****I accidentally hit publish today before I had proofread and completed this draft—oops! Sorry if you read the unfinished version. This one should be a tad more finished!
Let’s catch up.
First, my very good friend’s hubby won a hundred thousand dollars playing fantasy sports online. What?!?! And, although it couldn’t have come at a better time for them (they’re getting ready to move), or happen to more deserving people, I still find myself thinking:
Man, wish we’d won a hundred grand!
Or: Hmmmm…what could we spend that money on? Paying off loans? Downpayment on a new house? Me not having to work for a year? Vacation abroad?
Or, alternatively: Liam needs to get a new hobby—stat! Like, gambling online at paying fantasy sports sites! Sheesh.
During dinner, when I told Liam about our friends, he was like: Man, we need to catch a break. (Again, let’s be real, here. We are talking about first world problems. Our lives are pretty darn sweet, and we know it.) But, still…
After dinner, Liam opened up the mail. In the pile was a letter from our landlord. Usually the only mail he sends to us includes utility bills. As I was watching Liam read the handwritten note, I noticed that there were no bills included. I also saw him chuckling. I asked aloud, hopefully, thinking this might be our lucky break, “What? Is he going to give us the house for free because we’ve been such outstanding tenants?”
“Not exactly,” he replied. He passed me the letter so I could read it myself:
Kirstin and Liam,
This is a note to inform you that I will not furnish or maintain a lawn mower any more. You will have to supply your own mower. I will sell the present mower for $120.00 for your use.
Name Witheld to Protect the Old Guy)
Before I get into the heart of the letter, let me first tell you a bit about our lawn. Our house sits on a corner lot and it has a lot of grass. It takes us approximately two hours to mow the lawn on a riding mower, which came with the house. Up until now, apparently.
And now, let’s get to the mower. It is old. Rusty red. Every winter the front right tire goes flat and the battery dies. We need to start the battery with jumper cables from one of the cars each time we decide the lawn needs a trim, which, given our schedules these days is about once every two weeks. The grass gets to about mid-calf sometimes, depending on the amount of rainfall we receive. It can get embarrassing.
Also, the riding seat is a major hazard. The bolts and screws have come undone no matter how many times we have tightened them, glued them, duct-taped them, etc. So, one side of the seat is safely attached to the mower, but the other side is not. If you drive it too fast on an incline, you might get thrown. Ejected. You have to perfect your lean on this thing, much like a motorcycle rider has to when making steep turns. Suffice it to say, the mower is a piece of shit. Hardly worth $120 big ones.
Onto the letter. I can understand why the landlord, getting on in years himself—much like our dear mower—might not want to maintain the machine any longer. It’s a lot of work. But furnishing the mower no more? Come on, now. It’s not like somebody else is interested in the piece o’ crap. And selling it to us? Does he desperately need that money? I don’t know. All is know is this. I agreed with Liam when, after reading the letter, he exclaimed, “This isn’t the kind of break I was thinking about.”
I guess his response was better than mine. My idea was to draft the following:
Dear Mr. Landlord,
This is a note to inform you that we will no longer be maintaining or mowing the lawn.
Your Loving Tenants
So, the much anticipated neighborhood garage sale was scheduled for this past Saturday. The garage sale that was going to bring in hundreds of people from all over the place. The sale that was going to bring in so much cash that it would pay for two weeks’ worth of groceries, and maybe even allow us to treat ourselves to a dinner out.
And then, it rained. Postponed until Sunday.
Flash to Sunday. We had maybe seven folks drop by our house. And that’s being generous. Our house was the only one on our street selling anything, so we weren’t bringing in the traffic flying solo. Even the egg roll lady—yes, she did show up asking if she could sell on our lawn (I said yes); and yes, she does indeed wear a t-shirt proudly identifying her as ‘The Egg Roll Lady’—drove past, honked her horn and waved, and moved on to greener pastures, somewhere else in the neighborhood. To her credit, she did come back to the house at the end of the sale and offer us egg rolls. They weren’t free, but she gave us a discount.
We probably made close to $40. For someone who is already thin on patience, I found it hugely disappointing we didn’t do better. It took a lot out of me to block out the morning—Liam’s only day off with us for awhile—set out and organize clothing by size, and wait for the gawkers and hagglers to do their gawking and haggling. Had there been more people, we would have KILLED it. I’m sure.
Around noon, I decided to walk to a neighbor’s house a street away to buy pulled pork sandwiches for lunch. Liam advised against this since doing so would blow our meager profits. Whatever. They were delicious. He agreed.
When all was said and done, we were about five pairs of shoes and twenty-five articles of clothing lighter, made enough money to pay for lunch and egg rolls, and still had some left for about half a tank of gas and an iced coffee.
I’ve been talking with some of the neighbors about either trying to have another Saturday sale, or get rid of some things online. After all, we are still hoping for a lucky break of some kind.
Maybe the next sale will be it?