Another Reason To Celebrate Easter

, , , , | Friendly | October 25, 2017

(I’m a woman in my 20s, and have just moved into my first apartment six months prior to this incident. It’s a Sunday afternoon, and my mom is visiting, when I decide to hang a picture. My walls are hard concrete and require special hooks, so it takes a minute or two to work the hook into the wall. Thirty seconds into the hammering, someone bangs on my door. I answer. It’s my neighbor, a man twice my age and size, red-faced and fuming, yelling and threatening to call the disturbance hotline on me and get me evicted. He’s been awful with me and with other neighbours before, so I am prepared.)

Neighbour: *screaming* “Are you stupid!? It’s Easter; the rules say—”

Me: *interrupting* Actually, the rules say…” *points to the sign where the rules are posted on the wall and quoting it* “’It is forbidden to hammer, drill, or make excessive noise on red days.’”

(Sweden has both common holidays and so-called “red days,” which are specific holiday days. Red days usually refer to Sundays and days AFTER we celebrate major holidays, but NOT the holidays themselves. This is why holiday-related rules are suppose to specify that they are in effect on “red days AND the day before red days.” Our rules, however, are only written to be in effect on red days.)

Neighbour: “Exactly! It’s Easter—”

Me: “…and according to Swedish custom, Easter is not a red day. It is a holiday. Red days are Sundays and the days after religious holidays. Today is a Saturday, and Easter Even. This rule does not apply.”

(Absolute silence falls. He looks like a deer in the headlights. I coldly stare him down as the slow realization of what has happened dawns on him. I’ve just robbed him of the only justification for his behavior.)

Neighbour: *meekly* “O-okay… Um… Are you going to be drilling a lot more?”

Me: *sickly sweet* “Oh, no. We’re almost done! Just another minute, and then we’ll be quiet for the whole rest of the weekend.”

(Looking utterly deflated, he slowly turned and wandered back into his own apartment without another word. My mother barely managed to wait until I closed the door before she fell over laughing, undoubtedly remembering when I called her on the phone crying over how this man had treated me. Perhaps I took it too far. But then again, that was two years ago, and he hasn’t dared to confront anyone since.)

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