I used to have an afternoon ritual. I would make a pot of tea- Kusmi, loose-leaf Darjeeling- the good stuff. I would light a seasonal scented soy base candle. And I would read a chapter of a book or a magazine.
This was a highlight of my day. I would make sure my dog was walked, and I would time it so that I knew my daughter nor husband would be home. I would not look at my phone or social media.
This was my version of meditation.
Then one day I got a letter from my next door neighbor- she asked me to stop burning the candles because she was sensitive to it. Our building does not have a “no candle” policy/ Technically, my apartment could be totally full of candles of various heights and smells, and there is nothing she can do about it. Technically, I could continue doing as I pleased, with no hint of trouble.
After considering the letter, I decided to stop the candle part of my ritual. Though the scent helped me relax, I thought it would be the neighborly thing to do.
We all know that my cat was sick a few weeks ago. After I had bundled her into the carrier, I was walking down the hall to the elevator to take her to the vet. I saw my anti candle neighbor, who has a cat BTW, and I said that my cat wasn’t feeling well. Actually, I probably cry hiccupped as I was saying this because I was a tad emotional at this moment.
You know what my neighbor said?
That wasn’t an extra blank space. That was the answer. She said nothing. She zipped past me as if me and my cat carrier did not exist.
Not. One. Word.
So yesterday, I bought a nice new soy based candle. (Magnolia collection at Target- HGTV should be paying me for the plugs…) and I sat down at my table, picked up my ereader, and lit of sweater weather…..
I know I’m petty. But really, wouldn’t it have been easier to just say “I hope everything is all right.”
Being a good neighbor goes two ways.