Author Topic: Kind neighbor, or boundary issues?  (Read 6432 times)

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Luci45

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Re: Kind neighbor, or boundary issues?
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2013, 10:53:38 AM »
There's a saying that goes, "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."  (I repeat it to myself at work, often.)   "Stupidity" can probably be replaced by "good intentions" in many cases.  Kudos to your friend for taking a well-intentioned gesture in the spirit in which it was intended, especially in light of all that she and her family have gone through this year.

I agree.


I'm w/ Eden, I think it's both: a kind neighbor, and a boundary issue. The two are not mutually exclusive.

If I felt mildly annoyed every time I saw the lights, I'd ask the neighbor to remove them. If I thought, "Pretty! And considerate of them," I'd only mention at some point, "We're Jewish, so we don't decorate for the holiday."

This is where I stand. I would take care of it quickly and very, very kindly and hopefully humorously. If the neighbors are that kind, I'm sure they would be accepting and understanding, and not take it as a rebuff. I'd definitely try to start the relationship over if I had the energy.

Two Ravens

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Re: Kind neighbor, or boundary issues?
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2013, 10:55:06 AM »
Would it have also been a boundary violation if the neighbor had (as someone mentioned) mowed Alicia's lawn or shoveled her driveway?

I do think Alicia should explain they don't celebrate Christmas and ask the neighbor to take the lights down.

wolfie

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Re: Kind neighbor, or boundary issues?
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2013, 10:56:47 AM »
Would it have also been a boundary violation if the neighbor had (as someone mentioned) mowed Alicia's lawn or shoveled her driveway?

I do think Alicia should explain they don't celebrate Christmas and ask the neighbor to take the lights down.

yes it would be. For all the neighbor knows Alicia has a contract with someone to mow her lawn or shovel her driveway. Or she looks forward to that as her exercise for the week. Basically doing anything on someone else's property without first talking to them is a boundary violation.

MrTango

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Re: Kind neighbor, or boundary issues?
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2013, 10:56:58 AM »
Definitely a boundary violation.

My opinion is that, regardless of the intent, leaving lights/decorations/signs on someone else's property without the property owner's permission is no different than littering.  If I came home and saw decorations on my home for a holiday that LadyTango and I don't celebrate, I'd take them down and toss them in the trash.

The Wild One, Forever

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Re: Kind neighbor, or boundary issues?
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2013, 11:00:33 AM »
It was a clueless boundary crossing, done with good intentions.  Alicia sounds like a fantastic person to be taking it so humorously.  I agree that if she enjoys the lights, she should do just that but if she comes to find out they or the idea of them, or what the represent, is bothering her, then she certainly is within her rights to request her neighbor take them down.  I suspect the neighbors might be slightly mortified when they finds out they put up Christmas lights on the home of a Jewish person.    ;D 
Soft silly music is meaningful, magical

gramma dishes

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Re: Kind neighbor, or boundary issues?
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2013, 11:04:33 AM »
I think the gesture was actually very sweet and certainly well intentioned.  And it's lights.  Not a complete manger scene or something that specifically says "Christmas"! 

I reluctantly agree that it was a boundary violation, but I think Alicia has the right attitude about it.  In this case I think the title of this thread isn't necessarily an either/or proposition.  I think the neighbor was "kind", but also stepped over what most of us would consider reasonable boundary lines.

lowspark

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Re: Kind neighbor, or boundary issues?
« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2013, 11:10:05 AM »
Would it have also been a boundary violation if the neighbor had (as someone mentioned) mowed Alicia's lawn or shoveled her driveway?

I do think Alicia should explain they don't celebrate Christmas and ask the neighbor to take the lights down.

yes it would be. For all the neighbor knows Alicia has a contract with someone to mow her lawn or shovel her driveway. Or she looks forward to that as her exercise for the week. Basically doing anything on someone else's property without first talking to them is a boundary violation.

POD.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to do their neighbors a favor of this kind. Whether it's lights, lawn or shoveling. But they simply need to make the offer before proceeding.

Just curious, where did they plug in the lights?

Julsie

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Re: Kind neighbor, or boundary issues?
« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2013, 11:20:01 AM »
So when we get a heavy snowfall and my son wants to finish shoveling our driveway and then do our neighbor's I should tell him no because it's a boundary violation and our neighbor may have been planning to shovel as exercise?

That strikes me as an unusual way of looking at things.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Kind neighbor, or boundary issues?
« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2013, 11:23:44 AM »
So when we get a heavy snowfall and my son wants to finish shoveling our driveway and then do our neighbor's I should tell him no because it's a boundary violation and our neighbor may have been planning to shovel as exercise?

That strikes me as an unusual way of looking at things.

Well, if it's a new neighbor maybe knock on their door and ask where they'd like the snow stacked.

Remember, this isn't a neighbor they've lived by for several years and who knows their normal routines.

Figgie

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Re: Kind neighbor, or boundary issues?
« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2013, 11:24:06 AM »
It's a boundary violation for sure, but I can also see how it was kindly meant (especially if neighbors did know of the husband's cancer).  I think Alicia can thank the neighbor but explain that they are Jewish. 

In some neighborhoods, it's not unusual for neighbors to go onto one another's property to shovel/take the trash cans down/do other chores.  Alicia's neighbors might think that way, too.

This is very common in our neighborhood.  People drag in other peoples garbage and recycling bins all the time. 

My spouse shovels the neighbors side door walk to the garage because she is pregnant and her spouse leaves for work too early in the morning to manage it and the front sidewalk.  It's just part of the way we look out for each other...no different than my signing for a package for a neighbor and then dropping it off when they get home from work.

So, yes, the neighbor did overstep, but I think taking the attitude that it was well meaning is the best way to insure decent relations with the neighbors. 

There are times all of us are going to need some kind of help and the best way to receive that help is to be willing to give it.  If someone is the kind of neighbor who gets upset because someone put their bin back from the street, then they shouldn't be surprised when no one bothers to close the wind flipped over lid and their garbage ends up blown around the neighborhood.

Two Ravens

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Re: Kind neighbor, or boundary issues?
« Reply #25 on: December 12, 2013, 11:25:10 AM »
So when we get a heavy snowfall and my son wants to finish shoveling our driveway and then do our neighbor's I should tell him no because it's a boundary violation and our neighbor may have been planning to shovel as exercise?

That strikes me as an unusual way of looking at things.

My neighbor growing up (we lived next to a farm) plowed our driveway (with his tractor) for us every snowfall. Not only did we not considered it a violation, my mother nominated him for Neighbor of the Year, and he was featured in our local newspaper.

But one thing I have learned from this site is that boundaries are different for different people. Some people get upset when others come on to their lawn to return mis-delivered mail.

gen xer

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Re: Kind neighbor, or boundary issues?
« Reply #26 on: December 12, 2013, 11:26:22 AM »
I think the neighbor meant well, but perhaps should have checked first, and said "hey, I know you have a lot on your plate, I'm going to be putting up my lights, would you like me to put some on your house/tree/etc?" This would have given Alicia the opportunity to let neighbor know they don't celebrate Christmas, and thank them for their kindness.

And I think by just accepting them in the spirit thye were given, Alicia is fine. Maybe at a later date, mention to neighbor, thank you but we don't celebrate.

Some may see it as a boundary violiation, but I see it as a friendly, neighborly gesture, helping out someone. But it would have been a good idea to check first.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions seems to be the case here.

Yes...they should have checked for exactly those reasons.  It is pretty presumptuous of the neighbours to take it upon themselves to decorate somebody else's house without their knowledge or permission.

That being said....I am sure it was meant to be a friendly, kind gesture and to come down hard on someone for it is pretty harsh.  If Alicia absolutley couldn't stand having them up she could take them down and return them with a friendly explanation that they are Jewish and don't celebrate Christmas.  Maybe inviting them over for a drink etc might be in order just to show no hard feelings.

You never know....after going to some trouble to put up lights and having all their hard work undone might be enough to cure the neighbours of taking things upon themselves in the future!

wolfie

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Re: Kind neighbor, or boundary issues?
« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2013, 11:26:52 AM »
So when we get a heavy snowfall and my son wants to finish shoveling our driveway and then do our neighbor's I should tell him no because it's a boundary violation and our neighbor may have been planning to shovel as exercise?

That strikes me as an unusual way of looking at things.

I think if you have an agreement with your neighbor to shovel the driveway that is fine. Or if you knock on their door first. But since i pay $60 for the plow to come plow my driveway I would be a bit upset if you did it first, but I still have to pay since I have a contract for the year or because I didn't realize you did it and therefore didn't cancel the plow.

There is nothing wrong with being nice and helping your neighbors - you just have to double check that you are actually helping them. Once you know that what you are doing is welcome then have at it.

White Lotus

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Re: Kind neighbor, or boundary issues?
« Reply #28 on: December 12, 2013, 11:31:09 AM »
"We don't celebrate Christmas because we're (Buddhist, but Jewish would work), but thank you so much for the thought.  The lights certainly are pretty, but would you please take them down?  It feels disrespectful to me to celebrate someone else's religious holiday."  Accompanied by a plate of Anytime Cookies.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Kind neighbor, or boundary issues?
« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2013, 11:32:52 AM »
First of all, Alicia has class.

Next, I think it is a minor boundary violation.  Neighbor should have asked, but it was meant kindly.

Lowspark, most Christmas lights are attached with either staples or specially made hangers.  No modifications to homes are needed.