No two people share the same relationship with their neighbors.
There are those who almost never see or speak to their neighbors, choosing to avoid having any kind of relationship with them.
Others however, make every effort to get to know their neighbors, which can often result in lasting friendships.
Redditor Low_Statistician6031 was certainly of the latter variety, developing a strong relationship with her next-door neighbors, while also helping with their daughter and her medical struggles.
But this friendship came to a crashing halt when the OP was unable to fulfill a request from these neighbors.
Having second thoughts about her decision, the original poster (OP), took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for not letting my neighbors borrow my car for a long trip?”
The OP first shared some insight on her living situation, as well her initial relationship with her neighbors and their somewhat unfortunate circumstance.
“I (29 F[emale]) moved to a new neighborhood almost 2 years ago.”
“I live alone, no partner or kids but my mom (80) does live with me part of the year (6-8months of the year).
“I really like this neighborhood and haven’t any issues until now.”
“It’s a very tight knit ‘community’, neighborhood bbqs at least once a month, the kids all play together after school etc.”
“My next door neighbors to one side have a severely disabled child.”
“She is 6, almost 7, and completely non verbal and wheelchair bound.”
“They have nurses who help care for her but I know her parents are struggling, understandably so.”
“Her mom had to quit her job and is a full time carer for her and their other older child.”
“I’ve gotten relatively close to them, the parents, and they are lovely neighbors.”
“Their older child is respectful and honestly one of the sweetest children in the neighborhood.”
The mobility of the OP’s mother resulted in her having a way to help her neighbors and their daughter.
“For my mom, I bought a minivan and had it customized to have a ramp and wheelchair tie downs so that I can easily transport her and her mobility equipment, usually an ecv or wheelchair, when she’s staying with me.”
“The other 4-6 months of the year, when my mom spends time with her sister and friends in our home country, the car sits mostly unused unless I have a reason to move bigger things that won’t fit in my daily driver.”
“I noticed that the neighbors didn’t have a car suitable for transporting their daughter without taking her out of the wheelchair and fighting to keep all her tubes and wires in place so I offered them the use of my minivan if I wasn’t using it to transport my mom.”
While the OP always did her best to help her neighbors, there was one occasion when it simply wasn’t possible, and she was quite surprised by their reaction.
“We’ve had an agreement in place that has worked well for us for almost 18 months.”
“But now they’ve asked if they can use the car to go on a road trip.”
“The trip is scheduled to last just over 2 weeks, the main reason for the trip is to take the kids to Disney World for the first time.”
“My problem is that my mom is supposed to arrive a couple days after they would leave, I asked if they could delay the trip by just a few days so I can at least get her from the airport with minimal stress.”
“They are adamant they leave on the dates they want to do I said no, I need to be able to comfortably get my mom from the airport and after a 12 hour flight I want her to be comfortable and not have to worry about getting in and out of the car.”
“They called me selfish and I’ve been ousted by the rest of the community.”
“I wasn’t invited to the last bbq, nobody says hi or waves back at me on the street anymore.”
“The neighbor kids that come by to see my dogs and run around the yard with them haven’t been by in almost 2 weeks.”
“I tried to text the neighbors but my texts went undelivered so I think they blocked me.”
“I feel like I’m living in a hostile environment now and it’s so uncomfortable.”
“Should I just cave and let them take my car?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community was in agreement that the OP was in no way the a**hole for declining to let her neighbors borrow her van.
Everyone agreed that the OP made it clear that her neighbors could borrow her van when she didn’t need it, which in this situation she did, and that they were taking advantage of her generosity, and possibly slandered her throughout their community.
“NTA, and don’t cave.”
“It appears your ‘friendly neighborhood’ is actually made up of a group of false friends.”
“You didn’t ask for anything unreasonable, but they wouldn’t adjust for you, even though you were extremely generous with them.”
“This neighborhood has turned toxic, and if it’s possible, I suggest you find a community of more honest people.”-ChapSteve711.
“NTA at all.”
“The agreement was that they could use it if you didn’t need it – you need it.”
“If they desperately wanted to use it, they should have checked dates with you first.”
“Also your other neighbors?”
“They haven’t been told the truth about what’s going on, I can guarantee it.”- Boredpanda31.
“I honestly was expecting to open this post and see that you wouldn’t let them use your vehicle period, and I was prepared to say NTA.”
“This is a whole other level of ridiculous, choosy beggar behavior.”
“I’m sorry that your neighborhood has turned on you.”
“I think you should rescind all offers to use the van period, because their behavior is abhorrent.”
“Also, if they can afford to road-trip to Disney World for 2 weeks, then I kind of doubt they are as hard-off as they have represented themselves.”
“OP, I think these neighbors have very much taken advantage of your generous nature.”-Ok-Succotash7483.
“Saw how fast they turned on you when they didin’t get their way?”
“Imagine an accident involving van, you will be held liable and they probably wont pony up any money and you will be holding bags.”
“Fist its a cup of sugar , then your lawnmower , whats next?”-starkistuna.
“They are entitled and selfish.”
“Even if you cave, they will still think of and treat you as a pariah.”
“Welcome to the world of a**holery.”
“The best revenge is to live well.”
“Make other friends and invite them over for a BBQ.”
“And next time your mother visits, go over to the family and introduce them to your mother.”-mrbuddhawannabe.
“But I’d be tempted to corner one of your other neighbors.”
“Don’t ask what they were told.”
“Just say something like- ‘I don’t understand why everyone is giving me the cold shoulder’.”
“I don’t get why it’s so wrong to expect to use my van to pick my mom up from the airport before letting neighbors use it for their trip to Disney, could you explain that to me?’ “
“They’ll presumably not respond because they’ll have been told some sob story that has no correlation to that.”
“Exit stage left.”
“Holy crap, no good deed goes unpunished.”
“You have been beyond kind to give them use of the vehicle and they seem to believe that this has created some kind of shared ownership that gives them the right to use it.”
“For 2+ weeks, when your mom, the reason you have this vehicle, will be around.”-rapt2right.
“You had an arrangement.”
“You offered them a compromise.”
“Make damn sure that you get your side of the story out there too in order to make sure that they haven’t spun a narrative about the situation.”
“AKA: claiming you’re keeping the car for no reason/out of spite.”
“I think that might be what is going on here to be honest.”
“Beyond that, if your neighbors are just little shits and so eager to help them out that they’ll isolate you, then they can all pitch in and pool money for a rental that has a ramp.”
“Honestly, the audacity.”
“You’ve been more than kind to these people, and they’ve grown more than a little entitled.”-kissxsleep.
“You have been more than generous allowing them to use the car already.”
“Now they are being selfish.”
“Just so you’re aware, letting them use the van could get your car insurance canceled.”
“Most insurance policies don’t permit the car owner to allow other drivers, especially ones that are not family members.”
“If an accident happens while they have the van, even while driving locally, your insurance would refuse to cover it and you could get stuck with the bills.”
“Imagine if they had an accident and people in the other vehicle were killed or injured.”
“I’m not a lawyer but I suspect you would be held responsible and would have to sue these neighbors to repay you for the potentially astronomical bills.”- Paevatar.
It’s easy to sympathize with the OP’s neighbors, who do have to put up with a lot day by day.
But expecting the OP to lend her van whenever it suits them was never part of the agreement.
Here’s hoping the rest of the OP’s neighborhood eventually realizes this as well.