Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tenant Of The Year

Last Wednesday, a week ago today, the First Annual Red Carpet Awards were presented to the residents of the Las Americas and Olympia hotels at the Defiance Space, where our weekly yoga classes are held. These awards were the brain child of my lovely case manager, Erin, and her protege, Paul.
These two are taking their own sweet time in posting the photographs taken at the event, which I will add to this post as they become available.
Erin and Paul had been planning the awards for quite awhile. I heard mention of a "secret" something going on set for May 5th, while sitting and chatting to my case managers in their office.
"A secret, huh?" I would say.
"Yes," Erin would say.
"It's not nice to have secrets."
"You'll like this secret."
"How will I like it if I don't know what it is?" I countered.
"You'll like it when you find out what it is," she said
Being completely immature I of course was prompted to say, "Well Hardy and I are having a secret too. For, uuuh, May seventh."
"What secret?" Erin asked eagerly.
"You'll see. Maybe. What's good for the goose..."
Anyway, Erin went off to New Jersey for a week and nothing was mentioned of the big "secret," event until Ray showed me a flyer he had received inviting him to the Red Carpet Awards, at the Garden Club meeting on April 26th. Prizes, food, photos, and fanfare were promised.
I had not received an invitation and was a bit miffed.
I mentioned this to Erin upon her return when she called me May 4th, announcing her arrival at the hotel so we could go to breakfast, which is our custom on Tuesday mornings.
"Hey Rick," she said. "I still have a lot of stuff to do for tomorrow, so I was thinking we could just go pick something up and come right back..."
"What's going on tomorrow?" I asked her.
"You know," she said.
"No I don't." I in fact did know (generic invitation flyers had been posted throughout the hotel), but I had still not received an invitation and was teasing her.
"The Red Carpet Awards."
"What's that... Red Carpet Awards?"
"You know..."
"No I don't. I didn't get an invitation."
"You didn't?"
"I did not."
"That makes me nervous. Paul was supposed to make sure everyone got invitations. But you're invited."
"I didn't get an invitation," I maintained.
"Rick, you're invited. Believe me. I'm inviting you right now. You're going to go aren't you?"
"I don't know. I didn't get an invitation."
On and on.
Later in the office Paul printed me an invitation and I could argue no further.
Paul and Erin were so busy that Tuesday that they canceled our weekly Support Group.
"What?!" I exclaimed upon learning this.
"I'm sorry, Rick," Erin soothed. "I know this is going to make you cry."
"I need support, damn it!"
We had been learning and playing the game of dominoes at our Support Groups lately, a game that Hardy was thoroughly familiar with, and Erin is a mathematical genius, so I had been getting my ass kicked by both of them at these sessions. I would have to forego that particular humiliation that week.
The awards were scheduled to begin at noon on the 5th. I arrived a little early to find Charlotte, from the Olympia already there waiting outside the Defiance Space, the door of which was closed. Red fabric had been laid out on the sidewalk, from the parking lot up to the door, hence the name Red Carpet Awards.
Charlotte and I waited. Others soon arrived. They waited with us. Noontime came and went. We waited, then waited, and after a little while... we waited some more.
Evelyn, one of Erin's supervisors arrived, and was let in immediately.
Paul drove up in his car. Apparently it was his job to secure the food. The door opened and the guests were ushered in one at a time to have their picture taken, just like at the Academy Awards. I ducked out of that by helping Paul carry in some of the food trays, entering behind the sheet and "red carpet," where the photos were being taken. Erin would later get mad at me for that.
"Rick!" she would say.
Hundreds of balloons had been inflated and strewn across the floor. Paper streamers abounded. Tables set up facing a central podium. Plates of potato chips, crackers and such placed on the tables. I took a seat and started munching.
Food had been promised, which ensured a modest attendance. Between thirty and forty residents from both of the hotels showed up.
My lovely hotel manager, Tianna, announced the beginning of the festivities. Plates of fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, and potato salad were served to all. We had the choice of Coke or Sprite. I choose Coke.
After eating Tianna explained that since so much attention was given to those residents who get into trouble, or have a difficult time following the simple rules of the hotel, these awards were for the specific point of honoring residents who never gave them a problem, and thus were seldom noticed. A very good idea I think.
Tianna began giving out award certificates for those residents who always paid their rent on time. Many were given out. I got one. It looks almost exactly like the certificate pictured above except under the word "for" were the words "Rent Consistency." Upon going up to receive this certificate, I was asked how I did it.
"I don't want to get thrown out," was my inglorious reply.
She then presented awards for the cleanliest rooms, an award I did not receive.
Although I do keep my box clean and tidy, I do admit it has a cluttered air about it, a certain grimy atmosphere, and I am not as deft at dusting as my dear sister is, and my own mother was, but it suits me just fine, and is more functional than decorative.
So Tianna, if you don't like my freaking box, stay the hell out of it!
My feelings bitterly hurt, I accepted the next award with as much grace and pose as I could muster. This one was for "Most services recorded at Las Americas." I'm told this was for attending enough Support Groups, which were freaking canceled the day before, to satisfy the Housing Authority's requirement to maintain a subsidized rent.
Paul and Erin took over from Tianna and presented us with the rest of the awards. One was given for attending school, which I do not.
The next Erin proclaimed, "Is one that Paul and I would never win... punctuality!" I got one of those. I got one for "Creative excellence," due to this website I believe. I also received one for "Outstanding participation," due to all of the freaking Support Groups I attend. This one was a "Golden Boot Award," which says so on the certificate. With this award I also received a little plastic statue of a golden boot. Yeah, like a bronzed baby shoe.
I don't know why.
I also received a gift card to Walmart. Very nice.
Many were not present to receive their awards, which was unfortunate, but many were and a good time was had by all.
My head reeling with all of this attention, like the Best Picture award at the Oscars, the Tenant of the Year award was presented. Earl won for the Olympia, but he wasn't there.
"And for the Las Americas," Erin stated, "Richard Joyce!"
I couldn't believe it. I was sure my neighbor Lester the Molester would win. I caught my breath and made my way to the podium.
"Thank you Erin. Oh my gosh, I don't believe this. First I'd like to thank Erin and Paul, without which this would not be possible. I'd also like to thank the rest of the cast and crew, my agent, my sister Cheryl, and my niece Keri. My mom and dad, who did not live long enough to see this, and all of the little people who made this happen. Thank you so much!"
Photos flashed as I made my way back stage to meet the press.
And later, after everything was over, I helped Erin and Paul clean up all the balloons and stuff.
You can never start too early kissing ass for the awards next year.
And now, back by popular demand... another picture of Erin being abducted by space aliens.

1 comment:

  1. you couldn't have gotten a better picture of my face for this one, huh?! my head looks huge! well at least the dress is nice.