when Christmas is over. Let the tasteless, thoughtless gift-giving cease. You want to do something meaningful for me for Christmas? Don’t get me anything. Yes, you can “get” me something: Lost.
Today, in my mailbox was a Christmas gift from my landlord. Mind you, they came in last week and tore up all the beautiful Pepto-Bismol pink tile (circa. 1930s) from my bathroom. I’ve been so upset about it that I can’t even speak of it. In its place went some cheesy peel and stick white floor tiles.
I’ve been begging for three years for them to replace the pedestal sink in the bathroom, since all the plumbing associated with it is older than God. And the faucet in my kitchen has sprunk a leak. There are cracks from floor to ceiling in every room in the house.
I live in a shotgun fourplex. There are two such buildings on a dead-end, tree-lined street in Houston’s “Eastwood” section; a quiet area consisting mostly of housing such as mine alongside quaint little bungalows.
So what does my landlord get me (and presumably the other seven tenants in the building)? A $25 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble. I doubt half the tenants are literate. Oh, and along with that, was a nasty gram about cleaning up the back porches (I’m not a culprit here), and a non-working car needs to be made to work or be removed. That would be my neighbor, Harley (a/k/a Oswald, because he looks just like the guy on The Drew Carey Show). His poor 1970s Nova has been disabled for awhile. He could have used a gift certificate from Bap Geon to get some parts for his poor ailing hoopty.
And so the landlord, facing all these repairs, and more that I don’t even know about, spends a total of $200 for gift certificates to a book store. That would have paid for yard service to rake all the leaves away from the gutters, for servicing of one or two hot water heaters or AC units, for maintenance of someone’s leaky bathroom or kitchen.
Hell, if he really wanted to make our collective Christmases merry and bright, why didn’t he just say he’d knock $25 off next month’s rent. Sheesh.
Oh, and Bah.
P.S. I really hate to sound ungrateful, but I feel like I’m being “handled” here. I think the gift certificate (and yes, I KNOW I mentioned in a previous post about giftgiving that a bookstore gift certificate would always be welcome; I just never said it would be welcome from the landlord, who ought to have better things to spend monehy on) is supposed to butter us up for the rent increase that is sure to come.