Monday, November 06, 2006

My Landlords: Part II

Since that first chitchat there haven’t been any extensive conversations. I see L in the driveway after work – seems he putters most evenings. I see D in the basement of the big house when I’m doing laundry.

Based on my stereotyping of what I believe a cross between a Buddhist and a Metaphysical Christian would be like, I think D is hypocritically superficial. The big house is opulent, the yard and gardens are just so, and she’s hyper about cleanliness. She seems to follow her grandkids around with a mop and whitewashes the basement walls after it rains because the red brick starts to seep through. I’ll repeat that: she *whitewashes* the *basement* walls. The basement. Nobody goes down there except her and me. So either she’s really trying to impress me, or she needs more hobbies.

Anyway, the a couple weeks ago when I was doing laundry I ran into D. Seems life had been exceptionally hectic for her, what with moving the nonprofit offices out of the 3rd floor of the big house to offices downtown, training new staff and planning a Halloween benefit to raise some cash. I sympathized and wished her well. When I came back to get my laundry I found 4 fat envelopes waiting for me. D wanted to invite me and (“hopefully”) some of my friends to the benefit to “help keep [her] nonprofit financially viable.” Opening the invite, I learned that my ticket to this little soiree would cost me $125.

My jaw dropped. I’m sorry, but on what planet / in which dimension / in what alternate reality do I have $125 to blow I mean “donate” to an organization I have never utilized nor feel committed to? Run by someone who is not a close friend? Someone who could easily buy and sell me? Plus, I’d have to make a costume OR wear something black-tie. Two additional situations I’d rather avoid.

The RSVP had a box you could check for “Sorry I cannot attend, but enclosed is my donation of $_____.” Ah, an option for the rest of us. Giving to a good cause but not allowed to attend the party. A party with a chocolate fondue fountain! Obviously everybody wins.

Now I’m not trying to say anything negative about her organization, or discourage donating to good causes. On the contrary, I’m sure her organization has helped people, and I’m sure being a nonprofit isn’t easy – you’re kind of forced to coerce money from people, not making a profit and all. Rather, I’m trying to advocate perception, tact and discretion. Is that so wrong?


Blogger Chris B. said...

You could just say no.

8:30 PM  

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