DEAR ABBY: When the house next door sold, we were delighted to have new neighbors. My husband and I greeted them with a welcome gift. They asked us three times about the property line, and we showed them the marker. They asked the people on the other side, as well as those in the back of them. Shortly after, they put a barrier between us and a fence at the other property line. Now they have installed stakes and a string so everyone will know where their property is. They seem to be obsessed with property lines and they keep to themselves.
When my husband mows the lawn, they stand outdoors watching to make sure he stays on our property. It's very uncomfortable to be outside when they are. When they are on their deck, I feel like an intruder, so I don't go out on my deck anymore. We have no children and mind our own business.
We have great relationships with our other neighbors. It's sad having such standoffish neighbors. They treat everyone in the neighborhood this way. I love our neighborhood. However, it's uncomfortable having semi-friendly people next door. Abby, what say you about such friendly yet unfriendly neighbors? They make it plain that they don't want anyone putting a foot on their property. -- UNHAPPY NEXT DOOR
DEAR UNHAPPY: Your new neighbors, for whatever reason, are antisocial. When they come out to watch your husband mow the lawn, he should give them a friendly wave and concentrate on what he's doing. If you feel that by using YOUR deck you are "intruding" on them, install plants or some other barrier to shelter you from their view. It is important for your own sake that you teach yourself to accept this couple for who they are rather than who you would like them to be.
DEAR ABBY: I recently attended my first rodeo, and during the singing of the national anthem, I realized I was getting the "stink eye" from a pair of teenaged boys. I hadn't removed my straw sunhat because I was taught that a woman's hat is considered part of her outfit and need not be taken off on such occasions. I'm the wife and daughter of veterans, and this is their understanding as well. Have the rules changed? -- "HATTY" IN THE MIDWEST
DEAR "HATTY": According to EmilyPost.com, fashionable hats can be left on when the national anthem is played and when the flag of the United States is paraded by. However, if the person is wearing a baseball-style cap, members of both genders should respectfully remove it.