Wednesday, November 28, 2018

They Broke It

Even though, after having the Jeep Renegade for 11 months, I've only logged in 3500 miles, I took the car in for its first Required Service because, even though the mileage wasn’t there and won’t be there cause I don’t drive that much, I felt uneasy. With my last car ─ the Saturn I gifted to granddaughter, it was take it in for checking oils, fluids, battery, tires every six months.
The dealership was very busy at 9:00 this morning, and the service advisor suggested I could wait even longer, that I only had to bring her in once-a-year. But no, said I. After all, it’s almost been a year already and then there was that uneasy feeling.
So, they checked her in, I sat patiently in the waiting room, getting in some reading time (still trying to finish Bob Woodward’s Fear) and, just like I said the book is so slow and dull that it puts me to sleep at home, I began falling asleep at the dealership and had to fight to stay alert and awake.
Oddly enough, I’m at the part of the book where Rob Porter tries to impress on the Orange Idiot that imposing a tariff on steel will have a negative impact on auto manufacturers which will flow down to the workforce. Of course, the idiot’s ego wouldn't allow him to see the big picture, so now we have this GM thing happening ─ just as Porter predicted.
Along about 10:30, the service advisor approached.
Thinking to myself, “Well, that didn’t take too terrible long”, I closed the book, reached for my belongings, moved to stand up/get ready to go, when the service advisor stopped me with a look on his face that one only sees in the physician’s office when there’s bad news to be dispensed.
“I’m so sorry”, he says. “This has never happened before”.
Evidently, the mechanic had a difficult time getting the oil pan plug out. Service advisor says it probably wasn’t a good fit at the factory, but the robot, programmed to get it in there, jammed it in.
After considerable effort, the mechanic was able to get it out, but stuff came out with the plug ─ I think he said wires, he may have said filaments, but I’m not sure. Bottom line is the plug was stripped.
They broke it. Broke my new car. Have to replace the entire oil pan, and the part or parts need to be ordered.
Might come in Friday, might not come in until next week. In the meantime, “We have to keep your car”.
You wouldn’t believe how calm and detached I was at the news.
Probably because I was half asleep.
At any rate, the repair is covered under warranty, as is the use of the Jeep Cherokee rental.
The Service Advisor couldn’t have been more apologetic, the entire dealership warm, friendly, helpful so, by the time all was said and done, even though I wasn’t back on the road heading home until nearly noon, I’m good.
And speaking of the Saturn ... granddaughter called me in October to say the car I took such meticulous care of for 14 years and gifted to her had been in an accident.
She wasn’t hurt, the other (at fault) driver wasn’t hurt, the Saturn is drivable, but it lost a piece of the back door.
In Long Beach for Thanksgiving, I had the opportunity to view the damage for myself.

“How in the world did she manage to hit you so low”, asked I of granddaughter.
“She was coming into the traffic circle the wrong way. I saw her coming and swerved to try to avoid the hit”.
Such is life.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Pizza Tuesday

Hearing emergency vehicles coming in/out of the complex multiple times a day last three/four days and so out-of-touch with what’s happening outside the door of my unit that I haven’t a clue as to what’s going on, thought I’d check in with the seniors this Pizza Tuesday to catch up.
“Sick people” is what I’m told the sirens have been all about.
The occasional siren coming through every few days or weeks is not unusual at this senior complex. But neither is all day every day this time of year unusual because ─ the cold weather, seasonal depression, seniors become ill and some make a subconscious decision they’ve had enough, don’t want to face another year, and check out of life between Thanksgiving and the New Year.
It’s a phenomenon I’ve seen played out many times since moving here, and it makes my heart hurt so much that I’ve thought maybe I should live around younger more active adults.
This complex is listed as Active Seniors, but management is bringing in more and more residents who aren’t.
A new senior complex is going up behind that new shopping center I drive tobecause produce is fresher than the corner market (even though it’s the same chain).

This is the area where there’s a Sprout’s on one corner and new homes cropping up in previous vacant land across from Sprout’s.

Pokémon Go Gym, Sprout's Parking Lot

Through the clock tower (first photo) leads to the back of the shopping center and site of the new complex.

Notice of Filing Design Review for Senior Apartment Community 140 Units

There’s a walking trail right behind where the new complex is going up, my nail salon is in that area, as are the bank and Victoria Gardens Mall.
The Fire Department (which happens to be a Pokéstop, which is how I happened to see the notice) is so close to site of the new complex that they’d not need to use the siren, move the truck. Just walk next door to attend to seniors in distress.

Fire Department

Sounds like Paradise, and I’m of course, keeping an eye on what progresses, but it’s going to take a lot more than having to watch too much infirmity, illness and death here to get me to move because it’s financially beneficial for me to remain where I am. My rent is half, and in some cases a third, of what other so-called Affordable Senior Communities are charging ─ and the area where this new complex is slated for is definitely a pricey area.
Some of the units, in pricier communities, I’ve found not nearly as nice as my unit. In fact, two of the so-called Luxury Senior housing communities, in the Inland Empire area, have had a problem with bed bugs spreading from unit to unit. One complex was in the news last year because it was billing the residents $2300 for eradication for a bed bug problem which, because management did not handle the initial infestation, began spreading through the complex.
Not to mention I get along with my neighbors here. That’s notwithstanding the weird girl underneath my unit who doesn’t like me, but it’s not personal. She’s quiet, doesn’t bother me in any manner and she doesn’t like any of us because she doesn’t like people and we all qualify as people.
Neighbor disputes are a big problem at some senior housing communities. It’s nipped in the bud here ─ like the time one neighbor chased another down the pathway with a broom. Both were evicted because that’s the rule ─ if two neighbors get into a dispute, which can’t be resolved, both are evicted. Then there was the time one neighbor egged the unit of another and that time a neighbor planted a snake at the door of The Baker’s unit, knocked and ran, so that, when she opened her door, she was met by a snake.
She says she screamed, slammed the door, called her son ─ who came and removed the snake.
She had an idea of who planted the snake, never gave me the person’s name, and never reported to management because she had no proof it was he.
Neighbor disputes of a racist nature, like when one old lady didn’t like the idea of Handsome Man moving into the unit beneath hers because he’s Black, made his life miserable by calling him the N word and dropping pots and pans on the floor to disturb his peace.
In that situation, there was a meeting with management, Handsome Man and the old lady, resulting in Handsome Man relocating to a friendlier quad.
Not only do I get along with neighbors, but management is not a problem for me.
I’m a rule follower, always have been so, so management doesn't bother meunlike others around here who signed the lease, initialed the rules, but then go about doing as they please and get dinged by management.
Even Head Maintenance Guy has gotten over being pissy with me. He now smiles, waves and is cooperative when I have a work order.
I’ve researched the management group involved in that new complex. 
They manage multiple affordable income units, one other Senior “Luxury” Community, and reviews are 2.2 out of 5.
Not good.
I’ve so many reasons not to chance a new complex, new neighbors, that I’ve no plans to move unless the Universe shows me by signs that it wills it to be so, but I will go to the grand opening, check the new place out.
I never got around to shampooing the carpet yesterday. I did, however, make that Korbel Champagne run.

Thanks Dkzody!

The little bottles are so00 cute. Just the right size for a single person.

Not knowing if the availability of this size is year around or just seasonal, I wanted to stock up. But other shoppers beat me to it. There were only three packs remaining and one of those had a bottle missing, so I grabbed two of the three. There are other Targets so, when out and about I see a Target, I'll probably drop in to stock up.
Nothing was shaking in the Community Room this morning, so I didn’t spend much time ─ just literally walked by, looked through the glass doors, then headed to the Game Room to talk to seniors on the computer and at the pool table. 
Karaoke was to have been today’s activity, but with folks are so at odds with management over stuff I missed at that Residents/Management meeting ─ icing on that cake being banning Fancy (The Baker’s Dog) from the room, no one showed up. 
I think it’s out of solidarity for The Baker.
Poor Activity Director was sitting in the room all alone.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Early Bird Catches the Shadow

Experiencing a sudden burst of energy Saturday, I decided to brave the mall to put in some walking miles and pick up an in-store delivery I knew had to have arrived, even though I never received a pick-up notice.
Got it!

Wonder Woman leggings for next year’s 5K.
Items like this are rare and go quick so, even though I’m looking ahead an entire year ─ and who knows what can happen in a year, I couldn’t afford to let the opportunity to add to my costume go by.
Walking in the mall the day after the day after Thanksgiving wasn’t too bad. I did have to dodge dawdlers, and slowed down a couple times to take photos of interesting observations.
If we have an Ugly Sweater Contest, and IF I decide to participate (I’m fed up with winning due to lack of others participating), I might cop this idea and put garland and lights on my green top.

She really did shop ‘til she dropped.

Rocking around the Christmas Tree … not. More like dawdled around it.

Shirtless .... braless ... whatever happened to mannequin modesty?

I’ve never understood this thing of paying hundreds of dollars for, what looks to me like, an ugly purse.

But here they are, lined up and standing in line to get lined up at Tory Burch ─ formerly the location of Kate Spade’s ugly over-priced handbags, with security keeping a close check. But to each his/her own.

Up at the crack of dawn this morning, still feeling energetic, my goal was to get Christmas decorations out of storage, onto the patio and on front door.
But first ... laundry.
Actually, I started my day before the crack of dawn, because I heard the sound of roosters crowing off in the distance right after I started the wash cycle and was headed back to the unit at 5:44 sharp. I also spotted Shadow leaving The Seer’s unit.

I’m not one to gossip, I say tongue in cheek, but 5:44 is awful early in the morning for a gentleman caller. So, one can assume it’s a sleeping over situation. I’d heard  it was so on the grapevine, but this is the first I’d seen with my own eyes.
The Seer did brag, “He’s a real man”. So, if he’s regularly sleeping over, I guess she’d know. LOL.
As I headed up the stairs, I heard myself say to myself it’s not about love, it’s about codependency. But not in the normal sense of one depending on or enabling the other. This is more like co-codependency, both with a need to be fulfilled.
The Seer has clearly stated she’s not happy without a man in her life. Shadow, the strong silent type, doesn’t talk. So, I don’t know what his issue is, but it’s safe to say he too is lonely. So two lonely souls coming together out of a mutual need.
Oh well, whatever it takes to get through this life or as I said before, to each his/her own.
Laundry done, I set about pulling Christmas decorations from the back of the outdoor storage unit.
No easy task, as there’s too much stuff in storage, but I dove in.

Inasmuch as I had to pull containers out of the way to get to Christmas, I took it as an opportunity to declutter ─ go through the containers, get rid of things I’ve been holding onto but don’t need, won’t need.
Along about 10:00 I hit what runners call “The Wall”. I’ve never been a runner but I’m familiar with the experience of hitting the wall ─ beginning to feel fatigued and out of energy. I sat down for a bit, had a cup of coffee, an apple with peanut butter, got up, soldiered on, broke through the wall and, by 11:00, Christmas was out of storage.

Shortly after noon, Christmas was in place on the patio and front door.

Since I don’t entertain, I decided to forego the indoor decorations this year ─ that would be a whole nother day's work and totally unnecessary, so Christmas is done.
Tomorrow I’ll shampoo the carpets, head out to drop off donations to Salvation Army while the carpet dries, then it’s back to my normal routine ─ television, needlepoint, Pokémon Go.
I may stop to pick up a bottle of champagne on the way back, as I find I’m quite fond of the bubbly. However, wish they sold it in smaller servings.

Friday, November 23, 2018

The Kids Are Alright

That’s how I felt coming away from Thanksgiving with the family. 
Thoughts running through my head, as I left the gathering, headed to the hotel yesterday afternoon, was ... The kids are alright, everyone is in an okay place, I don’t have to worry about any of them any longer, and I can die happy because my work is done. 
Both my girls (Twin 1 and Twin 2) are awake individuals ─ to a degree, granddaughter was born awake, the boys .... not so much, not even a little. From my observation of where they are on the path, I’d be very much surprised if any of the boys wake up to any degree at all in this lifetime. They're nice boys, but their level is judgment, ego and indulging their senses.
My showing up was touch and go right up until the last minute.
Being awaked at 3:00 a.m. by a heavy rain, I was pretty much ready to cancel the trip and pay the $191.54 hotel penalty but, going back and forth in a conversation with myself, it was decided that if the rain ceased by 11:00, which was the time I planned to leave, then the trip was back on. I then went back to sleep, awakened again just before 7:00 to find it was wet and still sprinkling outside, but I felt it’d be okay to take my chances and brave the freeway ... still reluctant, figuring there’d be some accidents because of the way folks drive when there’s been a rain.
THEN, I got a text from Twin 2 that changed my whole outlook.
“On this Thanksgiving day you are one of the things that I am most grateful for. Thank you for taking a special interest in developing our skills and talents when we were kids. Thank you for making it happen every Christmas. Those are my best childhood memories. Thank you for making sure we ate every day. Thank you for sacrificing yourself to make sure that we were taken care of. For putting up with crap at work to keep a roof over our head. Thank you for teaching me to crochet and sew. Thank you for being an example of generosity and giving. I know that my heart for others came from you.
Thank you for being an example of good health and good karma to us as adults. I love you so much. Happy Thanksgiving!
The older I get. The more I see how hard single parenting of two girls must have been. I don't know how you did it. You maintained a social life, went to school, and didn't just raise us, you parented us. I recognize that you knew I was into Holly Hobby and Shirley (Shirley Jr./Twin 1) Henrietta Hippo. That you saw my ability for creativity and got me paint by number, loom knitting, crochet stuff. I remember clearly going to Woolworths with you to get yarn. You talked to us and shared your childhood with us. Your pain as an adult. That's what makes Shirley and I the people that we are today. We're smart because of you. We're pretty because of you. We're ladies because of you. Every fingernail you painted for us was not wasted.”
I burst into tears, but the tears washed away my reluctance. I felt reenergized and appreciated, for the first time ever.
She (Twin 2) got it.
She got me.
By the time I was all packed up and ready to leave at 11:00, the sun was up, outside was dry and the drive was easy breezy ─ practically felt like I had the whole freeway to myself.
Once again, I was surrounded by food I cannot eat ... turkey, candied yams, collard greens, mac and cheese, dressing, gravy, dinner rolls, potato salad, cranberry sauce, peach cobbler, ice cream, pies on top of pies. And once again, I wasn’t even tempted, having brought my own safe meals. (Mage, I guess you missed my former reply to your inquiry that I have an allergic reaction to basic components of most products used in day-to-day cooking ─ mostly wheat, soy, corn. Safer for me to eat only what I myself cook to avoid what I call a gut episode (known as gastroparesis) that lasts for weeks.)
At any rate, I once again was not even tempted. Food has become less and less important to me. For one food is too costly nowadays -- If I didn't have to buy groceries, I'd be a millionaire. For two, my having to eat safe has evolved me from a person who previously lived to eat (and therefore having to constantly diet to keep my weight down) to a person who eats to live and no longer has to worry about weight gain. Groceries are still expensive though. Even more so, because I have to purchase quality ingredients.
There were, however mimosas. 
I passed on the orange juice (too much acid), but having learned champagne goes down easy, I happily indulged ... a few times.

Even asked for champagne to go. Took it in a tumbler to the hotel and enjoyed getting a little sloshed while all bundled up warm and cozy in my onesie pajamas.

So, I came, I saw, I had a good time, got to meet a surprise addition to the family – granddaughter’s boyfriend. Her first serious relationship.

Of course, I had to give him a gentle third-degree. He seems sweet, has a job working in a hospital ─ something to do with EKGs, has his own place, comes from a family of Mormons, though he does not consider himself Mormon, is five years older than granddaughter, and has introduced granddaughter to his family. Now he’s met hers, so we’ll see what's up with this. He passed everyone's approval though.
Today, day after Thanksgiving, is the day I generally hold to tradition and begin with the Christmas decorations.
Not feeling it today. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe the day after tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Thanksgiving Luncheon

Out of 178 apartment homes on the property, many with double occupancy, last count on those signing up for today’s luncheon was only about 50.
All who signed up seemingly showed up, plus a fashionable little young visitor who so floored me by her ability to walk in heels that I asked her dad if I could take a photo (which photo somehow did not end up on my camera. I did, however, capture the socks and heels).

One hundred seventy-eight units, most with double occupancy, 50 attending isn’t great, but it was more than we’ve had for any other event this year, so the Catered Luncheon, which turned out to be Semi-Catered, was technically a success.
Semi, because The Baker cooked the turkey, new Community Manager and Activity Director made the salad, provided the rolls, green beans, stuffing and our servers were Community Manager, Activity Director, Assistant Maintenance Guy. So, let’s called it catered on a budget.
Fifty residents is not a lot, when compared to the numbers living here, but not everyone is sociable. Plus, there are quite a few residents who we never see out of their unit, except for when they’re spotted doing laundry. There are also the disabled who can’t get out even if they wanted to. Then there’s a handful of miserable others who complain about everything, aren’t happy unless they’re bringing others down and, since no one pays them any mind, they’re resentful and shun activities. Not to mention the control freaks who, if they can't run things, won't be involved. Like next door neighbor, still angry about being impeached as President of the Residents Volunteer Activity Committee some two/three years ago. LOL.
Everything looked delish and I heard no complaints.


Tossed Salad

Dinner Rolls

Mashed Potatoes


Green Beans

Gravy of course

Pumpkin Pie


Delish as everything appeared to be, nothing tempted me, as I’m in the process of making safe dressing, safe cranberry sauce and, not caring for turkey all that much, safe chicken and gravy to take with me to Long Beach.
All are recipes I’ve tried out before and found very satisfying, substituting ingredients, including olive oil for butter, stevia for honey, almond meal flour and flaxseed meal for white and wheat flours, almond meal flour for cornstarch in thickening the gravy.
I even tried out substituting safe ingredients for non-safe in a pumpkin pie a few days ago, crust and all. I was thinking that if it turned out well, I’d freeze a slice to take with me.
It turned out great. So great that I ate the whole pie, but not all at once. I had a slice with coffee for lunch four days in a row. Nothing made it to the freezer, but healthy ingredients fill one up to the point where I don’t think I’ll have room for a slice of pie to go along with the meal I’m taking with me, so I'll save remaking that recipe for when I next want pie for lunch.
There was drama at the luncheon, but it wasn’t about me. Nothing was said about my tumble, so my dignity is intact -- no one saw. There was also no mention of Handsome Man’s new neighbor creeping me out and Handsome Man coming to the rescue, so that's not on the grapevine.
I did see Handsome Man. He came in late, waved, took a meal to go and went to hang out with some of the guys out front.
I’d earlier seen his new neighbor, camped out on his walker near the sidewalk where smokers go, but he didn’t attend the event and didn’t see me.
So, I’m putting a period behind the fall and Handsome Man’s new neighbor and moving on.
The drama revolved around what I’d missed when I forgot to attend the Residents/Management meeting ─ an announcement that the little pups we sometimes see in the Community Room are no longer to be allowed, one of which is The Baker’s dog Fancy, who is more like one of the girls to us, than a dog.
As it is, the two dogs in question are never brought into the room when there’s food, but management doesn’t want the dogs in there ... period.
The Baker is so offended that her "baby", who is always with her, has been banned that she says she'll not be coming in either. She cancelled Bingo (which is a popular event she initiated) and says that, after the holidays, she will no longer be involved in any events. Which, basically, is cancelling ALL Resident Volunteer Activity Committee (RVAC) events because Apache says he can’t run the events without her as she does all the cooking -- and there's always food at every RVAC event, even bingo, because residents won't come if there's no food -- hot dogs, spaghetti, popcorn, cookies, cakes, etc.
So that’s a wrap on all the latest here at the senior complex.
Next up for me was to have been heading out tomorrow, day before Thanksgiving, destination Long Beach.
However, the day after reading Dkzody’s comment that “Thanksgiving Day is a piece of cake, traffic-wise, like Christmas Day. It's the days before and after that are terrible”, I read an online travel advisory that pretty much said the same thing. That was enough for me. I changed my reservation to in on the 22nd out on the 23rd.
Since then, it’s been all over the news that travel should be on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, plus it’s going to rain on Wednesday, so I’m glad I made that change while I still could. On the other hand, with the news suggesting everyone travel Thanksgiving Day, I’m wondering if it will encourage EVERYONE to switch up and be on the road Thanksgiving Day instead of the day before.
It has crossed my mind several times over the past weeks, and again yesterday, that I should cancel altogether ─ yesterday (Monday) being the last day I could have cancelled the hotel without incurring a $191.54 penalty, which is more than cost of the room.
It’s not like anyone in the family would miss me or vice versa.
Twin 1 and her brood are accustomed to my non-presence, I’m accustomed to being alone ─ last year being my first-time attending Thanksgiving with them since 2011, so it would be no-harm no-foul if I didn’t show up.
In fact, my attending last year was to have been closure for me ─ seeing everyone grownup, having survived their non-conventional flowers in the attic type upbringing with Twin 1 as their mother, all together at one time. So, what behooved me to go again this year, when I’d really rather stay in, warm and comfortable, bundled up in my adult onesie, is beyond me. But so be it.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Life Moving at the Speed of Light

Time got away from me this week.
Life is moving too fast.
It started on Sunday when I wasn’t able to take advantage of November’s Pokémon GO Community Day because I had an appointment with the Locktician (braid beautician).
Arriving at her salon, she wasn’t there, but one of the other ladies said, “I’ll call her to let her know you’re here. She only stepped away for a bit.”
After waiting for what I felt to be a reasonable amount of time, I called her myself and said, “I’m waiting for you” only to be told, “Your appointment isn’t until next Sunday. But since you’re here, I’m on my way. I’ll go ahead and take you”.
I actually didn’t believe I’d made such a monumental mistake until, once back at the unit, I double checked my organizer and she was right.
THEN, on Thursday, I get a text message from my buddy Apache saying, “You missed the fireworks at the meeting.”
“What meeting … when?” asked I.
Turned out I’d missed the previous day's Residents/Management meeting, the first with the new Community Manager.
“But I thought it was next week”, texted back I.
Even though the meeting was on my organizer, I looked at it and thought that inasmuch as we are in the first week of November (which we are not), I had another week.
I didn’t hit my head when I had that fall on the 9th, but perhaps it rattled my brain.
Still having intermittent aches and pain as a result of that fall, by the way, but nothing Epsom Salt and a pain patch can’t handle.
I’m also unusually tired, which I think is the body recuperating from the trauma of it all.
At any rate, so I don’t forget next week is Thanksgiving (not the week after) and I’m scheduled to head out for the Holiday the day before, I’m constantly checking and rechecking what I have to do and posting reminders so as not to forget anything.
I was actually considering changing my hotel reservation to checking in Thanksgiving Day and out the day after, a turnaround because I’m tired of trying to feed myself in hotels.
If I could eat like everyone else – grab meals in the hotel, nearby restaurants, grab a cup-o-noodles, it wouldn’t be so bad. But having to plan meals, lug the Instant Pot and groceries is tiresome.
Logging into the hotel reservations site, I changed arrival to in on the 22nd, out on the 23rd but, today’s confirmation still had me in on the 21st, out on the 23rd.
I could call the hotel and change directly with them, but I’m thinking the Universe doesn’t want me on the road Thanksgiving Day, even though driving to Long Beach on Thanksgiving Day can’t be any worse than the day before because, last time, the 1-1/2 hour drive the day before took 4 hours. But I don’t like to be fixated on what I want to do, rather than listen and go with the universal flow, so I’m leaving reservations as they are.
Busy working on the needlepoint project -- now in its eighth’s month and not halfway done, plus catching up on scrapbooking, I’ve not been out and about, thus neither heard nor seen Handsome Man or that new neighbor of his.
Tuesday is the catered Thanksgiving affair, so I’m likely to see both – that is if I don’t forget to go. LOL.
At any rate, I’m not looking forward to it. Going to feel uncomfortable.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Crafts with a Side of Drama

Not wanting to be fooled twice, unlike last week when I made it down to the Community Room at 9:30 for an event and found the place locked up tight because the office doesn’t open until 10:00, I went down for yesterday’s 9:30 Craft Class at 10:00.
Dang if I didn’t get fooled again, because the class was in full swing.
Evidently Activity Director did arrive and open up at 9:30.
There were three spots still left at the table, so I sat down and learned how to make a Painted Mason Jar.

I started thinking a red jar, changed my mind, washed the red off and ended up doing a cow theme.

Next time I'm at the craft store, I'll pick up raffia for the neck of the jar to complete the country look.
The other ladies turned out some quite nice jars. These are just a few.

While we were crafting, Handsome Man made an appearance.
That was unusual because, though I see him around, he rarely comes to the Community Room, and never so early in the morning.
He motioned for me to come talk to him and said, “I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to go over there again. There’s something not right about the guy”.
“Over there” meant to the unit of a new neighbor in his quad, upstairs and directly across from Handsome Man.
A few weeks ago, Handsome Man saw me as I dropped off groceries to that unit.
What led up to my doing so was a series of incidents where it appeared to me the new resident was going out of his way to make his presence known to me in odd but not-threatening ways. Ways that made me doubt myself.
I can’t tell you how many blog posts I composed about what I was seeing, but didn’t publish because a part of me said I was being ridiculous, overreacting, reading more into the new resident’s actions than were intended because, though not all that old, the guy uses a walker to get around and clearly, even if he'd not been on a walker, he and I are in different lanes.
I responded to Handsome Man that I had no intention of going over there again and had only done so because his new neighbor had one day caught me heading to the car and asked, “Are you going to the market?”
“Yes” replied I.
“Can I go with you?” asked he.
Now in my head I heard myself scream, “OH HELL NO!”, but I was kind and said, “I’m not comfortable with that. But if you need me to bring something back for you, I can do that”.
He accepted, gave me a list, money to pay for it, then wrote down his name, unit and telephone numbers.
Suspicious, as to why he would ask me -- a woman he didn't know who lived nowhere near his quad instead of a male and, at the very least, one of his neighbors, I knew not to call him when I got back, because he’d have my telephone number. Instead, I delivered to his door but did not go in.
That’s when Handsome Man spotted me, poked his head out his own door and chatted with me a little bit ─ I guess to let the new resident know he was being observed had he any funny business in mind.
So, anyway, Handsome Man must have wondered about why I was interacting with the new resident, whom he felt something was wrong with, and decided to warn me not to go over there again (which I had no intention).
Once I filled handsome man in on the back story ─ the odd seemingly random incidents which cumulated in asking to ride with me to the market, Handsome Man agreed I’d read the guy correctly and was not overreacting.
So that was that.
I felt relieved to have finally gotten my thoughts off my chest.
After class I went to the bank, where I ran into our former Assistant Maintenance Guy.
Long-time readers will remember him as the older more experienced worker who’d gotten sick and tired of doing all the work, while the younger less-experienced lazy Head Maintenance Guy got all the credit, threw several hissy fits, then quit rather than wait to be fired.
Update is he landed on his feet and is now doing the same kind of work, but for a well-known hotel chain at a slightly better salary, according to him.
Returning to the complex, I was met by Handsome Man who said he’d gone over and had a talk with his new neighbor, who pretty much denied the incidents I took as making his presence known, but did admit to asking to ride with me and being told I wasn’t comfortable with it.
Handsome Man says he nevertheless schooled his new neighbor with “You can’t be doing that here. You can’t come onto the women around here like that”.
I think the new resident had already gotten the message from my having said I wasn’t comfortable with him because, whereas he'd previously been lurking about my quad, he's been invisible ever since. But now that Handsome Man has put the new resident on notice, I’m feeling its become somewhat of a big deal and I’m embarrassed.
I do love me some drama, but only from the outside looking in, not from inside looking out.
Me thinks I should have kept the backstory to myself.