Author Topic: Kind neighbor, or boundary issues?  (Read 7392 times)

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DCGirl

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Re: Kind neighbor, or boundary issues?
« Reply #45 on: December 12, 2013, 01:44:51 PM »
Have we really gotten to a place where a kind gesture such as shoveling someone's driveway is perceived as a boundary issue?  That seems so sad to me.  I think I'd like a world where my neighbors and I know each other a little better and behave, well, neighborly towards each other, instead of just waving as we walk from our cars to our front doors.

TootsNYC

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Re: Kind neighbor, or boundary issues?
« Reply #46 on: December 12, 2013, 01:48:44 PM »
I think shoveling  your neighbor's drive is the smallest of boundary violations. The kindness of the gesture (bcs it -is- hard physical labor--people have died because of the physical stress to their hearts) far outweighs the violation, in my opinion.

But it is a violation. Technically.

In the OP's friend's situation, the lights are of a higher order.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Kind neighbor, or boundary issues?
« Reply #47 on: December 12, 2013, 01:53:36 PM »
I asked this question around the lunch table today.

Three people immediately said that the lights were a huge boundary crossing.  But they said they'd have no problem with someone clearing their driveway of snow.  One of those coworker's mowed his neighbour's front lawn and got chewed out.  The neighbour felt CW was commenting on neighbour's work ethic or something.

One coworker agreed with me that it was a minor boundary issue and that it was a nice thing to do.

So then I asked where they grew up - city or small town.  My small town theory got blown out of the water because 2 of the 3 were small towners, too.  Although, they did say that if it had happened in their home town, it wouldn't have been seen as a big deal because they would have all known their neighbours well.

We then got into a discussion about how well we know our neighbours - turns out, I know more of my neighbours than my coworkers, even though I don't think I know very many.  So maybe that's why my opinion differs a little.  And I also have an herb garden in my front yard that I've invited neighbours to come and take herbs whenever they'd like.  The first year, they'd insist on asking first but I finally have them trained to just snip what they need.   :)

It was a really interesting discussion around the lunch table, so thanks to the OP!   ;D
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wolfie

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Re: Kind neighbor, or boundary issues?
« Reply #48 on: December 12, 2013, 01:57:47 PM »
I think shoveling  your neighbor's drive is the smallest of boundary violations. The kindness of the gesture (bcs it -is- hard physical labor--people have died because of the physical stress to their hearts) far outweighs the violation, in my opinion.

But it is a violation. Technically.

In the OP's friend's situation, the lights are of a higher order.

The only reason I would want to ask before having someone shovel my driveway is because I am considering signing a contract to have someone plow my driveway all winter. I would be rather upset to have to pay what is not an inconsiderable amount of money only to have someone else do the work. Plus I am sure you would be upset at having to do the work (which is hard - that is why I am thinking of paying to have it done) only to realize someone else with a plow was already paid to do the work. It isn't that I have a problem with someone else shoveling my driveway - it's that I don't want my money to be wasted.

Margo

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Re: Kind neighbor, or boundary issues?
« Reply #49 on: December 12, 2013, 03:36:32 PM »
I think it can be both.

Kind people are not exempt from boundary trampling.
Even if we assume the *BEST* of every intention and what not, this would feel like a major overstep to me.

I agree. If one of my neighbours did this I would feel it was massively inappropriate.

I think shovelling snow is less of a boundary-trampling issue - it feels far less invasive, not least as it doesn't involve imposing your taste on someone else - but even then, if that arose I'd rather the neighbour asked me first.

TootsNYC

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Re: Kind neighbor, or boundary issues?
« Reply #50 on: December 12, 2013, 04:03:18 PM »
And snow is not long-lasting (usually); plus the shoveling is usually pre-emptive (unlike lawn mowing, which could be seen as a negative judgment).

Mel the Redcap

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Re: Kind neighbor, or boundary issues?
« Reply #51 on: December 12, 2013, 06:06:02 PM »
MASSIVE boundary violation. :o

The neighbours don't know Alicia's family at all. They did this not knowing whether it would be appreciated, or whether Alicia's family had their own plans to decorate and just hadn't done it yet. It's something that's optional, and how it's done is a matter of taste, and they decided to impose their own ideas of what and how to do on Alicia's property WITHOUT ASKING.

This is not a sweet kind gesture, in my opinion. It might have been intended as a sweet kind gesture, but because it was done without asking and without any knowledge of Alicia's family preferences, it crosses over into "I know what's right and I'm going to do it without consulting you". I'd be afraid they were going to turn out to be the sort of neighbours who walk straight in without knocking, chirping "It's only me! I knew you wouldn't mind, so I pruned your topiary for you!" "Er, I wanted to let it grow outů" "Oh, but it looks so much better this way! You don't need to thank me."

Shoveling snow is a bit different - it's got to be done (not optional, not really a matter of taste), it's hard work, it's a chore that's often seen as something neighbours do for each other. Even then, as previous comments pointed out, it's got the potential for things to go wrong; you find out your neighbour already paid someone to do it, or they just bought a new snowblower and have been waiting for the first snowfall of winter with eager anticipation, or you dumped the snow somewhere that's inconvenient for them. Which is why, unless it's an established thing that you shovel so-and-so's driveway every year and put the snow in x usual location, you ask.

Maybe Alicia's neighbours had a regular thing going with the previous owners of the house, where they'd decorate for them, and everyone was happy. That was okay. Continuing now that there's someone new in the house and you don't know them and haven't said a word about it is NOT.

On the other hand, maybe Alicia's neighbours are controlling busybodies who have decided to make sure the street looks 'right' (according to them) and see nothing wrong with steamrolling over everyone else's preferences and choices to get what they want, and the previous owners moved to get away from them. :P There's no real way to tell until she sees how they act in future. I've got to say, it's not a good sign IMO...
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bah12

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Re: Kind neighbor, or boundary issues?
« Reply #52 on: December 12, 2013, 07:15:15 PM »
So, your friend actually gave the neighbor the benefit of the doubt and sees it in the spirit that it's intended, and her friends are trying to convince her it's a boundary issue?  Why in the world would you want to convince someone there is trouble when they don't see it and the "issue" didn't harm them in some way?

If the neighbor continues to "push boundaries" that makes the friend uncomfortable then I see no harm in encouraging her to say something about it.  But at this point the only thing she should say is "thank you.  I'm actually Jewish, but I really appreciate the kind gesture."

veronaz

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Re: Kind neighbor, or boundary issues?
« Reply #53 on: December 12, 2013, 07:45:16 PM »
Boundary-trouncing on various levels.

I'd tell ask them to remove all the lights immediately.

Religion, health issues, and snow shoveling are not relevant.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 08:36:11 PM by veronaz »

*inviteseller

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Re: Kind neighbor, or boundary issues?
« Reply #54 on: December 12, 2013, 07:55:17 PM »
That is the biggest overstep I have heard in a long time...and I know plenty of oversteppers.  No one has a right to come onto her property and do anything regardless of what it was.  The fact that she is Jewish really doesn't matter, he had no right.  I would take them down if I were her, take them back, and tell him thanks, but not welcome or necessary.  If she doesn't nip this in the bud, Mr Buttinski will be a bigger pain in the months ahead.

Luci

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Re: Kind neighbor, or boundary issues?
« Reply #55 on: December 12, 2013, 08:10:46 PM »
I wish someone would do a sociological profile of where and how we were all raised and where we live now to see how the balance of "really bad!" and "sweet!" and a few inbetween levels are relevent to our answers.

I find the disparities very interesting.

katycoo

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Re: Kind neighbor, or boundary issues?
« Reply #56 on: December 12, 2013, 08:21:27 PM »
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.

You should tell your son that its rude to tresspass on other people's property without their permission or knowledge and she should knock on their door and offer to do it before doing so.

On their land is the decider.  if it was clearing snow from someone's tyres who had parked on the street I'd say go for it - because that wasn't going to be plowed anyway.

citadelle

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Re: Kind neighbor, or boundary issues?
« Reply #57 on: December 12, 2013, 08:41:54 PM »
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.

You should tell your son that its rude to tresspass on other people's property without their permission or knowledge and she should knock on their door and offer to do it before doing so.

On their land is the decider.  if it was clearing snow from someone's tyres who had parked on the street I'd say go for it - because that wasn't going to be plowed anyway.
How is s/he going to get to the door without trespassing on the property?

Tea Drinker

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Re: Kind neighbor, or boundary issues?
« Reply #58 on: December 12, 2013, 09:04:22 PM »
Have we really gotten to a place where a kind gesture such as shoveling someone's driveway is perceived as a boundary issue?  That seems so sad to me.  I think I'd like a world where my neighbors and I know each other a little better and behave, well, neighborly towards each other, instead of just waving as we walk from our cars to our front doors.

I'd like to get to know my neighbors, too. And if I know them even a little, we can sort out that Tea Drinker hates blinking lights but would be delighted if you shoveled her snow, and would they like help weeding their garden? I'm not going to go in there and weed without checking, though: is morning glory a weed? Is dandelion? Are violets? Are blackberries? And are you planning on using a broad-spectrum herbicide tomorrow anyhow so it would just be wasted effort? I would no more pull out your probable-weeds without permission than I would plant daffodils or violets in the middle of your lawn without checking, even though I'll probably plant both of those in my own lawn if I ever own a house.
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Mel the Redcap

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Re: Kind neighbor, or boundary issues?
« Reply #59 on: December 12, 2013, 09:22:29 PM »
I think the main point that's becoming clear here is that because many people would consider this sort of thing to be a major boundary violation, you should check to see if it would be welcome first even if you personally would be delighted to come home and find your brand new garden decorated by the neighbours you haven't met yet.  ;)
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