When last I regaled you with news from NPW land, things with my little Italian landlord couple were still up in the air: would they turn out to be constantly up in our grills? Should Jay and I get the $100 a month off our rent down in writing? Was this all a ploy to have us somehow indebted to them so we’d feel guilty about not sweeping the sidewalk with them every Thursday afternoon?
In the end, Jay and I decided to risk paying $100 less and not get it in writing. I mean, the woman brings us plates of homemade manicotti, is she really going to sue us next August? By all appearances it seems she really wanted us to be able to save some cash since we’d be lugging our laundry out every week or so, and that c-note every month was a pretty sweet bonus. Plus, while I’m not a lazy person in general, dropping my laundry off and then picking it up washed, dried, and folded turned out to be one of the great joys of my life.
Then one day she came and knocked on the door and proudly announced, “I buy-a you a washing machine!” WELL THEN.
So, fine. I’ll do my own laundry, I guess. I dragged it all down to the basement where she instructed me on how to wash my clothes. Great!, I said, so where’s the dryer? Oh, she did not buy a dryer! There are no dryers. She hangs every last piece of clothing on a clothesline that stretches the entire length of her basement. NOT THE MOST CONVENIENT, MADAM. Still, I warily put the clothes in to wash, promising to return in 45 minutes to spend another 45 hanging things. But when I got back down there, she had already hung all our clothes, including my underwear, all over her basement. Hmm.
Ok, I promised. I’d be down tomorrow to fold them all! The next afternoon there was a little knock on our door. You guessed it! There she was, with a folded basket of our laundry. I did exactly 20 seconds of work. This same routine has happened a few times. She insists on doing it, and most of the time plies us with homemade pizza or cookies while she does.
Rent time rolled around and Jay and I debated. Should we just add back in that $100? She subtracted that money because we didn’t have laundry in the building and now we do. In the end (and after much back and forth), we decided to do the honorable thing and just pay the $100 extra. I brought down the check and left it with her husband.
Less than 20 minutes later, she came up the stairs holding two $50 bills and a bag of homemade fettucini. “You-a pay too much!”, she scolded. I tried to explain, but she waved me away with instructions on how to boil the pasta properly.
I don’t know, you tell me. Best landlord ever in the history of the world? Whatever; even if it turns out that she’s not, that Sunday evening delivery of homemade pizza might cancel it out anyway.