Remember the days when everyone in the street knew each other, when neighbours commonly shared a mid-morning cuppa or borrowed a cup of sugar?
It’s no secret friendly neighbours are great, but what’s happens when they get too comfortable? That’s the situation one woman has found herself in after admitting her neighbours have been making themselves a little too ‘at home’ lately.
Writing to The Denver Post’s advice column Ask Amy, the woman wrote: “We have new neighbours. Our 5-year-old twin daughters and the neighbours’ older (of two) daughters are best friends from school. We really like them, but lately they seem to be making themselves too comfortable in our home.”
She said they usually drop by during dinner, often walking right into their house, adding their daughter will naturally say she wants some of their meal. She added: “Then the friend will start eating off of their plates, while the parents stand there!”
The woman said one time she found the mother and her two daughters eating pieces of chicken she had left out on the counter, adding the father often opens the pantry and helps himself to whatever snacks he or his kids want.
“When we are at their house, their pantry is off-limits,” she wrote. The woman explained that while she doesn’t mind sharing, she doesn’t like their behaviour.
“We have tried making humour-based comments that this isn’t acceptable, hoping the parents would catch the hint — to no avail,” she wrote. “We have installed a camera doorbell so we can pre-emptively stop them from walking in at dinnertime. Do we need to install locks on our pantry? What do we say to set boundaries without compromising this friendship?”
Ask Amy told the woman that if she doesn’t like having an ‘open door’ she will have to be clear about it. She added that acting naturally to their behaviour might have delivered the wrong message.
“At this point, you will have to say (to the parents), ‘I’ve tried hinting about it and joking about it, but now I’ll just have to tell you: I really don’t like it when you guys help yourselves to our food without asking. I would never do that at your house, and I’m teaching the girls to respect these boundaries, too’,” she advised.