Getting mail is always so much fun, right? That’s usually the case, unless the envelope has an IRS return address or is a bill. When I was growing up, back in the stone age when email was a pipe dream conceived in a dime store science fiction novel, my brothers and I fought to be the privileged one to be asked to retrieve the mail from the mailbox each day. There might be a treasure waiting, a postcard from a cousin visiting the Badlands or a letter or a prize from a cereal box contest win.. or a secret decoder wheel from Ovaltine! The Ovaltine thing never happened.. I am not THAT old.
I thought about those days gone by this morning as I contemplated a piece of mail received in last night’s mail, an envelope with no return address, my name and address handwritten on the front, multiple stamps carefully stuck in a line on the front right corner. Was it a secret admirer ready to declare her desire from afar? My check from a Nigerian prince who couldn’t help but share his immense wealth with me? An offer to star in George Clooney’s life story (it could happen)? Alas, the post office stamp revealed that the envelope had been mailed from the post office down the street from my condo. It had not been mailed from a far away admirer, a Nigerian prince, or George Clooney.
As it turned out, the mystery envelope had originated from a source that I should have been able to guess, a person so close to me that they could have made the contents into a paper airplane and air mailed it to me — Terese, my downstairs darling, the nitpicker of my heart. It’s been a while since she has formally declared her admiration, although she has bellowed a few exclamations of her deep desire in my direction lately.
It’s possible she is jealous of my “lady friend”. I am offended, however, or maybe I should be honored that she is hiding her passion, carefully wording this letter to conceal her true feelings. My heart is warmed knowing that she thinks of me as three legged (think about that one for a second). Terese had help writing this letter, judging from the polite language. That is not normally her style. Control is her style and it’s still the reason for this letter. A few seconds of tap tap tap once or twice a month is not a reason to mail a letter of complaint to your neighbor.
Wait, how does she know it was my lady friend? Uh oh. Now I know why it seems like my grandpa’s eyes have been following me. Maybe I should hang that picture somewhere else. A friend of mine suggested that I should dress in stilettos and drag, go downstairs to apologize. That would keep her guessing! It might also give her another reason to complain. Our condo association rules don’t contain a clause that forbids cross dressing, at least I don’t think so.
She apparently travelled into the future to write this letter. The DeLorean in her driveway should have been a tip off. As my ever alert friend Mummalunga, observed, there just might be a tardis concealed under that tarp my neighbor has mounted under my balcony.
Shoes will be removed promptly every Saturday night (date night) upon entering my condo. They usually are, but truthfully I have not reminded her as of late to remove her shoes, cognizant of the noise they are making but not really caring if my oversensitive neighbor is bothered. Had she been polite to me from the beginning of my residency in my stately manor, I might be more inclined to be more polite to her. That is not the best policy, I know, so I will try to comply within reason — until the next attempt to control comes from below.
It’s sad, really. I would prefer a good relationship with my neighbors, of which I do have with my other neighbors, where all she would need to do is let me know that every once in a while something is bothering her. Attempts to talk with her have always turned to hostility, so I know that can’t happen. Ironically, two weekends ago, my other upstairs neighbor placed a nice bottle of wine in front of the doorstep of their three neighbors, with a note apologizing for the noise they have made while renovating their unit. That was very cool.
Terese is obviously tip toeing, maybe even trying to start a paper trail. She has curtailed her screeches. She mailed this letter instead of taping it to my door. Perhaps this letter was suggested by a lawyer, condo property management, or by the condo association board. Either way, she has pushed her luck and knows it. Constant complaining has weakened the strength of her complaints.