We are not on friendly terms with the neighbors on each side of us, which is not totally our fault. Let me give you a little history.
We share part of our fence with one of the neighbors, so two years ago when it was time to replace it, we told the fence guy that we wanted the pickets placed on the other side of the posts. Instead of the posts being outside, we wanted them inside our yard. On the day of installation, when the neighbors realized that the pickets were going to be on their side, they threw a hissy fit, claiming they would be losing 3" of yard. My guy called me at work and said the neighbors are acting like jerks and that they refused permission to nail the slats from their side unless we put them the other way. We ended up putting the slats on our side just to keep the peace. They have not spoken to us since. Now, WE paid for a brand new fence which helped the majority of HIS property since it ran along the entire side of HIS house, we gave him HIS way, and now he's mad at US. Go figure.
The neighbors on the other side caused a dangerous problem when they started using our side yard as an ashtray. Seriously, they would flick their cigarettes over the fence into our yard, sometimes in dry grass. Who does this?! Well, you can imagine how worried we were that there would be a fire someday. (Actually, we did have to knock on their door once to tell them their trash can was on fire, so you can see how we viewed them as careless, as well as inconsiderate). This cigarette flicking went on for a couple of months when we finally had enough. DD marched over as they were sitting outside and told them to put their butts out elsewhere, using a very harsh tone. That was 10 years ago and we have not seen a cigarette butt since. That was also the end of any friendly relations.
Back to the present.
Yesterday, I was sitting on the back patio, waiting for the dogs to finish their business when the neighbor kids started riding their bikes up and down our driveway. No big deal, right? Our driveway is one of the longer ones and I thought riding bikes on it was pretty harmless. The dogs were barking nonstop, taking longer to do their thing, but I was still cool with it.
Next thing I knew I heard one little boy say, "Hey, watch this!" They pedaled really fast up the drive and then slammed on the brakes, creating a skid sound. It took a couple of times before I figured out what they were doing. I threw open the back gate and they flew off in different directions. The little brats left skid marks all over my driveway.
Well, I was beyond pissed. I was determined to find those rascals. After huffing and puffing, going back and forth, I finally found one of them:
Me: Are you the one leaving skid marks on my driveway?
Boy: It was my friend. (surprise!)
Me: Well, do you know it is not very nice to leave black marks on people's driveways?
Boy: Yes ma'am.
Me: I don't EVER want to see you on my driveway AGAIN. Do you understand me?
Boy: Yes ma'am.
After I calmed down, I thought, you stupid woman! Now they're going to find it a challenge to see what they can get away with around the house. I'm going to drive up from work one day and find graffiti painted all over my fence, or worse. Oh, what have I done? I never thought I would turn into a raging neighborhood witch.
Was there a better way to handle the situation? Should I have been cool with them leaving black marks all over my driveway? Was I justified in tracking the boys down?
I must add that when I left the house this morning, it looked like someone had tried to scrub the skid marks off because they were very faint. I hope that's a good sign.