Wednesday, August 08, 2007
So today at camp carpool I rolled down the window to greet a friend of mine. "You're on the market to buy a house, aren't you?" she asked. "We're looking," I answered, wondering if she had a house in mind. "Did you see the house two doors down from Mrs. Stein? We just looked at it today." In my heart, I felt defensive. What's she doing looking at my house? Even though it's out of our price range, I still know where I'd put my furniture. I love that house.
I decided to kill this defensiveness immediately. I smiled at her. "We made an offer and were expecting a counter-offer, but she never came through. Good luck with it," I said. I thought of the Rebbe, who taught about correcting a flaw in the manner of chitzonius (outwardness). If you don't feel something inwardly, behave the proper way outwardly. The inside will eventually catch up. Fake it 'til you make it.
The whole drive home I thought about sincerity. I didn't feel sincere. But I wanted to. I wanted to feel that my friend should get the best house, even if it was the one I wanted. Plus, I really like her. A lot. I didn't want a sense of competitiveness between us.
I had the chance to see her again, tonight at a camp presentation. I was sitting right behind her. During a lull, I tapped her on the shoulder. "You know, there's a few things you should know about that block," I said, wanting to fill her in. We started to schmooze. "I didn't know you were interested in that house," she said. "We'll retract our offer if you want." "Chas v'shalom!" I answered, startled. "G-d has a house for you and a house for me, too. There's no need to do that." And at that moment, I really felt it. I felt aligned with my friend and with G-d.
She spoke about how she was worried about affording a house. I commiserated. I told her that she should have her husband get in touch with Yaakov - they could talk about the housing market together. Yaakov is very savvy about this stuff, I know he'd be able to help. It felt good getting my husband on board. It feels good to behave like a Jew.