Dear Amy: I live near a lovely bay. My neighbors on the bay side have unobstructed views.
I live across the street, so I only have a pocket view, which gives me enormous pleasure. I love it so much, that I added 50 feet to my kitchen several years ago to expand my view.
Unfortunately, my across-the-street neighbor has a huge tree which is quickly expanding horizontally, thus blocking out more and more of my view with every month. Soon the view will disappear.
I have spoken to this neighbor a number of times. I invited her to my house so she could see the problem for herself.
She says the tree screens her view of her next-door neighbor's house.
It is clear that the "original" tree served this purpose, but it is also clear that the new growth does not add additional screening.
She is adamant, hostile and attacking when I broach the subject, and she recently called me a whacko for suggesting that I pay for a tree trim with an arborist of her choice.
I would love to engage in mediation with her (we have a free community mediation service), but I know from previous conversations that this suggestion would only enrage her.
I feel confident that her husband would be more accommodating, but she is the one who calls the shots.
I have thought of sending them a joint email since he probably doesn't know about this situation, and certainly doesn't know about her offensive behavior.
I have checked with a lawyer and have no legal recourse.
Any suggestions for how to break through her tough stance?
-- Losing My View
Dear Losing: You've already been branded the neighborhood "whacko," so yes -- you might as well expand your brand and send a joint email to these neighbors.
I suggest that you yet again offer to pay for tree trimming. You might also offer them a cash incentive, if you are motivated and able to do so.
Let them know that you would appreciate discussing this with them and the community mediator. However, you should understand that they have no motivation to mediate anything with you.
You should assume that you will not actually receive any accommodation, and so after this email contact you should drop the matter and hope that the next big storm on the bay might settle this matter in your favor.
Dear Amy: I dated "Cassie" for almost a year-and-a-half.
She broke up with me, but we were able to be good friends afterward.
At some point, she stopped messaging me, and we talked less and less.
Cassie invited me to a party she is hosting this Saturday, but I also have a possible date for the same day.
Cassie messaged me and said, "A guy asked me out at church, and I said yes. I've had my eye on him for a while. He's gonna be at my party and I just wanted to give you a heads-up."
Amy, I know she's trying to make me mad. So I messaged her today and said, "Hey, do you even want me at your party? I don't want you to invite me just because you feel you have to." She responded: "It doesn't matter to me, but I just don't want you getting mad or anything if you see me with a guy."
I said I wouldn't be mad and I explained I didn't want to be there if she didn't want me there. And all she basically said was that it was up to me. So, I don't know if I should go or not. If the date is a definite yes then I'm going on the date, but if not, should I go to the party?
Dear Wondering: No, you should not go to this party. This relationship is over, "Cassie" is telling you it is over, and she is giving you the benefit of a heads-up concerning her party. You are obviously triggered by this and interpreting her honesty as an opportunity to try to manipulate her. It's time for you to strike out on your own.
Dear Amy: "Baggage Handler" was a mom who discovered that an airport worker had left a note containing his phone number in her daughter's baggage.
Mom freaked out, and so did you. But this is how modern young people communicate.
-- Not Upset
Dear Not Upset: Actually, leaving handwritten notes is how Victorians communicate. However, I agree that if this daughter is an adult, her reaction should be respected.