"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,
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.