DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is it rude for neighbors to use my driveway to turn around in? I was taught to find another way to turn my car around when necessary.
Two of my neighbors think nothing of pulling well into my short little driveway to maneuver their vehicles. One has a pickup truck and pulls into my driveway, halfway up or more, in order to more easily back the truck into their own driveway across the street.
One day, I was standing in my driveway, talking on my phone while I awaited a delivery. Suddenly I noticed the neighbor stopped in the road, waving me to move out of my own driveway so she could turn around in it! (I performed a maneuver I learned from Miss Manners: assumed a vague and uncomprehending look and went back to my phone call.)
I am offended by their behavior and even find it somewhat threatening to the peaceful enjoyment of my tiny home. But do I need to let it go? What does Miss Manners suggest?
GENTLE READER: If every action were either absolutely right or absolutely wrong, Miss Manners could be replaced by a traffic officer.
Whatever the law may say, etiquette recognizes that sometimes it may be necessary, or at least convenient, to use a small part of a driveway to maneuver. But this does not excuse the driver from acknowledging the imposition and the courtesy extended (albeit unknowingly).
If the owner is present, a driver can ask permission; if not, she should minimize the intrusion by being slow enough not to frighten the dog but fast enough not to constitute an extended stay.