I don't have time for that and I don't want a fight with the neighborhood). So I think there is a wide range of acceptable lawn care standards and it is very possible OP and her BF are just on the other end of the spectrum from his sister and Tom.

Knee high weeds and grass covering the entire lawn and obstructing the sidewalk? Not okay. Demanding that OP and her BF trim help trim the lawn with scissors and a ruler to exactly 1.5 inches for each blade? Overly demanding and not okay. But I suspect the actual situation is something in between - which means you need to come to a house compromise on what is acceptable. Maybe that is agreeing to mow at least once a week - even if you don't think the lawn needs it. Maybe it means compensating Tom for doing your half of the yard maintenance and snow removal.

For the snow situation, I personally think it's unreasonable to insist on driving over non-shoveled snow unless there is only a little snow and its warm enough that it will all be gone by the afternoon. So I don't think leaving it until you get home from work is reasonable - especially if Tom has no way of knowing you will actually do it when you get home, only that it will be much harder for him to do it when you don't if he waits until the evening.

I also think its worth considering your own attitude towards chores. It is absolutely possible that your mom and Tom are both unreasonable in their expectations of you as an adult. But since its two separate unrelated people, it is worth considering that the problem is with your expectations as opposed to theirs. In which case, you might find that in the future you prefer living in an apartment or condo, where some chores are taken care of for you. Or perhaps budgeting for hiring outside help. And that's not a bad thing or a value judgement, just something you need to know about yourself.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: sparksals on February 22, 2013, 12:34:09 PM
I think your examples of the differences in overgrown and lawn mowing are a bit extreme.  I don't think it is reasonable for people to mow everyday.  It also isn't good for the lawn.  Your wildflower garden sounds exactly just that.  It is when the weeds are infested in the yard so that it is an eyesore. 

I don't think anyone here is suggesting such extreme requirements, but more of the standard reasonable set.  Mowing once per week, shoveling when it snows, weed removal, especially so it doesn't transfer to other's property.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: DottyG on February 22, 2013, 12:43:46 PM
Quote
It is absolutely possible that your mom and Tom are both unreasonable in their expectations of you as an adult. But since its two separate unrelated people, it is worth considering that the problem is with your expectations as opposed to theirs.

I've forgotten where a mother comes into the story (not saying it's not here - I must be overlooking it).  Which post is that (was it the OP's or someone else's)?

Never mind!  I found it!
 
 
 
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Onyx_TKD on February 22, 2013, 12:44:38 PM
I think you are not being very compromising at all.  You move into a home half owned by his sister and it sounds like you don't want the responsibility that comes with living in a home that requires such maintenance. 

I agree with Tom, you and BF should be doing half the shoveling and half the yard work.   I do think it can wait til you are done from work and you shouldn't have to get up earlier to do it.  However, since you live there, you really should be helping out with the undesirable tasks. 

Why does your desire to have a long lawn  and a snow covered driveway trump their desire to have a manicured lawn and driveway shoveled?   Since you don't have any ownership in the home and you are not married to your BF,   I would think you would want to help around to pull your weight.  Since you have no ownership in the home, the way you are trying to change things in terms of the joint tasks really isn't your place to change. I can see why this situation is causing tension.   I personally think you are stepping on toes when you have no business doing so.

Your bolded statements seem to contradict each other. First you say that the OP is refusing to take responsibility and pull her weight, and then you say she has no place changing anything about the way joint tasks are carried out. The OP has stated that her boyfriend (and part owner of the house) does not do any shoveling, nor did he do so before she moved in. If the OP changes nothing because she has no ownership, then it remains the status quo with Tom doing all shoveling (and lawn work, presumably). The OP is at least willing to consider compromising by doing some shoveling, as long as it's not at 6:30am.

So are you arguing that the OP should help shovel, which involves interfering in the way joint household tasks are handled? Or are you arguing that she should follow whatever custom her BF/part-owner of the house has established, i.e., not shoveling?  ???
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: CluelessBride on February 22, 2013, 12:51:06 PM
Oh absolutely, Sparksals - but that is my point. The extremes are clearly unreasonable, but without seeing the OPs lawn, its not clear (to me at least) where on the spectrum their lawn is. Is it ~3inches when Tom would prefer ~2? Or is it ~8inches and looking like it is never taken care of.  I've lived where mowing two or three times over the course of the summer was often sufficient (during droughts, the grass just didn't grow - and watering was limited by a water ban). Of course some summers it would rain like crazy and you could barely keep up with the mowing.

My current lawn, every 5 days would be ideal. But my hours are just too long to mow most week days, so I push it to weekly. By Friday, the lawn is definitely looking shaggy (but not in a vermin inducing way, in a "hope she's mowing soon" sort of way).

Also, the OP referenced mowing the garden - so it was unclear to me whether she has a grass garden (e.g. tall, grassy wildflowers in a flower bed) or a full lawn that is knee high. The largest issue seems to be she isn't on the same page as her housemates. Whether or not her laid-back gardening is an etiquette issue to her non-housemate neighbors isn't clear to me.




Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Twik on February 22, 2013, 12:59:21 PM
The OP has said that she considers twice a year enough lawn mowing. I don't know what sort of grass they have, but to me, that's only suitable for astroturf.

I agree with some of the other posters. Houses and grounds take maintenance, and if the OP doesn't enjoy it, she and her husband need to get a low-maintenance home such as a condo apartment. It's not wrong to find such chores unpleasant (although some folk love that sort of work), but it's also not fair to the other people sharing to not do the basics.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Aeris on February 22, 2013, 01:15:02 PM
Your boyfriend is being childish and a twit by refusing to shovel at all, ever, but I think you knew that already.

Why does Tom feel the shoveling MUST be done at 6:30am as opposed to 7pm? Because I stand by my assertion that he has a right to insist you guys do half the shoveling, but no right to insist you do your half at 6:30am.

They also have a right to insist that you guys do half of reasonable mowing in the summer - and "reasonable mowing" is a whole lot more than 2 times a summer.

I completely agree that sometimes doing chores you don't care for is part of being an adult and a considerate neighbor. On top of 'neighbor', you all are joint owners. I can't fathom *why* your BF and his sister are joint owners, as they clearly have wildly different ideas of what reasonable property management entails, but for the time being, compromise is necessary - whether you personally enjoy the chores or not.

Just a note, the OP is not married.  Therefore, most likely has no ownership in the property.

Sorry, I wasn't clear - I really just meant that the BF and his sister are joint owners. Even without any marital property issues, it sounds like the BF and the sister should never own anything in common, ever.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: sparksals on February 22, 2013, 01:30:53 PM
I think you are not being very compromising at all.  You move into a home half owned by his sister and it sounds like you don't want the responsibility that comes with living in a home that requires such maintenance. 

I agree with Tom, you and BF should be doing half the shoveling and half the yard work.   I do think it can wait til you are done from work and you shouldn't have to get up earlier to do it.  However, since you live there, you really should be helping out with the undesirable tasks. 

Why does your desire to have a long lawn  and a snow covered driveway trump their desire to have a manicured lawn and driveway shoveled?   Since you don't have any ownership in the home and you are not married to your BF,   I would think you would want to help around to pull your weight.  Since you have no ownership in the home, the way you are trying to change things in terms of the joint tasks really isn't your place to change. I can see why this situation is causing tension.   I personally think you are stepping on toes when you have no business doing so.

Your bolded statements seem to contradict each other. First you say that the OP is refusing to take responsibility and pull her weight, and then you say she has no place changing anything about the way joint tasks are carried out. The OP has stated that her boyfriend (and part owner of the house) does not do any shoveling, nor did he do so before she moved in. If the OP changes nothing because she has no ownership, then it remains the status quo with Tom doing all shoveling (and lawn work, presumably). The OP is at least willing to consider compromising by doing some shoveling, as long as it's not at 6:30am.

So are you arguing that the OP should help shovel, which involves interfering in the way joint household tasks are handled? Or are you arguing that she should follow whatever custom her BF/part-owner of the house has established, i.e., not shoveling?  ???

Sorry for the confusion.  The OP should be pulling her weight.  She has a responsibility to help with chores, mundane tasks, workload like shoveling, yardwork, maintenance by proxy of living there.   

What I mean about stepping on toes is since she is not an owner, she has no right to be dictating who does or doesn't do what.  It should be between the sister and BF, and I imagine Tom since he and the sister are married and it appears Tom does the outside work.   She still has a responsibility to help and pull her weight.   I don't believe the OP doing tasks interferes with how the tasks are handled.  She should be doing them anyway... as should her BF.  It seems everything falls on the SIL and Tom and that is not right. 

She is not an owner so doesn't have the right to determine how long the grass grows or how deep the snow stays, but she should still help to do the tasks since she lives there.  Just like a landlord may require in the lease that the lawn be mowed, watered and reasonable care.   It seems they feel their right not to shovel or mow the lawn trumps SIL and Tom and lacks compromise.  I don't see why their wants/needs come first, especially since the OP is not an owner.

She is reasonable in not wanting to shovel at 630 AM, but given they aren't cooperative with Tom and SIL about outside tasks (aka different lawn length), I can see why Tom would press the issue. 

Does that make better sense?
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: sparksals on February 22, 2013, 01:34:22 PM
Oh absolutely, Sparksals - but that is my point. The extremes are clearly unreasonable, but without seeing the OPs lawn, its not clear (to me at least) where on the spectrum their lawn is. Is it ~3inches when Tom would prefer ~2? Or is it ~8inches and looking like it is never taken care of.  I've lived where mowing two or three times over the course of the summer was often sufficient (during droughts, the grass just didn't grow - and watering was limited by a water ban). Of course some summers it would rain like crazy and you could barely keep up with the mowing.

My current lawn, every 5 days would be ideal. But my hours are just too long to mow most week days, so I push it to weekly. By Friday, the lawn is definitely looking shaggy (but not in a vermin inducing way, in a "hope she's mowing soon" sort of way).

Also, the OP referenced mowing the garden - so it was unclear to me whether she has a grass garden (e.g. tall, grassy wildflowers in a flower bed) or a full lawn that is knee high. The largest issue seems to be she isn't on the same page as her housemates. Whether or not her laid-back gardening is an etiquette issue to her non-housemate neighbors isn't clear to me.

That makes more sense!  Around here about a week is typical for mowing.  DH usually does it on one of the weekend days.  If we have a busy weekend, he may do it on Friday night to get it out of the way. 

I would think it would be an etiquette issue to the housemates.  Lets imagine the situation is reversed and the SIL and Tom posted here about the OP and BF not helping with normal tasks associated with home living/ownership.   I think many of us would be on their side and think BF and the OP were not pulling their weight. 

I think the BF has a greater responsibility to help than the OP does, but she still has an obligation by living there. 
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: sparksals on February 22, 2013, 01:35:37 PM
Your boyfriend is being childish and a twit by refusing to shovel at all, ever, but I think you knew that already.

Why does Tom feel the shoveling MUST be done at 6:30am as opposed to 7pm? Because I stand by my assertion that he has a right to insist you guys do half the shoveling, but no right to insist you do your half at 6:30am.

They also have a right to insist that you guys do half of reasonable mowing in the summer - and "reasonable mowing" is a whole lot more than 2 times a summer.

I completely agree that sometimes doing chores you don't care for is part of being an adult and a considerate neighbor. On top of 'neighbor', you all are joint owners. I can't fathom *why* your BF and his sister are joint owners, as they clearly have wildly different ideas of what reasonable property management entails, but for the time being, compromise is necessary - whether you personally enjoy the chores or not.

Just a note, the OP is not married.  Therefore, most likely has no ownership in the property.

Sorry, I wasn't clear - I really just meant that the BF and his sister are joint owners. Even without any marital property issues, it sounds like the BF and the sister should never own anything in common, ever.

That is very true.  This really is a disaster in the making given the vast differences in this topic.  It is a big difference!
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Optimoose Prime on February 22, 2013, 02:25:58 PM
What is sounds like to me is that Tom knows the BF won't be shoveling, so that when the OP moved in, he thought, "Bonanza!  She will help."  Then when it turns out she doesn't want to be at 6:30 is when it got ugly. 

My opinion is if it is that important to Tom to shovel at 6:30, let him have at it.  I would do my part later.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Raintree on February 22, 2013, 03:22:41 PM
I'm siding firmly with the OP, both on the garden and on the snow in the driveway.

She has not said she won't shovel the driveway. She has said she will not get up in the middle of the night to do it. (And for many of us, shovelling at 6:30 AM would be akin to asking a morning person to go out and shovel at 1 AM). It does sound totally unnecessary, since the snow is never more than ankle-deep. My little Honda Civic could drive in and out of that easily.

Or perhaps they could reach an agreement whereby he shovels the snow, since it's so important to him, and the OP does some other maintenance job, just as power-washing the fence come spring, or raking leaves in fall (or does that have to be done in the pre-dawn hours as well?)

As for the garden, my attitude would be, "You want a nice, well-trimmed garden complete with flower beds and vegetable patch? Go crazy, good for you for being into gardening. It's all yours."  I do think the mowing should be done more often if you are going to have a lawn, and the OP and bf should share in this chore. But the vegetable patch? That seems to be the sister and BIL's project. As long as OP doesn't expect to share in the harvest.

The person who wants a nice garden, should be the one to maintain the nice garden. Personally, I see nothing wrong with the overgrown wildflower look in an urban setting. I know plenty of urban gardeners who have removed their lawns and replaced them with wildflowers and shrubbery that's native to the area. It looks absolutely lovely, and people who walk by stop and admire.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Twik on February 22, 2013, 03:31:22 PM
It doesn't sound like the OP is "replacing" anything, though. She and her husband are simply not mowing, resulting in an overgrown lawn. There is a difference there.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: WillyNilly on February 22, 2013, 03:38:45 PM
You say you'd happily shovel later in the day... but how on earth can Tom trust you really will?  You clearly admit to not mowing your lawn (at anytime, early or late) except for 2x a summer, so you have established, by your own doing, a reputation with him of letting things like outside land maintenance go undone.

I love a good meadow filled with wildflowers.  But an overgrown lawn =/= wildflower filled meadow. Meadow grasses and lawn grasses are actually quite different plants - they look different, they grow differently and react and interact with weeds and flowers differently.  If you want a low maintenance front yard, hey more power to you there are a lot of appropriate plants/non-plant ways to have that, but if you simply don't want to maintain a lawn-grass yard, well that's pretty much unacceptable IMO.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Raintree on February 22, 2013, 04:06:19 PM
It doesn't sound like the OP is "replacing" anything, though. She and her husband are simply not mowing, resulting in an overgrown lawn. There is a difference there.

I agree she and bf should do their part in mowing, if they are to have a lawn. It's a shared lawn. But she also states, "SIL and Tom keep a fussy flower bed and a vegetable garden they want our help with."

Why should she help with a fussy flower bed and ESPECIALLY, why should she help with SIL and Tom's vegetable garden? That isn't her project, it's SIL and Tom's. If SIL and Tom want to have a garden, let them have a garden, but it's theirs to tend to. Just because it's in a common area, it's still SIL and Tom's decision to have one. That's like saying, "I'm interested in rebuilding antique cars. I'm going to park one in our shared driveway, and I expect you to spend every Saturday helping me with it." Or, "I'm interested in raising companion birds as a hobby, and I'm going to build an aviary in our shared yard. I expect you all to go out as often as I do to make sure the birds are fed and also make a weekly run for supplies." SIL and Tom have a choice to NOT do flower beds and vegetables, if they don't want to take on the work involved in tending it.

In short, I say mowing, yes, that's a basic household responsibility; flower beds and vegetable patches: Tom and SIL's hobby/interest/responsibility.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Twik on February 22, 2013, 04:12:58 PM
No one said they had to do Tom's flower garden. But they should be keeping the lawn on their side mowed.

As for the veggies, if they eat them, they should assist. Otherwise, no need.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: WillyNilly on February 22, 2013, 04:14:06 PM
I don't the OP or her BF should have to help with the "fussy" garden, but an unkempt weedy lawn directly adjacent to a garden (fussy or not) is going to adversely affect the garden as weeds are by nature invasive plants - weedy lawn means more weed seeds are blowing over into the cared for garden thus making significantly more work to maintain said garden.  The simple act of regular mowing can get to the weeds before they flower and seed.

If the OP's actions didn't affect anything but appearance, I'd say the sister and Tom were being unreasonable.  But if the OP's actions are directly and quantifiably increasing the sister & Tom's workload, then I think the sister and Tom have a good argument for saying something.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Raintree on February 22, 2013, 04:25:35 PM
I don't the OP or her BF should have to help with the "fussy" garden, but an unkempt weedy lawn directly adjacent to a garden (fussy or not) is going to adversely affect the garden as weeds are by nature invasive plants - weedy lawn means more weed seeds are blowing over into the cared for garden thus making significantly more work to maintain said garden.  The simple act of regular mowing can get to the weeds before they flower and seed.

If the OP's actions didn't affect anything but appearance, I'd say the sister and Tom were being unreasonable.  But if the OP's actions are directly and quantifiably increasing the sister & Tom's workload, then I think the sister and Tom have a good argument for saying something.

I think I agree with you. I initially said I completely agreed with OP, but now I'll modify that to say: Yes, she and bf should alternate weekly mowing. The veggie garden and flower beds are something Tom and SIL want, so it's their baby (unless OP also eats the veggies). And the 6:30 AM shovelling? Anyone who thought I was going to get up and do that before work would find out pretty quickly that it wasn't going to happen, ever.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: magicdomino on February 22, 2013, 04:42:52 PM
My two cents, for what it is worth:

You move into a house with a yard, you have yardwork to do.  Period.  Now, it is fine to pay someone, either on your own or through condo dues, but it must be done.  Shoveling snow at 6:30 am does seem a bit extreme, but I have the luxury of being able to inform my office that I will get there when I get there.   After many years of snow shoveling, I can tell you that it is much better to get the nasty white stuff up while it is still fresh and fluffy.  Even if you don't get ice formation, the snow can melt just enough to get wet and heavy. 

It's not like you are going to be shoveling the whole driveway by yourself.  You'll have Tom helping you. 

As for the summer work, I hate grass.  I hate watering it, I hate fertilizing it, and most of all, I hate mowing it.  Even so, I mow once a week in spring, and maybe once a month during summer droughts. (I refuse to waste good water on mere grass.)  Like shoveling snow, the job is much easier if you keep up with it.  It's even easier if you use a good self-propelled lawn mower equipped with a mulching blade, but that another thing.  ;)  It is much easier than trying to maintain a wildflower meadow, because unless you regularly weed and care for it, the wildflower meadow gets infested with very unattractive weeds that spread all over creation.  Been there, done that, had to spray the mess with Round-up.  Still do, actually.   :-\

You are, however, excused from helping with the flower and vegetable beds next door.  It would be nice to help with the vegetable garden if you are getting any of the vegetables. 

As for the neighbors leaving manure and car parts next to your yard:  as another poster pointed out, why shouldn't they?  By not taking care of the yard, you show that you don't care.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: *inviteseller on February 22, 2013, 05:01:19 PM
Honestly,  after reading the OP's update, it just seems that her and BF have no desire to keep the property up.  And they are vilifying BIL for expecting they (or at least the other owner of the property) do his fair share.  You moved in with your BF to get away from your mom and in your words, unreasonable chores, and you are complaining again about unreasonable chores.  To me, they are not unreasonable, they are part of adult home ownership. You don't have to tend to their 'fussy ' garden but mowing the lawn is a fact of life.   No, you are not an owner, but as you reside there with the owner, someone needs to step up and quit making BIL the villain for not wanted an eyesore of a yard (that can bring some pets no one wants) or snow to just sit there.  You don't want to get up early because you don't like to, who does on cold mornings, but trade off times to do it in the sake of harmony.  And if it really is not your cup of tea to help with the upkeep of the house, I would suggest moving into a maintenance free condo or apartment.  I would like to know if your BF's sis knew going into this joint purchase if she knew his views on yard maintenance?
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Mikayla on February 22, 2013, 05:43:41 PM
It seems to me this is a communication fail, mainly between the sis and bro, but including all 4 of you by extension.  The work can't be divided fairly until it's agreed  what work needs to be done and how often.

I'm not sure the best way to do this, but maybe sis and bro have to step up to the plate as owners of the property and come up with the basic chores.  Then the 4 of you agree on implementation.

For example, on the shoveling, why not just alternate, rather than try to divide up the driveway for each storm?   And, if your BF refuses to shovel, fine, but that doesn't release either of you from the obligation to do your "portion" of whatever is agreed upon. 

Then do the same with the yard. Right now, it seems like your BF isn't carrying his share of the load and then, by extension, this includes you.  But if that's true, it's sis who has the biggest problem as co-owner.  That's why I think the 2 of them need to get on the same page first.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Mental Magpie on February 22, 2013, 06:24:47 PM
Driveways and walkways need to be shoveled.  It's part of what you sign on for when you buy a house.  So is mowing your lawn.  Your wildflower meadow is attractive to snakes & vermin.  It doesn't look good.  It sounds like your boyfriend wants the benefits of owning a home without doing any of the work.  At the very least, talk with Tom or pay a neighborhood kid to shovel and mow when needed.  If Tom knew that it would be shoveled before he got home after work, he probably wouldn't shovel at 6am.

I disagree with the first part of this.  When you buy a house, within law, you get to decide what you do with it; that includes mowing the lawn and shoveling the drive.  Also, it obviously does look good to some people; many are proponents of natural lawns.

I do, however, agree with the second part.  If you cannot come to some sort of compromise with Tom about who does what when and how much AND you still don't want to do any of it, the least you can do is to hire someone.  It is rude not to pull your weight and that is what is happening.  Sure, both sides disagree on a fundamental level, but it is unfair to expect Tom to do it all just because you disagree.  Try work something out with him, even if it means you exclusively shovel on the weekends and hire someone else to do it two of the other days of the week so Tom only has to do it three days himself.

If I were house hunting and there was a house on the street you described with overgrown grass and weeds, I would immediately remove the home I was looking at off my list. In fact, I wouldn't even look at the home if I hadn't seen it yet.  That type of property on the street would be a deal breaker.   I wouldn't want to live next to what would be an eyesore for us.   While home owner can usually do what they want with their property, going so far as not to properly maintain it to the detriment of the neighbourhood or neighbour's ability to sell, that is a problem.

Which is absolutely fine.  Some people think huge sunglasses look great; I don't like them at all, so I won't wear them.  Properly maintaining is subjective and that isn't a problem for everyone.  It is a problem for you which is also absolutely OK.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: sparksals on February 22, 2013, 08:31:38 PM
Driveways and walkways need to be shoveled.  It's part of what you sign on for when you buy a house.  So is mowing your lawn.  Your wildflower meadow is attractive to snakes & vermin.  It doesn't look good.  It sounds like your boyfriend wants the benefits of owning a home without doing any of the work.  At the very least, talk with Tom or pay a neighborhood kid to shovel and mow when needed.  If Tom knew that it would be shoveled before he got home after work, he probably wouldn't shovel at 6am.

I disagree with the first part of this.  When you buy a house, within law, you get to decide what you do with it; that includes mowing the lawn and shoveling the drive.  Also, it obviously does look good to some people; many are proponents of natural lawns.

I do, however, agree with the second part.  If you cannot come to some sort of compromise with Tom about who does what when and how much AND you still don't want to do any of it, the least you can do is to hire someone.  It is rude not to pull your weight and that is what is happening.  Sure, both sides disagree on a fundamental level, but it is unfair to expect Tom to do it all just because you disagree.  Try work something out with him, even if it means you exclusively shovel on the weekends and hire someone else to do it two of the other days of the week so Tom only has to do it three days himself.

If I were house hunting and there was a house on the street you described with overgrown grass and weeds, I would immediately remove the home I was looking at off my list. In fact, I wouldn't even look at the home if I hadn't seen it yet.  That type of property on the street would be a deal breaker.   I wouldn't want to live next to what would be an eyesore for us.   While home owner can usually do what they want with their property, going so far as not to properly maintain it to the detriment of the neighbourhood or neighbour's ability to sell, that is a problem.

Which is absolutely fine.  Some people think huge sunglasses look great; I don't like them at all, so I won't wear them.  Properly maintaining is subjective and that isn't a problem for everyone.  It is a problem for you which is also absolutely OK.

I think it is pretty standard b/c no one in our entire neighbourhood has an overgrown yard like the OP describes.  Perhaps it is also more accepted in rural area, but in suburbia?  Not a chance.  If there are, they are very rare.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: cheyne on February 22, 2013, 08:41:20 PM
Not sure what a "natural" lawn is?  If you mean planting or maintaining grass that grows native to the area instead of Kentucky Blue Grass (for example) fine.  If you mean letting weeds grow, that's not so fine.   In many rural areas in the US you have to take care of your property, to include your weeds.  The seeds blow around and infest crop fields, lowering the yields and causing the farmers to use more herbicide.  Many counties will fine you for weeds on your property.

*All "you's" general*

Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: secretrebel on February 23, 2013, 12:35:59 PM
There's no such thing as weeds - just flowers some people don't admire. ;)

And I say this as someone who pulls my own weeds for the comfort of my neighbours. I'd love to move next to people with a wildflower meadow instead of my current neighbours who are all retired and think I should be out doing yardwork every second of the day.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: magicdomino on February 23, 2013, 01:01:10 PM
There's no such thing as weeds - just flowers some people don't admire. ;)


*offers Secretrebel a wheelbarrow full of porcelain berry vines, bermuda grass, English/Irish  ivy, greenbriar, sumac, mulberries, and some other danged things that I don't know the name of* 

 ;)
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Amava on February 23, 2013, 01:13:28 PM
And this is why I'm glad that my yard is a backyard surrounded by walls.  ;D
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: squeakers on February 24, 2013, 01:31:51 PM
There's no such thing as weeds - just flowers some people don't admire. ;)


*offers Secretrebel a wheelbarrow full of porcelain berry vines, bermuda grass, English/Irish  ivy, greenbriar, sumac, mulberries, and some other danged things that I don't know the name of* 

 ;)

Porcelain berry vine is edible, mulberries are edible, sumac is edible,  and the others are edible by animals.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: secretrebel on February 24, 2013, 01:43:52 PM
There's no such thing as weeds - just flowers some people don't admire. ;)


*offers Secretrebel a wheelbarrow full of porcelain berry vines, bermuda grass, English/Irish  ivy, greenbriar, sumac, mulberries, and some other danged things that I don't know the name of* 

 ;)

Porcelain berry vine is edible, mulberries are edible, sumac is edible,  and the others are edible by animals.

I have the ivy and sumac already. The sumac tree is especially beautiful. :) I used to have a mulberry in my old house.

I don't want any bindweed though!
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: squeakers on February 24, 2013, 01:58:32 PM
There's no such thing as weeds - just flowers some people don't admire. ;)


*offers Secretrebel a wheelbarrow full of porcelain berry vines, bermuda grass, English/Irish  ivy, greenbriar, sumac, mulberries, and some other danged things that I don't know the name of* 

 ;)

Porcelain berry vine is edible, mulberries are edible, sumac is edible,  and the others are edible by animals.

I have the ivy and sumac already. The sumac tree is especially beautiful. :) I used to have a mulberry in my old house.

I don't want any bindweed though!


I would love to have Morning Glories! They are so pretty.  We do get one strand of some kind of bindweed that wends its way through the embankment plantings. I think it has blue flowers (memory sux). We have one patch in the front yard where Queen Ann's Lace grows. After it is done blooming/went to seed DH mows it over.

 Reminds me of the time I scavenged a plant from my sister's horse pasture (used to be houses there 50 years ago) and had a vine type plant grow up from next to the clump.  First year I whacked it down.  Second year I didn't notice it until it was just getting ready to flower.  It had huge flowers.  Turns out it was a Rose of Sharon bush.  We now have a line of them after DH grew the seeds for me (they never seem to self-propagate.. too cold most of the year, I guess.)

We let the "itch" weed grow until it is knee high because the boys and I like to have a meal or 2 of them. A little vinegar, salt and pepper and I am biting back at the nettles. The wild grape vines get pulled down but I strip them (the young leaves are yummy!) and the vines themselves are a fun perch for my parrot.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: magicdomino on February 24, 2013, 02:02:31 PM
There's no such thing as weeds - just flowers some people don't admire. ;)


*offers Secretrebel a wheelbarrow full of porcelain berry vines, bermuda grass, English/Irish  ivy, greenbriar, sumac, mulberries, and some other danged things that I don't know the name of* 

 ;)

Porcelain berry vine is edible, mulberries are edible, sumac is edible,  and the others are edible by animals.

Yes, they are all edible by birds and animals (including the ivy).  And I swear every single seed popped out the other ends of the birds and animals sprouts, aided by its handy supply of fertilizer.  I made the mistake of letting the first porcelain berry vine live because the berries were pretty.  Now, I'm constantly killing trying to kill them off.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: squeakers on February 24, 2013, 03:40:10 PM
There's no such thing as weeds - just flowers some people don't admire. ;)


*offers Secretrebel a wheelbarrow full of porcelain berry vines, bermuda grass, English/Irish  ivy, greenbriar, sumac, mulberries, and some other danged things that I don't know the name of* 

 ;)

Porcelain berry vine is edible, mulberries are edible, sumac is edible,  and the others are edible by animals.

Yes, they are all edible by birds and animals (including the ivy).  And I swear every single seed popped out the other ends of the birds and animals sprouts, aided by its handy supply of fertilizer.  I made the mistake of letting the first porcelain berry vine live because the berries were pretty.  Now, I'm constantly killing trying to kill them off.

The three I mention as just edible are edible by people. I've had sumac lemonade and it was quite good.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Lady Snowdon on February 24, 2013, 03:53:33 PM
I will throw in some buckthorn and some purple loosestrife to the weed pile.  I lost my taste for the pretty wild morning glory after I saw how it killed a bed of juniper bushes, tried to grow under the siding of a house, and had started crumbling the concrete of a foundation.  The stuff is way too invasive and is entirely too hard to kill. 
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: LadyClaire on February 24, 2013, 07:46:29 PM
There's no such thing as weeds - just flowers some people don't admire. ;)


*offers Secretrebel a wheelbarrow full of porcelain berry vines, bermuda grass, English/Irish  ivy, greenbriar, sumac, mulberries, and some other danged things that I don't know the name of* 

 ;)

Porcelain berry vine is edible, mulberries are edible, sumac is edible,  and the others are edible by animals.

Yes, they are all edible by birds and animals (including the ivy).  And I swear every single seed popped out the other ends of the birds and animals sprouts, aided by its handy supply of fertilizer.  I made the mistake of letting the first porcelain berry vine live because the berries were pretty.  Now, I'm constantly killing trying to kill them off.

The three I mention as just edible are edible by people. I've had sumac lemonade and it was quite good.

Unless it's poison sumac. Then you're in for a nasty, worse than poison ivy rash if you touch it, and possible death if you eat it.

Luckily that stuff has a much more limited growing region than regular old sumac does.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: rashea on February 25, 2013, 11:44:40 AM
There's no such thing as weeds - just flowers some people don't admire. ;)


*offers Secretrebel a wheelbarrow full of porcelain berry vines, bermuda grass, English/Irish  ivy, greenbriar, sumac, mulberries, and some other danged things that I don't know the name of* 

 ;)

Porcelain berry vine is edible, mulberries are edible, sumac is edible,  and the others are edible by animals.

Yes, they are all edible by birds and animals (including the ivy).  And I swear every single seed popped out the other ends of the birds and animals sprouts, aided by its handy supply of fertilizer.  I made the mistake of letting the first porcelain berry vine live because the berries were pretty.  Now, I'm constantly killing trying to kill them off.

The three I mention as just edible are edible by people. I've had sumac lemonade and it was quite good.

Makes a gorgeous wine as well.

OP, I think you might be feeling ganged up on here. You essentially have a roommate situation on the outside of the house. I think you need to negotiate it from that point of view. I don't see shoveling snow before work as an unreasonable expectation if it won't melt by the time you get home.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: fluffy on February 25, 2013, 12:19:13 PM
If everyone in your life has "unreasonable" expectations about the chores necessary to maintain a house, it might be worth thinking about whether the common denominator in all of this is you.

I would happily let the laundry pile up until I ran out of socks. And, even then, I've been known to go out and buy more socks. ;) But I had to change my laundry habits, because they were driving my husband crazy. He didn't want to be overrun by a mountain of clothes, so he was doing all of the laundry. And I never thought to do it when I had a drawer full of clean socks! If I lived on my own, I could let the laundry pile up to my hearts content, but I share space with my husband and it wouldn't be fair of me to negatively impact his life with my bad habits. I still don't do laundry as frequently as he might like, but I do it at least once a week.

Sharing space with other people means compromising with them.

Do you do any maintenance around the townhouse that Tom doesn't do? Because, from the way you're describing it, he does all of the winter maintenance and all of the summer maintenance. And, quite frankly, that would drive me nuts. It's nice that you help out with childcare from time to time, but shoveling and mowing the lawn are a far more unpleasant chore, and they tend to take a fairly large time commitment.

I think that the 4 of you need to sit down and hash out a compromise. Maybe you don't mow the lawn once a week, but you should be able to mow it every other week. And if you eat their veggies, you should be helping with the garden boxes. If you hate gardening, maybe you could pickle and/or can the extras? And I would alternate shoveling every other snow storm.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Moray on February 25, 2013, 12:27:03 PM
Honestly,  after reading the OP's update, it just seems that her and BF have no desire to keep the property up.  And they are vilifying BIL for expecting they (or at least the other owner of the property) do his fair share.  You moved in with your BF to get away from your mom and in your words, unreasonable chores, and you are complaining again about unreasonable chores.  To me, they are not unreasonable, they are part of adult home ownership. You don't have to tend to their 'fussy ' garden but mowing the lawn is a fact of life.   No, you are not an owner, but as you reside there with the owner, someone needs to step up and quit making BIL the villain for not wanted an eyesore of a yard (that can bring some pets no one wants) or snow to just sit there.  You don't want to get up early because you don't like to, who does on cold mornings, but trade off times to do it in the sake of harmony.  And if it really is not your cup of tea to help with the upkeep of the house, I would suggest moving into a maintenance free condo or apartment.  I would like to know if your BF's sis knew going into this joint purchase if she knew his views on yard maintenance?

Pod. None of what is being asked for is that unreasonable.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: postalslave on February 26, 2013, 07:07:49 AM
Honestly,  after reading the OP's update, it just seems that her and BF have no desire to keep the property up.  And they are vilifying BIL for expecting they (or at least the other owner of the property) do his fair share.  You moved in with your BF to get away from your mom and in your words, unreasonable chores, and you are complaining again about unreasonable chores.  To me, they are not unreasonable, they are part of adult home ownership. You don't have to tend to their 'fussy ' garden but mowing the lawn is a fact of life.   No, you are not an owner, but as you reside there with the owner, someone needs to step up and quit making BIL the villain for not wanted an eyesore of a yard (that can bring some pets no one wants) or snow to just sit there.  You don't want to get up early because you don't like to, who does on cold mornings, but trade off times to do it in the sake of harmony.  And if it really is not your cup of tea to help with the upkeep of the house, I would suggest moving into a maintenance free condo or apartment.  I would like to know if your BF's sis knew going into this joint purchase if she knew his views on yard maintenance?

Cass I've read all your posts on this matter and I must agree with inviteseller on this one.

Sorry bud, this is adulthood.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: camlan on February 26, 2013, 07:45:52 AM
While I don't think the OP is herself rude not to shovel snow at 6:30 am, I do think that both her BF and the OP are responsible for *some* of the upkeep of the shared yard and driveway.

They need to sit down with the sister and BIL and work out a reasonable compromise on all yard and garden tasks. This will probably mean more shoveling and mowing than the OP is happy with, and less than the BIL and sister want.

I don't see why the OP should be in any way responsible for the flowers and the vegetables, as those are a choice the sister and her husband are making, but the lawn needs to be mowed. Whether the OP mows it, her BF mows it or they pay someone else to mow it, it needs to be done more than twice a summer. And while meadows full of wildflowers are beautiful, I doubt a lawn gone to seed has the same beauty or variety of flowers and color.

The shoveling issue is harder to resolve, because it can't be put on a schedule the way mowing can. But the OP and her BF are getting the benefits of a nicely shoveled driveway, but not doing any of the work. Very few people enjoy getting up early and heading out into the cold and dark to shovel.

But either the OP and her BF shovel, or they pay someone to shovel, or they take over some other task that needs to be done.

It does seem that the OP and her BF would be happier in a living situation that doesn't require outside chores, however. I suspect that the yard work issue will be a problem as long as they remain sharing a duplex with the sister and her husband.
Title: Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
Post by: Twik on February 26, 2013, 08:19:08 AM
It does seem that the OP and her BF would be happier in a living situation that doesn't require outside chores, however. I suspect that the yard work issue will be a problem as long as they remain sharing a duplex with the sister and her husband.

I agree. This isn't a character flaw, it's just a different set of priorities. But sharing a property with someone who does make outdoor maintenance a priority is probably not going to work well. At best, it'll be a common cause of petty frustration for one or the other set of inhabitants.