Wedding Service

The nice neighbor has become a de facto lawn service

Jane Phillips

DEAR ABBY: A year and a half ago, a young, newly married couple moved into a house down the street. A few weeks after moving in, my husband, daughter and I went with a gift to introduce ourselves and welcome them. They were super nice. My husband told them if they needed anything to let us know. Shortly after the husband contacted my husband and said they were newly married, they couldn’t afford a lawn mower and asked if they could borrow ours. “Of course” was our response.

It’s a year and a half later. They always borrow our mower, as well as other items like a leaf blower or a weeder. They often take week-long or weekend trips to expensive places. While they are away, they sometimes ask my husband to mow their garden for them, which he does.

They are always grateful. However, I’m at the point where enough is enough. He no longer feels like a neighbor. We feel like we’re being taken advantage of. How can we politely say, “You have to set your priorities. Stop going on a trip and buy yourself a mower”? – GLAD TO HELP AT ANY POINT

DEAR HAPPY: In the interest of neighborhood harmony, refrain from giving this couple travel advice or ordering them to straighten their priorities. The next time they ask you to borrow your gear, just tell them no, because you have to use it. Next, mention the name of a home and garden store where they can buy what they need at a reasonable price. The same goes for mowing their lawn while they travel. After a few refusals, they will understand the idea.

DEAR ABBY: What is your definition of a “friend”? I rarely, if ever, hear from friends I’ve had all my life. And when I do, it’s usually in response to a contact I initiated. My late mother felt that as long as you have someone you can rely on in a stressful time, it’s a friend. I do not agree. I think friends should make an effort to maintain contact and keep the relationship alive.

Wasn’t the main appeal of things like email and social media that it would be easier to keep in touch with people? (I remember when making a long distance call was a big deal.) So I ask again, Abby. Objectively speaking, how do YOU ​​define “friendship”? — FEELING ALONE IN NEW YORK

DEAR LONELY: It depends on the individuals involved. Some people need constant contact. Others, especially busy people, don’t. Since you asked for my personal bias, I’ll tell you that I agree with your mother. Not all relationships have the same depth. The people who have been there for me through the tough times – and there have been – are the ones I consider true friends. Whether we are in constant contact or not, we know that we are there for each other. For me, it’s friendship.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order “How to Have a Beautiful Wedding”. Send your name and mailing address, and an $8 check or money order (in US funds) to: Dear Abby, Marriage Book, PO Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling charges are included in the price.)

(EDITORS: If you have editorial questions, please contact Clint Hooker, [email protected])


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