bunt sign

Saturday, September 21, 2002

When I have to get up too early on a Saturday morning (by which I mean when I have to get up in the morning on a Saturday), it ought to be for a good reason. If my landlords tell me they'll be here at nine to correct all the items on my list, I don't argue. When they don't show up until almost ten, I don't argue. When they leave for two hours in the middle of the day, leave for good at four o'clock, and only do half the things they promised, I don't even complain about that. I'm better off than I was yesterday, just a little sleepier.

"It's been a long time since we've been here," they commented. And that was before I pointed out the sliding screen door that already had a hole in it before I moved in two years ago. That was one of the corrections they did make today, and now I don't have to keep putting masking tape over the hole to keep the bugs out. Now I just have to remember to close the door (to keep the bugs out).

Even though the landlords didn't spend the whole day buzzing around my place, I felt I had to stay here to let them in and out. Since I didn't feel I could get out today at all, I actually did get a lot of work done. That's the upside of getting up early and having to stay home. The downside is getting up early. And having to stay home.

One of the other things they fixed were the fence around the front of my garden, which started losing boards over a year ago and then collapsed in on itself during all the winter rains. Yes, it's been awhile. We haven't had any winter rains for a long time.

They also replaced the useless dimmer switch in my bedroom with a real light switch. I haven't had an overhead light in that room for almost the whole time I've lived here. I don't know what a lonely, single guy needs with mood lighting anyway. It doesn't help.

Are you supposed to thank the people you pay money to for the privilege of living in a house they own, when they fix things that are wrong with the place? I don't know if that's correct renter's etiquette, but "thank you" comes out of my mouth almost unconsciously whenever I think someone's done something to make my life a little better, whether I'm paying them to do so or not. I said it for the fence, and the screen door, and the dimmer switch.

I really thanked them for the new little concrete slab they stuck in front of my front door. There's been a sheet of rotting wood in that spot since forever, and it soaks up water all winter long. Weeds grow up through it faster than I can pull them out. I've replaced the unwelcome mat twice, but I never thought to ask them to do something about it. That was their idea.

So now all I have to do is remember not to walk out the front door for the next couple of days. I put a sign on the screen that says "wet" in big red letters. I hope that works.


My new front stoop.

Before the landlords were even here, I had a couple of young women call on me this morning. The door was open, so they knocked on the screen. I'd seen them coming, so I was there before they finished knocking. I guess they weren't paying attention. "Oh! You scared me" one of them said.

"Good!" I replied. And I didn't take their magazines, either, although I was not rude and listened to their whole little speech about... uh...

Well okay, maybe I didn't listen. But I made them think I was listening, and that's just as good.

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