Are Manners a Thing of the Past?

SteffieMark
SteffieMark Posts: 1,726 Member
I was raised to respect other people's property and if I saw something I wanted that belonged to someone else, I was not allowed to just go take it. Am I wrong? I ask because I am having some weird feelings about my neighbors.

I have two huge pear trees in my yard. As long as I have lived here, 5 years, people would come by and ring the door bell and ask could they pick some. Of course, I always said yes. About a year ago, new people moved in next door. I would hear them in my yard talking and go out to see what was going on. They were out there just picking buckets full of pears. They would barely even speak to me when I went outside. They just stated matter of factly, "We are picking pears to make baby food!". I didn't know what to say, I do not know them. I was polite and went back in my house. I have rarely seen them outside and the few times I do, they are not friendly.

Today, after not seeing them in quite some time, I hear voices coming from my front yard. I went to the front window and opened it. They they stand with their friends, in my yard, with buckets, pruning my trees! The pears are not ready yet. When they finally saw me, one said "Just pruning some of these pears off to help the tree!". Then he asks "Hey, are the cherries on the tree in your back yard edible?". Now, I wonder if he has been going over, through or around the privacy fence, and checking out my trees back there. I don't mind telling you, I don't like the idea of virtual strangers in my yard.

I really don't know what to say to people like that. I was raised to treat people with common courtesy and I think they way they are acting is very disrespectful and actually rude. The funny thing is, I wouldn't care if they took every pear from the tree or even pruned it, if they had the courtesy to at least say something to me. Am I being petty? It just gives me an odd feeling. I just want to cut the trees down. =( I was raised in the south where we are mostly friendly and respectful of others. Should I just ignore it or say something? I really don't know what to say. It's weird having people I don't really know, just hang in my yard and treat it like it belongs to them.
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Replies

  • AllTehBeers
    AllTehBeers Posts: 5,030 Member
    Uhm wow. People are just hanging out in your yard taking your property? I think that counts as stealing. Can't you call the cops next time you see them out there?

    Maybe its just me, but I think that's being waaaay too nice.
  • shellebelle87
    shellebelle87 Posts: 292 Member
    Pretty sure thats stealing, if they dont have your permission. A quick call to the cops and that should sort them out.
  • SteffieMark
    SteffieMark Posts: 1,726 Member
    I agree. I hate to call the cops on the next door neighbors. I just want them to show common courtesy and ask. It just freaks me out and actually made me feel like I was a freaking intruder in my own yard.
  • Le_Joy
    Le_Joy Posts: 593 Member
    I would let them know it isn't ok for them to just come into your yard without permission. Maybe put up a no trespassing sign...
  • Pebble321
    Pebble321 Posts: 6,554 Member
    I would be a bit floored by their actions too - but as they are being very open about it, then I think you need to be open back.

    Try talking to them first, let them know that you are happy to share the pears with them but you need to know who is on your property and when, so they need to ask you before coming onto your land. And that your back yard is private and that they aren't welcome there.
  • I've noticed that people are getting more and more disrespectful by the day.
    Quite honestly, I would call the police if I were in your spot (I'm not suggesting that you do that, but I am suggesting that you were, as stated above, way too kind)
    Seriously though, speak to them about respecting your privacy(and your pear trees), if they don't listen, call the police.
  • tajmel
    tajmel Posts: 401 Member
    There are manners, and then there's letting yourself be used. Their manners are definitely very poor, but this isn't the time for you to politely step aside. You should speak with them about how inappropriate this is, and express perhaps that you want to get to know them better. If they can't accept your boundaries, your next step should definitely be police involvement.

    We have fruit trees, and our neighbors all take some, but they ask first. Your property, your tree, your choice.
  • DaniKenmir
    DaniKenmir Posts: 387 Member
    We have a problem very similar, our neighbours kids come over and throw things in our yard, wrappers and cans, sometimes even bowls because they're too lazy to take them back home, I've tried talking to their parents but they just don't care, it's impossible! Our landlords live on the other side and call the cops on them often for mid week parties and messing up their yard!
  • UncleMac
    UncleMac Posts: 11,760 Member
    Manners and common courtesy aren't gone but they've certainly become less fashionable.

    I wouldn't take fruit from someone else's tree without asking, let alone pruning. If the tree appeared to be in a common area rather than in someone's yard, perhaps... maybe not even then...

    Since you don't mind them taking the pears, perhaps you can take the opportunity to tell these folks your expectations clearly. Let them know that you're okay with them taking the pears but would appreciate if they respected your privacy by letting you know by knocking on the door and asking first.

    If that doesn't work, there's an old saying about good fences making good neighbours. Is your yard fenced or open? How about a sign saying "private property" or similar?
  • christine24t
    christine24t Posts: 6,064 Member
    I would be a bit floored by their actions too - but as they are being very open about it, then I think you need to be open back.

    Try talking to them first, let them know that you are happy to share the pears with them but you need to know who is on your property and when, so they need to ask you before coming onto your land. And that your back yard is private and that they aren't welcome there.

    This exactly.
    I would say, "sometimes there are a lot, but would you just knock and ask before you take them?" Here you are giving them a way to be polite. If they don't take it, it's time to call the homeowners association/police.

    ETA - with the situation with today, I would have said, "Oh, no, the pears are not ready!" when you saw them. "Please don't pick any more!"

    You sound like a nice person, but it's time to toughen up a little! :)
  • SabrinaJL
    SabrinaJL Posts: 1,579 Member
    Next time you need a couple eggs, walk into their house and get some out of the refrigerator. Say, "Just grabbing some eggs to bake a cake!"
  • That is totally weird!!! If you don't want to feel rude, maybe tell a little white lie? Tell them that you sell those pears at a farmers market or something! Let them know that you're happy to share but that you will be leaving a bill on their door the next time they take more than they can carry in their hands. Bringing buckets into your yard to take fruit you have not given them permission to take is stealing. It also lacks all common courtesy, like you said. Why would you want to share with people that haven't even had the decency to have a nice conversation with you?
  • SteffieMark
    SteffieMark Posts: 1,726 Member
    Our back yards are fenced but, the front yard is not. We own our home and I think they are buying theirs. I have really thought lately about extending the privacy fence into the front, at least between our houses. These two times are the only times this has happened. But, I can tell if they feel it's their 'right' to come prune the trees, I'm pretty sure they plan on coming over to help themselves when the fruit is ripe.

    I'm going to speak with my husband and perhaps he will come across more firm that I would. It just gives me an uneasy feeling.
  • Nataliaho
    Nataliaho Posts: 878 Member
    I think its just bizarre! My friend has lots of fruit trees and a lady came to her and asked if she could use the fruit for making jam. My friend was fine with it and then a couple of weeks later came home to a thankyou card and 3 jars of jam. She told the lady sho could come anytime, so now she just comes home every now and then to various conserves. Great deal!
  • 3foldchord
    3foldchord Posts: 2,918 Member
    wow. just. wow.

    and I agree --- just tell them in an honest, friendly way- you are happy to share the fruits from your trees, but they need to not come into your yard without letting you know/permission.

    and if they continue to be rude- call the cops.
  • BeetleChe13
    BeetleChe13 Posts: 498 Member
    That's horrible! Why don't you try saying something in a less polite way? You can be firm and assertive without being rude, but they are trespassing! I know how scary it can be. My neighbor had a guest over one day who came into my yard. I saw her right outside my front window and it freaked me out. Turns out she was petting my outdoor cat, but seriously? A stranger in my yard is a BIG DEAL. If she hadn't left right when I spotted her, I would have gone out and said something. Those are your pears and on your property. They should have your prior permission. Also, taking them by the bucket full, even with your permission, is so excessive that is certainly rude and disrespectful. How new are they? Could you give them a house warming present? If you don't want to say anything, you could send a basket of pears with a "welcome to the neighborhood" note on it. I hope they would get the hint. :wink:
  • 2_young_2B_old
    2_young_2B_old Posts: 90 Member
    There's nothing rude about being honest in this situation. Its your property. Its your stuff. They have no business doing what they've done. If it's too much for you to confront them, and i understand if it is, call the police. I would confront them in a calm and stern manner expressing your need for them to stay out of hour yard, if they cant respect that call the police. Its freaky and weird and fing wrong.
  • redhousecat
    redhousecat Posts: 584 Member
    but that is your property? I really don't understand why you can't/won't say anything! I don't say that in a mean way (although it comes across as such), I seriously do not understand.

    There are nice ways to confront them. I hope you can find the courage. They will continue to use others along with you if you don't.
  • 2_young_2B_old
    2_young_2B_old Posts: 90 Member
    I agree. I hate to call the cops on the next door neighbors. I just want them to show common courtesy and ask. It just freaks me out and actually made me feel like I was a freaking intruder in my own yard.

    This is not ok, and you are not the bad guy here. If you cant stick up for yourself get someone to do it for you or call the cops.
  • SteffieMark
    SteffieMark Posts: 1,726 Member
    I appreciate y'all replying. I am a nice person and this has just freaked me out. I have just recently began going outside my home again, after a long bout with some 'social anxiety' issues and health problems. It is getting better every single day. But, this kind of crap just freaks me out and I just am at a loss for words. Like I said, it made me feel like I was the intruder. I just wish I wasn't home alone so much. Or that I'd hurry up an grow some balls and stand up for myself.