Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Letter I Wrote my neighbor on Friday afternoon, after our drive to Savta Shira's house for the weekend.  Sometimes, I am told, it's enough to get the feelings down on paper, and then file the letter away, never to be sent and read by the person for whom it was intended.  I am still undecided.

"  Dear [      ],
I wanted you to know that after our little parking encounter, I went upstairs and cried;  I want you to understand that you have no idea how your tone and behaviour affects others.  I want to explain my day, so you understand why I cried today, twice.

All week I have lived with pounding and drilling.  For someone who never gets headaches, I have been suffering almost non-stop since they started the construction beneath me over one month ago.  Then, I thought, Friday, one day of quiet and not worrying about the Arab workers drilling smoking and leering at me.

So instead they start the pounding earlier than usual.  Seven AM and I can't sit and have breakfast with my daughter in peace.  In fact, they were still working when I left for the weekend, less than two hours before Shabbat started.

Then, when I have spent the last few weeks fighting for parking spaces in my own building, you accuse Me of "creating the situation" that prevents you from pulling your car in.  I have stopped counting the number of times that I have parked around the corner and carried the baby up the hill, because there were no spaces in our lot and on our street.

What I find most troubling is the lack of sympathy any of the neighbors have shown toward me since the construction started, and I must deal with the noise and the disruption of my life with no one to help me or protect me.  True, none of this is your problem, but for some reason I expect people to display basic acts of "Menchlichkeit."

To top it all off, today is the tenth anniversary of my almost being killed by a Palestinian sniper.  And today I traveled down the same road where my car got shot, with my daughter in the car.  I held my breath until we arrived safely and then cried a second time, thanking G-d for getting us to our destination safely.

The short version of this letter? Please think before you speak, because you never know what the other person has been through, what they are feeling."


Doc said...

The next time I saw this nieghbor I mentioned to him that I hoped that we could deal with future issues in a more reasonable way, and his response was basically that my reaction was "unjustified" and that it was "not worth discussing."

Commenter Abbi said...

Unfortunately, unless your neighbor is particularly sensitive and interested in engaging in a heartfelt conversation about your feelings, these types of letters are lost on the average Israeli.

His or her short answer to you is: I'm right and you're wrong. Deal with it.

It sounds like this building is pretty intolerable. Maybe it's time to consider looking for a different place to live.

Doc said...

@Abbi, 1. He's actually an American, and even if I didn't want to discuss feelings, I was hoping that he would at the very least acknowledge them, rather than invalidate them so he could be right.
2. Already started the house hunting...

koshergourmetmart said...

this letter will not make him change his ways-good to put your feelings down for yourself

Commenter Abbi said...

Oops, sorry about the national stereotype. Plenty of obnoxious Americans around too!

I know plenty of buildings in J-m that managed to share parking space equitably and whose residents try their best to be sensitive to each other. This doesn't sound like one of them.

Good luck with the hunt. I think God or the universe is just sending you a strong message that it's time to move on. I hope your next home is saner.

Amy Charles said...

I'm thinking of developing a T-shirt for men like this, just because the market seems to be so huge. It reads, in letters that start big and get smaller:

I am right!
Because otherwise
my penis is very small
and that would make me
hide and cry