Need to vent about my neighbor - again

sue36May 31, 2006

A while back I wrote about our next door neighbor who is, uh, nasty with a "B". Well, it has happened again.

We live in a small subdivision that has large lots (2.5-4 acres). This neighbor and I have adjacent lots, but our houses are far apart. Our driveway is over 300', and their's is close to that. Our lot is large and we have left it mostly wooded, so we can't see their house during the spring and summer months. Both houses are at the end of the subdivision on the cul de sac. Their household includes the parents (in their 30s) and two little girls.

One day about a month ago DH and I came home at dusk to find a car with NH license plates parked in our front yard (we live in ME, near the border). Not in the driveway, in the yard. A man then walked out of the woods between our houses (their house is close to that lot line, ours is on the opposite lot line). Why would someone be walking in the tick-infested woods between our lots at dusk? From where he walked from, he could have been looking in their windows since their house is right there. If he wanted privacy, the woods in the other direction are more private (no house there). This neighbor has adorable little blond-haired girls that are about 5 and 8 years old.

I asked him what he was doing and he said he was looking for a bathroom. In the woods? Down a 300' driveway that has a car in it? DH and I both thought the guy seemed weird. He was geeky, clean-cut, 30-ish. He did not seem like a drunk. There are public restrooms at a gas station near us. If he needed to pee, he wouldn't walk into the woods (so says DH), he would just get out of the car and go. He got in his car and left.

So, to make a long story short, we called the police. The officer came and I told him what we saw and why we called (obviously, worried the guy was checking out the neighbor's house or kids). We gave him the license plate number. That was it (well, my cat also tried to jump into his arms, scaring the crap out of him, but that is another story). My father, who is a retired police officer, said we should tell the neighbor about it. We passed the husband on the road one day and told him about it (he asked for the license plate number, and then said he didn't recognize it or the description of the car). He thanked us and said he would call the police officer (whose name I remembered, it's a small town) and ask him what came of it. We never heard anything about it after that. I figured we had done our duty.

Fast forward a month. One of my other neighbors, who I am good friends with, said he bumped into the wife and she said to my neighbor (who had no clue what she was talking about, since I hadn't told him about the incident), "Just so you know, you shouldn't believe what Sue said about that incident. It didn't happen the way she said." He said she said it with a lot of righteous "tone", if you know what I mean.

WHAT!! Excuse me, but only DH and I were there. No one but us (and the weirdo) knows what happened, and that is what we relayed to the police. My good neighbor just said, "uh, ok", since he had no clue what she was talking about.

I called the husband today. I probably should have cooled of, but I've had it with these people (they keep throwing stuff over our property line, they were somehow involved in our snow plow guy no longer plowing for us, they were a pain in the butt when we were building, among other things). I told him I didn't know what his wife's problem is, but I don't appreciate her going around talking about me. I when into a whole thing about how I called the police because I was worried about HIS DAUGHTERS and she has the audacity to challenge my story?! Can you imagine if I hadn't called and a week later one of them got taken up by this guy outside their school or something (they go to school in NH)?

The husband was apologetic (he probably has to apologize for her a lot, everyone in town hates her) and said he appreciated that we were looking out for them, and that he would do the same for us.

I disliked this woman before, but in this instance I put that aside because I would never let my personal feelings get in the way of protecting a child. What do you think? I do feel better for venting to all of you, thanks.

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How odd... Could it be this NH guy was a 'friend' of hers? And your making him sound suspicious offended her? FWIW, it sounds to me like you did the right thing. That guy had no business parking in your yard or walking in the woods on your private property. Wonder if he was a detective sent by her husband to spy on her?

One thing I do know -- Those of us with decent morals, values and standards of conduct can't even begin to imagine the kinds of drama those without get themselves into, so there's just no telling what the 'real story' is...

    Bookmark   May 31, 2006 at 6:25PM
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You've put them on notice that you are watching. And you defended your actions in a tactful, but assertive way. Good for you. I can only recommend what you already know: keep your distance. What a tough situation! Try not to judge. You'll be saner for it.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2006 at 8:01PM
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At the next party, may she end up drinking from a dribble glass!!

Just trying to lighten it up for you, Sue-- not trying to minimize the situation. :-) I really do empathize with you. I've had neighbors like that. If it weren't for them, I'd probably still live in south Florida.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2006 at 8:28PM
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sweeby, you went right where I was going too...if I'm reading this right, *why* would the woman be concerned about how you (Sue, now) supposedly narrated an event concerning a *stranger*? What could possibly be in it for her to try to come up with a different story...

And to try to discredit you for showing concern for your neighbors' safety?

There's more here than meets the (at least the husband's) eye...

Whatever comes of it, I would say just dissociate yourself from any concern about them, don't try to do anything to help them that they can somehow twist to hold against you, and let it go. Decent people will know what's what.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2006 at 8:50PM
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Thanks for the support. I couldn't believe her attitude, especially since the only reason I called was out of concern for her daughters. DH and I were discussing it tonight. I obviously didn't have any concern about us, or I would have had the police tell him not to trespass on my property again. He wasn't within 100 feet of my house, he was near theirs. The husband sure acts like a man who thinks his wife is having an affair, he comes home several times during the day at all different times.

She has had an issue with us from the start. We learned that they wanted to buy our lot to keep it undeveloped, but didn't want to pay full price for it. They then had all kinds of concerns that our house would look like theirs (they look nothing alike, we showed them the plans). They didn't want our front door to be blue, it's green. She made (what we thought) was a joke to DH about how they would have to stop going naked in their hot tub at night (we can't see it). DH replied (playing along with what he thought was a joke), "you don't have to stop on account of me". That went over like a ton of bricks. They keep throwing stuff (Christmas trees, extra paving blocks, leaves, old mulch, etc.) onto our property. One day I saw the husband standing in their yard throwing branches onto our property. They (with a friend of theirs) cut down a bunch of trees on our property, claiming they were cutting a path through the neighborhood ROW (which they have no right to do) to the water. Except they weren't on the ROW (they never apologized). We are pretty sure she told our plow guy that we didn't need him (it's a long story), leaving us with 2' of snow and no one to plow it.

She is a rich, self-centered brat who thinks she can get and do whatever she wants.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2006 at 11:29PM
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I heard a phrase to describe people like this... "Center Of the World" or COW for short.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 12:13AM
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What a worthless *B* - how defensive can you get when you defend an intruder/peeping tom just because a neighbor said it happened the way it did?

GOOD FOR YOU to calling the husband and speaking your mind and kudos to your attack cat, too. :D

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 5:21AM
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Sounds to my unprofessional ear like your neighbor may be suferring from some mental illness.

I don't mean that to be flip, or to excuse her behavior (I have a friend that uses her psych diagnosis to excuse bad behavior on occasion), but just to add a perspective on why she might behave so oddly...

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 6:51AM
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Sue, what misery having unpleasant people next door. Let me add unappreciative, too. Cheers to you for speaking out for the children and for confronting the husband about his wife's nastiness. I hope that made you feel a little better. Very hard to be on the receiving end of that crap all the time.

Hmm, I wonder...

You have this Peeper's tag number- if you can get a name, it could be checked against a sex offender list - I'm worried about YOU, too- if PeeWee Herman returns.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 8:19AM
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More like b!t@h with a capital C! Sue, I am so sorry about this. We're fortunate enough to have mostly good neighbors (a blessing since our lots are more like 1/4-1/2 an acre). I would have confronted the wife & asked, innocently, what she meant. But speaking with the husband was probably the smarter option.

The throwing stuff on your property would drive me insane. Is it possible/would you even want to put up something like a split rail fence along the property line? It might discourage some of that.

I think that Sweeby is probably on the money. Bizzo does have a valid point about mental illness but I know quite a few women that are flat out nasty just because they can get away with it. I refuse to walk on eggshells around these people...makes for some interesting conversations.


    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 10:29AM
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About the throwing stuff on your property: can you videotape it the next time it happens? You could use it with authorities, then, to get the litterers to cease and desist...

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 11:02AM
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I didn't think I could handle speaking to the wife. I don't think she is mental, just nasty. Although he can be a nudge, we can deal with him. In fact, the only time we have been in their house was when the wife and girls were on vacation without him. He asked us over and showed us around. I appreciate the support from all of you. This is a new thing for me. I've always been friends with my neighbors, even in the city.

I forgot to tell all of you the FIRST thing she said to me when we first met (3 years ago). We had just bought our land and were in the process of having the house designed. We were leaving the lot one day and they were in the cul de sac playing with the kids, so we stopped to introduce ourselves. She blurts out, "how old are you?!". I replied, "ah, 35". She then said, "when is your birthday?". Me: "February". And then she said, "Oh good, I'm still the youngest in the neighborhood.". I think she might have actually quickly clapped her hands as well (or I could just be imagining that. It was so bizarre). Huh? She was concerned that she would no longer be the youngest wife in the neighborhood? Please. Oh, and I've got her beat by like 2 months. Yippee for her. Really.

In the past I've told DH to hold off on the "border wars". He wanted to throw all their stuff back on their side, pound about 50 bright orange stakes in the ground to mark the property line (they would be able to see them, we can't because of the woods), and refresh the orange "slash" lines on the trees, but I had told him not to. He thinks I shouldn't have been so nice, I guess he saw their true colors.

Sigh. I really don't need this crap.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 11:58AM
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She is totally having an affair with his guy!! Why else would she be so defensive and rude?
You obviously insulted her boyfriend.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 1:10PM
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Actually, DH thinks that the husband suspects his wife of having an affair with the landscaping contractor (he owns the company) because the husband comes home several times during the day to check on her. Plus, a worker for the landscaping company told DH that his boss thinks the wife is "hot".

But the snoop was not the landscaping contractor.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 2:41PM
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Who says she has to have only one guy on the side?

As Bill said, "COW". In more than one way. It's hard not to get pi**ed, but try to leave it alone. At least you have some woods and land between you. I had the psycho b!tch from hell living next door to me (which meant 6 feet btw houses).

THAT was enough to drive me out.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 7:44PM
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sue, your husband and I could create trouble. I would start pitching that stuff back into their yard at all times. It would come sailing back every which way it flew. If someone has the nerve to deposit litter on my property, then I have the class to give it back. I would take photos of my property clear, then if they threw it back over the fence, then photos of the litter. I would then call the police. It may be a civil matter, but it would put them on notice and you would have something to take to court should you end up there. In time, you may end up there anyway. FWIW, I'd be very careful about what you say to anyone about them, because you don't want to be dragged into court on libel charges. Vent here. No name and town needed. We've all known someone that played with fire. They do get caught, too.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 10:54AM
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I rein DH in because I am afraid it will escalate. He looks like a hitman for the Irish mafia, so I don't think things would go well if the police ended up being called.

If the rain lets up at all I think we will take a little walk to the property line and take a look. I've been sort of laid back about it because we can't see the junk they dump there. But they've used up all the "laid back" points they are going to get.

I'm not worried about libel - truth is a defense! The only one I talk to about her is DH and the neighbor who told me what she said (he and his wife can't stand her either. His wife gets mad if her even waves at her, which he does out of reflex to everyone).

Venting here really does help me keep my sanity about all this. Thanks everyone.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 1:24PM
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Hey Sue. About the libel issue. I'm with you 1,000%. Even when you're in the right, it's still a PITA to deal with someone that got their panties in a wad and head to their BIL or SIL that is an attorney to shake you down. I know, because a dozen years ago or so, I pushed for our HOA meetings to be held in a public place because the Board members refused to let the community attend. They said we weren't allowed. I might have been younger, but didn't fall off the turnip truck, so I got the management company to force them to comply with the HOA docs. Bottom-line, I questioned them about their budget. It didn't take a college graduate to do simple arithmetic. Almost $100,000 was not accounted for in the budget and there was a very nervous rep from the management company sweating bullets when the Board Members spoke. It was a nasty wrangling with lawyers, but the truth did win at the end of that year. It cost me money though. AND a lot of time. OH...what happened? When I questioned the budget monies, when they had said every penny was accounted for, I proved them wrong with their own numbers at the yearly HOA meeting. Then, they resigned on the spot slapping me, my husband, and two other people with libel suits for questioning their integrity. I personally audited the books and found that they had spent HOA money to improve THEIR properties, planting trees, sprinkler system, shrubbery, this townhome community in the DC area; AND they were having THEIR maintenance up-keep paid for out of community funds. When they slapped us with a libel suit, we slapped them with a lawsuit. It wasn't pretty.

When it did end, it ended miraculous and unbelievable. Through it all, two of the meanest became Believers. It was really something to see them 'handle' those that were so manipulative. The mean ones began to support us and defend. There's SO much to the story, but really, I feel I could write a book called "The H.O.A." and it be a GREAT movie. AND "The Cabinet Maker". I just can't think of any weasle actor to play CabFiascoGuy.

Have a good evening.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 11:33PM
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I bet she's really pissed because she got caught, and now her husband know's who it is. (Maybe the husband hired a PI to keep an eye on his wife.) You should be prepared for more problems from her until he throws her out.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2006 at 4:40PM
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I really don't think she is having an affair with this guy. Call it a hunch. This guy instantly screamed (internally of course) "child molester" to me. There was a guy in Mass. who was either a Boy Scout leader or a CYO coordinator (can't remember which) who was abusing kids. This guy looked just like that. Milk-toast, wimpy. *Too* harmless. Do you know what I mean? Also, when I asked him what he was doing, he looked at his feet. He seemed ashamed.

Right now their preppy-rare-breed dog is in our front yard barking for no apparent reason. I guess their invisible fence must be broken. I am sooooo tempted to call them, but I won't.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2006 at 6:58PM
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I hate to say this, but there's no reason why he couldn't be both... :(

    Bookmark   June 4, 2006 at 9:21PM
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You absolutely did the right thing. As a parent of 3 children, 2 of which are young girls, I would be immensely grateful of a neighbor acting the way you did. Don't concern yourself with what she's saying, be proud of what you said/did!
Flyleft is right...could be both. She's definitely a cee you next tuesday.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2006 at 11:39PM
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I wonder if the police would tell you who the trespasser was. I would be tempted to prosecute just to find out. Anyhow I'd make friends with the dog, the kids and maybe the husband if it happens naturally. The wife won't change,she sounds immature and narcissistic and I'd try to not take her too personally while still speaking your mind. Someday you may grow to tolerate or even like her as well.It takes all types.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 11:57PM
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Well, it is now very clear that they are just rude and clueless. The latest is that they had three huge piles of dirt dumped IN the cul de sac. On the road. It's been there for weeks. Their landscaper also parked his excavator and trailer in the road, in front of our property. They have almost three acres of land and twice as much frontage as we have (we have a pie shaped lot). They have plenty of room to store the dirt on their property and to have the machines parked off the road. We have company coming from out of state this weekend, and it looks like hell.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 11:44AM
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Sometimes you get to see the real story:
We moved into a neighborhood once, built a house and tried to be friendly with the next door neighbors. She was rude, nasty and snotty with my kids and my DH and me. Turns out later she had been having an affair with a guy that came to her house. The last thing she needed was a neighbor who knew her and could see over the fence and was friendly with the husband. We had a 2 story house. She ran off with the guy; gave custody of her kids to the husband and then the guy didn't stay with her.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 4:09AM
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sue: can you call your local authorities (cops, zoning, buildings dept?) about the dirt that was dumped in the cul de sac (and the machinery). The cul de sac may or may not be private but there is a safety issue. If there was a fire would the truck be able to access the houses with the dirt in the middle of the road? Would the fire truck be able to turn around?

It's just ridiculous to allow this behavior. I don't think there's any hope of being friends with them, so perhaps you should just let it rip and declare all-out war. There must be some legal thing you can come up with to end this hostile behavior on their part......

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 9:19AM
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I called code enforcement yesterday (I'm friendly with the guy since we built the house). He said it is a fire department issue since th fire trucks needs the entire space to turn around. The cul de sac is a public road, not private.

Today they were out there working, getting rid of some of the piles. Hopefully it will be gone when I get home.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 11:43AM
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