Just a quick Christmas message for my neighbors that I will never actually send or even post passive aggressively on the elevator door with various items underlined and highlighted.
Dear Condo Neighbors-
I just wanted to take this opportunity to let you know what I would like for Christmas.
In lieu of cookies and toys left in the location where my welcome mat would be if it were not against condo regulations – gifts that will inevitably make me feel guilty and uncomfortable cause I didn’t get you shit…again…just like the last 3 years – I would request that I get one year of kindness. I would enjoy a year of you NOT marching into my living room and demanding to know when I will be done using the washer. Have you met Pip? Have you seen what he does to his clothing? I’m gonna be in there awhile. You are retired and you have time. Go knit something…but don’t give it to me for Christmas.
If you can’t muster that one up, the annual meeting of the condo association is coming up in a month. Perhaps this one could last less than an hour. And perhaps we could refrain from even mentioning everyone’s favorite topic “How do we keep college students off our property?” Here are the top 6 reasons why further discussion of this topic is unnecessary:
1) We have already had this discussion and it has proven itself to be completely fruitless at every single annual meeting and at all the monthly meetings I attended during my short, painful time on the board of the association. Every idea has been bandied about. Everyone’s feelings have been made perfectly clear. If it gets brought up again, I’m turning it into a drinking game. It’s the only way I’ll get through the meeting.
2) They don’t read signs. They don’t. They are college kids. Did you read signs when you were in college? Right. It is a college student’s job to do stupid, illegal things and then call their parents to send the fees to get their cars out of impound. That’s how it works. Those huge ugly towing signs are not being read by the college students. If you put up two more ugly signs, there will be two more signs being ignored by the college students. But I will see them and notice how ugly they are EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
3) Other than signs, the ideas of fences and chains and electric rods or whatever you are going to bring up for the 900th time are stupid. All of them. The NU students would be embarrassed to live in such close proximity to someone so stupid as you. I will want to kick you in the teeth. And I will be wearing my combat boots instead of my usual shuffling down to the meeting 10 minutes late in my socks. So watch out.
4) Some of those kids are eye candy for me and I have absolutely no problem with them loitering near my car. It is occasionally a highlight of my day. Meanwhile, you people are all really, really old and something has to offset the fact that I have to look at ya’ll on a regular basis as well.
5) Specifically to Dickweed Pinbrain two floors down (eh…let’s just call him Dan…cause that’s his name) the security car that sometimes picks up or drops students off in our parking lot is a service that keeps people safe. As someone who is both a mother of kids who will someday (I hope) be in college and as someone who often walked home alone past midnight on a college campus where Ted Bundy killed a whole bunch of sorority girls, I hold that car in really high esteem. Your suggestion that when it is idling in our parking lot we should block it in and call the police is horrifying to me. That vehicle keeps these kids safe. These kids are our neighbors and we want them to be safe – even if some of them occasionally use our dumpsters. And that car also picks up kids who are too drunk to drive and that keeps YOU safer, Tool. So instead of screaming at the guy, you might want to thank him. And, while I’m on the topic, that car is not the “Student Escort Service.” That would be something totally different. Every time you say that, I have to bite my tongue to keep from giggling because sometimes I am a teenage boy.
6) You had to know that there would be students around when you purchased your condo. You had to. Because this is Evanston and we are on the edge of the NU campus and this condo is called UNIVERSITY CONDOMINIUMS. There were clues available to you and you should have sussed out the truth. So this is where you are. This is where you live. “Be happy in the life you’ve chosen.” – that was my line once when I played Belle in a version of A Christmas Carol. I like it. And the fact that she says it to Scrooge makes it all the more fitting right here.
Look, this has been a rough year. Not just for me – though it has been a particularly rough one for me - but, in general, life is not easy. You cannot underestimate the value of the gift of patience and kindness. A little tolerance goes such a long way. The Golden Rule should continue to apply even after your mom is no longer around to remind you. And maybe it’s time to recognize that if we WANT good neighbors, we may first have to BE good neighbors. THAT’s what I want from you. Save your money and ship those nasty cookies to your nephew in California. What I want will cost you nothing and I think you may even find that it’s a gift that gives you more than it gives to others. Or you may continue to be miserable until the vitriol that is coursing through your veins causes your heart to explode and no one notices except your cats and you aren’t found until you fail to show up for the 2014 condo board meeting where you were sorely missed during the discussion about keeping the college students off our property.
I’m actually cool with either of those scenarios. I’m tolerant like that.
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