How can I put this delicately…
There are plenty of unique individuals to be found in every community, regardless of population size or location. Every person is God’s creation, that’s what I believe, but He definitely made some of us a little differently than others. Here’s to the spice of life then.
Walking down the entryway steps a few days ago, I noticed an old lady in a polka dot shirt staring critically at my lovely, slubby abode. She was completely blocking the sidewalk, and while I avoided eye contact I was positive some sort of communication was inevitable. Sure enough – “Is this a duplex?” she questioned me, pointing to my house, to which I responded in the affirmative.
What I didn’t at all expect was the conversation that followed.
After confirming that she had in fact known some of the previous tenants of our house, the old lady launched into a very detailed and explicit history of all the murders and suicides that had ever occurred on our little block of South Dupont. It was the most uncomfortable seven minutes of my life, surpassing even the time I had my hand held by a 16 year old boy on a horse cart in Morocco.
After hearing her recount murder mystery #48 I looked down at the old lady’s dog for help, because I love dogs and I figured it would be a good way to divert the conversation. The dog was blind and stared placidly up at me with unseeing ice blue eyes, which only served to unsettle me further. I tried inching away from the old lady. She would inch closer towards me and point at a different house where another gruesome event had occurred. I didn’t know what to do, so I just nodded in a half-terrified sort of way and sent intense mental supplications to my roommate Kat, who was safely back in the house, for salvation.
The only moments of the entire exchange where I was even slightly amused were when the old lady referred to one of the murderers as a “real hippie type” and to another young woman as a “floozy”. I’m serious.
The problem here was that my intrinsic politeness was inhibiting me from waving off the batty old lady and splitting. Did I inherit this deference from my parents’ good moral teachings? Perhaps. Is it a sign that I’m hypersensitive to the feelings of others? Maybe. But today I’m going to chalk it up to my suburban childhood: I just wasn’t ever exposed to very many crazy, over-sharing strangers in little ole’ Eagan, MN.
So I salute you old lady, although you’re completely bananas, for exposing me to the cultural intricacies of neighborly friendship in an urban setting. When I told you that I hoped our neighborhood saw better days, what I really meant was that I hope our interactions are limited. Although your dog is definitely cute.
People of Minneapolis: learn to censor yourselves a bit and we’ll all get along just fine.
con amor (except for you creepy old lady),