After a Neighbor Claims a Delivery Knowing that The Owners Were Away, Things Turn Sour when She Is Accused of Stealing upon Their Return

Sarah, a 26-year-old woman, had been house and cat-sitting for her best friend for the past week. She used to live in the house with her friend from 2020-2022, so she knew the neighbor, a woman in her 60s, who shared a driveway with her friend.

She Finds a Note

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On her second day of cat sitting, it was Mother’s Day, and Sarah had been out for a few appointments. When she reached the door, she found a note wedged in the door frame from the neighbor, saying that her daughter had sent a gift for Mother’s Day, but the neighbor was away.

Asked to Keep an Eye Out

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The note writer had come around to find it but couldn’t get past the gate and couldn’t see it. They asked if Sarah could keep an eye out for it and wrote, “at least you could eat them if you find them.”

“Lucky you”

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Sarah walked down the driveway and found a gift bag hanging from the locked gate with flowers, a card, and a box of four cupcakes. She brought them in, took a picture of the note and gift, and sent it to her friend who owns the house. Her friend said, “Lucky you.”

She Ate Them

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At first, Sarah felt a bit weird and thought she would leave them, but the next day, she thought it would be bad if they went stale and went to waste, and the note said to eat them, so she ate them.

An Awkward Time

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That week, Sarah was really busy with work and gym classes, so she left the house around 7 a.m. and didn’t come back until at least 8 p.m. each night. When she saw that the neighbor’s car was back later that week, it was at one of these awkward times. On Saturday, the neighbor came by asking if Sarah had seen the parcel her daughter had sent.

She Showed Her the Note

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Sarah said yes, she had it, and she showed her the week-old flowers, card, and the note someone had left. The neighbor read it and said it was her sister-in-law. Sarah mentioned that it was just the flowers and card as the cupcakes were now gone and gestured to the note saying to eat them.

She Wanted to Clear the Air

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The next evening, the neighbor came round, saying she wanted to clear the air. She then proceeded to tell Sarah that she thought it was deplorable behavior, and it didn’t sit right with her that she had eaten the cupcakes, and she saw it as stealing. The neighbor said Sarah should have texted her and should have frozen the cupcakes so they would be saved for her.

She Insisted

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She also said that Sarah should have called her sister-in-law, who left the note, but Sarah explained that she didn’t have her number. The neighbor insisted that it was on the note, but when Sarah checked the picture she had taken, it wasn’t there.

She Apologized

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Sarah apologized profusely, but the neighbor kept turning back to the fact that she saw it as stealing and that it was horrible behavior that crossed a line.

Straight to the Internet

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As soon as the neighbor left, Sarah burst into tears, feeling awful about the situation. She decided to head on the internet and asked a popular forum for advice.

The Internet Responds

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One person writes, “As a matter of course, you shouldn’t take or consume packages sent to neighbors without confirming with them that doing so is okay, either with the sender or the recipient. The “you can eat them” was a note meant for the neighbor, not for you. Permission was not being extended to you. Your best friend also should have known better, and she didn’t have license to give you permission to do that either. It’s also rough that it’s not just a delivery, but a Mother’s Day gift. There’s probably some sentiment attached. It’s good that you apologized; sending some flowers with an apology note wouldn’t be out of line either.”

Another Person Responds

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A second person comments, “I don’t think there’s any need to write an apology or buy cupcakes for the neighbor, she sounded rude. Yeah, you could’ve maybe waited a day before eating them, or Frozen them instead, but that’s going above and beyond when the note said to eat them! To then have a go at you for it, she can do one.”

A Final Comment

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A third person states, “It was “clear permission” from the person who didn’t send the cupcakes and wasn’t gifted the cupcakes. To me, it’s a little like saying one neighbor told me I had permission to take an Amazon package off another neighbor’s porch because they weren’t home and were on vacation, and whatever it was would go bad.”

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