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home : columns : dear harriette January 27, 2021

11/6/2020 8:58:00 AM
Garbage snooper makes neighbor uncomfortable

DEAR HARRIETTE: I live in a gated community. Recently, I noticed that my neighbor lifted the top off my garbage can and looked inside. I don't think he put anything inside or took anything out, but it was just odd. I have a Ring doorbell and decided to put my trash can closer to my door so that my camera would pick up any movement. Over the last month, this same neighbor has gone into my garbage can each week. I can never tell why, or if he has checked other cans, but it has made me very uncomfortable. I know who he is and where he lives, but I am not sure if I should approach him about it or if I should just file a complaint with the police? What's the right course of action here? -- Suspicious Activity

DEAR SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY: Start by speaking directly to your neighbor. Approach him and ask him why he has been looking in your garbage. Be kind, firm and direct. Tell him that your surveillance cameras have recorded him looking in your garbage, and you can't imagine why he would be doing that. Let him explain himself.

You should also report this to the security force that is part of your gated community. Normally there is some kind of security presence in these areas. If he continues to look in your garbage, call 311.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a man in my mid-20s. I just relocated to my own place out of my parents' home, but my apartment is not the best. I am in a low-income area, and my place is pretty old and outdated, but it is my own. I started dating a girl around the same age as me. She just started out at a law firm and lives downtown in a huge condo that is brand-new and modern. We have been getting together mostly at her place, though she has been asking over and over to come to my place. I always make excuses as to why we can't, because I am really embarrassed about how I live compared to how she does. I want her to be comfortable, and at my place I am not sure that she would be. I don't want her to think any less of me. I have been looking for better apartments, but anything remotely better than what I have is always out of my price range. I need advice about what to do here. I don't want to bring her over. -- Ugly Apartment

DEAR UGLY APARTMENT: If you think there is a chance for you to have a real relationship with this woman, you have to come clean. Tell her why you are reluctant to bring her over: You have recently moved out of your parents' home, and you are living in a humble space that is far from ideal. Agree to bring her over to see for herself, but make it clear that your place is modest and not in the best of neighborhoods. If she can't accept you for where you live, it's better to know now.

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