Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Light My Candle

"Your own neighbor's vision is as true for him as your own vision is true for you."
~Miguel de Unamuno

Dear Sweet Neighbor Lady,
Thank you for the offer to join your church choir. I regret to inform you that "Light My Candle" from the Broadway musical, RENT has nothing to do with Jesus. Had I known my windows were open, I wouldn't have decided to sing at the top of my lungs. Don't worry though. You may think my voice is pretty enough for church, but it certainly is not pretty enough for the tough critics of New York. Or, perhaps you know exactly what this song is about and you're attempting to save my soul. In any case, I appreciate the offer, but I'll have to decline. I only sing when I think no one is listening. I'll close my windows next time and limit the use of the f-bomb while singing along to Linkin' Park.

So sorry I disturbed you,

Your Neighbor

Now might be an excellent time to explain that I live in a townhome community and the average age of my neighbors is 65. The neighborhood consists of retired women, and some men, who have taken it upon themselves to make sure that I am cared for. An offer that was, for a long time, not appreciated. Their concern for my relationship status?  Not cute. We tend to disagree on who the perfect match for me really is and where I'll find him. I sometimes miss the days when they'd knock on my door with the "Eligible Bachelor of the Day"; not because the options were men I'd consider, but because it was quite entertaining and I appreciated the effort. But perhaps I should be grateful for their reassurance that I am, in fact, a very good catch. "The best there is," the lady with the poodles once said.

If only they'd stop asking me who changes my lightbulbs with such concern.... I'm not quite sure how to answer that question.. or why they are so worried in the first place. Is changing your own lightbulbs a test of my independence?  A test of my beauty or intelligence? Maybe I'm just too afraid to know any more about why they even choose to ask, or maybe it just doesn't matter.

Needless to say, I've learned that sometimes being a neighbor means letting them share their vision; even if that means showing concern for who changes my lightbulbs, where I've been so late at night, and letting them suggest better lyrics for those times when I just have to sing at the top of my lungs.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Let's Talk Personal Safety... in a Tube

"Personal protective equipment is self-defense."
  ~Author Unknown

Dear Personal Safeness Tube Manufacturer,

So let me get this straight... you really, really think that someone can escape from danger using ONLY a face mask, a glow stick, a whistle, and a ketchup packet of water? I'm no Girl Scout, but I see several flaws in your "brilliant" plan.  Let's look at this step-by-step.

1. Keep this emergency kit at your desk.

Okay, clearly, you do not work in a corporate environment. I don't even know where my desk is... I'm running up and down 13 flights of stairs tracking down couture dresses that needed to be in New York yesterday, "calmly" trying to explain the difference between shades of hot pink that look exactly the same to me, and shipping button samples via FedEx to Asia. Because apparently, there aren't any buttons in Asia. So, the population of an entire region of the world is potentially unable to fasten their pants and you want me to send 8 buttons. Really? Are you sure 8 buttons will be enough? The only thing my desk is good for is to hold the lattes I'm supposed to bring to the 9am meeting. Shit.. it's noon. Where's the microwave?

If you really want to create an effective Personal Safeness Tube, the contents would include deodorant, a large ketchup packet filled with a "water-like substance" that smells like Christmas trees, and maybe something to fix my broken heel. I will give you credit for the glow stick.. might come in handy the next time someone locks me in the sample closet.

2. In case of an evacuation: Alert co-workers by yelling "Come with me!" and get out of the building as quickly as possible. Call for help once you're outside. Seek shelter from harsh weather and stay with others. Do not go back into the building until cleared by authorities.

Really?? You've got a skyscraper filled with overachieving alphas desperate for attention and you want all of us to shout "Come with me!"?!  Do you have any idea what chaos this will create?!  We'll be tackling each other for the Safety Captain hard hat and vest.. even if  "safety orange" trimmed with reflective tape is not fashion forward.  It'll be a blood bath and before you know it, the company's hottest designer will be mass producing "Personal Safety Wear" so that everyone can shout "Come with me!" At least then it won't matter what the difference is between "Hot Pink A" and "Hot Pink B." 

 3. Chemical release: Follow the directions of local officials

Okay, you're going have to be a little more specific. This is fashion. I open packages from all over the world; Mexico, India, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Ecuador, a few countries I have yet to find on the map; a "chemical release" could be anything. The packages are usually squishy and although they claim to contain clothing, they oftentimes arrive on my desk labeled "samples." See my point?!

Who are these "local officials" anyway? Are you saying that in case of a chemical release, Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn from Project Runway will appear and demonstrate the proper use of the Personal Safeness Tube? Are we going to be judged on what we can design with the contents of the tube?

Maybe that's it.. I'd better start sketching now...