apparently, helping someone in need isn’t in the lease.

so, many of you, dear friends, have been asking what happened this weekend to destroy my recent spate of happiness.   or, to put it another way: how i discovered my new roommate was bat shit crazy.

my beloved and beyond divine previous roommate, sunny d, left me and our domestic bliss at the end of this past august.  i fault her not because she found love and i could not possibly be happier for her.  that left me in quite the quandary, because not only did i have to find a new person to share my incredibly cozy home, but i knew, hell, everyone knew, that i would never find any to equal sunny d.  or her absolutely perfect predecessor, sileva.

i asked around and around in the two and a half months sunny d gave me for a friend of a friend, but to no avail.  forced to turn to that seemingly necessary evil, i put a brief ad on craigslist.  i had many respondents, but chose one who seemed to fit the bill: a non-smoking female who loved the neighborhood, had a good job, a boyfriend close by (with whom she “often” stays) and a very nice demeanor. 

i was a bit rushed in the process because i had to leave for over six weeks of travel a week before the move out/ move in date, so i probably didn’t investigate as i should have.  although, i’m not quite sure what i would have done differently- called vinny parco, p.i.?

when i returned from six weeks, three trade shows and eight countries on the road, the new roommate, let’s call her batshit, still had not unpacked.  boxes everywhere, piles of plastic bags in multiple locations, clothes in the dining room, i couldn’t even get into the library.  it should be noted that i did come home for a couple of days here and there, to welcome her, tell her where we could displace some of my belongings to make hers more at home, clean out closets, etc.  to no effect, alas.

the situation was making me tense.  i’ve been spoiled, yes, by six years of comfort, but then it is my home, and that’s as it should be.  now, for the entire time i’ve been in the place, it’s been a “shoes off” apartment- street dirt in the bathroom grosses me out.  i informed batshit of this clearly, twice, before she moved in.  also, i informed her, to the letter, what the monthly bills ran us. 

the foreshadowing to this past sunday consisted of the following:

1) month one.  the bills come.  she writes a check but says she can’t do this every month because she’s on a tight budget.  we “need” to switch our internet…. ok.  you knew what the deal was, but i’m reasonable.  i switched to her preference the NEXT DAY.

2) ten weeks into this, she’s informed me that she’s windexed the air conditioner filter (twice!), but the freaking plastic bag of forks and knives is STILL on the counter.

3) she’s always wearing her street shoes in the apartment.

to this last point, i casually, and politely say “[batshit], can we go back to not wearing shoes in the apartment?  it’s one of the few rules i told you about and the bathroom floor is gross.”  her response was that she doesn’t want to walk around barefoot- no one’s floors are that clean.  i suggested she wear socks or get slippers, like entire continents do.  ok, i didn’t say that, but c’mon, people.

two weeks later, i am cleaning.  i don’t clean very often ( i keep things neat, but don’t clean) because when i do, i go anal and wipe down every surface and object and it takes me forever.  i’d gotten up early, gone to home depot, put up two sets of curtains, repotted some plants, watered all the others, and then started the clean up.  i have many, many plants.  not creepy poison ivy of batman comics number of plants, but a nice, fresh air, green apartment amount of plants.  including about eight or ten large ones on a table in my kitchen, which gets the most light.

whilst on my hands and knees cleaning the kitchen floor, the legs of this aforementioned table go out.  the shelf comes crashing down, breaking two bowls my sister hand made and that i love.  i duck my head under and up and balance the table on top of my noggin while holding the table top steady with both hands.  i begin to ponder what in the hell i’m going to do with this situation and the sixty or so pounds of chlorophyl, soil, terra cotta and water on top of my head.  just then, the door opens and i call out “[batshit, come help me, please! this is going to fall!]

batshit (with her sister in tow): um, i have things to do, i can’t…

me: please, just for a second?  it’s kind of urgent.

she goes in her room and puts some things away and then comes over

batshit: what do you want me to do?  what is this?

me: the table’s falling, can you just help keep the top steady while i quickly fix the legs?

batshit: i have a schedule and a lot of things to do.  i can’t be here right now. 

me: seriously?  this is about to come crashing down.  bowls are already broken, and your plants stand (next to my table) is in danger of damage.

batshit: whatever, i have to go.

this is a long one folks, click below for this week's unbelievable  conclusion....

[I’m NOT making this up]

me: ok, can you at least hand me the hammer? 

batshit: (huff.  goes to get hammer out of drawer 1.5 feet behind her.  it’s filled with tools) i don’t see it. i don’t have time.  i have a schedule.

me: ok, fine, go.

so, there i am, helpless and non-plussed, both about what just happened and what the hell i’m going to do with all these plants on my head. 

i maintain balance and start unloading the plants from above me to the floor.  no easy task from the angle and with the weight of each freshly watered pot.  i finally get them all down, pick up the table, flip it over and investigate.  meanwhile, batshit and her sister are puttering around the living room.  it takes me all of ten minutes to fix the situation, and only that long because my mind was reeling at the exchange that had just taken place.

they leave and i go on cleaning.  scrubbed down the kitchen- counters, cabinets, tables, appliances and washed/ bleached the floors.  i’ve moved on to the bathroom where i am again scrubbing when batshit enters, loudly blabbing on her cell phone hands-free device (very normal), clearly complaining about what a bitch i am and how she can’t believe it.  she’s bringing in bags of groceries.

i roll my eyes, continue to scrub, and say as politely as i can manage, “hey, i just finished mopping in there.  you can’t go in for a few minutes.”

batshit explodes past yelling “yaw not my mutha and i’m not a fucking child, i can go whea-evah i want (she’s from western mass, and boy does it show when she’s angry).  yaw such a bitch, telling me what to do, always touching my stuff, i’ll do whatevah i want.  you can’t tell me what to do.”

me: ZUNH?  “i could ask you for some consideration.”

batshit: that’s funny coming from you, with your condescending tone.  you sit around all day, don’t do anything, yaw  always yelling at me, always touching my stuff [pulls some food OUT of the cabinet to put back on the counter] DO NOT TOUCH my stuff.

me: what the hell are you talking about?  i had to move that stuff to clean the counters. 

batshit: no.  yaw ALWAYS touching my stuff.  you have no right.

me [losing it a little]: well then get it out of the fucking common areas and put it away.

batshit. OH. MY. GOD. you aaah such a bitch.  you have no right.  no one touched othuh people’s stuff.  it’s puhsonal. 

me: a bag full of forks on the table is personal?  if it’s so personal, put it away.

batshit: [a lot of incomprehensible nonsense, followed by] you have NO idea.  i could be a bitch. i could be a huge bitch, but i’m not, i’m nice.  you have NO idea how much of a bitch i could be.  i’m so nice to you and yaw just so condescending with yaw tone of voice, always yelling at me.

me: ok, i don’t know what the hell you’re talking about, but you sound kind of crazy right now.  if you’re so miserable, why don’t you move out?

batshit (laughing): oh, yeah! you’d love that.  too bad i have a lease.  ten months, bitch.

i’m just reeling.  i have no idea what to say.  she stomps off (in her goddamned shoes) and proceeds to yell about me on her cell phone.  realizing there isn’t much i can do, i just keep cleaning and try and digest what just happened.

fifteen minutes later, she comes over and says she doesn’t want to have animosity with me.  we have to live together (i’m thinking: no, we don’t).  we need to make a cleaning schedule, i need to watch the way i talk to people, maybe my other roommates didn’t know any better or just didn’t care, but she’s lived with lots of people and never fought with them like this.  she doesn’t keep in touch with them like i do, and isn’t friends with them like i am, but she clearly knows how to live with people, where apparently, i don’t.  also, she’s sorry if i didn’t like the way she handled my situation with the plants, but it wasn’t her problem.  i was so rude.  huh sistah couldn’t believe i talked to huh like that.  that anyone talked like that.  it was insane.  (she belabored this point a lot).

me: batshit, i don’t understand half of what you’re talking about.  if there’s been a problem, i’ve addressed it.  i’ve asked little of you (two things!) and i wasn’t yelling.  i don’t feel comfortable with you. 

batshit: well, let’s create a cleaning schedule and a schedule for when we’re in the living room.  like you get the tv on the weekends when i’m with bob (her boyfriend).  otherwise, i might as well just pay $500 and just use my room.

me: i’m not living on a schedule in my own home.  it’s a big place.  i’ll make a cleaning schedule, yes, but not a room schedule. 

blah blah blah.  i think we worked out some sort of compromise (and by compromise, at least she wasn’t screaming batshit crazy things).  so, she leaves because “she has things to do, a schedule,” and i try to rest and recover the bits of my brain that have been blown all over my apartment.  thinking i can last ten more months, i’ll just chill in my room a lot. 

later on, i go to the living room to get something and she’s in the bathroom WITH HER FUCKING SNEAKERS ON the floor i JUST mopped.

i’m thinking about talking to my landlord to see if he can help me get her out.  he loves me.  i can’t live with this person, who might literally lose all sense of sanity or be the much biggah bitch she can be at any moment and for no reason.

so, that’s the scoop.  i welcome advice and sweet, sweet comfort.

and, yes, the post had to be this long.  i had to get it out.


4 Responses to “apparently, helping someone in need isn’t in the lease.”

  1. 1 Sileva 13 November, 2007 at 13:37

    Holy crap! This is horrible. You cannot be unhappy in your own home for ten months. But if she has a lease is there anything you or the landlord can do? Holy mackerel. Don’t worry, we will think of something.

  2. 2 santoki 13 November, 2007 at 13:58

    Dang. That sounds just wretched! What kind of lease did you pull together with the nut job? What did it include? If you send me a copy, I might be able to find a loophole.

    There are always ways of breaking a lease. If she is as unhappy as she claims to be, perhaps a bygones, 60 days and get the hell out, no strings kind of thing might be in order. After all, you don’t need to come home to this crap.

    much love

  3. 3 sunny d 13 November, 2007 at 15:07

    Oh my goodness! How awful!! I’m so sorry I left. You – Yell or be condesending?? What (or who) the hell is she talking about? You don’t yell … evah!! You are the easiest going person to live with.
    You gotta talk to Mr. Landlord. Maybe he can help you figure out a way to get batshit out.
    You’re welcome to come stay in Jersey anytime you need a break.

  4. 4 Wai 13 November, 2007 at 16:06

    I’m so sorry… It’s all my fault…

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“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”


Upon common theatres, indeed, the applause of the audience is of more importance to the actors than their own approbation. But upon the stage of life, while conscience claps, let the world hiss! On the contrary if conscience disapproves, the loudest applauses of the world are of little value - john adams
November 2007
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from the man who taught me everything:

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”



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