I realized today that I am no longer a vegetarian. Now, I am a “vegetarian except on Wednesday mornings.”
This morning, my student fed me homemade “chicken” sausage. It went like this:
Sofiya: I made sausage, you eat? I made it myself. It has chicken only.
Me: [I am resigned to the fact that there is no way out of this.] Oh, yes, thank you.
Sofiya: Good, good, here, eat.
Me: [I take a bite, chew, swallow, breathe. It does NOT taste like chicken.] This sausage only has chicken in it?
Sofiya: Chicken, da, and pork. Is pork okay? I sorry!
Me: [No! I hate pork, except in bacon form. Giving up thickly sliced bacon was not easy for me.] It’s okay, don’t worry.
It is okay. It has to be. I can’t get out of it without being rude. So, from now on, I am a vegetarian except on Wednesday mornings.
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I could go on and on about this kind of thing, but the reality is that I very much appreciate our landlady. She’s relaxed. She doesn’t care that we painted our room. She doesn’t care that our rent is almost always a week late. She doesn’t mind that I tore up a corner of the yard to plant my garden. “Tomatoes everywhere! How wonderful!” was her only comment. And when my neighbors got a pig without asking her first, her reaction was: “How cute!”
So while my apartment complex doesn’t have a governing body to predetermine laundry policy, I am actually quite thankful for that. My past experience with a management company was one time too many, and I have since vowed to never do it again. My landlady doesn’t always fix the things that are broken. So what? She gives me freedom, and I appreciate that.
Of course, freedom comes at a price. It means that neighborly conflicts must be settled internally, as reporting them to her becomes a he-said-she-said mess that won’t help anything. If my neighbor wants to hang an obnoxious sign in the laundry room, he has every right to do so, and me complaining to my landlady about it will only cause further problems. It’s not worth it.
Moreover, last night I went over to my neighbor’s place because they were cooking bacon and I wanted to live vicariously—it wasn’t Wednesday morning, after all, so I couldn’t partake but I did inhale deeply. My neighbor with the temper was actually on the phone with our landlady, and they were chatting about her relationship problems. How they have this buddy-buddy relationship, I have no idea, considering that every time she stops by the complex she moans and groans to me about how awful it is that they don’t pick up their pets’ poop. But whatever. The point is that complaining about him will get no one anywhere.
I suppose it doesn’t really matter. The differences in laundry ettiquette have long been forgotten and everyone seems to be getting along just fine. I have chosen to ignore the sign. After all, Scotch tape can’t hold forever and at some point it’s going to “fall” off anyway, right?