I am married to a kind and generous person. She likes to do things for others. We live in an apartment condo with long corridors and three floors. At Christmas time a number of single people find a little bag of Christmas goodies hanging on their door – they know from whence they came.
This week the building entrance keys were changed. We all needed new keys. It seems that the person who delivers the Winnipeg Free Press (we don’t subscribe) didn’t obtain a new key. Before the locks were changed, each person’s newspaper was delivered to their door between 3 and 5 am. I know this because I am often up examining the plumbing at these times, and hear the paper delivery person thumping the papers onto the floor and running down the stairs to the next level.
Since the change of locks the delivery person has left the pile of papers in the lobby, outside the secure area.
Someone, possibly our really great building manager, or someone who takes the Free Press had moved the bundle of papers and placed them on a table in the secure area.
Little Miss Helpful (LMH, aka Susan) decided that she could deliver them and get exercise walking the hallways and climbing the stairs.
She did this the first day. Mission accomplished.
Yesterday she was on the prowl, I mean taking hall walking exercise, and checked the papers. Sure enough there they were on the table. Our building manager was vacuuming the area. He explained that the paper delivery person (wasn’t it so much easier when we could say ‘paperboy’…yes, yes I know…) hadn’t applied for a new key as instructed so couldn’t get in without calling up to one of the paper recipients (at 3 am this would be a very popular thing, probably getting the PDP invited in for breakfast or a severe beating with a folded newspaper).
LMH picked up the bundle and was about to go on her new rounds when an older woman (no disrespect intended – she is older than us) with a walker came along. Susan suspected she was after her newspaper. She said “Are you looking for your paper”. The woman replied in a loud voice “I’ve come for my paper”. “Why is it late”
LMH with her lovely smile said, “I have your paper here”. It soon became clear that the woman couldn’t hear her. So she raised her voice. “The Paper person doesn’t have a key yet, so the papers were put outside and I have been delivering them”.
In an angry voice the woman asked “Are you shouting at me? I can’t hear, I read lips”.
LMH, still smiling but not quite as widely, tried to speak making lip movements that might be more easily read. She has sometimes said to me “Read my lips!” and I know exactly what that means – nod, smile and back away slowly.
Susan repeated about the key. The woman said quite angrily “Why don’t you get yourself a key? Then I wouldn’t have to come looking for my paper”.
The vacuum cleaner was going strong, so I’m not sure of all that was said. LMH tried to explain that she was only trying to be helpful by delivering the papers and that it wasn’t actually her job. But the woman was not appeased and taking her paper went back towards her apartment.
LMH waited a little while and then went along delivering the rest. Many of our neighbours probably have no idea why their papers are later than usual, or that they are being delivered by a kindly third floor resident. I wonder what will happen next week – we will be away for a few days.
So, this is a Valentine edition of my blog, to my lovely, kind, all-suffering wife. She will read this and probably slowly mutter something like “37 years!”
Now wasn’t that better than flowers?