Author Topic: The mind boggles.  (Read 1840 times)

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Adelaide

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The mind boggles.
« on: January 03, 2013, 04:58:23 PM »
I don't know if my indignation is what's making me think this story deserves its own thread, but at the moment I feel like it does. I just...I know people have horrible neighbors in the sense that they're actually malicious, but have you ever heard of anyone so oblivious?

My family has lived across the same people for 21 years. In that time I've seen them borrow (and sometimes forget to return) numerous items, including (but not limited to!): Children's Tylenol, a single bandaid, eggs, flour, hammers, nails, rakes, brooms, and other things. Whenever one of them is over to ask for something while rolls or homemade desserts are out, their eyes glaze over and they do the "Oh! What's that? It looks delicious!" routine until they're offered some of whatever it is we have. They ask my brother and father to do them favors all the time but have never once said anything more than "oh yeah, thanks" as an afterthought or have volunteered to return anything. My father or brother are the ones who have to go over there and get their stuff back. My parents have been oblivious to the fact that the neighbors have been treating us like a combination 7-11 and Home Depot-but after last week they're finally aware of it. I would also like to say that I have been telling them to say "no" for years but I don't think it's my place to refuse to let the neighbors borrow my dad's tools, that's his job. Until last week he has insisted that "It's just what you do" and he just "wants to be neighborly".

We had a large snowfall and the power went out. My family has a stock of firewood that we keep covered in our backyard. While my brother and I were standing on the porch, looking out at the snow, our male neighbor yelled across the street at us. "DO YOU HAVE A WHEELBARROW?" Before I could reply in the negative, since I was sure that he wanted to borrow it and forget to return it, my brother yelled back "YEAH, WHY?" and the neighbor came over. At this point my father was outside and the male neighbor told my father that he needed to borrow the wheelbarrow to get some of our firewood out of our backyard. (This was statement, not a question.) My father at this point was feeling sympathetic and said that of course he could have some firewood to make a fire. Male neighbor yelled at his grown son, who was ordered to get our wheelbarrow, fill it up with wood, and take it back.

Male neighbor then proceeded to say that they had plenty of firewood at his house, but he didn't want to clean the snow off of it to get to it, nor did he want to get out in the mud with his wheelbarrow.  :o At this point my dad didn't know what to say and he simply watched them cart away the wheelbarrow. The next day when my family was walking in the road, looking at the snow, the neighbor family was outside as well. We swerved to avoid a tree limb in the road, stepping a couple of feet in neighbor's yard in the process. "Hey! neighbor called, "Don't step in our snow, I want it to look nice!"

"Hey," my mother replied, in a light tone to indicate that she was almost half-way kidding, "Don't take all of our firewood." Neighbor family had no reply to this.

They still haven't returned the wheelbarrow.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 05:00:37 PM by Adelaide »

TootsNYC

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Re: The mind boggles.
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2013, 05:13:48 PM »
Once the snow melts, I hope your dad goes over w/ his wheelbarrow and says, "I came to take some of your firewood to replace the stuff I gave you during the snow."

Thipu1

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Re: The mind boggles.
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2013, 06:33:07 PM »
Once the snow melts, I hope your dad goes over w/ his wheelbarrow and says, "I came to take some of your firewood to replace the stuff I gave you during the snow."

Amen! 

This bunch sounds like 'Gimmee Pigs Gone Wild'. 

I would never lend these people anything at all.  Being 'Neighborly' works both ways and these folks don't seem to have gotten the message. 

WillyNilly

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Re: The mind boggles.
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2013, 06:37:58 PM »
Well Flanders, until you tell Homer and Bart "no" they aren't going to realize its problem.

QueenofAllThings

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Re: The mind boggles.
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2013, 07:21:18 PM »
Sounds like your folks have been OK with it for 21 years, and have done nothing to stop it. Why would the neighbors change thir behavior?

bloo

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Re: The mind boggles.
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2013, 08:14:44 PM »
Sounds like your folks have been OK with it for 21 years, and have done nothing to stop it. Why would the neighbors change thir behavior?

Yep. My in-laws had neighbors that coveted a strip of their property that borders theirs. My in-laws run their practice there and thought that even though the neighbors were a little unstable, it was 'so nice' of them to mow, weed, spray and take care of that strip of property. We asked my in-laws, "Do you want to give that property to them?"

They said, "Of course not."

DH said, "Well they are acting like it's theirs. After a certain period if time, they could argue that it is theirs. Is that okay with you?"

Huffing and puffing, "You're just being negative. They're not trying to take our property."

"Okay."

Not long after that, my in-laws started complaining that the neighbor was coming out and harassing their patients for parking too close to the grass (yes, complaining that their bumpers were hanging over the grass). The grass that legally belonged to my in-laws.

And that's when the lightbulb clicked on. And sure enough, when my in-laws started putting up boundaries: hiring surveyors, putting up a fence - an explosion of monumental temper tantrums occurred. To the point where my in-laws had to get cops and lawyers and restraining orders involved.

We were sympathetic - to a point. We gently let them know that they had some responsibility in this by allowing the neighbor to cross their boundaries for 7+ years. Had they established boundaries in the beginning, they'd be on speaking terms right now. They've not been speaking to their neighbors for 5 years now.

This neighbor was an entitled nutcase, but neighborly =/= doormat.

OP, if your parents are ready to establish boundaries, prep them for the extinction burst that will occur before it gets resolved. As 'gimme-pig' as their neighbors sound, I'm not going to assume they're as combative as my in-law's neighbors, so they may be able to re-train the neighbors w/o incident.

I'm just as indignant for your family! Sorry...
« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 08:16:30 PM by bloo »

missknowledge

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Re: The mind boggles.
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2013, 02:51:11 PM »
Well Flanders, until you tell Homer and Bart "no" they aren't going to realize its problem.

LOL.    ;D ;D ;D ;D Love it.