How can I get my neighbors to shovel?

The cold shoulder

Dear Funny Problems,

A new family moved in next door. They seem nice. They talk about how “busy” they are all the time. They both work and they have twin 5 year olds. When it snowed a few weeks ago, they never shoveled. My husband shoveled for them a few times until I demanded he stop. Why are they busier than us? They need to make time to shovel just as the rest of the city does. Why are they any different? Do the rules not apply to them because they are so busy? They went weeks without mowing their lawn in the summer but as much as it annoyed me I felt I couldn’t complain because they were “new to the suburbs.” They use that saying a lot.  I want them to know they are not “new” anymore, and they need to shovel their sidewalk.



Dear Momof4

Your moniker leaves me to believe that you might be a little busy yourself.  I agree with you, your husband cannot continue to shovel their walkway.  It was nice of him to do it once.  Twice he’s up for neighbor of the year.  And if he’s shoveled for them any more then that then you might be married to an actual saint.  The truth is you never know what is going on in someone’s life.  Maybe they were having a difficult time adjusting to their new digs.  I just hope your new neighbors appreciated or even acknowledged your husband’s effort.

That said, good deeds only feel good with the right intention.  And things can get really ugly when you begin to feel resentful.  Especially towards the people you may be living next to for the foreseeable future.  Here are a few ideas I’m gonna throw at you:

#1.  Leave a shovel on their doorstep.  Put a big ole bow on it.  And leave a note that says, “Welcome to the neighborhood!”

#2. Tell them about some guy you heard about that got fined big bucks for not shoveling.  (I’m sure some guy, somewhere, got fined once for not shoveling.  It’s not a lie.  Billions of people on the planet.  He MUST be out there.)

#3. The next time it snows ask them if you can borrow their shovel.  Just to get them thinking…

Adios Momof4

The Real FP

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