New Bedford ‘My Neighbor Is a Karen’ Sign Explained
Moving back to New Bedford has been nothing but entertaining, to say the least. There's always something happening, good and bad, and sometimes it even gets a little weird.
Thanks to Fun 107 listener Samantha Laubenstein, we were contacted about a house in the West End of New Bedford that had a very unorthodox sign hanging from the fence. The sign reads "My Neighbor Is A Karen" and it's unclear who the neighbor actually is since it was a corner house and the sign could be aimed at numerous tenants and house owners. Either way, you may have seen or heard about this story on Facebook.
That's when I decided to roll up my sleeves and do a little digging.
As I approached the area where the sign was, an older woman was sitting on her front porch smoking a cigarette, minding her own business. I had asked if she was aware of the sign and if she knew who it was referring to as a "Karen."
For the record, if you're not caught up on what a "Karen" is, it's normally referred to someone as being a complainer, an instigator, or doesn't get their way so they put themselves above all others until they do. That, in a nutshell, is my own shortened version.
"Yes, they're referring to us," she said, as she pointed to her son, whom she said is her caretaker.
I pulled my van over and she began to tell me her side of the story. As we were chatting, the other neighbor – who I would soon learn was the one who hung the sign in the first place – came over and agreed to talk as soon as I got the older woman's side of the story.
"Thank you for your time, ma'am," I said and concluded my interview. I then proceeded to meet with the woman next door. Just as I expected, each side of the story went against the other, and without actual proof, I will not be listing the numerous complaints and feuds they've shared with me about each other.
What I can mention are a few things:
- This feud originated when cars were blocking the older woman's driveway. There's a hair salon across the street and she was having issues with people blocking her driveway. I can understand this, as you're not supposed to park in front of someone else's driveway.
- As soon as I pulled up, surrounding neighbors were yelling and calling her "Karen" from their windows. I saw it and heard it myself. She paid no attention and went on telling her side of the story.
- The person who put up the sign has lived at that location for several years, whereas the older woman and her son have only been there for five months.
- Unfortunately, there is no law that states that you can not hang a sign that reads "My Neighbor Is A Karen" when it's on your own property.
- Yes, the police were called to the scene multiple times to deal with the blocking of the driveway, and also when the sign was posted.
There's obviously some bad blood between the two neighbors with a back-and-forth "he said, she said," I informed them both that I will not be taking any sides but wanted to hear from both of them. Yes, there are issues with parking throughout the city of New Bedford and for the most part, any city in general. That's the nature of the beast and you have to know what you're signing up for before moving here – especially when you buy a house, and everyone should know by now that you own the house, not the street in front of it.
The owner of the sign stated that she will be keeping her sign up and has no plans of taking it down. She has two children that are her world who she's just trying to look after and keep safe. As for the neighbors who are being referred to as the "Karens," they plan on just keeping to themselves so as not to further escalate the situation, but are still upset about the sign and how it is affecting their mental health.
Both parties were very polite when I spoke to them and my only wish is that the hard feelings could get hashed out. With all the negativity in the world, "love thy neighbor" should always be practiced.