Monday, October 10, 2016

Don't Be A Stranger

A few years back, one of my neighbors used to call during the High Holidays and leave a long rambling recorded apology. It went something like this: "Hi, this is Ed from across the street, the one you always ignore. Perhaps I've offended you somehow. I don't know what I did, but I thought I'd apologize, and then you can call me and apologize for ignoring me, like you're some big epis, and then we'll be even. If I've upset you in some way, I'm sorry. If I've been an inattentive neighbor, I'm sorry, even though I think I've been a pretty great neighbor. Remember that time I took out your trash cans? No thank you note, no gift. That's okay. It's Yom Kippur. Time to let old grudges go. Speaking of which, I hope you'll find it in your heart to forgive me for whatever the hell I did to piss you off, although for the life of me, I can't figure it out. I'm a terrific person, even if you don't think so. Just thought I'd open up a dialogue. I wish you and your family a gut yuntif. Don't be a stranger."
Clearly, Ed expected me to call back, but I never did. This week, I'm going to atone in temple for not leaving the following long rambling recorded apology: "Uh, yeah, hi, Ed. It's the SJG. Just because I drove by you that one time without waving hello doesn't mean I intentionally ignored you. I was trying not to run over a squirrel. Still, let me take this time to apologize to you, from the depths of my being, for not killing the squirrel so I could say hey, neighbor, and not hurt your feelings. If we're being honest here, I never asked you to take out our trash. You did that all on your own for that Unsolicited Mitzvah Day you inflicted on the entire neighborhood. I'm still trying to locate our trash cans. Where did you take them, Ed? Give them back. It would be a blessing if you'd lose my number. Gut yuntif to you and yours."

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