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'I took advantage of my neighbor's manic episode to get free plants, was that wrong?'

'I took advantage of my neighbor's manic episode to get free plants, was that wrong?'


One of the best ways to furnish a house is to find free stuff on the curb. If you live in a city, there are plenty of stores on trash collection days. Be careful that what you put out there is something you genuinely don't want anymore. On a popular Reddit thread in the Am I the A**hole Subreddit, one neighbor learns that once it's on the curb, it belongs to the world.

AITA for taking all of my neighbor’s plants?

Friendly but distant neighbors are the best.

I live next to a couple whom I’m friendly with but not much past “how are you” and chat about things in the neighborhood. Last week I was out for a morning walk and noticed Amber lugging a butt ton of plants from her backyard to her porch. She said hello, so I stopped to chat and see if she needed help. It looked like she was starting her own landscaping company!

That's a nice neighbor.

She finally felt inspired to work on the new garden she’s been planning for months. She ripped out everything she currently had and was going to put it on the curb as freebies. I offered to pay her because there was a substantial amount of shrubbery, but she refused.

A free garden is a steal.

I wheelbarrowed everything over to my backyard, brought her some pastries as a thank you, and offered cash again to help with her new garden, she refused, and that was that. I spent the weekend with my boyfriend replanting everything, and our backyard looks great! I’ve always wanted to turn my lawn into a lovely garden, so I felt like I struck gold!

Sometimes it is too good to be true.

…Until I got a knock on my door yesterday from her husband. It turns out (he said she permitted him to tell me this) she struggled with bipolar and was going through a manic episode. There is no “new garden” she’s been plotting for months, just a bipolar-induced attack on their backyard that she now regrets.

Brains should not be sad.

She’s too embarrassed to talk to me - I get it, I struggle with depression up the a**hole, and the fewer people I have to explain myself to, the better - but she wants her plants back. That garden was her baby, and she destroyed it in a fit of mania.

OP can sympathize but has a limit.

I’m sad for her because sh*tty decisions when you’re in the mental toilet suck, but everything is already planted in my backyard, and I’m not willing to put in the effort to dig everything up. It’ll look awful, and that’s what they’re dealing with now, but I don't believe it’s my fault. I nicely told him that, and he just said okay and left.

OP is watching her neighbors.

Now when I see them, they completely ignore me. I’ve crossed paths with them thrice since her husband waved, but she didn’t even look at me. I saw them taking soil and compost bags out of their car today, and Amber just looked upset and not at all excited to be working on a new garden.

OP abides by the rule: 'Gimme gimme never gets.'

My boyfriend thinks I should offer to give at least some of them back because, I’m not exaggerating, she gave me a TON of plants. I don’t want her to think she can be rude to me after her mistake and then get what she wants. AITA?

CatteHerder says:

I was all very N T A (Not the A**hole) until you pulled the rude card.

She's not being rude. She's embarrassed and now trying to reconstruct what she destroyed. She's gutted. She feels like sh*t, and while you were under no obligation to return the plants.

It wouldn't have been unreasonable to meet her in the middle and let her reclaim her most precious ones. Y'all might have even collaborated on your garden, and you could've had a good gardening ally.

You aren't technically in the wrong, but your attitude regarding what happened sucks.

Soft YTA (You're the A**hole) for making this about you.

Cocoasneeze says:


I was wavering between N T A and Y T A, but this sealed it for me 'I just don’t want her to think she can be rude to me after her mistake and then get what she wants.'

Lady, you got tons of free plants from your neighbor because she was in the middle of a manic bipolar episode. She's not being rude. She's embarrassed. And hurt. Her not being chipper and friendly with you doesn't translate to rude.

If you want a decent relationship with her, buy a nice houseplant and some more pastries, give them to her, and offer again to pay for the plants.

sadclowncunt says:

YTA, 'but when I realized I'd innocently, accidentally taken advantage of a mentally ill woman, I couldn't be bothered to rectify the mistake. I mean, it would make my garden look bad :(.'

Neighbors that fight over plants together end up on Reddit together.

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