Author Topic: The neighbor (long)  (Read 8672 times)

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MeowMixer

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Re: The neighbor (long)
« Reply #30 on: November 05, 2012, 10:53:46 AM »
"Be like the others before it gets dark!" :D

X-files? One of their weirder ones... yes I know they were all a little funny... am I right? This line triggered the vaguest of memories....

also, you're neighbour is kook. If he's so darned concerned about your lawn he'd mow it himself, because that would mean he's also concerned about you. As kids my sister and I would shovel the driveway of the older woman who lived next door to help out. My dad trimmed the hedges on both sides to help out another neighbour, and that favour would be returned if Neighbour was out there trimming the hedges. This guy is being a jerk for the sake of being a jerk. Some people live to make others miserable. You just focus on your family, the lawn isn't going anywhere.

... and thank you Art, I'm now going to get 'Be The Cat' tattooed on my arm.  ;D

Jaelle

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Re: The neighbor (long)
« Reply #31 on: November 05, 2012, 11:01:05 AM »
It might be possible to hire someone. Thing is, we still certainly wouldn't do it more than we do now. I've been thinking (and thank you all yet again for returning some perspective to me!) and our lawn really is kept to what I would consider normal standards. I just think his are, well, nuts.   >:D

That realization solidified a lot for me.

DH told me that Neighbor said something to him that leads us to believe that he thinks DH is unemployed. (In fact, he works nights, as he has for years.) So of course he must just be laying around eating bon-bons instead of doing yardwork.  ::)   Of course, he's really ferrying kids back and forth to school, doing freelance work, getting YDS fed, getting kids to doctor appointments when needed, doing housework, helping out his elderly mom quite a bit and doing yard stuff when necessary. And sometimes, getting some extra sleep because on the average night it's only about six hours between the time he gets home and the time we're getting the boys up for school the next day.

You're right, MeowMixer. A particularly quirky X-Files episode!
“She was already learning that if you ignore the rules people will, half the time, quietly rewrite them so that they don't apply to you.”
― Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites

Amara

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Re: The neighbor (long)
« Reply #32 on: November 05, 2012, 11:04:53 AM »
Some people live to make others miserable.

Oh boy, isn't this the truth? OP, I suspect that even if you kept your lawn looking exactly the way he does he'd still find things to complain about. The color of your house (it clashes with his). The smells coming from your kitchen (he hates garlic). The time you leave for work in the morning (your car's motor wakes him up). If it isn't one thing it's going to be another. I like that you and your husband are having some amusement at this. If you merely find it funny, it's a guaranteed way to make him go totally insane.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2012, 11:11:01 AM by Amara »

Redneck Gravy

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Re: The neighbor (long)
« Reply #33 on: November 05, 2012, 11:10:16 AM »
I am sorry you are having to deal with this nasty person.  {{Hugs}}

PP's are right - don't let him in your head.  "Everyone hates you" is a bullying term. 

What about, in a quiet voice, "I really would rather you DID call the police than continue to harass us like this. You can't possibly be as shallow and uncaring a man as you're coming across, and maybe talking to a police officer would help you understand that this isn't the way to communicate with a neighbor." ??

PODx4

Kari

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Re: The neighbor (long)
« Reply #34 on: November 05, 2012, 11:18:05 AM »
Next time you get upset by this man, remind yourself "He has a mental illness." Because, from the description in the OP, this man has serious control issues and is now projecting them onto you.  Just repeat it like a mantra every time he insults you, it might give you some perspective in that his opinion does not reflect reality.

Don't stand there when he rants at you anymore. Don't take it. Just walk away. Interrupt him with "We care for our home at the acceptable terms of <insert township/county/or whichever names regulates lawn care.> We are not discussing this with you anymore." Also, document the times when he is verbally abusive, in case the cops do get called.

Jaelle

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Re: The neighbor (long)
« Reply #35 on: November 05, 2012, 11:28:22 AM »
I've started a file with documentation. Just in case.

It's funny. He's never said a word to me. He just directs it at DH. And it's not screaming and yelling; he seems to be trying to come across as reasonable. Maybe that's one of the reasons we were so thrown at first ... until the content registered as "this guy is obsessed."
“She was already learning that if you ignore the rules people will, half the time, quietly rewrite them so that they don't apply to you.”
― Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites

rashea

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Re: The neighbor (long)
« Reply #36 on: November 05, 2012, 12:06:46 PM »
Well, I'd ignore it, but if the guy is trying to come across as reasonable, I think you could respond in much the same way. Next time, and hopefully there won't be one, your DH can say, "look, I get that you have high standards for your yard. But, I consider my job, my wife, my two children, and my sanity to have priority over having the lawn perfect. Maybe someday things will settle down, but not now. Please don't bring this up again."
"Manners change, principles don't. It's about treating people with consideration, respect and honesty." Peter Post

Vermont

BeagleMommy

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Re: The neighbor (long)
« Reply #37 on: November 05, 2012, 12:10:14 PM »
Evil BeagleMommy would be tempted to ask him if he was offering to do the lawn work for you.  I've had to remind her that he might take you up on the offer and then you'd never be rid of him.

He's trying to bully you with the old standard of "everybody hates you".  Classic bullying mechanism.  Turning him into a joke is the best revenge.  If he tells you he's going to call the police answer with a firm "Be my guest".  It will take the wind out of his sails.

Jaelle

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Re: The neighbor (long)
« Reply #38 on: November 05, 2012, 12:26:05 PM »
Evil BeagleMommy would be tempted to ask him if he was offering to do the lawn work for you.  I've had to remind her that he might take you up on the offer and then you'd never be rid of him.

He's trying to bully you with the old standard of "everybody hates you".  Classic bullying mechanism.  Turning him into a joke is the best revenge.  If he tells you he's going to call the police answer with a firm "Be my guest".  It will take the wind out of his sails.

I honestly think he might have been trying to get us to hire his relative in the beginning. I've heard a number of the residents on this end of the street use his business for yard stuff. (And that he charges an arm and a leg, too.) Another neighbor, the one on the other side of his house, told me once that Neighbor used to invite her to all his parties, but when she ran into health problems and stopped hiring his relative, the invitations stopped coming.
“She was already learning that if you ignore the rules people will, half the time, quietly rewrite them so that they don't apply to you.”
― Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites

TootsNYC

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Re: The neighbor (long)
« Reply #39 on: November 05, 2012, 12:30:05 PM »
Well, I'd ignore it, but if the guy is trying to come across as reasonable, I think you could respond in much the same way. Next time, and hopefully there won't be one, your DH can say, "look, I get that you have high standards for your yard. But, I consider my job, my wife, my two children, and my sanity to have priority over having the lawn perfect. Maybe someday things will settle down, but not now. Please don't bring this up again."

I love this as an approach. Especially because it's stating a "manly responsibility" (much as lawns are expected to be, especially by this guy). Bonus points if your DH can throw some "I'm a man and I live up to my responsibilities" kind of comment in there.

And I agree on the "bullying tactic" of "everybody else complains about this too."

MeowMixer

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Re: The neighbor (long)
« Reply #40 on: November 05, 2012, 12:59:55 PM »
Evil BeagleMommy would be tempted to ask him if he was offering to do the lawn work for you.  I've had to remind her that he might take you up on the offer and then you'd never be rid of him.

He's trying to bully you with the old standard of "everybody hates you".  Classic bullying mechanism.  Turning him into a joke is the best revenge.  If he tells you he's going to call the police answer with a firm "Be my guest".  It will take the wind out of his sails.

I honestly think he might have been trying to get us to hire his relative in the beginning. I've heard a number of the residents on this end of the street use his business for yard stuff. (And that he charges an arm and a leg, too.) Another neighbor, the one on the other side of his house, told me once that Neighbor used to invite her to all his parties, but when she ran into health problems and stopped hiring his relative, the invitations stopped coming.

wow! I think you've found your reason for the 'why' right here! I'm glad you're documenting his bullying, sounds like he knows exactly what he's doing! :o

Lexophile

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Re: The neighbor (long)
« Reply #41 on: November 05, 2012, 05:08:11 PM »
I just spent an hour trying to find my own neighbor story that I posted here some years ago. The hair on the back of my neck stood up as I read your OP. Our neighbor who just moved away is exactly the same person.

1) Tried to bait my husband (three times!) into a fight over piddly lawn care issues. Always when nobody else was around to witness it. Once he even threw a rock.

2) Complained incessently to the HOA about us for things like having a composter tucked away behind our house and building our stone patio in a way that he didn't agree with.

3) When we complained to the police that he was verbally attacking us (he had me cornered up against the house one day yelling at me that we owed him money for a fence he built before we bought the house), he told the cops he was scared of us and that we were the ones doing the harrassing.

4) General weirdness: He walked by his garage window, which only faced the side of our house, holding his middle finger up. He would go outside and vaccume the rocks in his landscaping in the front of his house, staring at anyone who happened to look his way. If my husband came out to mow our lawn, he would stand out there on his front porch with his arms crossed staring at him the whole time.

The man ended up being a pariah because he eventually bullied everyone else on the street too. He told some of them it was because they were friends with us.

Please consider this next part carefully:

It only stopped when we visibly started recording every visit to the outside of our house. If I had to weed the yard, I'd take my smart phone out, turn on the voice recording app, and leave it sitting on the patio in plain sight. When my DH went out to mow, he left the DVR running on the railing of our front porch where the neighbor could see it. We made it very clear to everyone we knew that we had recording equipment and that we were using it every time we went outside.

That is the thing that stopped it. He loved playing the victim and he only bullied us when he thought nobody else was watching. When he realized he would get himself into some real trouble, he backed off.
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MOM21SON

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Re: The neighbor (long)
« Reply #42 on: November 05, 2012, 06:50:03 PM »
Ignore, ignore, ignore.  We have a neighbor like that.  He is always watching our house and everything we do is wrong.  When we do home repairs, he gets upset.  When we don't do home repairs, he gets upset.  He tries to regulate the parking in our neighborhood.  He has even called the police on us.  We had a repairman park on our lawn in order not to take up space on the street.  He called the police because of this.  There are no laws or HOA rules about parking on the lawn.  The police officer told us we could park on our lawn as much as we wanted.  The only good thing about having a neighbor like that, is someone is watching the house when you're not there.  Should someone try to break in or vandalize the place, you have your own neighborhood watch.  Pay no attention to him.  If he calls the police enough times, they will take care of him.

Yes.  The neighborhood watch is what I refer to my neighbors as.  they see everything.  I never worry about being gone.  Other than that, they are bullies also.  But after 10 plus years we play nice.  I am not sure who grumbles silently more, us or them.

That Anime Chick

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Re: The neighbor (long)
« Reply #43 on: November 06, 2012, 10:44:08 AM »
OP, it sounds like you have the neighbor DH and I had before we bought our house. The place we rented had a really great landlord who hired a lawncare service to take care of the lawn for us since we both worked.  Every other week, like clockwork, they'd come out and mow the lawn and take care of the weeds and plants.

One time they even knocked on our door and apologized for getting dirt on our cars when they were using a leaf blower and offered to pay for the car wash if we opted to do that (we didn't).

The off weeks the lawncare service wasn't there, the neighbor would come over and complain to either DH or myself. Finally DH had enough one day, went in, got the number for the landlord and handed it to him. He told him "If you really think the lawncare company is doing such a poor job, then tell him." DH then went next door to the other side (we were renting a duplex), and knocked on the landlord's door and told him that he might get a call from the neighbor. All while the neighbor was watching.

Never heard a peep from him after that, even when we moved out.
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Ginger G

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Re: The neighbor (long)
« Reply #44 on: November 06, 2012, 01:04:13 PM »
OP, I just want to say I'm sorry you're going through this.  I'm also a member of the terrible neighbors club.   I could start a whole thread on my crazy next door neighbor, who has been mercifully quiet lately.  I think she is actually now giving me the cut direct because I wouldn't get her a job at my company  ::)