Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Butterfly Effect

There’s a chaos theory, known as the Butterfly Effect, which says small changes result in large differences.

The small change of looking across the quad, seeing an empty unit where maintenance man and wife use to live, has made a difference in that the quad feels less joyous, less the cohesive unit it’s been.

Maintenance man, his wife, and Nosey Neighbor were best friends. I can tell Nosey Neighbor is lonely without them because she’s always on her patio now, annoying … I mean chatting up anyone and everyone who passes by.

There’s a new senior complex going up a few miles away. My downstairs neighbor -- here only two years, is already planning to move in upon completion; so I’m wondering if maintenance man and his wife have plans to move from their son’s home into that complex and, if so, will Nosey Neighbor follow.

That’s a thing in the senior community, you know. Neighbors follow neighbors to new buildings.

I don’t see much of my depressed next door neighbor. I hear her coming in occasionally, but she hates it here and, thus, stays away as much as possible.

During that long talk I had with her, I learned her depression and hatred of being here, has less to do with us and more to do with the circumstances she finds herself in. To use her words, “I’m a very cultured woman”. The long and the short of it is, she can’t relate to us every day common folks.

Possessing a Master’s Degree in Education, she formerly held a powerful position as a State Commissioner, which put her in the position of being on the go, hanging out at fancy places, attending fancy events, hobnobbing with the rich and powerful.

I don’t know what circumstances have positioned her at this simple level of living, but she can’t adjust to simple, travels most days to Los Angeles to “be with my friends … hang out at The Grove … network”.

Not interested in putting her Master’s Degree to use as a volunteer, the networking she’s involved in has to do with trying to get back into paid employment at the high important level she previously enjoyed but says,  no one will hire her because of her age.

I don’t know about age being her limitation. I’m thinking its less age and more attitude; and just maybe “snobby attitude” is the lesson in life she’s here to learn.

Adding to my sense of “attitude” is the fact she did not come to us directly from North Carolina, as previously thought. Before she moved in here, she was living locally with her son and his wife. Respecting it was her daughter-in-law’s house, she kept out-of-the-way in her room, and was surprised one day when daughter-in-law announced, “You are the laziest woman I’ve ever seen” and, again to use her words, “threw me out”.

The son, who I’ve seen here twice, is “happy with his wife” so mom had to go. It was he who found this complex -- where she could afford to live, rather than send her to an upscale area she prefers but can’t afford.

Oh well.

I’m still content, but there’s no telling what further changes this butterfly effect will bring. I don’t like change, but I’m open to it, so we’ll see.

The vacant unit is a two bedroom, so I doubt it will remain empty for long. I fully expect Nurse Ratched will move another relative into the unit, perhaps even move in herself.

Christmas Day fast approaching, with so many people out and about making last minute preparations, I’ve been unable to find a quiet unoccupied spot to plant Random Acts of Christmas Cheer. So it looks like that adventure has come to an end.

I’ve no special plans for the coming week and/or Christmas Day. Apache is having a Christmas Eve soiree. His sister is making tamales and he’s issued a blanket invitation to all. I’m not interested in attending, but only because I can make my own tamales and I can make them healthy – no lard, no cheese, organic Bob’s Red Mill masa.

Speaking of which, I thought I might make tamales for New Years, freeze them and have days and weeks of handy frozen meals, but it looks like everyone in this and surrounding areas is on a health kick because Bob’s is all sold out. There are plenty other brands available, but I’m only interested in the organic brand. If I order Bob’s online, the cost of a one pound bag is just $4.00, but shipping is $11.00 and I can’t trust the post office to get delivery right.

I happened to be leaving the complex when the mailman arrived day before yesterday, so I asked him about checking all the lockboxes. He said he did.

So I concluded the key must have been placed in the wrong mailbox, and that person wasn’t honest enough to turn the two packages in.

He accepted he was the one on duty that day, that he made the deliveries, but as to putting the lockbox key in the wrong mailbox, “That doesn’t happen”. Meaning, he doesn’t make mistakes.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the 8th Wonder of the World, an infallible human being, a man who is incapable of making a mistake.


  1. Your hoity-toity neighbor is probably right. Being of a certain age makes it very hard to get a job. It also sounds like she is not a very happy person which can make it even harder.

    1. She does seem to enjoy being miserable. Kinda reminds me of that Peanuts character that walks around in a dust cloud.