Thanking Neighbor
October 26, 2016 1:32 PM   Subscribe

Yesterday morning a new neighbor helped prevent the towing of a very large box truck I was borrowing. I'd like to thank him, but I'm stuck on ideas.

So I was borrowing a F-650 box truck from work (if you picture a short semi-trailer truck, you'll have a pretty accurate mental image), and parked it on the street in what I now know is a no-parking area. When the tow truck showed up yesterday morning, our neighbor happened to see it and rang our doorbell for several minutes until I woke up and got up to see what was going on. He saved me at least $50 (possibly $200), the time of tracking down the proper tow lot, and an awkward phone call to my boss explaining how I lost the largest vehicle I've ever driven.

How do I best thank him? I think a case of craft beer is the traditional answer, but I don't really drink so I'd like to find something else. I can do a quick hand written note, but he saved me a lot of time and hassle. What's the best way to say "thank you"?
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug to Human Relations (31 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I'd also do wine or beer, but I enjoy those things. Giving something you don't enjoy seems weird.

Do you bake, or otherwise make portable foods? Failing that, is there a great bakery near you? A box of fresh pastries one morning sure would make ME happy.
posted by uberchet at 1:35 PM on October 26, 2016


Does he like craft beer?
posted by humboldt32 at 1:42 PM on October 26, 2016


Ah, I actually do not know him at all. Beer is just generally a safe bet in Milwaukee, but I just don't generally like giving it, so here we are.

We both bought houses and moved in within a few weeks of each other last month. Collectively between him and our respective spouses, there have maybe been 4 quick driveway conversations since we all seem to work slightly different hours.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 1:48 PM on October 26, 2016


A handwritten note is very nice and rare, so I'd say that's enough. A nice note on nice paper - let him know you appreciate him and although you hope he never needs you to return the favor, at the very least you intend to pay it forward. Put it in the mail if you want to get fancy - everyone appreciates personal mail!

I think a purchased gift is unnecessary. Good neighbors look out for each other.
posted by headnsouth at 1:48 PM on October 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Brownies? Most people like brownies, and even if you don't normally bake you can't screw up a box of Duncan hines mix.
posted by Diablevert at 1:49 PM on October 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'd go with a gift card to maybe a beloved neighborhood restaurant or coffee shop, or Starbucks if all else fails. Like, $25 is a bargain compared to the time and money you could have lost, and will make for a warm relationship.
posted by Lyn Never at 1:55 PM on October 26, 2016 [12 favorites]


How about a thank you note with an invite to come over for coffee/tea or something? This sounds like a great neighbor to know better!
posted by mrcrow at 1:59 PM on October 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


I think a treat bag filled with life savers or English Hero candy would be a fun way to say thank you. As an alternative, you may find even super hero wrapped candy since it's so close to Halloween.
That and a hand written note would make my day.
posted by jennstra at 2:12 PM on October 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


Gift card for a dinner out? Or maybe a wine/liquor store credit in the amount that someone would typically spend for something like this ($15-30 should about cover it unless the dude only drinks scotches with "the" in front of the name)?
posted by Sara C. at 2:16 PM on October 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


A thank you note with a gift certificate for a local pizza or Chinese place.
posted by sparklemotion at 2:30 PM on October 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


The best way I say thanks is I bake a pie.
posted by ReluctantViking at 2:39 PM on October 26, 2016


A Starbucks gift card for $15 or so can make people pretty happy, unless you think the guy would look sideways at Starbucks.
posted by Mid at 2:41 PM on October 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Maple syrup.
posted by InkaLomax at 3:11 PM on October 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Gift card to a local business.
posted by Slinga at 3:36 PM on October 26, 2016


I think a handwritten note is enough, but if you want to give him a physical gift, then in lieu of beer, you could get a case of Sprecher root beer or soda. Or a gift card to Alterra Colectivo.
posted by AFABulous at 3:39 PM on October 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


A box of nice bakery cupcakes.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:25 PM on October 26, 2016


I would actually not give something perishable - who knows if he's diabetic or glucose intolerant or allergic to nuts or just doesn't like brownies (!!). Give him something he can discreetly regift - it's the thought that counts, after all.
posted by AFABulous at 4:29 PM on October 26, 2016


New Glarus Spotted Cow is going to be your go-to "nobody hates it" if you ever do need to give craft beer in Wisconsin.
posted by teremala at 4:30 PM on October 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


Shovel his walk a few times this winter.
posted by mama casserole at 5:46 PM on October 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


Handwritten note with a gift card to a local restaurant. I don't drink and I try to avoid sugar, so if someone gave me beer or baked goods, I'd have to find someone to give it to. (I would definitely appreciate the thought though.) Neighbor could be allergic, vegan, gluten free, or paleo. You just never know.
posted by FencingGal at 5:53 PM on October 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Bullet proof house plant in a nice ceramic pot. Will live for years if you occasionally wink at it. Snake plants/mother in law tongues.

They're not like a chore, can't cause allergies, and avoid the whole alcohol/sugar gift giving thing.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 6:04 PM on October 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Does he have a dog? If so, gift card to a pet store will always be of use.
posted by tatiana wishbone at 6:48 PM on October 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


mama casserole has it. Shovel his walk a few times this winter. I don't drink, and if you give me a six-pack or bottle of wine re-homing it becomes another thing I have to do. My go-to is a Target gift card.
posted by good lorneing at 7:21 PM on October 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Most 'sconnies I know, if they can't give beer they give cheese ya dere hey.
Packer tickets if they delivered the baby, or saved your mom. But a good 12 year cheddar should suffice, or some of that bandaged chedder Willi Lehner makes up in Blue Mounds.
posted by Floydd at 7:31 PM on October 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Go to Trader Joe's or BevMo or CostPlus and put together a gift basket with a little bit of this and a little bit of that (small packages of crackers, cheese, chocolates, hot sauces, olives, dried fruits, salsas, chutney, etc).

That way if they have any restrictions, they can still take it to work and share, and enjoy the parts they like.

Add a hand written thank you card and you are good to go.
posted by metaseeker at 7:52 PM on October 26, 2016


I don't think it matters if he drinks beer or wine or eats whatever. It is the thought that counts. I would write a nice note and use the situation to invite him and his spouse over for coffee/beer/tea/cake/whatever one Saturday.
posted by AugustWest at 9:47 PM on October 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


What AugustWest said. A thank you is warranted, but you're neighbors now, so no need to get into some kind of gift giving spiral. They did something nice, but that's just what good neighbors do. I'm sure you would do the same for them without the expectation of some kind of reward.

My advice is to drop by later this week, thank them, and invite them to come over for coffee/drinks/bbq/whatever sometime soon that works for both of you, so you can get to know each other a bit better - at the very least, you have "recently moved to the neighborhood" as something in common to talk about. Having good neighbors is awesome, but you don't need to be bffs in order to be good neighbors, so if it turns out that they're not your kind of people, that's okay too (you can still be good neighbors!).
posted by finding.perdita at 1:03 AM on October 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


Which craft beer? There are about a million custom flavors, and I don't like 95% of them. To answer your question, bad idea unless you know a specific beer that he likes.
posted by JimN2TAW at 10:29 AM on October 27, 2016


JimN2TAW, like teremala said, New Glarus Spotted Cow is always the correct answer in Wisconsin. You're excused from knowing this because you can't buy it outside the state, but trust us.
posted by AFABulous at 1:49 PM on October 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


New Glarus Spotted Cow is always the correct answer in Wisconsin

The New Glarus sampler pack was what I was picturing as I typed the question, so as a non-drinker I'm feeling pretty good about my beer trivia knowledge right now.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 2:17 PM on October 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


A thank you is warranted, but you're neighbors now, so no need to get into some kind of gift giving spiral. They did something nice, but that's just what good neighbors do. I'm sure you would do the same for them without the expectation of some kind of reward.

That idea has come up when I've asked a few other people for their thoughts, and I think it makes a lot of sense. I'll go with the written note, mention that him going the extra mile to get me to answer the door was really appreciated, and that we hope we can return the favor.

I do have to admit that the life saver thing is funny, though. If I see any at the store tonight I might need to grab a package.

Thanks, everyone. Much appreciated.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 2:19 PM on October 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


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