So, when a conflicted woman decided to consult the moral compass of the internet otherwise known as Reddit's 'Am I the As*hole' over a nutty neighborhood debacle, people were quick to help deem a verdict.
My wife and I moved out of the city and bought a small acreage a year ago. We’ve been saving for years to live a life that was free of HOAs/restrictions.The first week after we moved in we had a lot of people stop by- one of them was “Amanda”. Almost immediately she appeared distressed.
She asked why we had peanuts on our patio. We explained that we put them out for the birds and squirrels she explained that her 11-year-old son had an severe allergy to nuts and could we please stop. As she explained it, birds and squirrels could drop or hide nuts close to her house, a few roads over.
I will admit, I got my back up a bit because we had purposefully moved to a rural area to get away from restrictions, but my wife convinced me it wasn’t a big deal and we could just switch to seeds.
We did just so and while the birds don’t visit as much, I figured it was an okay compromise for the sake of a little boy. We only see Amanda in passing ever since, but are always cordial with each other.
The big issue came 2 weeks ago. I recently started selling things at the local market— eggs, peacock feathers, fruit from our fruit trees, my wife’s crafts, and walnuts from the trees on our land. We’ve been providing a pretty solid addition to our income. 2 weeks ago, Amanda came pounding on our door.
My wife, who is very non-confrontational, answered and Amanda demanded to see our walnut trees as she had heard from a neighbor that they were on our land. My wife admitted we had about 10 but made up an excuse saying she had to leave for an appointment. Before leaving Amanda exclaimed, “10?! Well, obviously they’ll need to be cut down. Tsk, tsk, we’ve already had this discussion.”
This week Amanda showed up while I was home with a petition (less than 20 names) demanding we cut down our trees. My rationale was the trees were decades old and if he hasn’t encountered the nuts yet, it would be unlikely he would in the future. She was obviously very angry and said, “If I had known about them they wouldn’t be decades old.”
She threatened to bring her petition to the local authorities and call the police for “public endangerment.' I admit, I got angry and was a bit snarky saying that a mature walnut tree in our area goes for about $500, so if she wanted to offer $5000 plus the income I plan to make from the nuts every year plus the cost of an arborist to remove them.
I would consider it. She left angrily and yelled I would hear from the police, which I haven’t.
My wife is on my side but thinks I was an a**hole about how I said, “No.' A few of our neighbors have said they think Amanda is an a**hole but that I’m also an as*hole because the boy could suffer an allergic reaction because of a few trees I’m being “pigheaded” about. Just hoping others could weigh in.
Edit: Her son has allergies to peanuts, nuts, eggs, and shellfish. Our local grocery keeps nuts in sealed containers and the school is completely nut free. I’m a woman, as well.
NTA (Not the A**hole). Amanda sounds nuts. It’s unrealistic to expect someone several streets away to cut down trees she didn’t even know about for years.
NTA. Amanda is out of her tree. The biggest nut her child needs protection from is Amanda. Just tell her to leaf you alone or you’ll branch out to other allergens. Seriously, we raised kids with allergies, carried epi pens and all that. I hope you live where you can get a restraining order.
NTA. Listen, I have a pretty severe nut allergy and I grew up on a walnut and hazelnut farm. Unless I want to roll in the nuts I'm in no danger. I don't pretend to know how bad this kid's allergies are, but forcing the entire neighborhood to go nut free for the sake of her kids sounds super over-the-top.
Besides, peanuts aren't nuts--they're legumes. If her kid is allergic to nuts she should know the difference. He could have both nut and legume allergies, but you still shouldn't have to restrict what is served (or grown) on your own property.
NTA but do start documenting all interactions with her. This is gonna get worse before it gets better.
Everyone agreed unanimously here that this woman isn't at all wrong to keep her trees and backyard the way they are, especially when a walnut incident with her neighbor's son has yet to occur. Good luck, everyone!