Ask Rene:
Was My Neighbor Wrong Or Am I A Party Pooper?


Hi Rene:

Well, here’s one I’ll bet you’ve never heard before. One of my neighbors, Jennifer (not her real name) had a party for her 13-year-old daughter, who is friends with my daughter. She asked me if I would come help supervise and my husband, Joe and I agreed. We were helping out and everything  seemed to be going great. 

My husband and I had been inside, chatting with her ex-husband for maybe three minutes when she came in, pulled him aside, said something to him and then he immediately went outside. I asked her if everything was alright and this is how she responded: “This is OUR daughters party and he needs to be outside supervising and not in here having a private party with you okay?”

She was so snotty & rude so I left but Joe stayed and helped until it was over. To top if off, the following morning she texted, me accusing me of spreading a rumor that there was no supervision at the party. I mean really? Not to mention she served energy drinks to a bunch of 12/13 year olds?

Rene, how shall I respond to her? I have known this woman a few years and am convinced whatever I say won’t matter so should I even bother?

Stunned on Staten Island


Well SiS, you are right.. I’ve never run across this one. Let’s see.. where to start on this one.

Okay I think what happened is that this is really about your neighbor and her ex-husband and you just happened to be in the line of fire; the phrase “kill a fly with a cannon” comes to mind. The issue now is what to do about it, if anything. So here’s my advice. 



I say try because I’m really not sure how much good it will do. As I stated up top, I really think this is less about you and more about Jennifer’s relationship (or lack thereof) with her ex-husband. So if you do decide to speak to her just know it’s because you want to get something off your chest (express how you feel or that your feelings were hurt) not that it will change how she sees the situation. Personally, I would ask not about the party but about the rumors.

Read more: Ask Rene: My Co-Worker Blabbed My Secret!


Man looking away while being questioned by his spouse.

Maybe (and I only say this because I’ve been here with my own husband) the situation didn’t go down quite as you described here. I’m not saying that Jennifer didn’t overreact, but sometimes we just need someone else’s perspective. So ask your husband if he thought she was out of line. If he’s in agreement with you then…

Read more: Ask Rene: My Husband Did WHAT!?


Two young modern women standing over a white background

You  have to make a tough parenting choice because your daughter is friends with her daughter. Are you okay with your kid hanging over at their house? Jennifer’s relationship with her ex aside, her decision to give a bunch of pre-teens energy drinks given what we know about them, doesn’t exactly instill confidence. You can tell your daughter that; she doesn’t necessarily need to know the rest.

Read more: Ask Rene: Is Chivalry Alive And If So, Where?


That’s my advice but honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if this fell on deaf ears if Jennifer’s behavior at the outset is any indication. Some people are their own worst enemies; she might be one of them.

Good luck mom!

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