Hello, my (I hope) loyal readers! Though I have been away from posting for about two weeks now, and have nothing literary to contribute today, I nevertheless have something to say. I was at my brother’s in Vermont for an extended period of time over the Thanksgiving break because we were working as a family unit to plant garlic and build a greenhouse and cook meals and watch a young misbehaving (sweetheart) of a dog, and enjoy youthful games with a ten-year-old family member, and other chores and duties. We were looking down the road to a happy if more economical Christmas holiday break again three weeks from now in Vermont, when we got home today to a nasty surprise: sometime during our absence, someone had super-glued our condo door, and we couldn’t get in. We had several days’ groceries with us including frozen foods, which we had picked up on the way back home from our trip, and two large carriers full of luggage and vacation bedding, and we were outside our condo in the hall for nearly two hours while we waited for the locksmith to come.
We found what people’s tried and true selves were as we confronted our dilemma, but not everyone is playing with a clean hand (and some not with a full deck, apparently). The probable cause of our situation? There has been for several years now an intimidation factor going on in our condo building, and other people have had packages from the postal service stolen, items on cars damaged, things wrecked, mailbox and now (with us the evident first) condo doors damaged with superglue, among other acts of vandalism. There have been additional sorts of outrage going on which are harder to pinpoint, and no exact culprit or culprits has been located, because even though the building has several times discussed getting security cameras in the common areas, nothing yet has been done. This time, because our door was damaged from the hallway (which is a common area) the condo board was gracious enough to take the charge of payment for us.
The root source of all this, in an apparently middle-income to upscale building (depending on how high up you live)? It’s hard to pinpoint too, except that for several years now there have been two factions in rivalry for the unpaid positions of being on the Board of Trustees, and the additional hired jobs that are decided by the board. The pot is on the boil, and things have gotten steadily worse. How did we get involved? My roommate, who is my mother, a conscientious, highly intelligent, and tactful person with many friends, merely stood up in a meeting and said that we should all try to get along better the way we used to do, and that it would have been odd if the newest elected board members were the ones doing the vandalizing (or any of their contingent friends, or allies), because why would they? They had gained power by a legitimate election. She wasn’t taking sides, she was just using her noggin and voicing an opinion. This was all she said, and someone bided their time and waited until we went out of town and vandalized our door. Now, it’s useless to point fingers. In even the best communities, there are people who do damaging things because they are just wacko or wired differently from other people, and each person who has heard about it (with the exception of the one or ones who know they did it themselves) has a slightly different take on who’s guilty. The police came to take a report and were able to verify that many other incidents had happened in our building in the last few years, and that it wasn’t entirely unusual to find such situations even in otherwise “nice” buildings. We are finding sympathy everywhere, and empathy among some who’ve had the same thing happen to them. And this situation is why–despite my mother’s strong and ebullient recovery from the negative surprise–I call this the Scroogiest season. This is the atmosphere not of fairness and equity which is supposed to obtain in a community like this one, but an atmosphere of special patronage and thuggery. We don’t live expensively, and had the Board of Trustees not guaranteed my mother repayment of the damage repair costs, it would have been a hardship which hadn’t been figured into the monthly amounts.
Here’s hoping the Christmas season brings the notion of concord and graciousness back to people’s minds, when true friends can be true friends, and enemies can bury the hatchet somewhere other than in each other, and we can all re-learn joy and peace, not just for a short time or a cold winter season when people are lethargic anyway, but for a permanent part of our lives and living arrangements. And here’s hoping you yourselves are enjoying or are preparing for a lovely holiday of whichever one is yours this year: may it be a comforting and enlightened one!
9 responses to “The Scroogiest time of year….and here I thought it was the season of joy and peace!”
Will always be a loyal supporter, as you have been to me =)
That’s not flash, someone being underhanded in causing possibly financial grief to others in the lead up to the festive season. Thank goodness the Board covered the cost.
Best wishes to you and your family for this festive season =)
PS. At my boy’s school, someone in a big car has the licence plate ‘Samsara’. Makes me remember our little endeavour some moons ago =)
Thanks for your support and best wishes. All the same to you and yours. And just how old is your boy? My nephew is 10. Maybe they are close in age? At any rate, it’s a good time of year for lots of kids, and should be a good time of year for the kids in all of us. You brighten my spirit with your remarks, and remind me of my childlike self. Thanks, DJ.
My oldest young’un will be 7 in January.
Glad to add an extra ray of light to your day =)
That is outrageous! Excuse me but I cannot be as gracious and forgiving as you (although I applaud you for it.) I would do everything possible to get cameras in the hallways. I have absolutely no patience for people who hurt others in any way and this is one of the most cowardly ways to do it. Shame! I would almost be considering moving up to what sounds like a wonderful (and peaceful) place in Vermont. However, with that said, don’t let this offense take away from any joy of the holidays or the other wonderful neighbors I know you have. Although the one bad apple always stands out, the tree is covered with good ones.
Dear Kathy, Thanks for the support, but you shouldn’t see me as particularly gracious and forgiving–it’s just that the police have been notified, and others are involved in trying to get their property protected too, and I’m trying to practice verbal restraint with regard to what I really want to say (which is *#sd$?!a@!#@^&*!!!! to the perpetrators). And you are quite correct about the good apples–we’ve witnessed some kind acts by them during the last day or two, and it’s just unfortunate that so many of the good people are suffering as well. We’ll see what happens, but now we’re hoping for the best. Security cameras are definitely what we want to see in the common areas, but of course we want to see them used properly in the right hands. Thanks again for your good words and encouragement.
It’s interesting that my recent post is about staying cool when people disrespect you. For me, it has been a learned skill!
For me also–and I can’t deny that your recent post flashed through my mind when I was trying to write this article while keeping my cool.
This is so awful! I am sorry, Victoria. Try to stay positive. Whoever did this, his life is his own punishment.
I thank you, Richard, for your kind words. Isn’t it odd how people not at fault, like you, who in fact are great support in trials and tribulations, often end up proferring the lovely words of apology or regret due us from the actual culprits? Probably that’s part of the way the world makes things up to us that we suffer, but I just want to say that I really appreciate your sympathy and that of those other people who’ve condoled with me and my mother lately–we have discovered a real community of concern and comfort.