The Best Watermelon, Ever
Advice from a Friend Who’s Been There

Meet the Neighbors

Last night when younger daughter and I returned from seeing Up (highly recommended and if you’re like both of us, bring tissues), going to a friend’s house, and then to the supermarket we received a “welcome to the neighborhood” pie (apple crumb crust and delicious) and even a toy for Poops (who is now with exman for his week). This gift was from the neighbor whose door is right opposite mine on the second floor of our little four-apartment part of the building and who I see very rarely because it seems that he is out and about a lot, as am I.

On Friday afternoon we received brownies from a red box baked by the downstairs neighbor. How do I know they were from a box? Because she showed the box to me. These brownies came after about three weeks of telling me that she will give us a welcome gift and then asking if we keep kosher or have any food allergies, and then if we like walnuts in our brownies or not. Word of our not liking walnuts in our brownies is getting around the neighborhood since I heard her telling another neighbor this morning that “Laura doesn’t like walnuts in her brownies.” While this might be critical to someone, the very notion that our food preferences are circulating around is a bit off-putting.

This food talk follows on my realization that the downstairs neighbor is a “bit” nosy or overly-friendly from day one when she drew a little map of our four apartments and the four right next door and who lives where and how old they are and even, yes, that one couple doesn’t want to hang with everyone. Oh, shocking to learn. News of Poops was carried from that little tete-a-tete. Now maybe this is a small town thing, but I grew up in New York City in an apartment building where you had a lot of neighbors who were all in pretty close proximity so you knew that there had to be boundaries as to what to ask and say until you decided to invite the person into your life. This neighbor certainly grew up in different surroundings.

I am trying to see it as friendly that whenever I come home or leave, or when I open my terrace door I seem to hear “Hey Laura.” I shall remain friendly but I need to establish my boundary or personal space that is visible to her. I didn’t move here to feel uncomfortable in my home again. But she’s a tough neighbor to crack. Her yard and porch is right under my terrace. From day one when I went onto my deck to sit and talk to a friend on the phone she decided to call up to me to tell me something uber-important about storage space and would not stop even when I told her I was on the phone. To when my parents and I were taking pictures on the terrace two days later and she called up that she’ll take them for us. To the other day when she invited me down to hang out with her and another neighbor the moment she heard me open my screen door.

I guess the thing that pushes the boundary is that she is trying to keep track of younger daughter and her friends. Seriously, a forty-something woman (with no kids) should not try to become friends with my daughter and her friends. I understand the “she’s lonely” but she shouldn’t try to force her way into my life to fill her own. 

Friendly, yes, and I am not wishing it away, I am just going to make sure that my kind of keep-it-at-a-distance friendliness is respected.

How are your neighbors?


Bonnie Krauss

I would not be comfortable with that at all. When we moved to our community, a small suburb, and we had baby #1, we moved to a very quiet street. As baby #2 arrived, for a while I wish we had moved to a different street - one where everyone was out and the kids played together and the parents all knew each other. Then I changed my mind after some years passed and I got older. I like our quiet little street where we say hello and that's about it.

Liz A.

I didn't quite get where you were going at first, and then I realized that woman needs a hobby/dog/yoga class, etc.

In college, I made friends with several of my neighbors subsisting of, "We're having some beers, drop on by." kinda thing. College apartments are different though.

Now in my grown up neighborhood, one neighbor is gone most of the time but we wave. We'll chit chat if we're both watering our flowers at the same time. The other couple... Well, the wife pretty much ignored my existence after we had been here a few months and the husband is very nice and says hello. All around, never more than small talk, so I totally see where you're coming from. I would say hello and keep on walking.

Atleast, there's not a creepy guy that hits on you in the hallways. Been there, and I was thrilled when he moved somewhere else.


This neighbor would get old for me very quickly. It's tough with neighbors, especially when you become social friends with them. We've been friendly with our next-door neighbors and across-the-street neighbors, but there's always the problem of not wanting to offend them when we're having people over and don't invite them.

I have one nosy neighbor and one neighbor who likes to drop in unannounced, which is very annoying. He has a particularly annoying habit of dropping in at dinner time (when his wife is working out of town).

Your neighbor needs to get a life of her own and stop focusing on yours and your daughter's. Hopefully she'll get the message eventually and back off. Neighbors can be a real pain.


Hi laura, Hope you'll manage to get rid of that nosey neighbor. I perfectly understand what it means. I'm even thinking of posting about it. I've been living next to Mrs Nosey for the last ten years and I'm really fedup now. She's not only nosey, she's a spy! And she drives me potty sometimes! And she's evil too. So don't make my mistake, don't feel sorry for her because she's lonely and keep a safe distance. Wish you all the best. Ciao. A.

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Woman

Bonnie, I lived in a neigborhood like that for a year, with all the supper clubs. It was too much for me, you need your space and not that you have to socialize when you might not be in the mood. Glad that you kept to your quiet street.

Liz, no creepy guys here, so far. But I did see three twenty-somethings who moved into the next building, all pretty buff in just their shorts. Maybe I'll become the creepy neighbor.

JC, one would hope that people would learn some social graces and not drop by for a free dinner and company. I like to think I'm tough, but I don't know how I would turn him away.

Antonella, I was a little worried about posting this that people would think I'm difficult and picky, but, unfortunately, I see that many of us have nosy neighbors to deal with. Ten years of aggravation from a neighbor, what a way to live. May she move away, to someplace with no neighbors, soon.


At first I was hoping you were not being paranoid, due to exman. Glad for you that isn't it; but enjoyed a bit of a curse at him. But now I get it. Your neighbor is one of those people who tries to make friends in a weirdly familiar manner, as though you are her cousin or something.

I think of myself as friendly. But when I once describes myself as freakishly, weirdly friendly for a computer geek and Liz's cousin laughed so hard I thought she would hyperventilate. So apparently, I am not as friendly as I imagine, and might not frighten you away irl.

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