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I have lived on the same street in the same neighborhood in the same town for approximately 8 of the 50 years I have been alive (maybe even a tiny bit more than that, feeling too lazy to do the math right now). I grew up here. I delivered the daily newspaper here for ywears. In short, I knew everyone. Literally. As time passed families grew and changed as they do. Many of the kids I knew left the neighborhood. Many of the older folks passed or moved to adult communities or other appropriate housing. Eventually I no longer knew everyone. The house to my left has changed hands three times. The house on my right has changed hands twice as well. I watched each of the families come and go. I can’t say I was ever great friends with folks on either side, but we were always on cordial speaking terms. That isn’t the case with my current neighbors on either side.
I mind my business. I don’t ask for cups of sugar. Our yard is fenced and that’s where our dog does his business, he’s never allowed to walk on or go to the bathroom on someone else’s yard. Speaking of the dog, he’s only a barker when he’s in the house looking out the front window, he doesn’t bark outside. our outside lights don’t shine directly into anyone’s windows. We don’t have wild parties. We don’t have tons of company. Hubby doesn’t have a band any more, but when he did a few years ago and they practiced once a week they cut the sound at about 9pm out of courtesy for the neighbors. We don’t use loud power tools. Hubby isn’t a morning person so when he mows it isn’t some ridicuously early hour of the morning. While we’re not perfect people and therefore not perfect neighbors, I don’t think we’re the worst either. And yet, according to their actions the folks on either side of us don’t like us.
Let’s take a look at the house to our right. Our “social circles” don’t overlap at all, they have one adult child that doesn’t live here any more. They entertain once in a while, no biggie. He blasts country. Not my cup of tea, but also no biggie. He complains if anyone parks on the street in front of their house. It doesn’t matter if it’s the rare kids birthday party, a holiday dinner, or an emergency call such as the one two weeks ago where we thought my hubby was having a heart attack or stroke – if any car (including police or ambulance) dares park on the public street in front of his house he’s there to glare at you.
The house to the left is a whole different story. We didn’t really know them at all in the beginning. Our “social circles” don’t overlap at all, they have no children. He’s a car guy. He has a Harley and at one point had a Harley truck. He plays rock music when hes working around his house, which he does often. Once Hurricane Sandy hit they walked over and brought us some coffee. We’d see each other in the front yard every week or two or three and chat, sometimes for just a moment and sometimes for 5-10 minutes. Then one day they stopped chatting. I asked a question once and got a really nasty look. Now they barely look us in the eye and look at us like we have the plague.
Does not being “friendly” with my neighbors bother me? On occasion I do think it would be nice but at the end of the day I have to say not really.
As you know, I love cars and I love to drive. I got an email regarding two new features on the 2018 Ford Mustang. They are called the Quiet Start Mode andthe Quiet Exhaust Mode. These industry-first features allows Mustang owners to schedule the time of day when their Mustang GT’s V8 engine will roar and when they won’t in order to keep it quiet out of courtesy to their neighbors. This feature is possible through the use of an active valve performance exhaust system that closes valves to restrict the amount of noise made by the car. Why did Ford come out with this feature? Because loud engine revving ranks among the most annoying noises neighbors make, alongside other common nuisances including lawn mowers, power tools, barking dogs and band practice, according to a recent poll by Ranker.com. With Quiet Start activated, the decibel level of the new Mustang GT drops by about 10 decibels, to a much more comfortable 72 decibels – about the level of a household dishwasher.”
This email got me to wondering. If I could afford to buy the new Mustang GT, the quickest Mustang GT to date courtesy of the Drag Strip Mode that enables it to reach 60 mph in under 4 seconds, would I want to silence it for the neighbors? After giving it some serious thought, my answer was nope. I love muscle cars. Mustang has held a spot in my heart for frver. If you read my review of the 2014 Mustang, you may recall I just sat in the car listening to it on the day it was dropped off. I’ve wanted to drive one again ever since they picked it up.
Call me a selfish witch but I necessarily don’t think the sounds coming from your house or yard are what make you a good neighbor. I’m not talking about disrespectful sounds, like late night partying, yelling or arguing at all hours, public displays of inappropriate behavior. Those might certainly make you unappealing as a neighbor. I’m talking about the sounds of day to day life. I hear dogs barking throughout the day constantly, from the houses on each side of me and others. I had a neighbor who had a diesel duelly he started up at about 5:30 every morning for years. I have a neighbor who starts up the boat in his driveway once or twice a week and lets it run for a bit. I hear the dude on the side street near my parents over a block away using his power saw to do whatever project hes working on that day. I hear weed whackers, lawn mowers, music, toys, firecrackers and everything else. In my opinion, none of those sounds should make you unappealing as a neighbor.
So I ask you.
Do you get along with your neighbors? What makes someone a good neighbor? Are there noises you just cannot take as a neighbor? If you had a new Mustang GT, would you put it into Quiet Mode for your neighbor?