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Over The Edge

iStock_000009520384XSmallLiving in High Rise Society can send you over the edge – not literally – although there was a lady in my building years back who jumped off the roof and splattered to her death though I think whatever made her take flight had more to do with her than the building.  But it is indisputable that a higher percentage of off-kilter people live inside High Rise Society than outside, which doesn’t make a lot of sense because all the people inside High Rise Society came from outside.

Maybe the process of self selection is at work the way it is at gyms where wafer thin people who don’t need to exercise are the only ones burning calories on the treadmill.

So what makes people functional enough on the outside to have made the bundle necessary to buy into High Rise Society turn into a restive tribe once they get there? This is a question — like how many angels can dance on the head of a pin — that probably requires some deep thinker like Dr. Phil or Rabbi Boteach to answer. But I have a few theories of my own.

CVZ01For all the money people spend to get into High Rise Society, real estate is so expensive that most live in closer proximity and have less space to roam than detainees at Camp Fed, a condition that can lead to mental stress disorders. On top of that there is a constant struggle for scarce resources – washers and dryers, luggage carts and storage spaces – items tribesmen have been known to battle over with the same ferocity as a lion might fight for a hunk of red meat necessary for her cub’s survival.  And even though their individual apartments are climate controlled, buildings are hothouses that breed disinformation that spreads like weeds, with everyone talking about everyone else so you always have to watch your back, which can make life difficult.

Ordinarily tribesmen are able to keep their passions in check so that a veneer of comity masks the turmoil beneath the surface. But at least once a year, at the annual meeting, there is a breakdown and the controlled calm is replaced by chaos as repressed members use the opportunity to vent about anything that comes into their heads whether or not it has anything to do with High Rise Society.

Even if you have a steely constitution, it is not easy remaining untouched by this environment. Once you come into contact with a person who has succumbed to the state of mind that affects so many in High Rise Society you are likely to fall victim, and unlike swine flu, there is no vaccine to help you ward off the affliction. Your only chance is to avoid interaction with fellow tribesmen, but then you’ll be branded a social misfit.  So you see, it’s really a Hobson’s choice.  The best thing to do is to make your apartment so inviting, assuming you’re allowed to undertake the desired renovations, that you’ll never want to come out.

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2 Responses to “Over The Edge”

  1. Condo Diva says:

    Thank you for the reality check. I thought maybe it was just my building! Seriously, I think every building has at least some eccentrics, but so long as they’re charmingly idiosyncratic and not aggressive, it’s okay to go out.

  2. Diane says:

    Loved reading your comments. Condo communities are their own microcosm of politics and some hilarious situations and conflicts result. I wrote a book about it, soon to be published: Condo Divas. Comforting to know others feel the same.

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