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Ask Anyone

getting hosed

Some new neighbors bought the house next door and moved in a month ago. They’re very friendly, and we get along well. They’re really into gardening. The husband is really into his car, and he washes it every weekend. Here’s the rub. Their outdoor hose doesn’t work, so they’ve been borrowing ours. Now it wasn’t a big deal to begin with. My wife was watering our yard, and the new neighbor asked if she could borrow our hose to water her garden. My wife agreed. Since then, they come over, and borrow our hose for everything from watering plants, to washing the car, to giving the dog a bath, to hosing down their driveway. It’s getting a little annoying.

Over the weekend, a truck from a pool company arrived, and they were in their back yard taking measurements for a new pool. I can’t imagine they’re counting on filling up a pool with our hose, but it’s one of these things that’s become so casual that I don’t know how to bring it up. Like I say, they seem nice otherwise, and we don’t want to alienate our new next-door neighbors...but water ain’t free. What should we do?

—Meter Reader

The Straight Skinny: You’ve got a couple of options:

Pre-emptive: When work begins, wander over to your neighbor’s yard and say, “Man, I’d hate to have to fill that thing. Be fun though once it is.”

Self-defeating: Cut your hose in half, so it won’t reach your neighborhood’s backyard.

Passive-aggressive: Post the current municipal water rates over your hose.

Commercial: Draft a lease agreement that spells out tour visitation rights to the pool based on projected seasonal costs to you versus the cost of the pool amortized over the course of it’s lifetime, with a reasonable ground rent factored in.

Seriously, just talk to your neighbor.

The Moviegoer says: I’ve decided that the best solution would be to jokingly say, “Pool? I can’t wait to use it... if you borrow the hose for that; you understand we have 24 hour access, right?” Make sure you’re laughing. Pat him jovially on the back. Either they’ll get their little problem fixed (which I assume they’re doing if they’re getting a pool) or you get free access to the pool without dealing with the upkeep. And if your water isn’t on a meter, you’re not paying for it anyway.

cheater's proof

I’ve been going with a guy for over four years. We seem to really care for each other, but he’s been spending an increasing amount of time with a woman from his office, whom he went out with briefly before I met him. I asked him about this and he said there was nothing happening. Still, I can’t get over the fact that he’s spending all this time with her. Is there something there, or is it just me?

—Troubled Mind

The Source says: There is something there. Otherwise, presumably, they would not have gone out before. However, what’s there may not be nefarious. Most likely it is not; you wouldn’t have stuck by a philanderer for four years, right? But if he is being unfaithful, or even just flirting with infidelity, there’s probably not much you can do to curtail it. Your jealousy and anger will only drive them together. Wait it out, be patient, and keep some faith in your relationship. If it’s strong, your guy spending time with another woman isn’t dangerous, no matter the dark places your imagination takes you.

Dr. Sigmund Fraud says: Well, you can rely on faith if you like. But you should also know that my schedule is filled to overflowing with heartbroken people who lay down on the couch and start off the conversation with something like: “I never saw it coming.” Or, “I never thought this would happen to us.”

I think it’s important that you sit down with a professional you can trust and share some of these fears that are tormenting you. Ask yourself, is he feeling tormented while he’s there at work spending time with his ex...time that he used to spend with you? That you used to spend...together?

There’s no need for you to go through this difficult time alone. I’ve recently come back from Prague with some interesting Orgone box therapies I learned first-hand from a brilliant and beautiful young heiress who was schooled by a protege of Wilhelm Reich on a secluded island near Copenhagen.

Make an appointment at my office and I promise that if we don’t get to the bottom of your insecurities and fears, I will at least make your idle, worried hours pass more quickly for you.

Ask Anyone is local advice for locals with problems. Please send your questions for our panel of experts to

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