Dear Downstairs Neighbor

Dear Downstairs Neighbor,

Hello again! We’ve talked a few times, but really only in passing and that one time I told you your music wasn’t too loud and that we actually enjoyed listening to it through the floor. Because we are awesome and every person in the world should want us as neighbors. Just saying. And then there was the second time we chatted when I handed over a perfect loaf of my freshly baked, still warm challah.

This last one was all Kamel’s idea. We couldn’t figure out what to do with all of this preservative-free bread. We are only two people after all, and I knew that it would go stale quickly sitting on my counter. Should we bring it to work as an offering of goodwill and noms? No! Kamel said we should march right down stairs and offer it to you. Because, as I stated before, you don’t have furniture but you can at least have bread!

So, even though I am always nervous about these types of interactions, we went downstairs and knocked on your door. You answered and I was awkwardly holding a my perfect challah, gingerly wrapped part-ways in foil so it doesn’t look like I had my mitts all over it (but I did, I touched that bread from tip to tip, my friend).

“So, I was baking bread, and we made two loaves, but we only need one,” I said. “We wanted to offer you the other.”

“Oh, cool,” you said. “What kind is it?”

“It’s Challah. It’s an egg bread.”

“Oh awesome, I love egg bagels, so that’s great. I’ll have it for breakfast,” you said. “Do you guys want to come in for a drink?”

It was late and on Sunday so I said no. Kamel said, “Another time for sure.” And we went back upstairs feeling very proud of ourselves for doing something scary and having a positive response. Just so you know, downstairs neighbor… approaching you and knocking on your door and giving you free food was hard. But we did it anyway because we want to be nice.

So, and this is where things get weird, you could imagine my surprise and great disappointment when yesterday morning I head out to the train and see my perfect beautiful challah on the floor of our hallway in front of my door. Sitting on the ground for what I can assume was all night. It had maximum 3 slices cut from one end and still had the foil haphazardly clinging to it.

Kamel and I both stopped breathing for a moment as we stared at the bread, on the ground, that we had given you 3 days before.

“Why?!” I said.

“I have no idea!” Kamel said. And then he told me to go, that I was going to miss my train.

I realize that this makes you a total weirdo and doesn’t reflect on my awesomeness at all – but the bread on the ground? It really hurt my feelings. Because I made that. I worried about it and I made it. And it turned out really well. And I offered it to you and you put it on the ground. If you don’t like it – you could have thrown it away. I wouldn’t have noticed.

I thought maybe we could be friends, but upon further reflection I don’t think that’s going to happen. If you had made me bread, even if it was gross and weird, I would have never given it back to you.

Because, really, dear neighbor…. WHO RETURNS BAKED GOODS?

55 thoughts on “Dear Downstairs Neighbor”

  1. Clearly, this person is bizarre. I’d venture to say borderline psychotic. It’s a good thing that you didn’t go inside his lair “for a drink.” You dodged a bullet – steer clear!

      1. Kamel is convinced he was high. But it’s still not ok with me. I’m also pretty sure he didn’t walk all the way up to my door, I think he just pushed it through to the top from the stairs …. it was the first thought that flashed through my mind when I opened the door.

        1. No, if he was high, he wouldve eaten the entire loaf and still been hungry, lol! All i can think about is that couldve been put in the freezer for us to devour on Saturday! He sucks. After we have a few drinks, we’ll go leave something at his door 😉 He’ll NEVER know it was you…..haha.

  2. What. The. Eff?!

    What the eff. I cannot process this, for the life of me. Who does that? Moreover who acts so excited about it and then gives it back? Clearly, he ate some. What, did he think you wanted the rest? And why wait 3 days? GAH. I have nothing but questions. Also, a good smack for that guy, when I see him.

  3. Totally insane. I am also a bread-baker and this would kill me. For future reference, you can slice extra bread and freeze it! It is delicious toasted–much better than making a generous gift to un-neighborly neighbors.

      1. This is what my future MIL does (with or without slicing). If you’re just freezing for a couple of weeks, try waxed paper/butcher paper or a freezer bag.

        This is also the next best thing to fresh bread.

        Also – What a jerk your neighbour is. 🙁

  4. What the fuck indeed? What sort of crazypants returns bread? Especially homemade challah that looks so delicious and perfect I want to reach through the screen and take a bite? And here I thought my neighbors were strange.

  5. Honestly, the only logical explanation I can come up with is he thought “oh hey, i’m not going to eat all of this, maybe they want it back so it doesn’t go to waste.” Yet… I can’t even begin to point out how fucked up that thought process is.

    What a weirdo. Let’s go anonymously leave weird things outside of his door next time I come visit.

    1. This was my thought as well since I’m constantly trying to rationalize the bizarre behavior of others. Doesn’t make it any less forgiveable though. What an incredibly awkward person.

      1. Yep, that was my thought too! Maybe they thought you were just offering them some of it, not all of it? Totally weird.

        As an aside, next time, freeze it. You can even slice it first and take a slice out at a time if it’s too large for you both to eat at once.

        1. No we definitely made it clear to him that we had an extra loaf and that he could have it all to himself. He even told us he had plans for it (breakfast).

          The freeze thing is a good idea though, we had to throw away the last 3-4 slices of ours after a few days.

  6. wtf. that is…so ungrateful and…in poor taste…and everything. it makes me want to cry. first, because i would have probably cried if i were you, at such inconsiderate behavior. second, because, challah is so delicious. and we had a craving for it yesterday, and we couldn’t find any anywhere, so we had to make do with a multigrain bread that was not nearly as good.

    1. Thank you for validating that fact that I walked to the train after this like a zombie and was welling up at the thought that 1) maybe he didn’t like it and was being extremely rude and 2) I worked SO hard on it and was SO careful with it and he put it on the floor!!

      1. seriously. there is no justification for his actions (i mean it. i spent some time trying to come up with something). but you are plenty justified if you ended up crying over having to share a building with people who are capable of doing something so… mean. big hugs.

  7. I’m not going to lie, this made me sad. Also, if I were your neighbor I would have eaten all of the bread. Because it looks amazing. Oh and that and I’m not a weirdo who leaves bread outside of my nice neighbors’ door, half-eaten.

  8. Weirdness. Weird. Weird. Weird.

    Just kind of one of those things you DON’T do. If he didn’t like it, then drop it in the trash. Take it to his work. But DON’T leave it outside your door. DON’T PEOPLE HAVE ANY MANNERS?

  9. This is blowing my mind. The f*ck???

    I can’t imagine any reason for doing this, unless I was trying to make some bizarre, pissy point (and still: what would that be? Our old neighbors–thankfully both have since moved out–used to be in a feud and did all kinds of weird things, but they at least made some kind of nasty sense, i.e. pouring bleach into the washing machine) or else maybe if I weren’t quite… “all there.”

  10. I’m mortified for this man’s awful, awful manners. Clearly, he was raised in a barn (and no offense to the pigs). Seriously, who thinks this behavior is acceptable?? Too bad he’ll miss out on the awesome that is Lauren and Kamel.

    Even three days old that challah looks delish beyond belief. I would be positively thrilled to get such a thoughtful gift from a neighbor!

  11. That is so bizarre that now I just want to know what he was thinking! I hope that someday, somehow you or Kamel get to ask him, “WTF, man?”

  12. I would go downstairs, knock on his door, and ask him why did he do that.
    -“Hi neighbor, we were just wondering how did you like the loaf of bread?”

    -He will have to say what he did.

    -“Oh, sorry, next time just knock on our door and we will properly dispose of your left overs”

    Then you go home and, depending on what his answer was, you will or will not share your delicacies with him in the future.

    Ask and get rid of any doubts.

    1. I don’t feel like instigating a confrontation with him (because he doesn’t mean that much to me), but next time I see him, I’m definitely going to ask what happened.

    2. Yeah, thats another thing….what if you walked out there and it was COVERED in ants?!! And they started getting into your house?! That would have been the beginning of WWIII.

  13. That is SO RUDE! AND WEIRD!! This made me sad too (I would’ve cried). I would’ve been thrilled to get that delicious-looking bread! I agree with the sentiment that you dodged a bullet by not “coming in for a drink.” Do not let this creepy weirdo inside your apartment and don’t go inside his! Anyone who leaves half-eaten bread on your doorstop is seriously not right in the head!

  14. This is the weirdest thing EVER. The pictures of the bread on the ground are kind of hilarious, in an absurdist humor way. Like it’s this just object that is NOT where it should be.

  15. Ok, not just for the massive rude but for the OMG THE CHALLAH BREAD THAT LOOKS FABULOUS! I kind of hate your neighbor a bit right now.

    I want to share the one neat neighbor we have (in a building full of nutters) who shares food with us and rather intimidates me because his food is so yummy that I can never come up with anything I think is good enough to offer back. Next time, I call dibs on extra challah bread – can I do that as your random internet nearly neighbor?

    I know, bring bread and I’ll make you a fab roast chicken. That I can do with confidence.

  16. I meant to mention in my previous comment, this reminded me of a weird upstairs neighbor I had once. My roommate at the time was just as crazy as she was, and roommate’s girlfriend got into a fight with neighbor, and they ended up having a confrontation…in our tiny kitchen, while I watched in horror. Neighbor tried to make up for it by leaving a stuffed animal frog toy on our doorstep with the note “let’s be friends!” It was creepy.

  17. Wow, this is just awful, how , why would he do that. Just know that you guys are awesome, and do not let this affect you, other than, like Zan says, staying away from him.

  18. HAHAHA — that’s so so so bizarre. (Not the bread, that looks delicious.) You guys should’ve put it back in front of his door. He would’ve been so confused.

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