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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » General Support » Confronted by neighbor

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Author Topic: Confronted by neighbor
Hoosiers51
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I guess I must have offended my neighbor by unplugging her christmas lights.

We have this shared back patio for our building, and her Christmas lights are RIGHT outside my bedroom window. I honestly couldn't tell where they were coming from, because they are on a chainlink fence, and there are two other buildings on the other side of the fence.

They were SUPER bright...not the tiny ones. They were coming in through the blinds I have up in my window.

So I went out and unplugged them in the areas the strands connect to each other.

I had no clue who's they were (I'm so tired I really didn't care), and I was hoping the person would get the message that they were annoying someone at night.

Well my next door neighbor comes over here with guns blazing. She gave me this icey look and was like, "I don't want to get off on the wrong foot or anything....." I just didn't like her tone.

If someone unplugged my lights, I would be thinking they must have bothered that person. But apparently she was taking the stance that the lights are her property and she's offended I messed with them.

I can understand that, but still. It was WAY to confrontational for me. And they are outside MY window, on a shared patio.

I told her that I didn't realize unplugging them was a big deal, and that if she wanted, she could keep them on and I would get a pull down shade, since the blinds don't hide everything.

Then she said never mind, she would leave them off for now.

This is all very boring to read, I'm sure. I just don't understand why someone would make someone else feel like a piece of poop over some Christmaas lights.

WAY too much confrontation for me....I almost started crying. Haha. I was thinking, "I'm so sick, I don't care about your stupid lights..."

I feel bad, but by the same token....there is NO WAY those things were staying on

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BoxerMom
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Give your neighbor another chance, Hoosiers. She did agree to leave them off.

I'm not defending her behavior. It was atrocious. But it sounds like she was expecting a fight from you, but when you were so reasonable, she decided she could be nice, too.

Maybe she's had problem neighbors in the past.

I have a neighbor who thinks all mentally ill people should be institutionalized, and doesn't believe my husband and I have chronic Lyme.

My neighbor scares me way more than yours!!

BoxerMom

--------------------
 - Must...find...BRAIN!!!

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Need Lots of Help
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I had to check the date to see if I was reading a current post!! Christmas lights and I am in Florida about to melt in the middle of the summer!! UGH!!!

Get the blind just in case she doesn't leave them off, but hopefully she will.

If it is any consolation, our neighbors have about 18 outside cats. Now, I like cats, but cats need their own space. So, about three have claimed my yard. We have cat POOP on our front porch most days. AND one day, my husband had a hairball on the top of his truck. He was furious!!! LIVID!!!

I want to talk to them so bad, but I don't want a confrontation either. I am too tired to fool with them.

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abigail
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My neighbor has 5 dogs. Whenever I open my door, I have to listen to them bark.

Some people are so inconsiderate. All I can say is, what comes around goes around.

I also consider them mentally messed up. I've learned over the years that there are a lot of crazies out there.

--------------------
Dying is easy. Living is harder.

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kidsgotlyme
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Why the heck would she have christmas lights on anyway??? I wouldn't feel bad about it. It's half of your patio too!

Hope you get some peaceful rest now.

--------------------
symptoms since 1993 that I can remember. 9/2018 diagnosed with Borellia, Babesia Duncani, and Bartonella Hensalae thru DNA Connections.

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Hoosiers51
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I think that's what confused me so much....the "why" are they on in the middle of the night when no one is out there?

Where I come from, you only put festive lights on if you are having a barbeque or enjoying your patio. So I figured it must be a mistake that they are on all night.

She informed me they are for security. Hmmm. When I told my husband, he goes, "I can install a motion-sensor security light!"

I am not mad about it anymore...sigh.....it just shook me up, her attitude about it. I was so brain-fogged I could barely follow what she was saying, so it was weird to watch how mad she was.

I think she calmed down when she realized it was an honest mistake and I wasn't intending to be rude. I think BoxerMom is right on that.

I think I am going to leave her an apology note just to "kill her with kindness." Then maybe she'll realize she was overreacting. Because man, she had that fire in her eyes! I feel like I need to send her a note to diffuse the situation. Because the past few days she has been shooting me these looks everytime she walks by my place. People are so fickle!

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sparkle7
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I don't know Hoosiers... Is this in LA? Are you used to city life?

People out there are nuts! I've lived in urban areas & suburbs... I wouldn't get to into it with her just off the bat. I'd wait & see. Some people are confrontational to intentionally push your buttons to see how far they can get. If you back down first - they perceive it as weakness.

I'm not saying to be aggressive but just wait & see how things progress. Don't be too sweet or too defensive for the moment. Don't have your husband doing her any favors for the moment (I wouldn't if it were me).

Nice kind of neighborly welcome to the neighborhood... (NOT) I've dealt with alot of this kind of stuff. I'd be cautious...

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Keebler
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Festive lights make people feel happy - all year long. She could probably see them from her window. If on, true, they would likely scare away potential intruders.

I can see that she'd feel violated that someone would touch her property. However, she should have first discussed this with you if you share the patio.

It may have gone better had the two of you been able to discuss it when she first put them up. She may not have known that they were bothering you.

For some people, the lights really do make them feel happier, and safer. So, she was probably shaken when the power was cut, so to speak. For anyone to touch their property can feel like a violation.

I recall one apt. I rented with the laundry in the basement. Just ONE washer and dryer for a four story building. I had gone to wash clothes and when I went to switch washed clothes to the dryer, it was full of clothes that had obviously been there a while. they were not warm and were very wrinkled as I carefully took them out and folded them.

Well, about that time, the guy came for his clothes. I thought he would kill me, he was that angry. And, in that building, there were many who had been to jail, etc. It was the first apt. I could find when I lost my car, lost my job and was very ill. I was not used to having neighbors that would mind for me moving their clothes if they left them too long in the dryer. The old neighbors' would have understood.

But, this guy was not like that. It really freaked me out. In fact, he did tell me that if I ever touched anything of his again, he would kill me. In those words.

It took me years to understand the kinds of thing that are personal violations to some people. It may not seem logical to us - but if it's their property and their feelings, it's there experience. Often, it's just not as simple as unplugging their lights or moving their laundry. Probably much more complex.
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sparkle7
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Keebler - she put the lights up for security... as in crime, I assume. It doesn't sound like we're dealing with someone with a full deck.

If she likes festive lights - she could have put them up in her house...

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Keebler
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Maybe she's been a victim of crime - if so, scars can run deep and protective measures would make her feel safer. Something must have driven her to want security lights.

Now, there are lower intensity festive lights that would not shine so bright but also alert potential intruders that someone is home.

If on a fence, they could put up a backdrop behind the lights, if they don't get too hot for whatever material is chosen for that.

Maybe brainstorming over a cup of tea will find reasonable solutions to make everyone happy. There must be a few different ways this can work out. If she's asked to work together to find a solution, it may work out well in the end.
-

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BoxerMom
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Hoosiers! Don't leave her an apology note!!

You turned off some lights (big whoop) and she came at you like a rabid dog. And she continues to shoot you dirty looks?

She's on a power trip and subtly threatening you. NOT COOL!

Please don't give her the satisfaction of YOUR apology. It only fuels her fire. She's already trying to make you feel like you did something horribly wrong. You didn't!! Don't give her a reason to think you did.

If anything, she owes an apology to you. But don't expect it. She's irrational.

Act as if nothing happened. Be polite. Don't ingratiate yourself to her. Please just watch this situation for a few days. It will probably diffuse on its own.

You need to live next to this woman. Be your warm, rational self. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Honestly, she creeps me out.

Watching out for you,
BoxerMom

--------------------
 - Must...find...BRAIN!!!

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sparkle7
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Yeah, I agree with Boxer Mom... I've been in many of these kinds of situations. I would keep my distance if I were you.

1. Xmas light in July. (I guess I could see that someone might think they are decorative.)
2. For "security" purposes...??? (Get a burglar alarm or better security.)
3. Nasty vibes
4. You just moved in - no hello, no "welcome" to the neighborhood (which is how a normal person would react)...
5. No respect that the lights were disturbing you

Sounds like a nut.

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Hoosiers51
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Thanks for the insights, everyone.

I'm just glad to know that I am not in the wrong here. I was starting to feel like I was the crazy one for unplugging them.

In my mind, when I see decorative lights on at 1 AM, I assume they were left on by accident. Never in a million years would I think someone would burn those things all night long for security.

Though yes, I see her point of view.

I did this probably 48 hours ago. She WAS really friendly (though I did think, slightly "off"), and then all of a sudden she turned on me, shooting me nasty looks (I leave my windows and sometimes door open), and stopped being overly friendly. Then today she finally confronted me, and it was like it was very pent up.

I was so confused that it was even an issue, that I couldn't really think of a thing to say to her.

For some reason I just feel so offended though that she would be so nice to me, then turn and be so rude and accusatory.

I think I am just overly sensitive, so thanks for listening. I know there are bigger problems out there, and I am making a mountain out of a molehill. But so was she, haha.

I think the difference is probably culture---where I used to live, if someone leaves lights on, it's because it was an accident. I guess to her, burglary is a real threat. But then, why not use a security light?

Anyways, thanks for offering your comments. I am home alone, in a new town, so feeling stressed easily. I'm sure it'll get smoothed over.

Thank you for all the advice. I think I'll let it blow over. And yes, she seems a little nutty. I think you guys are right. I used to think it was lovable nutty, but I guess not! haha.

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Hoosiers51
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Keebler,

Sorry for what you went through. That guy sounds terrible!

This pales in comparison, but it is more subtle. And it was almost like she was threatening me that this was NOT going to work out between us. That is what I found disturbing.

It'll pass...and if it doesn't....oh well, her problem!

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Keebler
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While her response was harsh to you, it's nearly impossible to know why. Unless we can know WHY any one reacts as they do, it is really hard to interpret. She may have suffered some terrible assault and she may be just trying to recover from that. With all the fractured people in the world, we just can't possibly know.

Bottom line: her property was touched. Her lights were unplugged. That would be a shock for anyone, really. Who's out there? Who did that? Why? It would be frightening.

If a neighbor, usually, one would ask first. But, if late at night maybe not. I can see that she'd come asking around so as to know if there had been an intruder or not. My tone would be tight, too, if having just been frightened.

Hopefully, after she settles down from the surprise, she will easily see that the light would naturally be too bright for most people and she'll keep them off after bedtime, or whatever you all may discuss.

As for blocking out fancy lights (or any outside light) . . .

You said your mini blinds did not block out light. Yeah, they really don't block out much light at all. I have very bright outside lights that are on all night long, as required by the apartment management. The mini blinds that come with the apt. are just a joke, as so much light comes through.

What works great for me are thermal black out drapes. Mine actually aren't even official "black out" but with the thermal backing and the color, they are wonderful.

Hang higher, wider and longer than the window to cover all the edges and also allow for shrinkage when washing. Mine said not to wash but, in cold water, they did fine. I just hung them up wet as the dryer would have melted the backing.

I got mine from JCPenney. They are always having a sale.

They had a horrible smell to them (from the finishing) but after immediately washing them, they've been just fine. They really block out the light.

The tab-BACK curtains (panels) will be best as tab top curtain or grommet topped will still let in lots of light. You'd still need the mini-blinds closed, though.

The rods need to be hung as close to the wall as possible. I use the smaller hooks and very light, thin rods as most curtain and drapery rods/hooks extend far too far from the wall to block out light.

By having the curtain/drapes extend well over the outer edges of the window casing, when open this allows for more of the window to be seen since the wider rod allows for the curtains to be pushed beyond the window casing. I like to see as much window as possible during daylight, so that's a bonus.

Shades, too, will still let in light at the sides and the top. So, if you get those, be sure to have them cut as full as possible to the edges, or ever over the edges and hang from above the window, not just inside the casing.

This will block out the 5:30 am sunshine these days, too, allowing for better adrenal recovery until your body is ready to wake up.
-

[ 07-01-2010, 02:35 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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17hens
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Everytime you leave your apartment, you should wear a white beard, a red coat with furry white trim, and a silky black eye cover (the ones people get on airline flights to block the light). Maybe she'll get the hint.

You are not in the wrong, Hoosiers. Just keep smiling at her whenever she scowls. Killin' her with kindness just might work.

--------------------
"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalms 73:26

bit 4/09, diagnosed 1/10

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sparkle7
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I lived in NYC & vicinity for a long time. People there have a way of walking right next to each other but never looking at anyone. It's the eye contact that invites all kinds of nuts to approach.

I'm not sure how it is in CA. It's best to keep your distance when anyone shows erratic behavior. I know... I've lived in alot of places with really out there neighbors. The stories I could tell...

Keebler is really compassionate to be considerate of this person's hang-ups... I just don't have the patience for that anymore. People who are crazy can be dangerous & cause lots of problems.

I have a high tolerance to eccentric behavior & people who think outside of the box - but "crazy" is a different matter.

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Keebler
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I think if those labeled "crazy" just got more eye contact - instead of less - we'd all be better off.

It's not erratic behavior to try to find out who unplugged your lights on your property. That's what was on the neighbor's mind. I think a lot of people get labeled "crazy" just due to misinterpretation.

It's not compassionate to just see that must have been frightening for her and she wanted to know who did that. If not a neighbor, was it an intruder?

She had a "tone" or a "look" (but who wouldn't if someone turned of their lights in the dark?) but she was friendly enough to keep the lights off after finding out they bothered her neighbor. That was not "crazy" - rather agreeable, in the end.

Yeah, we read a lot from a "tone" or "look" but sometimes, we can read too much into it if a person has been frightened.

Vocal chords tighten, the heart races, adrenaline surges and it can take hours for that to settle down so one may appear off kilter for a while. Plus, until knowing that her new neighbor unplugged the lights, there was a very real threat that, perhaps, a stranger might be lurking about. That would put a "tone" in my voice, for sure.

Our radar just can't read through all that sometimes. Hopefully, these blips on the screen will pass.
-

[ 07-01-2010, 02:38 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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sparkle7
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It's not a big thing about the lights... I could see if Hoosiers threw a rock through her window or something. After she found out Hoosiers unplugged the light due to the fact it was disturbing - I would think she would calm down.

I guess it just bears watching... Time will tell.

It's good to get some room darkening shades or curtains if it's an issue. Not all mini blinds are room darkening. You have to get the metal ones. The vinyl ones are cheaper so they usually put those in. The vinyl is a big environmental disaster, though. Very toxic stuff when it's manufactured.

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randibear
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hmm, maybe she should get those low level soft bulbs or something.

but also the dark curtain liners that block out light will help also.
unfortunately shared spaces nowadays create more problems than they solve.

i have wooden blinds and then drapes on the side.

when my backyard neighbors turn their lights on at night, it shines right in my bedroom window. i have to turn the blinds completely down and it still comes through.

i think we should all move to the country.

--------------------
do not look back when the only course is forward

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lymeinhell
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I'm sorry but Christmas lights in June/July just screams 'bad taste', and 'we're too lazy to take down a string of mini lights'. Why not get her some plastic pointsettias to go with? [bonk]

--------------------
Julie
_ _ ___ _ _
lymeinhell

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Carol in PA
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Hoosie,
Smile and wave a little whenever you see her.

Can you think of any reason to ask her advice about something?
That might thaw her out.

Carol

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Keebler
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What defines Christmas lights? It amazes me that seems so unusual. People who love colored lights are typically very good souls who have an artistic spark and like to express their delight of life.

Usually, they are just colored lights. Now, if there were Santas and snow men around, that would be one thing. But colored lights are very festive and used all year long in many very classy places, actually. Most go for the yellow or white but some do put in all colors for a very festive atmosphere in outdoor dining.

It's not unusual in the city where I live for restaurants to have these all year long.

How would Leo Buscaglia handle this? I was so lucky to have seen one of his video presentations at my college orientation in the early seventies. It set the course for me - I thought everyone in the big wide world would be like him. Sadly, especially after graduation, I learned that was not true. Still, we can back up and give it another whirl.

His lectures are still very relevant - and fun.

You Tube has many of his lectures. He talks about love as no other person I've heard. He has such energy and a wacky way of turning things around in conflict. Many great anecdotes. Good ways to think about problem solving.

===============

Maybe you can find your own artistic expression here. Maybe something new that everyone will love.

http://www.festive-lights.com/solar-lights/decorative-stakes/

From their Garden Lighting section, some beautiful lighted DragonFly, Hummingbird and ButterFly stakes

---------------------

http://www.fireflymagic.com/

FireFly Lights (very subtle)
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[ 07-01-2010, 04:47 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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Hoosiers51
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Thanks for the replies.

I just can't dedicate any more brain power to figuring this out! At the worst, they (her and her husband) are both on drugs. Otherwise, it was just a misunderstanding.

The whole point of the lights, according to her, is security. But she also seems paranoid to me, so I'm not going to jump on her crazy boat.

I think my husband is going to offer to install a motion-sensored security light.

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abigail
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No offense here, but screw the nice approach and just keep your distance if it were me. I used to be the understanding type. I'm not anymore. Too many people hurt me just too darn bad.

--------------------
Dying is easy. Living is harder.

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Need Lots of Help
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I like that thought Hoos....I am not going to jump on her crazy boat!! [Smile]
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randibear
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the boat is getting larger. i really wouldn't either.

besides i'd probably go into a lyme rage and go after her!!!

--------------------
do not look back when the only course is forward

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abigail
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"I feel bad, but by the same token....there is NO WAY those things were staying on." GOOD.

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Dying is easy. Living is harder.

Posts: 257 | From owensboro kentucky | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BoxerMom
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Put me in the boat!!

I know, Hoos! You can install one of those huge inflatable snowmen on your part of the patio - for security!

HA!

[spinning smile]

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 - Must...find...BRAIN!!!

Posts: 2867 | From Pacific NW | Registered: Apr 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Hoosiers51
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Thank you for the support.

Haha thanks for the laugh, BoxerMom.

Posts: 4590 | From Midwest | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kellephant
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is this a new post?! who has christmas lights up in july!

well... when i lived in a duplex, our neighbors have dangling icicle lights on their side all year long... and they were falling off... they dangled halfway down the house in some spots... it looked so trashy!

that was really rude of your neighbor... i hate confrontation too, and that definitely would have ruined my day... i would have cried for sure!

p.s. be prepared for christmas... if she is already decorating i imagine she'll go pretty nut-so when the holidays are actually here!

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sparkle7
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I think Tavern on the Green in Central Park used to have those tiny lights wrapped around their trees all year. It kind of looks nice with the leaves & the lights...

I think they went out of business about a year ago but it was always a pretty chic place. I hear the food was bad, though.

Yeah, the lady who moved in downstairs seemed very nice at first when I lived in NJ. I later found out she was torturing animals in cages down there... That's not even the half of it. I lived in a fairly "nice" town, too. Lots of movies were filmed there to represent the model suburban lifestyle...

I know the thing with the lights seems like a small thing but stuff can escalate. I'd wait a bit before making any offers to be helpful.

Posts: 7772 | From Northeast, again... | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
lymednva
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I don't see how they could provide "security." An intruder would do exactly what you did, unplug them before getting closer to the apartment!

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Lymednva

Posts: 2407 | From over the river and through the woods | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kam
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Problem solved. Lights off. But, neighbor did not handle situation well. So sorry you had this added stress.
Posts: 15927 | From Became too sick to work or do household chores in 2001. | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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