Is it too late to complain about neighbor’s annoying habit?

Dear Amy: We live in a quiet cul-de-sac. Our homes are spread apart, and noise has never been an issue.

Our next-door neighbor is a sweet widow.

When the pandemic hit, her thirtysomething son “Brad,” who worked in the restaurant industry, moved in with her to make ends meet after his restaurant was shut down.

He has a car that has been modified to be very, very loud. You can hear it coming from almost a mile away.

Their garage is right next to our master bedroom. Brad has a habit of starting the car and sitting for up to 30 minutes before he leaves the driveway.

He will also sit for an extended period before he turns off the car when he arrives home, which – because of his shift – is often in the middle of the night.

We didn’t say anything initially, believing Brad’s tenancy was only temporary.

But it’s been three years now, and he recently purchased another vehicle – one that is louder than the first!

Because we have waited so long, I feel bad saying something, and struggle with what to say.

What should we do?

Vroomed Out

Dear Vroomed Out: Most towns have noise ordinances, and Brad’s hot rod is likely violating yours.

Tolerance is a virtue, but so is speaking frankly about an issue when it first comes up. This gives everyone the benefit of making adjustments.

I assume that Brad’s car bothers everyone in the area as he circles the cul-de-sac at night and then sits with the motor running (this also likely violates a local ordinance). And imagine the impact on his mother!

So – tell him now. Say, “Brad, we appreciate having you as a neighbor, but our bedroom is right next to your garage. Your new car is even louder than your previous car, and you sometimes run the engine for several minutes right underneath our window. I should have said something sooner, but can you be more aware of the impact on us?”

That’s the friendly first attempt. Depending on his response, you might need to rev up your efforts.

Dear Amy: I am incredibly hurt by not being invited to either of my two employees’ baby showers.

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