An adult with a youthful-looking face can be a blessing and a curse.
Redditor genflogressivegekemu is a 23-year-old “baby-faced” woman who with her husband just purchased their first home together.
And while there was a welcome committee of sorts, the homeowner’s interaction with a new neighbor left little to be desired.
She visited the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit and asked:
“AITA for asking my neighbor to leave me alone because she treats us like children?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“I (23F) and my husband, also 23, just bought our first small house. We’re both college educated and have good jobs we just have the misfortune of being baby-faced and I have a young voice.”
“We often get mistaken for younger than we are.”
“On the night of our third day, one of our neighbors came over to introduce herself and bring a covered dish. We both went to the door so we met ‘Gail’ at the same time.”
“When we opened the door she was real nice, smiled, and then she said, ‘Hi, I’m your new neighbor, you know you really shouldn’t just open the door to a stranger without one of your parents with you.”
“‘Are your parents home, I’d like to say hi and give them this welcome to the neighborhood gift.’ So we told her we are actually the adults and homeowners and we accepted her gift.”
“She made a couple of annoying comments about us being so young looking. Gail is probably in her late-30s/early-40s so she’s older but she’s not really that much older than us.”
“Since that night Gail comes over every few days offering to help do things. I work from home so I’m the one usually dealing with this.”
“She does everything from offering to teach me how to cook, how to clean, how to decorate a home. She offered to send her husband over to teach my husband how to use the lawn mower, the weed-wacker, how to do small car repairs. Things we know how to do.”
“She even went as far to ask if our parents had helped us purchase the house (they didn’t).”
“Because we just changed address some of our mail has had a slow time getting to us. And, unfortunately, one of our important bills didn’t get paid.”
“So the business sent us a bill with a great big red ‘PAST DUE’ on the envelope. We also had a bunch of Amazon packages of home items delivered that day.”
“Gail took it upon herself to come over to offer more ‘friendly advice’ and she collected our mail for us. And, she saw the past due bill. I let her in, thanked her for collecting.”
“Gail then lectured me on having a past due bill and deciding to order Amazon. She gave me this big lecture on how we have to grow up and be grown ups and be responsible adults now that we own a house and we can’t keep acting like teenagers.”
“Our parents don’t even speak to us like this.”
“I know she’s probably just trying to be helpful, she sees two young people and wants to give them some wisdom she’s learned but honestly she’s f’king annoying.”
“This evening I asked her to stop coming over because she was honestly offending me by the way she was speaking to me and I’d appreciate it if she’d just leave us alone.”
“Gail got very offended and told me I should be grateful someone cared because when she was a young new wife and homeowner no one took an interest in her.”
“My husband told me I was too harsh and could have been nicer. Was I an a**hole?”
Strangers on the internet were asked to declare one of the following:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
The comments section was filled with mostly NTA judgments.
“NTA. why is this lady trying to be a parent to two adults? very strange.”
“she isn’t your parent, you already have parents. i think you were as nice as you could’ve possibly been. it sounds like she doesn’t know how to respect boundaries and is unaware that she is just a neighbor.” – jabrxnii
The OP responded to the commenter above by explaining why she felt slightly guilty for losing it on Gail.
“For reasons of character limit I had to limit my description of Gail to her annoying actions but she also talked to me a lot about her own life.”
“She had her kids young and they’d moved out within the last few years, they’re busy at school and jobs and with the virus they don’t see her and her husband much.”
“She said she’s lonely and has missing nest syndrome, which is why I worry maybe I was too harsh. Maybe she’s dealing with her own demons, you know? But, she’s just so annoying.”
The NTA judgments continued.
“From an empty nester, you’re NTA and likely saved yourself escalating interference from your neighbor.”
“I had a neighbor like that when my oldest child was a baby and had to do the same thing, but waited longer.”
“You were smart to cut her off before she could entangle herself more into your life and saved everyone worse drama.”
“BTW not all empty nesters are miserable, I love having a chance to do my own things now… I think your neighbours problems are more deep seated than just missing her kids.” – mishie101
“NTA. She is taking out her maternal interference/instinct on you! She is overstepping BIG time.”
“Her heart may be in the right place but she needs to go away and let you live your on life, and mind her own business.” – connynebbercracker
“NTA. You made it clear to her you’re the owners and just look young, and she’s in her 30s or 40s.”
“She’s not an 80 year old who sees everyone as being young.”
“How overboard she’s gone is very weird and also intrusive. Getting your mail really pushes this into stalker territory. Same with analyzing the mail and lecturing you on it. ZERO of this is her business.”
“Uncomfortable situation but no, you weren’t an a**hole. This has lifetime movie tones all over it and distance from her is best.” – ooolalaluv
Overall, Redditors had little sympathy for Gail as an empty nester because they believed she was overstepping her bounds, despite her good intentions.