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Blake’s Advice Column

Dear Blake,

A few months ago, new neighbors moved in next door. They have been very nice and helpful. I work a lot, so they have done things like grab packages or take care of little things like bringing in my trash can.

I have thanked them many times, but three weeks ago I decided to do something extra special. I bought a lovely thank-you card and put a $100 restaurant gift card inside. I knocked on their door and handed it to the husband.

I haven’t received any type of thank-you from them. I don’t want to seem petty, but part of me is hurt by their lack of acknowledgment. They have my number, and I’m obviously home at a certain hour of the day. Do you think that because they helped me out, they felt they deserved my gift and a thank-you wasn’t necessary? I am at the point where I no longer want them to do anything for me. Am I being petty, or do I have a right to feel hurt?

Signed, Edna
From Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

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Dear Edna,

There can be several reasons why your neighbors haven’t responded to the $100 gift card. In my opinion, everything points to a sinister ulterior motive. Here are some possibilities. It could be you’re being snubbed because you neighbors are vegans who are outraged that you eat dead animals, and they know you are based on their familiarity with your garbage cans. Or, they could be insulted by the gift being only worth $100, because they feel even dayworkers would’ve gotten paid more. It could also be that they opened up some of your packages and resealed them, and they now feel that the strange items you’ve been purchasing makes them want to keep their distance from you, including their children and pets. And finally, it’s possible that your neighbors are good people simply showing continuous acts of kindness, and maybe they are a little embarrassed that you gave them money to express your gratitude. Either that or they want to familiarize themselves with your schedule, so when they are sure no that one is in your home, back a U-Haul to your front door. I hope this helps.

Blake

Blake's Advice Column

• July 5, 2020


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