Handling a neighbor can be a little difficult. Sure, maybe they leave you a lone and you barely know they exist. But maybe you have a neighbor who gets very involved in your life and you don’t know what to do about their intrusions.
Somehow, Redditor Frosty_Intern9055 has a neighbor who became both. The original poster (OP) didn’t know that their neighbor would respond the way she did when OP put a play set in her backyard.
OP’s neighbor made what she thought was a reasonable request, but OP doesn’t see it that way. The two are now arguing about how to handle the situation in OP’s backyard.
While she doesn’t think she’s wrong, OP decided to ask the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit about her response.
Does she think she was wrong for what she told her neighbor?
“AITA for putting a swing set in my backyard despite my neighbor asking me to cover it?”
Or was her neighbor out of line for trying to ask about this?
“I (22 f[emale]) just recently bought a house with my boyfriend (24 M[ale]) after receiving an inheritance.”
“I can’t lie, I’m very excited. It is the house I always dreamed of having. It has lots of entertaining space. Which is super important to me because I love hosting.”
“I am a big family girl so naturally having my family over is important to me. I am very close with my little cousins (5 F) and (8M).”
“They want to sleep over in the next month so I ordered a trampoline and a swing set for my backyard. It arrived last night and this morning I hired someone to help me put it together.”
“While it was being built, I heard a knock on my door. To my (un)pleasant surprise it was one of the neighbors I had not met yet.”
“We greeted each other and then she asked me something I did not expect. She asked if I was willing to ‘cover up’ my swing set during the day so her kids didn’t have to see it.”
“She said if they see it she knows they’ll bug her and ask to play at the park. I apologized for the inconvenience but said I was not going to cover and uncover a massive swing set for her convenience.”
“She got huffy and said she hopes someone treats me as rude when I have my own children. I kind of feel guilty so AITA?”
The neighbor really wants OP to cover the play set so her children don’t see it and get ideas, but OP thinks this is a ridiculous request. OP believes it’s not her fault if the neighbor’s kids want to go to the park after seeing the play set.
But should OP have considered what her neighbor asked of her?
On Reddit, the users of the board judged OP for refusing to cover her swings and play set for her neighbor by including one of the following in their response:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
While the neighbor might have thought it was a reasonable request, OP was more than within her rights to say no. It’s her backyard, and she doesn’t need to accommodate someone else’s sensibilities or children.
It’s one thing for the neighbor to ask, it’s another for her to expect OP to make the change with no issue. Pretending that it was rude of OP to say no is ridiculous.
On top of all of this, the only reason that the neighbor doesn’t want her kids to see the play set is because she doesn’t want to take them to the park. It seems strange that a parent doesn’t want their kids being more active in this day and age.
In the end, the commenters voted that OP was NTA.
“NTA. It’s your house and your yard. She has no right to tell you what to put there if it’s not hazardous to her or her family in any way.”
“Also, IMO it’s super weird that she would ask you to cover it rather than ask if her kids could come over to play sometime.” – GratuitousSadism
“No! You are NTA at all. That’s nutso! And you won’t have to worry about that when you have kids cuz you HAVE a swing set.;)” – Vera_Telco
“Maybe…and hear me out, I know it’s a wild and crazy concept….but maybe this is a time where your neighbor can teach her kid about respecting other people’s property.” – jstonesworld
“I have no idea what her reasoning would be, (is she disabled and cant go out, are the kids ND and don’t understand why they can’t play there?) but the idea of asking you to purchase a cover and then do the work of covering it whenever it’s not being used? Audacity.”
“The snide little remark after? Nah.” – wishmage
“NTA – that’s a ridiculous request. If she doesn’t want her kids to see your swing set then she can tell them not to look in your yard.”
“This is like having a flower garden in your yard and having your neighbour ask you to please dig it up/get rid of it because they don’t have the time to dedicate to the upkeep of a garden and it makes them feel bad. Like what?” – Din0_DNA
The commenters started a discussion with OP about how she handled the situation. They reassured her that it wasn’t an issue with her or her children, and the neighbor would have to find another way to deal with hers.
But the crazy interaction with her neighbor was something OP couldn’t believe.
Still, OP wasn’t about to get so petty in response to her neighbor.
“NTA. It isn’t your job to deal with her kids. End of story. That said, you are probably going to want put a fence up and keep her kids out of your yard.”
“Inevitably they are going to sneak in to play and the swings but especially that trampoline, are fantastic ways for them to hurt themselves when they come in unsupervised leaving you open to legal responsibility for any injuries.”
“As a new homeowner, you need to remember that someone go hurts themselves on your property, regardless of how stupid they are being, is YOUR problem.”
“Id take steps to keep her kids out and also put in cameras to record anyone in the back yard. Having video and documentation of the times you’re going to have to confront them and tell them to stay off your property will one day hopefully save your butt.” – TheDreadPirateJeff
“We do have a fence! I knew we needed one because I want to put in a pool at some point, I don’t want anyone drowning while I’m not home.”
“The swing set is massive so you can easily see it over the fence :”)” – Frosty_Intern9055 (OP)
“Hahah you could ‘hide it’ by buying a used Bouncy House and setting that up too. ;)” – TheDreadPirateJeff
“Sorry to crush anyones spirits but def not haha :”) I feel like me being petty doesn’t hurt anyone except her kids.”
“Which I really don’t wanna do:( I feel bad that the kids are stuck in this mess in the first place” – Frosty_Intern9055 (OP)
“NTA. Wow, so she wants you to cover up your swing set so that her children don’t bug her to go to the park. Why are they having to bug her?”
“They’re kids. Kids like going to the park. What a lazy ass parent. 🙄 If she can get off of her ass to come and bug you with this nonsense, she can get off of her ass to take her kids to the park.” – ZombieBuffet93
“I wish she would have been nicer about it. If she had asked if they could come over sometimes I’d be more than happy to let them swing about!”
“But unfortunately now I’m scared of her using it as a method to attack me. I feel guilty her kids have to suffer for it though 🙁 definitely wanted to start off on a better foot with my neighbors :/”
“I also don’t want her running around and telling everyone I’m mean so that it destroys my other possible neighbor relationships” – Frosty_Intern9055 (OP)
“There is no place on earth where someone who behaves like this lady does and can rally neighbors to judge a new neighbor. They all know what a loon she is and will not judge you based on her bullshit story.”
“It feels uncomfortable now but she has done stupid, ignorant, entitled shit to show her ass long before you moved in. They’re going to all “okay, sure Jan” the situation so she goes away.” – wildferalfun
Good on OP for not sinking to her neighbor’s level. She is not only the good guy here, she’s got the moral high ground and the backing of internet strangers.
Who knows? Maybe the neighbor can use this example to see about taking her kids to the park every so often.