Patron Part II: My New Landlady

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Since I am currently in the middle of a move to a new apartment (from Williamsburg to Greenpoint) I thought I would dedicate this post to a continuation of the “Patron” discussion.  It just so happens that I may have stumbled upon a new one to add to my growing list of people who support me.
My newest supporter: my landlady.  This could be the most beneficial relationship I have developed yet for the following reasons…

1. She fixes things in my apartment.
Perhaps this is part of the normal course of a landlord/tenant relationship and I have been scarred by my last relationship.  My old landlord liked to act as if he were doing me a favor by making repairs.  Come to think of it, this one is definitely the result of an emotional wound.

Speaking of landlords/lady’s…it is hard to find a functional one of these relationships these days.  My aforementioned last landlord/tenant relationship was cold and distant.  He was incommunicado. He tried to shake me down for more money on a number of occasions.  Still, getting nothing from him (save a roof over my head), I stayed.  I stayed in the bad relationship for 8 years.  Now I see the true potential of this kind of friend/patron.

Another reason…

2. She is giving me a couch.
Now, don’t get me wrong…this couch is heinous.  But, there is something about her wry smile when she offered it that gives me the impression that she thinks so too.  Regardless, my husband fell in love with it.  It is large and black and leather.  Picture: Polish bachelor furniture.  Being lovers of all things ‘Polish’ and ‘bachelor’ we said, “sure.”

3.  She makes me food.
Ok, so I haven’t actually eaten anything yet, but she promised to make me stuffed cabbage.  What says I support you more than feeding a starving artist?

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Based on these very clear examples of patronage I have high hopes for our relationship.

Here are some plans I am making for her for the our future.

She will teach me how to bake…or cook anything really.

She will be a pseudo-grandparent for my children.

She will counsel me through fights with my husband.

And connected to that…

Give me needed advice on marriage and womanhood.

I can picture it now…

Cups of tea at the kitchen table where we share stories and laughter (which we abruptly stop when a man enters the room-only to continue in a fit of the giggles as soon as they are out of earshot).

A shoulder to cry on when real world tragedy strikes close to home (knock wood).

A borrowed egg or cup of sugar (for my new baking habit).

Small tokens of affection around the holidays. Christmas cheer and mushy cards that express our real feelings (which we never say because we are too busy having fun).

In my dreams, she will give me real world advice couched in poetic metaphors and basically be the sage, older gal-stereotype for which I have always hoped.

Alas, I am not a complete parasite.  I know that the best patron relationships are mutually beneficial.  So, in this venture, I will strive for a type of symbiosis from which everyone benefits.  So, that would make me less of a parasite and more of an animal that gives you back something in exchange for what they take: a mosquito? Intestinal bacteria?

I have yet to determine what I have to offer her save a smile and interest for her in my life.  Companionship?  A satisfying, feminine, inter-generational relationship?

Well that is what I am looking for too.

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About the author

Christine Witmer - Sparing Stringer

Christine was born and raised in the land of the Pilgrims, Plymouth, Massachusetts. She turned in her buckled shoes when she moved to NYC to attend NYU. From that esteemed University she received her BFA in theatre as well as a Master’s Degree in Performance Studies in 2004. Now an actor, writer and broke ass day-jobber, Christine juggles her many personas with the elegance of a red panda…. specifically the one in the Prospect Park Zoo . . . soooooo cute! She can be found most often in her own habitat on the Northside of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

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