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Should I Let My Boyfriend Be a Poll Worker on Election Day?

作者:admin 2020-10-16

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We live in a subdivision of 29 homes, most with attractive grounds. Our homeowners’ association agreement forbids any active businesses. But our neighbor has an active landscaping business. He parks two large pickup trucks in his driveway containing ladders and riding mowers; they’re often stuffed with brush. When the trucks aren’t there, his driveway is lined with unsightly black bags of landscaping materials. The problem: The board of our association consists of a single member, a realtor who was an early resident. She’s undergoing treatment for breast cancer, and we hate to trouble her. We don’t have a relationship with our neighbor. Any suggestions?

PAUL

Parking two trucks in a driveway hardly constitutes running an active business. Maybe storing bags of landscaping materials on the property comes closer to a violation. That said, you and I won’t fix this problem in a vacuum. You will have to speak up.

Call the realtor who runs the board and ask if she can field a question about the homeowners’ agreement. If she is too ill to help, ask who can. Or speak to your neighbor directly about alternative storage for the ugly bags. (Maybe behind his house?) Or seethe quietly for the rest of your born days. Those, I believe, are your options.

My friend borrowed two new folding tables for a drive-by baby shower. When I dropped them off, I asked her husband for a marker to write my name on the undersides. He said he’d do it. When I went back to pick them up, the two tables left weren’t mine. They were old and beaten up. Her husband asked me to take the tables anyway and sort it out with the other guests. But I don’t know the other guests! So, I asked him to work it out. A few weeks and reminders later, no word from them. Should I let this go?

M.

The sting of stories like yours is rarely about the tables. More often, it’s that our friends apparently fail to appreciate our kindness. If the baby has already come, let this go. (New babies are tough customers!)

Otherwise, call your friend and tell her you know she’s busy, but you’re disappointed that she and her husband blew you off about the tables. Then, having cleared the air and given her one last reminder to fix the problem, think of the tables as another shower gift. And tell her you look forward to meeting the new baby.

My brother and his wife constantly brag about their two children. (I mean, constantly!) Would it be evil of me to let them know that I know their teenage son was arrested recently for driving under the influence? I could slip it casually into conversation.

SISTER

It’s cruel to rejoice in the misfortune of a child because you bear a silly grudge against his parents. Especially here, where the boy could have hurt himself or someone else. As for his parents’ bragging, hasn’t anyone told you that braggarts only seem self-confident? Usually, they’re overcompensating for insecurity. Play nice!


For help with your awkward situation, send a question to SocialQ@nytimes.com, to Philip Galanes on Facebook or @SocialQPhilip on Twitter.

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