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Ask Lisi: Three choices in neighbour squabble over hedge

Remaining in a stalemate with your neighbour is the least tasteful choice.
Advice columnist Lisi Tesher.

Dear Lisi: We’re in the middle of a neighbour squabble and it’s ugly. In short, we share a hedge. Part of the hedge has died and our privacy is now gone between the two homes in that area. We were happy to share the cost of a replacement hedge until they accused us of killing the hedge when we patched our walkway.

We think they killed the hedge when their now-deceased dog used to chew it until he made a space big enough to push through. He was cute and we didn’t mind that he used to come over through the hedge, but we’re sure he’s the culprit.

So now we’re in a stalemate, with no end in sight, and a massive space where we can see them and they us. It’s very uncomfortable. And now their grandson has become friends with our son — we didn’t realize the family connection — and the boys run back and forth between houses.

How do we patch up this issue?

Hedging our bets

As far as I see it, you have three choices: The least tasteful would be to remain in stalemate. Another would be to get a quote on a replacement hedge, bring it to them, agree to disagree on whose fault it is, share the cost and move forward peacefully. The third option would be to purchase a few large pots and fill them with plants, flowers, ferns, etc., and use them to fill the gap. The kids would still have space to cross lawns, but you’d regain some privacy.

Dear Lisi: I’m a 22-year-old girl, in university, working on the second part of my degree. One of my closest friends just graduated, as did many more. There were lots of fun celebrations last month.

Yesterday, this close friend called me and before I even said hello, she started yelling. I had no idea why she was practically hysterical.

Finally, I realized that she was angry with me for not attending a party she had thrown the night before. She was correct that I didn’t attend…. because I never received an invitation! I didn’t know about the party and no one told me.

It was exclusive with a closed guest list, so none of my friends called to see if I was going. I was still in school so wasn’t even in the same city as my friend and the party, which is why I didn’t even hear gossip about it. My friend was screaming at me that I’m a terrible friend, and how could I miss her event, and I didn’t even have the decency to RSVP.

When I heard that, I managed to interrupt her and ask, “Why didn’t you call me when you noticed I hadn’t RSVP’d?” She hung up. Now I’m not sure what to do. Is the onus on me to call back?

Tag, you’re it!

Take a breath. Let your friend simmer down. When you think the air is clear, reach out in any manner you think she will best respond. Tell her you are actually devastated that you missed the party. That had you known about it, you would have been there 100 per cent.

Find out if the invitation was mailed, emailed, texted, Snapped, whatever — just to figure out why you didn’t receive it. But the end result doesn’t change. You missed out on a great party and the chance to celebrate your friend. She missed out on having you by her side.

It’s a lesson to both of you that snail mail and technology aren’t always reliable. So, in future, if someone doesn’t respond, or reply, speak to them directly. It’s better to make the effort than to be hurt unnecessarily.

FEEDBACK Regarding the social media “friend” who’s thoughtless (May 2):

Reader — “I enjoy reading both your advice and your mom’s. I have been reading her column for many years.

“There is a way of not seeing someone’s Facebook posts without unfriending them. I have a family member who constantly shares right wing and conspiracy theory nonsense, which I find both upsetting and extremely annoying. I no longer see any of his posts but can put his name into my Facebook search if I ever feel the need to see what he is up to.

“Maybe the lady who doesn’t want to see her friend’s tanning pictures could do that. I Googled how to do it so the person doesn’t feel slighted by being 'unfriended' and you don’t have to suffer their constant posts.”

Lisi — Thanks for the tip. It wasn’t clear where the friend was posting but this is helpful.

Ellie Tesher and Lisi Tesher are advice columnists for the Star and based in Toronto. Send your relationship questions via email: or

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