My Rules vs. The Neighbors’ Rules

FenceWe all have rules we like to live by and hopefully they coincide with how others wish to live.  Every community has its own local laws by which its citizens are [allegedly] bound.

On my street, however, it seems I’m the only one bound by ANYTHING.  I go to work every day, pay my taxes, and try not to irritate those around me.  Not true of everyone else, apparently.

Here are some of my neighbors’ rules. – bear in mind while reading them that I live in a decent suburban neighborhood:

Know the Rules White Background

  • The doggie leash law applies only to people who don’t have dogs.  I actually had a neighbor tell me that the leash law did not apply to her because she had a SMALL dog.  I checked the local statutes, and size of the animal is never once mentioned.
  • Mufflers are for other people’s cars.  At least two of my neighbors have cars so loud it nearly causes a heart attack when they start up, and then they leave the vehicles running in the driveway for an extended period of time.  Again, there are local, and maybe even state, laws regulating how loud a vehicle can be – but, of course, laws of any kind simply don’t apply to my neighbors.
  • Kids are to be heard, and heard, and HEARD – for at least 12 hours on any non-school day, no matter the weather, both in daylight and at night time.  And, of course, there are to be NO ADULTS anywhere near the shrieking little princes and princesses.   The adults are much too busy smoking cigarettes, drinking beer and watching TV, or leaving the kids alone while the adults run to the store for more cigarettes and beer.
  • There must be a trampoline in the yard, preferably right next to my fence.  That way, I can be treated not only to the additional constant shrieking – and occasional crying when someone gets hurt – I can also experience the very real fear that the already-shaky fence will be knocked over when someone flies off the trampoline. And, of course, adults are not allowed to keep an eye on the kids.
  • No local laws concerning supervision of minors applies to the neighbors.  I once had a neighbor whose 8-year-old son was a latchkey kid.  While that is not allowed under local law, and of course it’s really not a great idea anyway, I tried to mind my own business.  Until my husband came home early one day and discovered the little darling building a fire UNDER THE GAS METER at the neighbor’s house.  The gas meter is all of about 10 feet from the side of our house.  Police were called, and step-mommy had to come home and take charge.
  • While open fires may be prohibited by the fire code, that code does not apply to the neighbors And, of course, said fires must be located in such a way that all the smoke therefrom flows directly into my house, thereby preventing me from opening any windows during spring, summer and fall.
  • If the neighbors have a pool, it must leak into my yard every, single year.  Now, I have several neighbors with above-ground pools, and not all of them leak since some neighbors are actually considerate of others.  However, at least two of my neighbors have consistently flooded my yard.  Every year I have words with those neighbors, and every year they promise it will never happen again.  Of course, neighbors LIE.
  • If pool water flooding my yard isn’t enough of an annoyance, then the neighbors must build an ICE RINK in the winter.  Of course, the ice rink must be a slap-up job made with plywood and plastic, so that when filling it, nearly all the water floods into my yard, where it then freezes over, making it impossible for me to let my own dog (when I still had one), myself, or my family into the back yard.  And of course, come warmer weather, the ice in the rink must melt and drain directly into my yard.
  • Local laws concerning flooding of other people’s property or noxious odors encroaching on other people’s property simply do not apply to the neighbors See above.

I don’t want to leave you with the impression that I can’t get along with ANYONE – it’s just that I seem to have had more than my share of bad neighbors.  This was brought home to me once when we were renting an apartment, and the obnoxious upstairs neighbor moved out – great relief to us!  But several months later, we moved into a larger townhouse down the road – and guess who our new next-door neighbor turned out to be?  Yep, the obnoxious former upstairs neighbor!  At that point, I just figured God had it in for me somehow.



But there have been some wonderful people living near us.

  • There was the lady in the apartment next door who helped keep me calm while awaiting arrival of the police officer who could jimmy my apartment door and let me back in because I HAD LOCKED MYSELF OUTSIDE WITH THE BABY INSIDE when I stepped into the hallway to check the mail.
  • Years later, there was the elderly lady across the street that everyone loved, and who had no problem with one of my children running across to use her bathroom when ours was occupied by a family member who was having a “problem” (fortunately, that only happened once).
  • During Buffalo’s October Storm, when we were without power for a more than a week, there was a neighbor who willingly drove to the “nearest” functioning gas station to pick up gas for everyone’s generators.  And this was a neighbor we weren’t particularly chummy with.
  • And of course, there are those neighbors who often help us out with snow removal during bad-ass WNY winters.

How about you, folks?  Want to share your good neighbor/bad neighbor stories?  Let me know – if they’re especially amusing or enlightening, I’ll be glad to post them.


I love to hear from my readers.  You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook page, or email me at:


Images by: Antti-Jussi  Koralainen/dareppi, and One Way Stock, and Jennifer Rafieyan, respectively.

This entry was posted in Relationships, That's Life and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to My Rules vs. The Neighbors’ Rules

  1. Your story about bad apartment neighbors reminds me of an apartment my husband and I lived in when we were first married. We lived in a college town (University of New Hampshire), so students rented a lot of the apartments in the area. Generally, we were pretty lucky but then a pair of foreign students rented the apartment next to ours. I think they were still living on their home country’s time because invariably we would be awakened at 3 a.m. by their Very Loud Music. Hubby and I were in the Air Force at that time and had to be at work by 7 a.m., so we needed our sleep. We tried to talk to them about it, but they couldn’t understand why we objected because “it’s classical music”. I don’t care what music you’re playing at that hour! Finally, having had enough, and figuring they must sleep all day because they were up all night, we put “In-A-Godda-Davida” (the full 17 minute version) on the stereo, faced the speakers to their wall, cranked up the volume and left. Amazingly, they never woke us up with their music again…


  2. Oh, this is funny!!! Neighbours are one of the things that makes country life appealing.


  3. Archon's Den says:

    Poor Cordelia’s Mom. Sounds like the folks in my neighborhood have relatives in your neighborhood. Like the ones who specified our house number when they sent the cops around at 2 AM for “my” barking dog, when the culprit actually belonged to the even more obnoxious couple on the other side of them.

    Thoughtless, inconsiderate people are everywhere, but perhaps less concentrated in an area with older residents. Any chance of moving?? 😕 🙂


    • Right now, we’re debating whether to move or whether to just buy another large dog. Fortunately, the current neighbors are terrified of me, even without a dog, so they don’t physically come onto my property, and the rest of the stuff I can deal with. (You thought Cordelia’s Mom was a sweet little old lady, didn’t you? I may be old, but not always all that sweet, 🙂 )


  4. Charlotte says:

    Sounds like our neighborhood. Our neighbors love to sit in their driveways with their loud cars running or setting off their alarms and just letting them blare. They also allow their kids to play basketball in the driveway at midnight and you can hear them all through the house. Like Dizzy Chick said it does make country living very appealing!


    • Yep. And it’s warmer today, so the neighbor kids are playing hockey in the street (making cars dodge them every few minutes), and of course, the net has found it’s way to the front of MY driveway. Hubby’s on his way out to deal with it even as I write this.


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  7. YES! I do remember reading this, and it is well worth a second read, especially after our new neighbors moved in, LMAO… 🙂 These are amazing!!! Would you come guest-blog about your neighbors on my blog? It’s always nice to know that SOMEONE else has neighbors like that… 😉


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