Cig­a­rette smoke clouds neigh­bors’ dreams

Miami Herald - - Sports - JEANNE PHILLIPS

Dear Abby: My fam­ily and I bought a house in a nice, quiet, safe neigh­bor­hood three years ago. What we didn’t know prior to mov­ing in was that our next-door neigh­bor some­times smokes cig­a­rettes.

It rains eight months out of the year here, and we usu­ally keep our win­dows closed, so it isn’t an is­sue. But dur­ing the sum­mer, we like to sleep with the win­dows open. When our neigh­bor steps out­side for a cig­a­rette, the smoke drifts into our bed­room.

Our homes are sep­a­rated by small yards, so at first, I thought they didn’t re­al­ize that the smoke was both­er­ing us. Even­tu­ally I be­gan to get up­set. When I wake up in the mid­dle of the night to use the bath­room, I can smell it. I have made a point of loudly slam­ming the win­dows shut, hop­ing it would make them stop. There is no way they don’t hear the noise, but it doesn’t stop them.

We don’t want to have to keep our win­dows closed, be­cause it is not an ev­ery­day oc­cur­rence. It hap­pens once a week or so.

Af­ter all th­ese years, we have never in­tro­duced our­selves to each other, and I don’t be­lieve they care to know us any more than we care to get to know them. Be­cause of this, con­fronting them is not an op­tion. What do we do? — Hates the Smoke in Ore­gon

Dear Hates: Slam­ming your win­dow shut is not a friendly or ef­fi­cient way to com­mu­ni­cate be­cause th­ese peo­ple are not mind read­ers. Go­ing next door, in­tro­duc­ing your­self, po­litely ex­plain­ing that there’s a prob­lem and ask­ing if they could smoke on the other side of their house, away from your bed­room win­dow, would be bet­ter.

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