I have always thought of myself as a good person. I have a job, I earn a living, I buy American-made products, do community service,
visit my parents at least once a month and freely admit to watching Melrose Place. As if that weren't enough, I don't blast my stereo, I never have loud and large parties, I always pay my rent on time and I have never bounced a check. All in all, I'm a building's dream tenant. Having lived in New York for 27 years, one would think this fact alone would entitle me to be passed by even the toughest board in Manhattan.
I found my dream co-op on East 79th Street just three days after I had started the active search: a large pre-war one-bedroom apartment with a huge living room, fabulous walk-in closets and a small work area. It had charm, style and a personality all its own. There was a solidness and wholeness to it. This was a place where I could spend the rest of my life.
After completing endless paperwork, dealing with negotiations, unearthing everyone who had ever said something nice about me, paying the lawyer's fee, the copying fee, the interview fee, and on and on, it was finally all completed. The next step was the board interview.
Unlike most people, I was looking forward to it. Like a child on her first day of school, I had already planned what I was going to weara conservative but fashionable designer suit with a French cut shirt. But alas, I never got the chance to wear it; my favorite brown wool pant suit hung untouched in my closet.