Awkward Neighbor Situation

Updated on May 29, 2012
M.C. asks from Ann Arbor, MI
16 answers

My neighbor who lives two doors down from me is a sweet lady. We talk or say hi when we see one another. We are not super close, but help each other out when needed. She has a boyfriend who comes over regularly. My husband and I have spoken to him here and there. Well, he was outside today and mentioned that he is having his son's high school grad party at my neighbor's house...and invited us to come to the party. We are surprised, but okay. This is going to be a huge event, fullly catered. It's awkward because we do not know his son. The son lives with his mother and rarely comes over. We've seen him around, but that's about it. We have never been introduced or even said hello. To be neighborly, my husband and I decided we would go to the party, but we don't know how much money or gift to give the grad. What do you think?

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Thank you for all the suggestions:)

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answers from Oklahoma City on

Nothing more awkward than the neighbors having a party and not inviting you....

I think it was really nice of them to include you. I would give the kid $20 if I could spare it and just go for a bit then go home. It could be the start of a wonderful friendship.

14 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

$20 included in a "happy graduation" card.

They are being neighborly.
And invited you in person.

13 moms found this helpful

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answers from Seattle on

This how I was raised: if you're going to have a large party, always invite the neighbors.

1) if you don't know them well, it's a chance to meet them socially, and if you do know them well it's rude to exclude them
2) your noise is less annoying, when they are helping make it
3) it gives them a heads up (whether the come or not) about noise, parking, etc.
4) it gives them the opportunity to be elsewhere of a party would bug them
5) it's nice / sociable/ polite/ inclusive/ the 'right' thing to do

17 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

He may have invited you as a courtesy, so if the party got too noisy, you know what was going on and wouldn't call and complain to them or the police.

You don't know the boy and from what you say you do not socialize with your neighbor and her boyfriend is just a visitor. So there is no need to attend if you don't want to, but if you do just take a card (depending on your own budget) a SMALL monitary gift or a AMX gift card so he can spend it anywhere.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Eugene on

Go! Stop in for half an hour. If you meet some interesting people and want to stay longer, then do. Otherwise, show up, eat some good food, thank your neighbors for inviting you and go home.

This doesn't have to be awkward. Meet the son, tell him who you are, congratulate him and give him a card with $20-25 check or gift card. Smile and let him get back to his friends.

It's a party. Go have fun!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I agree, they are trying to be polite - probably no obligation for you to go or bring a gift.

If you want to bring a gift, do something small - if you know his name, perhaps a personalized (ingraved) money clip or something like that. There is a mall store called Things Remembered that has a lot of little things like this which are small but personalized.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Lansing on

It nice of them to be polite and invite you. I would probably give $20 in a nice card. I am not sure if I would attend, but either way would give the card.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Good, that they invited you. It's the neighborly thing for them to invite you. Since you do not know the boy, I wouldn't bring a gift. I doubt that they expect one. I don't see this as awkward.

I would definitely go. That is also the neighborly thing to do.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

We get invites like this. We usually do a card and $20 if we don't know the graduate very well. I wouldn't feel obligated. If you can go, great. If not, no biggy.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

For a kid I didn't know, never met, have no real connection to: I'd probably get a $20 Visa gift card and tell him congratulations. I'm not sure anyone has any reason to expect any more than this.

Yes, this is an awkward situation! I have a young family friend who is graduating this year; I'm going to the graduation ceremony and will be giving her about $50 or so. I think our overall budgets should factor into these decisions, so if you feel that you want to do more, go for it, but don't feel obligated.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

put $20 in the envelope and say congrats. It is one of those things like being invited to the wedding shower of the daughter of the women you sit next to at work. Or the bosses sons wedding etc. If you can do it just say congrats and go have a good lunch.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

I don't think this is awkward...I didn't know 80% of the people at my own graduation party because they were all friends of my parents, and a lot of them didn't know me beyond my name. Graduation parties are weird like that.

Do whatever's in your budget. If you're on the low end, give 10 bucks, if you can afford it, give 20...I think that's enough for someone you don't know and whose parents you aren't close to.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I think he's just trying to be nice & neighborly. I like the suggestions below.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Maybe they invited you so when the party is loud and goes late into the night the cops wont be called because they invited all the neighbors lol

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I would give $50.00. If it was a girl you could get a gift of some sort, but for a
guy, that is much harder. Safer to go with money.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

when our neighbors, with whom we don't have a particularly warm relationship, invited us to their huge beer bash, it was clearly to forestall noise complaints.
we took it for what it was, declined politely, and didn't complain.
sometimes you read between the lines.
:) khairete
S. (life is too short to spend it at events you don't want to attend)

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