John, a man living alone, receives a potted plant from his neighbor, but their constant watering of the plant without his permission leads to a confrontation and questioning of whether he was in the wrong.
John, a 34-year-old man, had been living alone for a while when his neighbor gave him a potted plant to put on his porch a week ago. They had given him other plants in the past, which he had put in his backyard. A few days ago, John’s neighbor stopped by and saw the plant on the porch, but John had forgotten to water it.
The Neighbor Commented
The neighbor commented that the plant looked thirsty, and John apologized, saying he would remember to water it. However, he forgot again, and the next day when he remembered to water it, he found that the dirt was already moist. He assumed it was dew and watered it just to be safe.
He Was Confused
The next day, John woke up early for a change and made his way downstairs for breakfast. To his disbelief he found his neighbor on his porch, watering the plant for him.
He Insisted They Stop
He was confused and asked them what they were doing, and they responded that since he wasn’t watering the plant, they were doing it for him. John told them to stop, but the next day, he caught them on his porch again, watering the plant.
He Raised His Voice
John raised his voice and told them to stop watering his plants without his permission. The neighbor then let it slip that they had also been going into John’s backyard to water the plants there too. John was angry and told them that if they kept watering his plants without permission, he would have to take action.
They Threw a Fit
Instead of leaving, the neighbor threw a fit, saying that they were the ones who gave John the plants, so they should have the right to water them. John yelled back that if they didn’t leave, he would call the cops, so they begrudgingly left.
Left Feeling Hurt
After the incident, John’s other neighbor caught wind of what happened and made it known they didn’t like how he had acted towards the other neighbor. Left feeling unsure if he had done the right thing, John went straight to the internet and posted his ordeal on a popular internet forum.
The Internet Responds
One person commented, “I actually think this is smart and not a wrong move. If they have some weird emotional attachment to the plant (it sounds unlikely but I know people like this) and can’t stand to see it thirsty, they can water it all they like without going on OP’s property. If they are just using it as an excuse for trespassing, you’ve removed their argument for why they’re entitled to do so. The plant is causing more trouble than it’s worth.
A Further Comment
Another person wrote, “This is just creepy. If they’d given you a dog would it be ok to break into your house to feed and play with it? No!! Once a gift is given, it’s no longer their responsibility. You didn’t ask for the plants or the responsibility that comes with them.
Once everyone calms down, try talking to them about boundaries. Them coming into your property and taking care of your plants makes you uncomfortable. Also point out that because of their interference, you could have damaged the plants due to over watering. Just because they don’t see you do it doesn’t mean you don’t do it.”
A Final Comment
A final person wrote, “So what if the plants die? They’re OPs plants now. OP can water them, compost them, feed them to a radioactive hamster, whatever they want. It’s their plants, their choice and their problem. Plants aren’t sentient. This isn’t a dog being saved from a neglectful owner. They’re PLANTS. Thinking that the neighbors should be able to wander into your backyard whenever they want because they are “saving” the plants is giving the plants greater priority than the homeowner. It’s along the same lines of a mother-in-law letting herself into your house to vacuum “because otherwise it wouldn’t get done!” Not her business, not her problem, and doing a “nice” thing is not a good reason to ignore someone’s rights.”
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