I don’t expect this thread to go anywhere or for there to be a solution, but it doesn’t hurt to try:
We have lived in our new house for about 4 months now. Our neighbors smoke, constantly. They are semi-retired with less-than part-time jobs, and they literally just hang-out on their front steps and smoke all day long. The only time they aren’t smoking is when they go inside to eat or presumably go to the bathroom (which is more than an assumption because the husband yells, “I am on the can! Hold on a minute!” to his wife quite often, who is outside smoking trying to talk to him through open windows).
The lots are only 50 feet wide in our ‘hood, so you get an idea for how close together the houses are. Well, for some reason, their smoke smell always goes into our dining room windows, so we have to keep opening and closing the windows. If they smoke in the back occasionally, we have to close the living room windows. In other words, we usually end up keeping 8 of our 12 windows closed at all times because of their smoking. If we aren’t home and we left the windows open, the inside of our house smells like an ashtray for two days. During the extremely rare occasions that they aren’t home to smoke, we can have the windows open, but it is very rare and we have to close the windows shortly after we open them anyway.
Also, because of the way the air moves through the area, our front yard always smells like an ashtray, even when they aren’t smoking.
We looked at the house three times when we were house shopping, and we didn’t see the neighbors or smell the smoke in the yard—go figure!!
My wife and I normally love to have windows open all summer long no matter how hot it is, but we found ourselves closing up and using the A/C this summer because of their smoking. During these past few weeks when the weather has been amazing in terms of weather, we have had to keep 8 of our 12 windows closed because of the neighbors.
Anyway, as much as I think smoking is totally ridiculous and I can’t understand why anyone would do it (different topic), it is a “free country” and they are on their own property doing their thing, so I can’t ask them to stop smoking. I wouldn’t even dare ask them to smoke somewhere else because 1) they can do what they want, and 2) even if they smoke on other parts of their small property, we just have to close other windows to compensate.
So far, I have been doing the passive-aggressive Minnesotan thing like saying to my son, loudly, “Oh, we have to go inside now because someone is smoking again!” if I am playing outside with my son, or I shout, “Man, who is smoking?!” while I slam the windows closed if I am in the house. I hate being a stereotypical Minnesotan, but I don’t know what else to do. Also, I don’t think they can hear me anyway, since they are pretty hard of hearing.
It also doesn’t help that these people are really creepy, just in general. Their adult daughter comes over and she begs us to let her babysit our son, but she is just so creepy that we wouldn’t let her anywhere near our son. Also, my wife is always bra-free at home and the neighbor has actually commented loudly on her bralessness while he stares at her in the front yard! The neighbor also ran into my wife at a local mall and he followed her without letting her know he was there—he told us all about it at home later that evening.
The only light of hope is that when we moved in, they said they were going to be moving to another suburb within a year to be closer to their granddaughter, but their house is in such shambles, we don’t know how they expect to sell it—it’s a 1945 house in original condition stuck in an upgraded/updated neighborhood.
Any thoughts or attitude adjustments from FOO?
P.S. I know the timing of this is sort of off as we have had our heat on now for a few days and we will probably have the heat on the rest of the season now, but we are already dreading next spring and summer, and we still smell their smoke when we are outside, regardless…