My wife and I recently purchased our first home. The previous residents were an elderly couple who passed away.
When we bought the house we did not know that the couple’s daughter and her husband and two teenage daughters were our neighbors across the street. (Another neighbor told us this.)
We had never seen them outside, and they never introduced themselves.
We made a lot of exterior changes to the house, as it was pretty old and dated. We painted, put in new windows and doors and landscaped.
As we started making changes, we noticed the daughter and her family taking notice. We’d see them standing outside looking at our house, or looking out their windows. I’d wave to them, and they’d never wave back.
A few months ago, we got an anonymous note in our mailbox, saying that the changes were “ugly,” “too modern” and that it looked “cheap.”
My wife was offended. We both assumed it was authored by the daughter or someone else in her family but decided to ignore it.
Now we’re the victims of more petty harassment. Someone keeps throwing eggs at our windows, our trash cans are almost always tipped over, and it’s pretty common to have our mailbox filled with rocks or dirt.
I can’t prove that it’s anyone in this household, but I don’t think anyone else in the neighborhood would do this.
I want to go talk to them, but I don’t know what to say.
What do you think? Nervous Neighbor
Dear Nervous: From your account, this does not seem to be petty vandalism, but an escalating course of harassment. (By the way, vandalizing mail boxes is a crime.)
You should install an outdoor security camera to record any vandalism. Take photos of any property damage, and keep notes.
You should also call the police (non-emergency number) every single time this happens, to build a case.
Don’t confront these neighbors in person.
Dear Amy: A group of us is wondering how to handle a situation with a coworker.
Our coworker, “Kris,” is getting married soon, and she has been talking about her wedding for a year now.
Now that the invites have been mailed, we’ve noticed that they are addressed only to each coworker and not to the spouses or “plus ones” of single people.
Through one of the coworkers, we’ve been told that no one except the coworkers are invited!
Many are no longer planning to attend, and feel that this is not proper etiquette for a wedding.
What to do? Upset Coworkers
Dear Coworkers: It sounds as if “Kris” is trying to put together a table of coworkers, as a way to include you all in a wedding she has been talking about for the last year.
Yes, spouses should be included in an invitation, but hosts are under no obligation to include a “plus one” for single people, unless they have live-in or longterm partners.
The way to handle this is not to confront “Kris” over her gaffe, but — if you don’t want to attend without a spouse — to simply RSVP your regrets to her invitation, while also congratulating her and wishing her a very happy wedding day.