Ms. Demeanor's Vertical Etiquette

Dear Ms. Demeanor: I think my neighbor is stealing my newspaper. How can I stop the thief?

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Question:

Dear Ms. Demeanor, I think my neighbor is stealing my newspaper. How can I stop the thief? Signed, Old School News Junkie

Answer:

Dear Junkie,

How rare that both you and your neighbor prefer killing trees instead of reading the news online. At least you have something in common. 

I remember, way back before digital news, when I was a young mother, I would get up at 6:00 a.m. to feed my baby and hear the paper slap against my front door. A few minutes later, I would hear footsteps and then someone picking up the paper and walking away. By the time I was finished feeding the baby, my paper was back where it belonged. I never found out who was “borrowing” the paper, but I didn’t mind sharing since I always got it back. 

In your case, however, it is stealing not borrowing. I would put a note on the front door asking the person (no names, remember you are not sure) to please return your paper when they are finished with it. If that doesn’t work, I hear those glitter bombs are quite effective. The next time you bump into a neighbor with pink sparkles in their hair, you can confront them directly.

Until then, go digital.

Ms. Demeanor


Dianne Ackerman is the new voice of reason behind Ms. Demeanor. She has lived in her Upper East Side co-op for the past 20 years and is the vice president of her co-op board. She is filled with opinions that she gladly shares with all who ask—and some who do not. Have something that needs sorting out? Drop her an email.