Hello. I know I haven't written since the election. As you can imagine, I'm quite pleased. I just haven't been able to completely process the event. I tend to shut down.
Living 150 feet from the President Elect of the United States of America is very different from living 150 feet from a presidential candidate. We live within the perimeter, so our dry-cleaner has to have his van scanned and checked by bomb-sniffing dogs before he can deliver my shirts. One need carry identification at all times -- even when walking the dog -- because you never know when it will be requested of you.
The Secret Service is supposed to set up a command-center hotline so we can call to put expected guests "on the list". The problem is, they haven't set up that line and they don't have anyone assigned to keep the list. I'm having a bunch of people for Shabbat dinner on Friday -- they said I should make a list and give them several copies in advance. I wanted to ask them if this was the first time they had protected a President, but I didn't think it was prudent to mess with a guy who, while looking like Anderson Cooper, I knew to be a highly-trained killer.
All in all, I'm glad they are protecting President-Elect Obama, and, while I may grumble at the thoughtlessness which has accompanied their implementation, I won't complain if they go overboard. As long as the President-Elect is alive and safe, I'll grin and bear it.
So, what is upsetting?
We live in a 9-unit condo building. Two units recently changed hands. The unit above ours is now owned by a lovely couple and their 1 year-old son, and I am glad to have them around.
The other unit that sold is another story. It is another couple -- both from Sri Lanka, I believe -- and their 7-year-old daughter. I have known the mom for 10 years -- she teaches in the pre-school at Norbert's school. She is a genuinely pleasant person, and I like her very much.
Her husband may be one of the most disagreeable, ugly, rude, dismissive, hateful people I have come across. they have only lived in the building since September, but from the first moment I have disliked him.
The first time I met him, he came for an obligatory meeting with Myfanwe -- the president of the Condo Association -- which is required before a prospective owner can close on a unit. I, as you can imagine, brought out a pot of coffee and a plate of cookies as soon as I heard the bell. When I came into the room, he said, "I don't have time for this foolishness. I have somewhere to be. Let's get this over with."
NOBODY calls my cookies "foolishness".
Since early October, this man has been calling to argue over the heat. It isn't hot enough for him. He calls and leaves long, ugly messages on the voice mail. He calls during Shabbat to yell at me. Everyone gives him the same answer -- the heat is set at 71 degrees, none of the other units are cold -- in fact some of the units are too hot, there was never a complaint by the old unit-owner, and we can't raise the heat because one tenant isn't pleased. We already spend 40% of our association budget on heating.
Today I had to listen to a 30 minute argument he had with Myfanwe over the phone. It made me VERY upset. And I have to see him in the building. I don't know how to respond. I want to just be rude and ignore him, but I wasn't raised that way. Oh dear. What to do?