Dear Amy: The elderly lady across the street, who has always been a little crotchety, has now utterly lost it. She prowls the neighborhood looking for "COVID violations."
Two neighbors talking from opposite sides of the street get 10 minutes of screaming profanities because, in her mind, social distancing means not socializing at all.
She has called the police on another neighbor so many times that she's forbidden to do it again. The reason? There were three cars parked in his driveway. He has his daughter's family staying with him, which she considers "a party."
My parents came over for my father's birthday and she called the police on us, reporting an "unsafe large gathering spreading the virus."
She has also called the police on lone joggers without a mask and gloves, even though she doesn't wear them.
She has now set up video cameras around her lawn, one of which is pointing directly at our house. She has commented that she can see in our windows and has berated us for not wearing a mask and gloves — in our own home!
My husband suggested we start mooning out the window. I would prefer a solution that doesn't involve her having photos of our backsides. I also don't want to be forced to keep the curtains closed. How can we reason with the unreasonable?
Amy says: The answer is: You cannot reason with the unreasonable. So don't try. You might be able to get that camera off your house, however.
You should research state laws regarding privacy and video. You don't necessarily have an expectation of privacy while in your yard or driveway, but you do inside your own home. Contact a lawyer regarding your legal remedies.
Based on what you describe, this neighbor seems to have gone round the bend. The pandemic has proved a trigger for various mental illnesses, and if she has dementia (for instance), she may be fixated on the risks she irrationally believes surround her.
Live your life. Do not "moon" her. Stay calm and polite if forced to interact with her. Imagine what it must feel like to be in such a state of rage over things you cannot control. Avoid her and (if possible) feel sorry for her.
About sexual orientation
Dear Amy: You missed an important point when you responded to a reader about bisexuality. Sexual orientation doesn't end with marriage.
I have come out as bi/pan, even though I have been in a seemingly straight relationship with my husband for more than 20 years. It is part of who I am and doesn't go away with a ring on my finger.
Claiming my whole identity helps others, yes, but it also helps me.
Signed, Rena Dubin (use my name — it's pride month!)
Amy says: Thank you (and every month is Pride Month!)
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