Meanness and Kindess
The other day, I got a really nasty phone call from my new landlady who was angry because I cleaned out the apartment I’ll be moving into next month. I left the rugs full of cat hair (I’m allergic) at the bottom of the steps and took down the curtains and placed them into bags. That stuff was hers so I couldn’t throw it out. Everything was in a neat pile. I also removed a small table and left it leaning up against a wall in the hallway.
She called and had a total fit, telling me that leaving the table there was a fire hazard and illegal and warning me not to give her any problems because she has a good reputation with the fire department. This lady is 86 years old, but she can become a monster at the drop of a hat, and now I’m a bit afraid of her.
She was right to tell me that I should have told her about the carpets and table, but she could have done it in a nicer way instead of talking to me as if I’d killed her first-born. It was shocking and off-putting because my parents never spoke to me that way. And neither has anyone else, aside from a boss from hell that I had once.
Anyway, the call ruined my night and I was crying for a while, crying all through my daily meditation. I was praying that she would forgive me and not think of me as a problem or a troublemaker, because I am neither of those things. I like to think I am a good person who is just striving to be positive. I went to sleep crying and spent the next day in a totally dour mood, trying to work through my migraine.
After work, I was walking out on my street to go to a drugstore that is pretty far away. I didn’t realize it was so cold out (because my apartment’s heat is very strong) and so I only went out wearing a light sweater. I was walking down my street with my arms crossed, trying to hug myself with some warmth, and I came across the lady who lives across the hall from me now. She said “Aren’t you cold?” which made me look up. I was still in a bad mood, staring at the ground.
And I said “Yes, I didn’t realize how cold it was.” And the lady offered me the light jacket that she was wearing saying “Do you want this?” It was very sweet and unexpected and I told her “Yes, that’s very sweet, thank you.” She checked the jacket pockets to make sure she had her apartment keys, took the jacket off and gave it to me. She said “I don’t have far to go” since we were just steps from our building. And she smiled. It was so unexpected and so nice that it totally made me forget my anger and sadness over the landlady for a while.
It just goes to show you that just when you think the whole world has gone dark and is out to get you, someone can come along and be like an angel, restoring your hope in humanity.