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Religious Woman Keys Neighbor’s Car After Discovering She Writes ‘Steamy’ Fiction For A Living

Woman keying a car
Howard Kingsnorth/Getty Images

Everyone has to pay the bills somehow, and some people choose more creative outlets, like writing novels.

But some people are bound to be judgmental about that, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

But Redditor Interesting-Reply118 discovered just how judgmental her neighbors could be when they began to give her unnecessary, negative attention.

When their attention escalated to vandalism, the Original Poster (OP) knew she had to put a stop to their behavior.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for calling the police on a neighbor after she keyed my car because of books I write?”

The OP wrote novels for a living.

“I am a single woman in my early 30s, making my living writing and self-publishing adult fiction. By adult fiction, I mean, ADULT fiction with the majority of the ‘plot’ being steamy.”

“I don’t typically tell people what I write but I do tell them I write books for a living under a pen name (and if you’re questioning my writing abilities, I have an editor to correct my mistakes).”

“I am not hiding it per se but I am not telling everyone I meet what I do for a living and none of my neighbors knew, only a bunch of friends.”

The OP started receiving unusual attention from the husband next door.

“I live in a house alone, pretty much all my neighbors are either young families or retired couples. My next-door neighbor is a young couple. We’ve been polite to each other but haven’t been close or anything.”

“Lately, the husband, let’s call him Roger, became very friendly towards me, which I tried to ignore, but he’s been getting too flirty for my liking, and I started avoiding him.”

“They had a BBQ over the bank holiday weekend, and I was taking the rubbish out to put in my bin. Roger looked at me, waved ‘hi,’ and whispered something to his friend. They both watched me very carefully, which was incredibly creepy.”

“On my way through my garden, I saw Roger’s wife (Dalia) leaving the house with her friend and they both looked at me with disgust and whispered something to each other. It was weird and I hurried back inside.”

Then she started receiving anonymous attention, as well.

“The next morning, I found some religious leaflets put in my letterbox. They were just printed on normal printer paper and were warnings about lustful behavior leading to h**l, etc.”

“I threw them away but kept finding similar leaflets put through my letterbox for the next week.”

“Since I am working from home, I decided to see who’s leaving those leaflets and to my surprise, it was Dalia.”

“I decided to confront her and asked her to stop putting religious leaflets through my door.”

“Despite me being polite, she was not happy. She told me that I should rethink my life because what I write is disgusting (it’s pretty vanilla), and she found her husband reading it at night and you can imagine doing what.”

“She kept going on and on about how I am going to burn in h**l, how I have no morals, etc.”

“Well, I told her to stay away from me and discuss this with her husband, and I closed the door in her face.”

“I don’t know who, but someone told them what I do for a living.”

But then the situation escalated.

“A day later, I found the word ‘s**t’ painted on my door.”

“A few days later, I caught her keying my car, she was almost done with the word ‘wh**e.’”

“Well, I called the police on her and since I have installed cameras after the ‘s**t’ incident, she is being taken to court over keying my car.”

“I talked to my other neighbor (she asked about the police) about it and she told me that I went overboard, that Dalia was clearly insecure but she’s a lovely woman and great mother and I should have talked to her instead of calling the police and give her a chance to change her behavior.”

“AITA for calling the police and not giving Dalia a chance?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some strongly approved of the OP’s decision to report her neighbor. 

“NTA.”

“Not overboard. Way underboard. Pursue the maximum charges against this person. Ask for a restraining order.”

“Do everything and anything legal to punish this person for what they’ve done and insure your future safety. This is not a person who thinks logically or rationally.” – CharlesMuskrat

“Obviously NTA. She damaged your car. It needs repairs. You knew who did it so you had to report it for insurance purposes.”

“You can disapprove of someone all you want but when you stoop to criminal behavior, expect to be treated like a criminal.” – NorthernLitUp

“NTA. You have already spoken to her as you said, ‘I told her to stay away from me and discuss this with her husband.'”

“She is the one who escalated things by damaging your property. I think you did the right thing by calling the police. You need to have this stuff on record in case you need a restraining order in the future.” – Simple-Vegetable23

“NTA.”

“Dalia committed a crime. You called the police. That was the appropriate response.”

“She started out by gossiping about you, then by giving you leaflets, and then moved on to defacing your property. Her behavior was clearly escalating.”

“You did the right thing to protect yourself before her behavior escalated any further. Hopefully, she will get help.” – human61850

“NTA. When people harass you and commit crimes against you, you call the police. Absolute zero shades of grey in that.” – xiaolongbaochikkawow

Others agreed and said Dalia needed to direct her anger to the right person: her husband.

“NTA. Absolutely not the a**hole. If she’s so insecure over her relationship, she needs to be talking to her HUSBAND, not you.”

“You’re not the only writer out there. Even if she magically made you stop writing, I have no idea what this would accomplish for her.”

“She’s clearly -not- a lovely person.” – Bear_Cub_15

“NTA, if your neighbor wants to play big girl games she gets to win big girl prizes. Don’t vandalize people’s property and you won’t end up in court.”

“Maybe she should be more concerned about what your ‘pretty vanilla’ books are giving her husband that she’s not if it’s that deep, because she sounds kind of like a prude.” – Fine_Following_2559

“NTA. She’s not a lovely person, she’s an insecure freak who pushes her beliefs onto others. If she really wanted to correct this ‘behavior,’ she would have started with her husband.”

“Her reasoning for being upset has nothing to do with you and shouldn’t have led to the extreme of vandalizing your things.”

“If anything, start sending leaflets to Dalia about how wrath is a sin and will lead her to h**l, as well.” – RezeTheGreat

“Jealous and insecure people like to direct their anger at the wrong target. This is an issue she needs to take up with her husband and herself if she’s that bothered by it. It has absolutely nothing to do with OP.” – Bear_Cub_15

“This is the perfect example of PLAY STUPID GAMES, WIN STUPID PRIZES. This neighbor deserves whatever consequences come her way.”

“Authors of smut are my favorite authors and should be cherished and protected at all costs!!”

“May this neighbor learn to hold her husband accountable for her husband’s actions and also how to not commit crimes. NTA.” – jokenaround

Some also took issue with what the neighbor said to the OP. 

“NTA. ‘Lovely women’ don’t key people’s cars. She’s not ‘lovely.’ She’s insecure to the point of toxicity and should, ideally, be in therapy.”

“Books didn’t make her do that, and neither did the author. Her underlying issues did, and now she’s facing real-world consequences. That’s on her.” – Panaccolade

“NTA.”

“You did talk to Dalla. You did give her a chance.”

“And she upped the game to keying your car.”

“I’d be worried that talking to her again would just get her to up her game further; to violence, or more vandalism.” – SDstartingOut

“That neighbor is insane if they think Daliah’s behavior doesn’t warrant calling the police. It is also easy to say someone went too far when you are just a spectator and they are the one being abused.”

“OP did try having a conversation with her, but this lady’s behavior was unhinged and escalating. Daliah can be insecure.”

“That is her personal problem. She needs to keep that to herself and her creepy husband. But, for OP’s own safety she needs to press charges.” – Electrical-Date-3951

“When does she stop being a ‘lovely woman’ and start being a dangerous threat to OP?”

“When she smashes out her car windows? When she physically attacks OP?”

“At what point does the neighbor believe the crimes are egregious enough to finally involve the cops?” – Flaky_Tip

“She had so many opportunities to stop, but instead, Dalia chose to gossip, shame, and push religious beliefs. She was asked to stop, and instead escalated further by damaging OP’s property not once, but TWICE.”

“She deserves every bit of punishment she gets. She invaded your space, damaged your property, and made you feel unsafe in your home.” – Jinglebrained

The subReddit was appalled by the neighbor’s behavior, as well as the other neighbor’s lack of concern about the OP’s safety.

Calling the police for vandalism was the only reasonable response, but given how the situation was escalating, the subReddit wouldn’t be surprised if the OP needed to call them again soon.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.