Neighbors. People. Do they just suck?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by WifeOfBath, May 19, 2008.

  1. WifeOfBath

    WifeOfBath New Member

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    People on this forum and others complain so much about the level of nastiness and unfriendliness, but lately I've been feeling like the net is a lot friendlier than meatspace. At least online I can turn people off, but in my day to day life I have no choice but to interact with people who I'd rather not have any contact with.

    I've live in my house now for 6 years, and the more I live here, the crappier people are to each other (or maybe just us). People seem to be more concerned with property values, looking affluent, and making sure things are the way they want them than creating a community, and that's disheartening.

    I have plants lining the street in my front yard, and for years they have been mysteriously dying-- something I attributed to there being too much direct sun or possibly people walking their pets. One day about 2 weeks ago, I was in my bathroom looking out the window to the front of my house, and there was my neighbor with his 3 little dogs. I watched one of the little rats lift its leg and urinate on my plant. The guy didn't even pull the dog back, he just watching him. I ran out the door and called him back. I asked politely for him to please not let his dogs urinate on my plants. Instead of just apologizing, he told me that it didn't happen. When I told him I just watched it, he insisted that the dog was just lifting his leg and didn't urinate. This man has a picture-perfect green lawn because he doesn't let his dogs urinate or defecate on his lawn-- but he has ruined the nice grassy area in front of our street that was intended for use as a play area or a picnic area. He and his wife are simply too lazy to walk the dogs very far and refuse to let them ruin their yard. I said as much to him and I'm glad I did-- though it only made him get irate. So I went back into my house, glad that I had finally gotten my say. The thing that really gets me is that his wife has, at various points, told me that our neighborhood isn't for children (I have a child), that our door handle is ugly, we need a storm door, etc. etc. I just don't think it's her business to nitpick about our house as long as it's not falling apart and is presentable. It's so hypocritical.

    Fast forward to yesteday. My house is one of those 3-story monstrous townhouses with 2 car garages-- so we have about 3000 SF but very little yard. Well, the way the builder has set up the lots, a 2X20 strip of my front yard (from the front of the house to the street) technically is my next door neighbor's property, but the builder set the little front yards up such that it's a contiguous space about 15X20 and it seems to by my front yard. The previous owner and I had an agreement that we'd maintain the 2 feet since it looked like it was my yard and who wants to care for a two foot wide strip of land anyway. This new neighbor has owned the house now for 3 years and has lived in it for about a year. We're moving in 2 weeks. She chose yesterday to tell us that it's her property and we have to dig up everything that's on that side of the line. The problem is, to do that, I'd have to dig out all the plants the builder put in, a large azalea, some flowers, etc. because almost everything on that side of the door is at least partly on her property. Now, if she had addressed this a year ago, I'm sure we could have agreed on something. But instead she waited until she knew we were moving probably because she doesn't want to deal with it with the people who bought our house. I told her she was free to do as she liked with the part that was her yard, to which she responded it would cost her time and money to do so. Mind you she bought the property with all the stuff as it is now-- so it's not like anything has changed. I called my real estate agent, who thinks I should do nothing because the house, while technically mine for 2 more weeks, has to stay in the condition it was purchased in. So I'm not doing anything. What I don't understand is why she'd want to care for a 2' X20' strip of land even if she doesn't like what the builder and I chose to plant there. It's senseless.

    Thank God I'm moving in 2 weeks-- to an older neighborhood with single family homes where people don't seem to have pretensions of being upper class. Hopefully people won't be quite as bad. As usual I'm not participating in the homeowners' association-- those things end up turning into catty snipe fests anyway. I don't expect people to be nice, but I do hope they will leave me the hell alone.

    I know this is mostly about my neighbors, but it seems like as people get more and more isolated from each other in their communities, they get less and less tolerant. People who work retail have to deal with a lot of this as well. It's not just the internet where people can get "e-balls." It's everywhere because people have to be less and less accountable to each other because our interactions are so compartmentalized. No one lives where they work anymore-- and even among famillies, kids don't play together in the neighborhood or even attend the same schools. There's really no reason anymore to be nice to each other. It's sad.

    Thank you for reading my rant. :smile:
     
  2. marleyisalegend

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    maybe they're too busy trying to form relationships with people over the web, so when they step out into the real world the fantasy relationships they have on the web clash with the realities of having to share a world. on the web we're spoiled. if we don't like someone, we can turn them off, we can get loads of attention just because we're cute and aren't subject to the same criticism our "friends" lay onto other members because we're friends. the result, once you get out into the real world, everybody's pretty much just getting in the way.

    LOL @ he was just lifting his leg. my german shepherd does that all the time, stops and just lifts her leg for no reason.
     
  3. B_Jennuine73

    B_Jennuine73 New Member

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    I am lucky to live where I am. This is a nice, friendly city which borders on Detroit, Michigan. I know the media portrays Detroit to be a horrible city, but I love it.

    As for my neighborhood, we all look out for each other. I organized a watch program with my neighbors on my street and two others. We know each other pretty well and it's always a friendly hello. I make it a point to do that, to say hello and smile at people. We live together, our concerns are all the same.

    I think people are retreating too much into their caves, thinking they are saving themselves a hassle or something. Problem is, what happens is the opposite. If you don't know and are polite and respectful to your neighbours, who is going to watch your back?
     
  4. WifeOfBath

    WifeOfBath New Member

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    I think that fits into what I was getting at that people don't have to interact with each other in the real world if they don't feel like it. In some sense, we can "turn off" interacting with people because people's lives don't usually intersect in more than one place the way they used to. Just the sheer fact of not having to interact with each other makes people less likely to tolerate each other, in my opinion. If you just see people as obstacles to what you want instead of as people, you end up acting like an asshole because they are more like things-- kinda like you're saying, almost characters in a video game.

    My mom's boxer does that too, but it's just because they still want to mark but have run out of urine. I'm sure that little rat has had urine in its bladder at other times and killed my plants, including my lavender bush that I loved so much. The little shit.
     
  5. ZOS23xy

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    I don't have neighbors, being out in the boonies. In NYC, the houses I was familiar with were in a "Mafia" neighborhood. People in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn just kept to themselves.

    I keep hearing stories about people shooting another person's pet because they ran through the yard. These are the people with nothing to do.
     
  6. WifeOfBath

    WifeOfBath New Member

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    This is a really good point because I've noticed that in the city near my house, people tend to be friendlier toward each other-- probably because there is more danger there. People know the officers who patrol the area and they talk to each other. I guess it's like anything else-- when there's an "other"-- in your case, criminals-- people have a reason to get along and almost instinctually band together. Where I am, we just don't have that kind of pressure to get along with each other for the common good. With that said, the common good should encompass just living harmoniously together, but it doesn't.

    I also wonder if some of that is due to living in a community with very strict deed restrictions and a very active maintenance association. Rather than having to get along to make things in the neighborhood better, you just have to whine and bitch to the county or the governing body of the maintenance association. I wonder if this sort of "nanny state" behavior makes people less likely to try to work together. I also thing an interesting parallel could be drawn to the state of affairs on LPSG lately.

    But that's another topic entirely.
     
  7. vince

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    There may be some truth in that, but people were snipey with each other long before we had the internet.

    In Vancouver for two years in the 80's we had the neighbor from hell. A right bitch who felt it her right to comment on everything from how and when I cut the grass to how much sleep my pregnant wife should be getting. We moved to another older neighborhood where everything was pretty cool. We had (and still have) some wonderful friends from that neighborhood. We use to have block parties in the summer and Halloween was always a blast. The kids spent a lot of time racing around and the other parents looked out for each other's kids. I don't know how many times I stopped that next door brat Michael from riding his tricycle down the middle of the street. LOL

    In the 90's we moved to West Vancouver (very expensive, high end), the neighbors were "nice", but really didn't want to know each other. I missed the old neighborhood a lot.

    Wifeofbath- do as your realtor says. It's the neighbor's property and not your responsibility.
     
  8. D_Sue Ellen Brastretcher

    D_Sue Ellen Brastretcher Account Disabled

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    OP, Your neighbor sounds like a horrible bitch. I would tell her it is her yard and if she does not like it to do it herself.

    Neighbors just aren't friendly and social like they used to be. We've lived here over a year now and still don't know the neighbors' names, etc. I think it is really sad. When I was growing up my family knew everyone's name and the kids could all play together.
     
  9. marleyisalegend

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    true, but i think the exlusivity of the internet feeds into it. people who used to have to tolerate others can now spend endless hours on the internet and seclude themselves to a world where they're always right and justified. this is probably going to be carried with them when they step out the door. one thing that surprises me so much is when i see videos of people cursing out cops for pulling them over. uh, you were driving 90 mph, why are you upset that you got pulled over? i've never seen so many people defend and revel in their own wrongdoing, an inflated sense of ego. all this egocentricism always existed, but i think the net is giving the monster a healthy dose of super-gro.
     
  10. DC_DEEP

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    I guess my partner and I lucked out when we bought our house. In this row of 7 townhouse units, the unit on the far west end is empty; next to that, a friendly enough but not too social Chinese family; next to that, a friendlier, but still not too social Syrian family; those of us in the other 4 are very friendly. We socialize together, invite the others when we have parties, consult on landscaping, lend & borrow things (pressure washer, carpet cleaner, power tools/saws/hedge clippers, etc.). Whoever is first to shovel the walks when it snows, does several; whoever mows the grass first does the next-door yard. We actually help each other and care about each other. This group of 4 houses includes a single mother, a gay couple, a young straight (getting married next month) couple, and another single mother.

    I love it. It's so much more comfortable to me, than the isolation and animosity that so many people seem to prefer.
     
  11. BiItalianBro

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    I am in a densely populated 'party' area of NW Washington DC (Adams-Morgan) and for the most part, we get along just fine with our neighbors. I play with their dogs when the get loose (and thats often) and everyone is on a first name basis. They know I travel allot and assure me that my place is 'being watched' in my absence.

    The only crack-pot is an older woman who lives in the corner condo across the alley who take it upon herself to manicure the buildings lawn. She yells at me on a regular basis to 'stop throwing cigarettes/beer bottles in her yard'....of course ,I don't smoke and stopped throwing beer bottles around at random sometime in college. Guess she is one of those "you cant trust anyone under 60" folks.
     
  12. Phil Ayesho

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    Um... first off...

    Tell your new neighbor to screw off...

    IF its HER 2 feet of yard, SHE can do anything SHE pleases with it.
    ITs not your responsibility at all.


    Second of all

    Sartre famously said: " Hell is other people".
     
  13. Hippie Hollow Girl

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    I would definately listen to your real estate agent. Your neighbor lady purchased her property as is 3 years ago. If she wants her little strip landscaped differently it is her baby.....her cost and her effort.

    What does she want you to do? Pull up all the plants and replant the area with what she likes? At your expense? I don't think so.

    From what I have seen when it comes to real estate people will ask you for the sun, moon and stars if they think they can get away with it. You just have to say, no.
     
  14. WifeOfBath

    WifeOfBath New Member

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    Do you invite them into your basement? :wink:

    I find it very hard to socialize in general because I feel so awkward doing it, but I wish people were a little nicer. Part of it may be that the people my area of the neighborhood attracts are the same people that don't have enough money to own a "real" Mercedes so they lease the cheapie class Mercedes. There's a lot of pretension here that just doesn't fit the personality style of my family. I think that's a big part of it. I'm sure we'd all get on at least a bit more if we better consumers and had the same goals of living in the HGTV dream house. Still, that common goal doesn't seem to stop the rest of them from sniping at each other.

    I'm just glad we're getting out of here. Our new house is half the size and in a more established, working class neighborhood. And we have a lot of privacy and our own yard. And a 100+ year old oak tree for my husband and so to kill themselves trying to climb.
     
  15. Pendlum

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    I've never known dogs peeing on things to kill them. My dogs have to kill anything. :p Anyway..

    I don't like most of my neighbors. There are a select few who are genuinely cool and good people. But the rest drive me crazy. I'm nice to them of course, but they are just so annoying. I used to play with the neighborhood kids all the time, and they always told me that I was a good role model blah blah blah, and this is when I liked them. But their kids just became brats, and I wasn't going to deal with it, I had better things to do. One time they were all playing in the lot next to my house, I was there of course, and one of the kids just start throwing rocks at everyone for no reason. So I pick him up an carry him over back to his grandparents house and let them know what he was doing. They thank me and are about to say something to the kid until his mom comes over and says how dare I criticize her parenting, and why don't I mind my own business. I didn't say anything because I liked her grandparents and I could tell that they were mortified by their daughter. Fast forward a couple of years, we get Victor. Almost nobody likes him because he is a pitbull, in fact most of them are probably scared of him. We've had three people say they'd shoot him, all of which own dogs themselves. One of them even snapped at me for helping. Their dog got out, so I led it back into there yard, and noticed that the gate was open, and the chain holding it shut wasn't working. So I close it, and try to wrap the chain right. SHE comes out and yells at me what a I doing? I said I put your dog back in your yard and I'm trying to fix your gate. She said oh and goes back inside, meanwhile I'm thinking "What the hell do you think I was doing? Your gate is all of three feet high, does it look like I NEED to break into it?" Her husband always gives me lectures too, and he hates Victor. I think it is hilarious that Victor doesn't like him either. Everyone else seems to get along fine though, my family is like out of the clique or something.
     
  16. Hippie Hollow Girl

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    I don't know where you are located.....(if you are in the USA) but I have noticed a change here lately with the economy and the upcoming election. There are just a lot of added stress. And gas prices.

    I live in a really nice neighborhood. Everyone has nice houses. There's a large number of friendly children that play on my (low thru traffic street) But there are 5 houses for sale on my street.....all around me and all for different reasons. 2 are job transfers and the other 3 are people wanting to upgrade and get bigger houses. When people have their houses for sale and they have to sell before they can purchase their next house.......it is amazing how nice and friendly they can be to their neighbors. There is a lady that hasn't been real nice to me and my family that lives across the street from me. (She isn't nice to anyone that doesn't have the same religious views as she does. And because I am a social nudist in her mind I am worse than Satan.) Anyways it is just amazing how friendly this woman has become since she put her house on the market. I told my husband that I bet she she is nice to me because she is hoping that I will tell my nudist friends about her house being for sale.......so she can sell her house. They are pretty desperate to sell. Anyways. Also there have been a lot of layoffs and a lot of layoffs looming in the future. (I think that is the reason why the market is so slow here).
     
  17. B_cigarbabe

    B_cigarbabe New Member

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    People suck no doubt about it!
    cigarbabe:saevil:
     
  18. Principessa

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    You named your dog Victor? :confused:

     
  19. Pendlum

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    No, that was his name when we got him.
     
  20. lucky8

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    so what's she going to do if you move away and don't remove the plants?
     
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