The Real.Est List
Dear Ms. Demeanor: Should I let my kids play with the super's daughter?
Dear Ms. Demeanor,
Our super's daughter is close in age to my children. We even have given her some of their old clothes and toys. Occasionally we see the little girl in the morning when leaving for school and my kids have asked about her. It is appropriate to pursue a friendship with his child?
My first thought is: Why on earth not??? If your children go the same school they could easily be classmates, so why not playmates?
I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt--though I would not expect the same courtesy from my readers--and assume you are asking this question because you realize that the super himself may want to keep his private life out of the workplace. I appreciate that a personal relationship between your children may make the professional relationship with your super slighty more complex, but not prohibitively so. Let the children be your guide.
If this a 'class-based' question (and I shudder at the term), you are asking the wrong etiquette columnist in the wrong city and the wrong century. Bed bugs don't discriminate on education, income, or 'insert other prejudice here' and NEITHER SHOULD YOU!
Like Playdough and the DMV and moments of national crisis, children's relationships number among the great equalizers. It is our responsibility as parents, vertical dwellers, and members of the human race to let those relationships flourish.
One more thing: If the children do develop a friendship--and I hope they do--do not expect favors or special treatment. Be as 'professional' a tenant as you would like him to be a super.
Ms. Demeanor is channeled by a longtime Manhattan vertical dweller and real-estate voyeur who writes under the pen name Jamie Lauren Sutton. She is here to commiserate, calm and correct. Please email your quandaries to email@example.com and put "Dear Ms. Demeanor" in the subject line.