Dear Annie: My next-door neighbors and their kids (who are adults) always park in front of my house and don't leave enough space for my car. The family owns four cars, but there is sufficient space in front of their home and in their driveway. We have a narrow driveway (no garage), but my husband parks there because otherwise, I'm blocking him.
I asked that if they do plan to park in front of my house, then they at least leave enough room for my car. They rarely do, so I have to knock on their door and ask nicely that they move their vehicle. They either ignore me or say, "I'm leaving in 10 minutes," expecting me to wait.
Last night, when I got home from work, I saw one of their cars smack dab in front of my home. Again, I knocked on the door. They said that they couldn't move it because it had a flat tire, and that's where the tow truck dropped it. It wasn't until I got into my house that I wondered why they had the tow truck put it there to begin with.
This time, I said, "I have always been patient, so I'll make a deal with you. When your car gets fixed, I'd like you to park it in front of someone else's house for one week. If they don't tell you to move it, you can park in front of my house and I'll never tell you to move it again." He just stood there and smiled.
Am I wrong to ask them to always move the car? — At My Wits' End
Dear Wits: You have tried to be a good neighbor, but they are not cooperating. And you have no guarantee that other neighbors will object to having that car in front of their home, or that the car owners will tell you the truth about it.
Your problem is, the street does not belong to you, and you have no control over who takes the spot in front of your house. If the neighbors block your driveway, you are entitled to call the police and have them ticketed or towed, and we recommend doing so. But otherwise, you can only park in another spot or ask your husband to park on the street so you can have the driveway. Sorry.
Dear Annie: In your answer to "Know Better," you mentioned that there are ways to verify someone's photo online — as well as those flowery, romantic statements used on online dating sites.
Please tell me how to do that. I, too, have met a man on a dating website who seems too good to be true. — Noreen in Nebraska
Dear Noreen: Your best bet is to upload a photo to Google Image search. Some scammers will use pictures of models or other attractive people found online. Google will tell you whether or not that photo has appeared in other places. It is not foolproof, but it can help. (You also can upload those "flowery, romantic statements" to Google or a similar search site to see whether they are from a piece of poetry or other published material.) Also check out romancescam.com for more information on this type of problem.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to [email protected], or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. You can also find Annie on Facebook at Facebook.com/AskAnnies. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Photo credit: Blondinrikard Fröberg