How classic, neighbors who don’t get along… Sadly, I am one of those people in such a situation. However, this is not a simple case of autumn leaves falling in the other’s yard. It goes much deeper and has set in resentment so strong that it has become a daily subject of conversation for us…
When my family moved-in this house back in 1987, we had only one neighbor on the left side (when looking at the street from the house). The neighborhood itself was so-so since there is a mobile home park behind us (a step up from a trailer park, I think). We had some minor issues with the surrounding people but nothing major. The good thing was that we had no neighbor up front and had a clear view on a corn field. Oh, how sweet those years were…
That all changed in 1996 when someone bought the lot up front. Bye-bye clear view and privacy. The very first thing that the new neighbor said to my father was “Hey, you’re the asshole whom I’ll see each morning?” –errrrr, a very bad start, isn’t it? The guy was early 50s then, a municipal blue collar worker, and moved in with his wife and teenage daughter. Them, we never had any problems with, which we cannot say the same for him. His background is that he grew up on a milk farm and has a very strong sense of self-entitlement. He thinks of himself as the town’s “savior” and that it would not run right without him. How he ended up with what is seemingly a “classy lady” is beyond me. We heard rumors that his previous neighborhood threw a party after he left.
At first, it wasn’t so bad as each family kept mostly to themselves. We were not openly friendly but not unfriendly either. Then came a major change in the late ’90s when they decided to “live” in their garage during summer. Over the following years, the neighbor modified his garage into a living room and kitchen. Always having the darn garage door wide open no matter rain or shine. Let’s not forget all those annoying gatherings he has… always in his fucking garage, of course. The actual house sees so little usage that it flabbergasts me…
So what? Maybe some of you are saying right now. It’s his home, he can live how he likes! True, but the guy is a drunk and always looks this way when we are out. No matter what we are doing, he cannot help himself from prying and looking, always trying to catch a glance for reasons we simply cannot comprehend. I mean, he’s seen us mow the lawn before, what’s the deal with the unfriendly staring? You guys know well that I am a very private person and cherish my peace and quiet. I do not very much like being constantly badly glared at like I’m some suspected terrorist. I know this sounds weird but it’s very bad. Trust me, this goes beyond simple quick looks everyone normally gives each other when hearing a noise. He makes me feel like I’m doing something worth reproach while all I’m doing is my own little business.
Didn’t your mommy told you that it’s not polite to stare? I mean, would you glare at someone in a waiting room for no valid reason? No, people exchange quick looks and at least try not to look directly at someone, I believe out of respect for privacy. When people stare at me, I stare back, and if they don’t look away I engage in conversation. Some people seem surprised when I do that but I have the principle that if you look, you say hello. Simple courtesy. Simple respect. My neighbor unfortunately doesn’t comprehend this.
Things slowly escalated when the neighbor made a bad habit of reversing from his driveway when he saw us doing so. Multiple collisions happened over the years, including a minor one to my 2002 WRX. Of course, he gets out yelling with accusations and such. “Call the cops if you want, I know every one of them since I’m a city worker! They’ll jail you for nagging me!” and more stupid stuff like that. He always drives base model small pickup trucks or city vehicles so he doesn’t seem to care if he damages them. He used to own a Mazda B series (AKA Ford Ranger) and now owns a Nissan Frontier with dings all around.
He started to become really annoying when I bought my STi in 2003 and went out for nightly fun. One evening after sundown, he had some people over in his garage, but I still went out for a ride even though I knew that him and his buddies would be glaring at me and saying stupid crap. What I didn’t know (my mother told me upon my return), was that after I left, he ran to his city work vehicle, started it up with the yellow flashing lights, smoked the tires, and “went after me”. I never saw him, so it was obviously just for show to impress his buddies. He was going to “stop” me from racing in the streets. That’s the only reason I can think of. He most likely hid in a neighbor’s driveway further up the street because upon my return he pulled into his own driveway right after me, thus further making his friends believe that he had really “stopped me” and escorted me back. I was like “WTF, where did he come from?” Laughs galore and high fives. What a fucking asshole, right? That was a hard pill to swallow for me.
To make things bad to worse is that the wind is always blowing from his side and he takes full advantage of this by cutting material up front so that the wind carries the dust over to our side. In the winter, he blows the snow up in the air for the same reason. All stupid crap just to anger us while all we want is for him to leave us be. When we say something, he insults us while drinking his beer, and entices us to come over to his side to fight. Two times I went up to his driveway but he stayed in his garage… faggot pussy. We have done nothing to escalate the situation but this guy always comes back for more, especially when he’s had a few or when there’s other people around. He feels more courageous then.
Things did not improve ever since I bought my own big truck and started to work on turning my STi into a race car. He is glaring even more, always stopping to catch a good view whenever my garage door is opening. Sadly, I had to modify my schedule to be able to do stuff when he’s at work so he doesn’t piss me off. I am doing this for my own happiness but I am tired of it. All I want is to be left in peace and not feeling like I’m constantly watched and looked down at. My fiancée sometimes says that she’s happy to be sight impaired just so she doesn’t see him looking. Me, I’m happy when we leave for our trucking runs just so I can take a break from this prying asshole, even if that means he’ll give me an insulting send-off by glaring with his arms crossed until the truck is out of view.
Recently, my father started calling the neighbor a “dumb drunk”, which pisses him off. The latest event was this afternoon. I was working on Wabi~Sabi when I heard yelling from my father after he got out of his car. I went to investigate. The neighbor was now laughing at my father’s insults of calling him a drunk and offered my dad a beer, stating that he was probably too poor to buy some. I then proceeded to call him a faggot and that I believed that I had finally figured the real reason for him to stare at us: he’s gay, he likes other men, and finds us attractive. He rebuked something which I didn’t hear. I then told him to leave us the fuck alone once and for all. I said that we do not care about what he does and to simply leave us to our lives. He then insulted me about how I do not run my semi as I should and that I should stop working on my sissy piece of shit car. Thankfully, his wife pulled into the driveway and saw that I was yelling at him. I think that she asked him what happened and told him to shut up and calm down. I couldn’t resist trying one final time to get my point across by yelling that our lives and what we do doesn’t concern him and to LEAVE US THE FUCK BE and we’ll gladly return the favor by stopping saying he’s a dumb drunk (even though it’s the truth).
I mean, the guy can live how he wants, sure. I don’t care if he passes out drunk in his “garage apartment”. It’s his home and he can live how he wants in it, even though I do not like it one bit. HOWEVER, I am a hardcore introvert and cherish my privacy above all. I only wish he could respect my way of life too and to stop prying around every time we are out. Shit, isn’t he bored to see me wrench on my semi, trailer, and project cars? What is so interesting about that? I’d think that he’s jealous if he wasn’t such a dumb hick. Damn it, when I start Wabi~Sabi up, it is not to annoy him but he acts like it is. Insulting me on how “manly” I am because my car makes noise.Why is it so fucking hard for him to understand that we simply do not like being constantly sneered and glared at like we are lowly criminals?
Live your life and let us live ours, you dumb, drunken asshole! What we do does not concern you at all. My life is not your own private reality TV show for your ego-stroking amusement! W-T-F?
I seriously fear what comes soon as the guy will surely retire in the next few years since he’s now way into his sixties. What then? He’ll be home all the time and it’ll be hell for me. I tried to “talk” to him in the past but he always shrugs me off with insults. However, I strongly believe that I’ll have no choice but to find a solution in the short term. His wife seems to be a much better person than him. Plus, she seems to “wear the pants”, always bossing him around and such. Maybe I can sit down with her one day and try to explain things. Hopefully, she’ll be understanding of the situation and make her husband finally comprehend to leave us the fuck be and there will be no more fights, no more problems, everything forgotten.
Any advice? I can’t stand it no more. He knows that the way he acts angers me and he seems to relish it. I try my best to ignore him but he keeps at it. How would you deal the situation? Violence and retribution are not options. It’s too easy to fall into that spiral and it never truly solves anything. You can share your own bad neighbor nightmare stories if you wish and how you dealt with it!