The One in Which I Complain About My Neighbors

So. Neighbors. We’ve been through quite a few in the five years that we’ve lived here. Next door to us, there was the guy who just got out of prison who fled from the cops through the backyard and the partiers who trashed the house when they moved out.

A nice guy lived across the street until about a month ago when he moved to Tennessee. A large family moved in (and when I say large, I mean a minimum of eight people in a three-bedroom, one-bathroom house). They rubbed me the wrong way at first when they took over the driveway of the house between us (the new owner is supposedly fixing it up to rent but hasn’t been by in a while) and started leaving their toys in the middle of our driveway and in our yard.

But, I let it go because two of the kids liked to play with Lucy and were really good with her. Until last week.

I came home after covering a meeting and saw Lucy’s toy lawnmower in the yard across the street. I figured the kids had come over and gotten it (from our carport, mind you) to play, so I went over to retrieve it. That’s when I discovered it was broken. The plastic on the front was broken and all the balls were taken out of it.

So, I knocked on the door to let the parents know what had happened and hopefully get the toy replaced. This is how that went down:

Neighbor (who is the kids’ grandmother): What?
Me: Hi. I’m Cady. I live across the street.
Neighbor: Yeah?
Me: Well, I came home to find my daughter’s lawnmower in your yard, and it’s broken.
Neighbor: Oh. I’ll tell the kids not to do that again.
Me: That’s great and all, but we’d like it replaced.
Neighbor: How much was it?
Me: I’m not sure right offhand. It was a gift.
Neighbor: Guess I can’t, then.

At that point, I sighed out of exasperation, and got the lawnmower to take back home.

Neighbor: (Shouting at me) What’s your problem?
Me: My problem is your kids broke my 3-year-old’s toy
Neighbor: That’s what kids do.
Me: No, it’s not. Not when they’re taught right from wrong. My daughter doesn’t break things.
Neighbor and her grown daughter: GO ON! BE A CHILD! GO ON! BE A CHILD!

I am not even joking. Joe went over the next day, but they acted like they weren’t home. So, needless to say, Lucy’s toy has not been replaced and likely will not be. But, we won’t forget this. The couple caddy corner to us (next door to these people) have put “No Trespassing” signs up on the tree separating their properties and in front of their swing set. And, the next time the kids take one of Lucy’s toys, we’ll be calling the cops. I know they’re kids, but we’re not going to put up with the adults condoning trespassing, stealing and damage to property. I don’t want to be “that person”, but after their reaction to this, I’ve had it. What do you think? Are we being too “mean”?

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Hi! I’m a wife to a wonderful husband, mom to a beautiful and active (to put it lightly) kiddo, and fur-mom to 3 crazy cats. I’m a former journalist. I quit my full time job two years ago. Now, I am a freelance writer and a virtual assistant for several bloggers!


  1. Not too mean. That was totally uncalled for. I don’t care for our next door neighbors either. They use to leave trash out of their trash cans making their drive away look terrible and then would complain to us about strays getting into the trash. And expected us to clean it up. The trash would get in our yard and we cleaned it up because they never would. But how is this our responsibility?

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