Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Oh Uriel, if I could stop talking about you then don’t you think I would?

There’s an old episode of ‘Maude’ where an old college friend comes for a visit over the holidays.  She presents Maude with a gift, a framed, portrait-sized photograph of our favorite 70s feminist from her younger days.  Maude is delighted and runs to show her husband Walter.  “Look Walter, this is me at 17!  I told you I was beautiful!!” 

Walter looks at it and says “Wow Maude, you really were—who knew?!” 


Maude’s deadpan reaction always cracked me up good and thanks to my feisty Russian neighbor Uriel, more & more I’ve been feeling like a Maude-in-training.  (I wrote about my first encounter with Uriel here, if you’re ever curious to check it out.)  

She’s a slender, attractive 36 year old viper who lives across the hall from me, speaks in LOUD broken English and always leaves me at a loss for words.  I’ve been sharing my encounters with her on Facebook (always a ready audience at hand) but maybe I did that once too often, as now there’s a few who think we’re like Tom Hanks & Meg Ryan in ‘You’ve Got Mail’, adversaries who are fated to fall in love & marry.  So I decided to talk about her here instead!

Here’s a couple favorites, followed with what just happened 2 hours ago.

Doug & Uriel in “You’ve Got Mail”

One Thursday afternoon, I notice Uriel has some packages waiting for her in the lobby.  I knock on her door.  “Hi Uriel—hey I know how you feel about people touching your mail, but you have 3 packages downstairs in the lobby, and one of 'em is a huge box from Macy’s.”

She looks at me for a momet, then says “They are not for me. They for my sister Vulvi.”  I say “oh… okay.”  She says “She arrive on Monday. She can get them.”

  Uriel & Carl the Maintenance Man in “Try, try again”

Back in October, we were told our buildings maintenance man, Carl, would be going door-to-door on Tuesday to do smoke alarm inspections. Carl knocked on Uriel’s door, got no answer—but she had a sign taped to her door (first photo). He said “I know you’re not sleeping, I can hear you moving around in there!”

He returned the next day, knocked on her door again, still no answer—but she did update her sign!

 Uriel & Apt #405 in “Hammer Time”

The woman across the hall asked if she could borrow a hammer. She’s a witch by day, nurse at night. She has witch legs that hang on her door which had fallen off & she was trying to hang them back up with the heel of a shoe, making a lot of noise.

She says “Do you know that woman who lives in 407?” I said yes, yes, her name is Uriel.  She says “She’s a hothead! She asked what I was doing, so I asked her if she had a hammer and she told me when she calls the police to bring me a ticket, I can ask them for one.” 

 Doug & Uriel in “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire”

One night around 1:30 am, I wake up & my bedroom smells like a steakhouse. I come out into the livingroom, open my front door and there’s a thin, greasy smoke in the hallway. Uriel is standing out there, swiping her front door back & forth.  I say very softly “hey, what’s going on?”  She says “Getting rid of fumes from my kitchen.”  I said “Why don’t you open your patio door?”  She said “Because kitchen is closer to front door, ok?”  I said “Well, it’s really coming into my place.. you might set off the smoke alarm out here too.”

The door next to Uriel’s opens up, it’s the witch nurse rubbing her eyes.  She quietly says “hey... what’s going on?”  Uriel says to me “you goink to wake up everyone now?”

.          .          .

Anyway, here’s what happened a couple hours ago.  I went down to our apartment building’s lobby to see if the mail arrived. Uriel is down there with a big taped-up box, waiting for UPS and smoking a long brown cigarette.  I said hi, but I guess I made a face because she said “Yes I know... dirty habit.”  I said I understood, I smoked myself several years ago and know how tough it is to quit.  I asked her how long she’s been a smoker. She says “umm... let’s see.  Probable 10 days now.”  

Happy New Year, Uriel!

Young Maude


  1. This stuff is gold! I laughed out aloud at her comment about smoking!!!

    1. Haha thanks Iikka! I'm glad someone else gets this!

  2. Clearly, I am missing out on a lot by not living in an apartment building. On second thought...

    1. Pam it definitely has its pluses--and minuses :)

    2. Makes for great entertaining fodder for the blog, definitely!

    3. Thanks Pam! Well, as long as she never sees this blog... it's not like I could say I was talking about another Russian gal named Uriel ;)


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