Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Merry Christmas? Um, let me get back to you on that

So the unwrapping of gifts and Christmas dinner was actually a lot of fun. My younger sister has been in town for a few days (with her two dogs--so now there are three dogs in my house, but don't worry, I cleared it with my roommates ahead of time) and went up to Spokane early to spend time with my older sister and her new baby, Jacob. Because of his health and pending heart surgery, the dogs stayed with me because we're unsure if he is allergic to the dogs or not and didn't want to risk him going to the hospital because of them.

Anyway, I drove up to Spokane, sans dogs, and spent a few hours there before driving home and watching the dogs. When I came home, the tension that had been building in my apartment finally reached the breaking point. If you'll remember, in November I posted about an altercation between one roommate -- I'll just refer to her as Sam, from here on out -- and us other two. When I apologized (and yes, I did a couple of days later) she said she was done with both of us and she had had it. Apparently she felt we two had been talking behind her back and ganging up on her (um, we have mutual friends in common. Maybe when we complain about someone and use the words "she" and "her" we're referring to someone other than Sam? Ya' think?), which created an "unsafe" (her word) living environment for her. Her response? Nope, not move out of the "unsafe" environment like any reasonable person, but pretend like we don't exist and ignore us. Hmmm...

So for about two months the silent treatment between Sam and us other two roommates had been building. It had gotten so bad that the other roommate would spend all day in a local coffee shop just to avoid Sam and the house, and had actually changed her flight home to two weeks earlier just to get out of the house sooner. Not exactly the type of environment anyone wants to pay rent for living in. Over the course of this tension-filled time a battle over the thermostat, bathroom time, disappearing food, etc. had silently been waged. So on Christmas, after having a great time with my sisters and family, I came home to another instance of missing food.

I confronted Sam about the missing food and she stated she hadn't eaten it. Well, it was there when I left, six hours ago, you are the only person in the house, and now it's gone. Who else would have eaten it? I don't think the dogs know how to open the refrigerator and unscrew bottle tops. She adamantly denied eating the food and I pretty much lost it. Trust me when I say that seeing me lose my temper isn't a good thing. I know I have a bad one, so I keep it tightly in check and, in the last five years I can't think of once when I've lost it -- but Merry Christmas to Sam. I was reduced to yelling, name calling, and telling her that either she was going to move or I was because I couldn't handle living with a lying witch (but the other word--not my proudest moment) who had no respect for the property of others. It had previously been stated, on numerous occasions and on notes on the fridge, that if you hadn't bought it (this went for everyone) that you don't eat it. Pretty simple. The disappearing food had gotten so bad that I had put a lock on my pantry door so my food would stop being apprehended. Seriously? No one should have to live like that!

So the next day I called the landlady (we'll call her D) and told her I couldn't live with Sam and that I was going to start looking for a new place to live. I explained the entire breakdown of the situation...all the way back to early November. I did make the concession that my version was just that, my version, and that she should talk to Sam, but I was unwilling to live another six months with Sam. D listened and asked me to wait a little bit while she talked to Sam. No response from either Sam or D on the 26th, and on the 27th?

Well, Becca, my younger sister, was back from Spokane, I had gone to get some movies and pizza for the evening's entertainment and when I got home and was in the kitchen, the first words Sam said to over two days...were something like, "You broke my clock. What are you going to do about it?" Um, what? When did I break her clock? I denied it because, well, I didn't do it (see my rant above about respecting other people's property), and she didn't believe me. Hmmm...does this scenario sound slightly familiar? She assured me that I did, while I asserted that her clock was working fine when I walked by it in the hall earlier in the day, and she said it wasn't working when she put it up on the wall (I had taken it down because it's ticking is so loud it wakes me up in the middle of the night). Um, if it wasn't working then (at around 9am), than why didn't you tell me then before you walked by me in the living room and left the house? Why did you wait until 6pm at night? So, essentially this "conversation" denigrated into an argument with me leaving the room before I did physical harm to Sam, and taking the pizza and movies into the living room where Becca was listening to everything. How bad was the atmosphere in the house? Becca said she was going to leave the next day (about six days early) because there was so much tension in the house. Thank you Sam for attributing to this noxious atmosphere. I will admit that I added to it, but I did not instigate it. Sam walked through the living room a couple of times talking on her phone and, on the second time, she said she was willing to mend fences, but still wanted to know what I was going to do about the clock. At that point I told her it wasn't going to happen -- fence mending or clock fixing -- as she had burned bridges and I reiterated that I wasn't going to live with her anymore.

So the next day (28th) I left a message with the landlady (D) that we needed to talk, and set up two appointments to look at new apartments. I talked to D and she said Sam had told her some stuff that was untrue about me, I cleared it up with D, and I gave D an ultimatum: either Sam leaves or I leave, but I refuse to live with her any longer and in any situation. D stated she wanted me and the other roommate to stay (because I had told D that the other roommate hated living with Sam as well and that she wanted to leave as soon as her lease was up because of it--thus having D lose two tenants because of one) and was willing to evict Sam if I signed a lease...which I was willing to do since I plan on staying in the area for at least another year.

So I signed the lease with my own addendum saying that if Sam was living in the house when I returned (because I decided to leave with Becca and stay with her for the remainder of the winter break so I wouldn't lose my temper with Sam again), that the lease was null and void and there would be no legal claim by either D or myself. Apparently D gave Sam 15 days to vacate the house, so by the start of school in January, the house will be Sam and drama free!

Let me just say that there was rejoicing on the phone from my other roommate when I told her the news. She's excited to actually live in the house again and not have the drama either. Is it possible that a new roommate will be the same or worse than Sam? Yes, but not very likely. D is intent on screening the new tenant to make sure we all get along so this doesn't happen again.

Me? I'm in Idaho Falls for the next couple of weeks, praying Sam doesn't do anything to my personal property in her anger, but not really caring. Everything that is important to me is with dog Sage and my computer with all of my school papers and notes. Anything else can be replaced...and if she does vandalize my property, I'll take her to small claims court for both the property and for her past due payment for the power bill, which I don't really expect to see because she'll probably withhold it as "payment" for her clock. At this point, I don't care, just get her out of my house!

There's the (mostly) long and short of the drama in my life. Honestly, I don't like drama. Can't everyone just get along?


Chuck said...

Yikes! Bad roommates are the worst. Good for you for standing up for your rights. That is not easy and good for D for seeing it your way. Better to lose 1 tenant than 2 good ones.

As for weight loss, yeah, you have to have a variety of foods, and EXCERCISE!!! There's no magic pill for that, else Oprah would have found it by now! I know, I've dropped almost 40 pounds this year since I started walking, watching portion control, and eating better. Go figure. :)

Hang in there, Patty. It will get better.

Mother 25 - 8 said...

No that I was laughing and enjoying the crap that Sam is putting everyone through, just that I can totally relate to crappy roomies and I think it's hilarious you called her a "witch" ;)