She held the paper in her shaking hands. It wasn’t fear that pumped through her body.
It was fuming, volcanic rage. The letter was already a shock but the words on it were so surreal. It was impossible to imagine someone actually felt this way. But out of all the sentences, the last line was the worst.
The Arizona mom grinned as she watched her toddler skip around the back yard.
The little boy hoisted up his bedsheet cape and showered the flower beds with magic superpowers (which were bits of grass yanked from the lawn). Over the fence, she spotted a pair of squinty, livid eyes. “Not again,” she thought.
When Julie decided to move to a new state, going from an apartment to a house was a big step.
It wasn’t just schools and budgets she had to think about. She wanted a space her son could play safely. The two-bedroom starter home that she fell in love with seemed perfect … at the time.
But the strange behavior from one of her neighbors started the moment the moving van was parked in the driveway.
The old woman next door glared at every box going into the house as she held a jittering, whining dog. There wasn’t even a hello, just a puckered frown and closing the door harder than necessary.
“Whatever,” Julie thought. “There’s one on every street.” She ignored the old woman and went about moving in.
As the weeks passed, the only words that came out of the wrinkled mouth were brief words of “advice” on everything from how to properly put out the garbage to when she shouldn’t be watering the lawn.
The only “conversation” she did have was with her son after he tried to pet the neighbor’s dogs one day.
The little boy reached down but the canines were whisked away with a warning to never touch her animals and that he was a “rude little thing” for not asking. Julie swallowed her anger.
From then on, they avoided the neighbor as much as they could – there was no sense in trying to talk to someone like that.
And, for a while, things seemed to calm down. The weather turned nice and her son could finally enjoy playing in the backyard. The only blip was the occasional, withering glare from over the fence.
One day, they were kicking around a soccer ball along the lawn.
Julie savored the sounds of giggles and the brightness of her son’s grin as they goofed around and made up rules as they went along. The entire scene seemed innocent enough until she checked the mailbox the next day.
Stuffed in the slot was a printed note with a long wall of text.
At first, she thought it was some local advertising, but as she started to read, it became clear the note was for her and it was from the cranky old woman. The target of the woman’s exasperation?
Her son. The paper went on to explain how the boy’s giggles were annoying and distracting her bird and two dogs.
She even went as far as telling Julie she needed to keep her child inside and only let him out for 15 minutes per day. It was the final sentence that she couldn’t comprehend.
The neighbor wrote that if the behavior continued, she would call the police – yes, call the cops on a little boy for laughing.
Julie escaped to her home office so her son wouldn’t see her angry tears. There was really only one way to respond, only one thing she could do.
The next day, aside from telling her son to completely stay away from the woman, she did her best to keep herself calm.
She opened the door, told him to go out and play, and then tried not to climb over the fence and scream at the woman. After about an hour, she spotted a car pulling up in front of her home.
It was the police. Julie stood in the doorway, unable to process what was happening.
Indeed, the woman had made good on her threat. The cop looked around him as he approached. “Ma’am, we’ve received a noise complaint.” That was it. She had had enough. This all had to end.
She grabbed the note from her office and showed it to the officer while explaining what had happened recently and over the past year.
The man read until the end, rolled his eyes, and let out a long sigh that clearly showed he was now the annoyed one. The thanked her for her time … and walked next door.
Through the window, the scene unfolded. She saw the old woman point to her home and complain and then the police officer showing her the note.
Julie couldn’t hear the entire conversation, but “he’s just a kid”, “no law broken” and “stop wasting our time” was enough to put a smile on Julie’s face. But, still unsatisfied, there was one more thing she had to do. She was going to make the woman famous.
Julie snapped a full photo of the audacious note and posted it on Twitter with the caption “Yes, this is real.” Just a few minutes later, users were tweeting up a storm!
Hundreds of comments flooded in, and then hilarity ensued. The Twitterverse did what it does best while Julie sat back and smiled. It wasn’t long before netizens began to savagely roast her neighbor. And it’s not hard to see why the letter elicited such a reaction…
The entire letter read: “Dear ‘neighbor’, You moved to the neighborhood a year ago and I wanted to give you time to correct this problem on your own, but you are apparently too inconsiderate to do so.”
“Every day this week when weather has been nice and windows are open, you proceed to let your small child run free in your backyard and laugh and giggle and carry on without end.”
“This is very disruptive for my two dogs and my bird who sits next to the window and likes to look into your yard,” the unbelievable note continued.
“Perhaps you could ask him to tone it down a bit, or at least limit his outside time to 15-20 minutes a day so my dogs can be outside without seeing him running around. If this kind of behavior persists, I WILL CALL THE POLICE.” Julie didn’t expect her post to gain so much traction.
Most readers were outraged on Julie’s behalf, with many offering to buy her son loud instruments that would give the rude neighbor something to complain about.
Some readers thought that the note was so ridiculous that it had to be a hoax. But still, that didn’t stop it from being shared over 26,000 times.
“Disruptive to my dogs and my bird” – they become alert, shocked that there are people outside, LIVING, as opposed to their own human owners who have nothing better to do than spy on people,” one user wrote.
Many people called Julie’s neighbor a “Karen,” which, for the uninformed, is defined as “a pejorative term for a woman perceived as entitled or demanding beyond the scope of what is appropriate or necessary” on Wikipedia.
“This is utterly ridiculous,” one user wrote, incredulous.
“So I guess your child is supposed to stay locked up in the house all day, so the dogs and bird can be happy. You let that beautiful child of yours play & have a good time in YOUR yard. That weirdo “neighbor” of yours will just have to deal.”
One user posted a photograph they had received from their own neighbor in reply, with the sarcastic caption: “Almost as good as this handwritten masterpiece we got a while back!”
After that, things escalated quickly. Soon, Julie’s post was flooded with Twitter users’ own stories about their neighbors from hell that ranged from whimsical to downright terrifying.
“I got a letter from the people next door to me not even a year after we moved in. The letter complained about noise “laughing, singing, banging, yelling, hooting and screaming,” another user wrote.
“I have a 4-year-old daughter and I’m sorry but I’m not going to stop her from being herself and playing. That’s what kids do. Also, I will not stop singing… it’s what I like to do. We own our place and we are going to live in it. Just because her family life is miserable doesn’t mean mine will be because of her letter.” Other users had some hilarious advice for Julie…
“Next time it’s a nice day I would send my kids out at 8 am and take them in at 8 pm,” another furious woman advised.
“Hire a bouncy castle. Invite all their friends around, water fights, noise, and mess, no better sound than kids playing having fun, this ‘neighbor’ needs to wind their neck in!”
“Oh, my word… It s not worth a response, it deserves to be blasted on social media, so the rest of the community can see how ridiculous this woman is… she should be embarrassed and shamed for it,” another mom wrote.
Living next to terrible neighbors is difficult at the best of times, but a little tolerance goes a long way. We hope Julie’s neighbor learned her lesson after being told off by the police and roasted by thousands of people online.