Ask Amy: Police should check out 'fishy' neighbors

November 1, 2013 

Dear Amy: My husband and I are concerned that something fishy is going on with our upstairs neighbors.

A few weeks ago one of the occupants moved out and a new one moved in. Since then, there have been a lot of strange goings-on. I've come home multiple times (mostly at night) to find the door ajar. I asked that it remain closed for security reasons (we are on the ground floor), and now we can hear a steady stream of guests being buzzed in at all hours of the night. There is a mysterious lockbox on the fence, and there are sometimes strange people loitering outside the front door.

We believe they are selling drugs. Our landlords have investigated the situation and haven't uncovered anything strange, but we aren't convinced. Short of moving, what can we do about this?

— Wary neighbor

Dear Wary: You don't have to fully investigate the goings-on in your building in order to call the police. Investigating is their job.

It is hard to fathom why your landlord isn't curious about a "mysterious lockbox" on the fence outside your entrance. If there are groups of people gathering at the entrance and people coming and going at all hours, you should report this to the police and ask them to drive by to take a look.

Dear Amy: When my mother was dying, she asked a lifelong family friend to be like a sister to me because my own two siblings were always mean to me, and my mother knew they would continue to be after she was gone.

The friend, an only child, was great for about four years, but then she stopped returning my calls and once went several months without contacting me.

Every time I want to go home, she is conveniently unable to see me and she tells me whoppers about her guest room being unavailable.

How should I handle this? Why did she make the promise to my mother if she was not going to keep it? It is heartbreaking because I have no family ties left.

— Heartbroken

Dear Heartbroken: It is a tough truth to impart, but I have to tell you now that nobody owes you anything. People make promises and break them. You may feel wounded, hurt, upset and depleted, but you simply cannot make someone give you what she doesn't want to give.

Your job in life is to look after yourself and to find ways to get what you need — emotionally and otherwise — so that you live your best possible life, without being mired in anger and hurt over the past.


You can contact Amy Dickinson via email at, follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.

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