I get two 24 packs of Poland Spring bottled water delivered to my fourth floor walkup apartment each week. The first time the delivery guy dropped the water off, he rang my buzzer and brought it all the way up, a little annoyed.
“Hey, just to let you know, we don’t usually do this.”
I was confused. Isn’t that what a chick says before she sleeps with a guy on the first date? Where did he think this was going?
“We usually don’t bring the waters up the stairs, you’ll have to come down and get them.”
“Oh, okay.” No problem. Seems reasonable enough. Although one wonders why the hell he broke his rule this time. You already got the sale, man. This isn’t a drug dealer situation where you need to break me off for free the first time only for me to come crawling back. I’m not showing up outside the Poland Spring distribution warehouse, trying to get the bugs of my skin. “You guys got any of that water? I’ll take it upstairs, I don’t even need you to carry it up for me. I’ll do literally anything for it. Liter. Ally. Any. Thing.”
So next week comes, the guy comes back and buzzes me early while I’m still asleep. 7am. I hit the buzzer, but to go down and pick up the water I had to put some clothes on. I’m not trying to greet the Poland Spring guy in the buff.
Apparently I took too long, because by the time I threw on a mish mash of readily available clothes, he was gone. All that was left? Two 24 packs of Poland Spring bottled water…on the stoop of the THIRD floor.
Get that? He brought the water up, but not all the way. Okay, that’s cool. That’s a litle “screw you” he was throwing my way, and truth be told, I kind of earned it. In fairness to me, I wasn’t expecting the Poland Spring guy buzzing me to replace the rooster’s call as the first thing to hear in the morning, but it was no big deal. The way I saw it, at least he was nice enough to bring it up three flights of stairs. Next week I’d be ready for him and I’d rectify it by going all the way down.
Except next week came and he didn’t buzz at all. This time he just dropped it off on the third floor without even trying to contact me. Or maybe he did, only it was earlier this time. Sorry I couldn’t be around for your 5 am water wakeup call pal, but I’m not interrupting a REM cycle for the convenience of any delivery guy. You don’t see the good people at China Panda waking my ass up for beef and broccoli at all hours of the night.
This is how it continued, for weeks on end. Every week he wouldn’t buzz me, and every week he left it on the third floor. Like I said, at first I just appreciated he was bringing it up three flights. But now that it was an every week thing, it became an absolute fuck you: “Yeah, I’ll bring it up. But not all the way.” From a physical standpoint it was better than carrying it up four flights, but from a mental and emotional standpoint, it was a bigger insult for him to make me go down one flight.
Honestly, I’d prefer he just leave it at the bottom. There’s no passive aggressive message there. That’s just sticking to our original agreement that we shook on, like a couple of men. (We didn’t actually shake on it, but we did verbally agree and a man’s word has to count for something in this world.)
For awhile, getting the two 24 packs off the third floor stoop was just my reality. I got comfortable with it. I grew accustomed to the insult and just adopted it as standard operating procedure. Except for one week, when I came home from the gym to find the 24 packs in the lobby.
What. The. Fuck.
So NOW you want to go back to our original deal? I don’t think so. That’s straight up dishonorable. Now I was on a mission to catch this guy in the act during the next delivery. I was going to rip into him. You think you’re better than me? You think I can’t carry them up the stairs? I’ll Sam and Frodo these motherfuckers up Mount Doom all day baby.
Just because you were too prissy to wait for me to throw a shirt on while you rang me at an unconscionable hour doesn’t mean you should slap me in the face with your unpredictable water drop off points. What did you want me to do, come down there in just my boxers? Or should I have shown up bareass? “Thanks Poland Spring Guy! Hope the rest of the neighborhood doesn’t mind seeing my butt cheeks! I could’ve put on sweatpants but ohhh nooooo, I wouldn’t want to keep the busy Water Guy waiting a second longer than necessary! See you next week? Make it 4 am next time? I’l stay up the night before wearing a tux to make sure I’m ready for your bitch ass!”
The punchline to this story of course is that a few weeks later the delivery guy buzzed me to tell me he was there. It was a different guy. A few weeks later, a different guy buzzed. Turns out it’s pretty much a different guy each week. There was no passive aggressive, villainous Poland Spring Delivery Guy. Just me, reading to much into it, hoping to find a worthy neighborhood antagonist for the movie that is my life.
If you’re one of the many Poland Spring Delivery Guys who delivers in my neighborhood, please accept my heartfelt apology. If you’re not, sign up for my email list.