Wedding Woes

Yeah, so here's the thing...you can't. So, mind your own damn business.

mrsconn23mrsconn23 member
Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
edited March 26 in Wedding Woes

Dear Prudence,

My husband, our infant daughter, and I recently bought a house in a neighborhood near where I grew up. For the most part it’s a really lovely, artsy, up-and-coming area. We’ve met our direct neighbors on both sides, and everyone’s been super nice. The issue is with our new neighbors across the street. Their house is the eyesore of the neighborhood—overgrown bushes and trees, broken-down cars parked along the street, etc. Most of that I can brush off, but what I can’t seem to let go of is that I see them smoking cigarettes in front of their two elementary school–age daughters. Smoking around children is so detrimental to their health. Personally, I am allergic to cigarette smoke and very sensitive to it. Also, my grandmother smoked until it killed her, and my mother and all of her siblings have lifelong respiratory issues due to their exposure. I can’t imagine there’s any tactful way to ask these people to stop smoking in front of their kids, but perhaps you have a suggestion?

—Smoking Neighbors

Re: Yeah, so here's the thing...you can't. So, mind your own damn business.

  • No.   You can't tell them to stop doing something legal on their own property.

    And you're going to have to let go of the appearances in your "up and coming" (read: most likely a mix of a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds and YOU are coming off as someone of privilege who is really judging those who appear to be less well off).  

    If it's not coming into the house, find something else to do. 
    mrsconn23charlotte989875
  • Nope. While what he’s doing is harmful, it’s his right to be harmful on his own property and there’s not a good way to point that out to him. 

    As for the appearance, well you bought a house in that neighborhood knowing what the other properties looked like. Is it annoying? Of course but unless they are violating some housing/HOA code there’s not much you can do. 
    short+sassy
  • I agree that they shouldn't be smoking around their kids, and I understand with your family's history why it's hard for you to see. But you do not know these people and while what they are doing is not responsible, it isn't illegal. I'm sorry, but you need to mind your own business here. 
    image
    short+sassy
  • kerbohlkerbohl member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    See, for houses like that ... I have a neighbour who is a handy man.  So he always has a tonne of cars and stuff that he's working on.  To some people, maybe that looks junky, but not everyone can afford a workshop to work on their projects.  And my yard is the overgrown one because a few years ago I ripped out all the grass and it's in a period of transition.  I also prefer useful native plants to prettier plants.  Everyone has different tastes of what they consider nice for their houses.

    As to the smoking - I can't think of any way you can bring it up without looking like a condensing jerk.  

    short+sassy
  • I know in my city, the city will order you to keep your yard clean. They'll be more pushy the more people complain, and eventually do it an bill you for it.

    That's about it.

    If you're speaking to neighbours, you could mention the allergy that you have - but that's all you can do.
  • I know in my city, the city will order you to keep your yard clean. They'll be more pushy the more people complain, and eventually do it an bill you for it.

    That's about it.

    If you're speaking to neighbours, you could mention the allergy that you have - but that's all you can do.
    But even then, unless they're blowing smoke on her property that's a 'tread lightly' kind of situation when they're doing something legal.  
    charlotte989875MissKittyDanger
  • banana468 said:
    I know in my city, the city will order you to keep your yard clean. They'll be more pushy the more people complain, and eventually do it an bill you for it.

    That's about it.

    If you're speaking to neighbours, you could mention the allergy that you have - but that's all you can do.
    But even then, unless they're blowing smoke on her property that's a 'tread lightly' kind of situation when they're doing something legal.  
    Given it's an allergy, I would mention it personally.
    Even a simple "hey, I know it doesn't often happen but could you be careful on the blowing smoke? I have an allergy"
  • VarunaTT said:
    banana468 said:
    I know in my city, the city will order you to keep your yard clean. They'll be more pushy the more people complain, and eventually do it an bill you for it.

    That's about it.

    If you're speaking to neighbours, you could mention the allergy that you have - but that's all you can do.
    But even then, unless they're blowing smoke on her property that's a 'tread lightly' kind of situation when they're doing something legal.  
    Given it's an allergy, I would mention it personally.
    Even a simple "hey, I know it doesn't often happen but could you be careful on the blowing smoke? I have an allergy"
    That house is across the street.  She doesn't mention her allergy b/c it's bothering her, it's just another way to garner sympathy for the fact that she wants to march her ass across the street and judge someone on their life decisions she doesn't approve of.

    Karen just sounds sanctimonious AF and needs to mind her own business...prerferably while guzzling her gallon of mom box wine.  This reeks of white gentrification to me.
    First, it’s worth considering the use of euphemisms like “up-and-coming” to describe gentrification, displacement, unequal distribution of resources, increased policing, and so on. What does that phrase deflect? What does it elide, gloss over, soften? Who is inherently dismissed—who’s down, and who’s not coming along for the ride? If you’ve never spoken to your neighbors across the street, and your attitude toward them is one of a benevolent overlord who generously “brushes off” the fact that they don’t own new cars or have a lot of time and money to spend on gardening, my guess is that they’re going to experience any attempts on your part to remind them that secondhand smoke is dangerous as rude, contemptuous, and interfering. You have no relationship with these people, and you’re not offering any practical help quitting one of the most addictive substances on earth or solutions for addressing the very real, very serious underlying causes of nicotine addiction. Yes, secondhand smoke is very dangerous. Yes, smoking is bad for both smokers and the people they live with. But being admonished by the stranger across the street who already looks down on you for having an unkempt yard is not going to help. Leave your neighbors alone.
    VarunaTTcharlotte989875banana468levioosa
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