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Competing with My Neighbors
Every few months my electric company sends out an e-mail telling me how my energy conservation compares to my neighbor’s … and it’s never good news. Anyone who reads my columns knows I’m a competitive person and that I get anxious if I don’t perform well, so when I first received this email, I thought, Gotta get on this! But every month it’s getting worse — this month they say I’m 32 percent worse than everyone else in the neighborhood. I have never done this poorly in a competition.
During the winter I had the heat set at 60 degrees. I’m gone at least a week a month. I turn the heat way down while I’m out. I watch television in the dark, squinting. Summer is here and I’m staring at the air-conditioning units knowing they are my enemy. And now I’m mad as hell.
Do you think they send this to everyone, hoping everyone will live like a Pilgrim, as I have started doing? What is their intention? Efficient neighbors? All neighbors? YOU! Even the headers on the chart make me feel bad. I want to be an ‘efficient neighbor.’ Where is Mr. Rodgers when I need him?
Here is the deal: I’m not going to open any more e-mails from these people. I’m done. And, all the neighbors who are more efficient than me can tell me how much they get done in a day. I assure you they can’t compete with me on any other playing field besides electric.
And my goal for the rest of 2022 is going to be to stop competing in arenas that are not really of interest to me. Goodbye guilt and angst, and hello F-You attitude to come.
I feel better now. Thanks for listening.