Our back garden better resembles a nature preserve. Due to scheduling conflicts (too busy drinking, cavorting, gaming, reading, working, studying, talktalkhelling) we don't have a lot of time to deal with it. So when our downstairs neighbor moved in last fall Mr. Me decided to let him have it. When he told me, the dark mist of 'this isn't going to end well' went down over my eyes. Even though our brownspace wasn't exactly a haven of gardening, it was ours and set definite boundaries. I couldn't put my finger on it but I knew there were problems afoot.
Sure enough, the new neighbor (designated DIY Steve) has started taking liberties. Mr. Me and I moved some paving stones to a small area under a tree so we could have tiny BBQs during the summer. We're not big outside people, crossing that threshold between inside (where we can pretend we don't live in the ghetto) and outside is difficult when you have sub prime examples of humanity all around. Mr. Me told him the only thing not to move were these stones. Leave the area alone.
I'm not the most observant of people. For the most part when it's not mini-BBQ time I'm fairly oblivious to small changes in the local environment. But for the last few weeks I've had a feeling something is missing and today I worked it out. DIY Steve gave our paving stones away to some random family member. This is on top of having a bonfire at 11:30pm last night.
I wish it wasn't true that a vast majority of people will take the mile if given an inch. But it so is. Part of me wants to scream in frustration, part of me wants to live in a cave with nothing to give or take. I dislike being a selfish, closed individual. My nature is to help and be generous but every time someone chips away at my generosity, some part of me just flails and dies.