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This Landlord, Much Like His Furniture, Remains Unmoved

, , , , , , | Friendly | May 11, 2020

I’ve spent almost my entire adult life living in rented rooms in shared houses or flats, as was the case when I started dating a great guy. Tensions arose at home due to me dating another man, resulting in me being given minimal warning to try and find another place. Then-boyfriend and I agreed to try to find a place together, and we ended up moving into a ground floor flat with the owner and his wife.

It turned out that the owner was a bit of a control freak. He set off my C-PTSD — coupled with other, unrelated life events — and I became very isolated and afraid of him. It turned out, while he wasn’t aware of everything going on, he absolutely approved of my being intimidated by him. 

However, one day he pushed me too far and my fear evaporated and I started standing up for myself. He reacted so badly to this that we argued over a blown light bulb and he ended up giving us our notice to move out after we’d been there about two years.

This story just about sums up what a pain in the behind he was.

On the day of our leaving, we had a friend — who also rents rooms — come over, ostensibly to help, but really to be there in case things went south, between his experience and his physical presence, since he was broader and beefier than the other three people combined. Our landlord protested him being present; I was ready to stick to my guns but my friend excused himself and stood by the open window to listen.

Our landlord started pulling the furniture out from where it had stood for the entire time we’d lived there and complaining about the dust behind them. He demanded to know why we hadn’t cleaned there. I pointed out that he had expressly forbidden us from moving the furniture.

“That isn’t true,” he claimed.

It absolutely was. I reminded him of the time my boyfriend went to him to ask if we could move the room around and he flatly refused.

“That never happened.”

I pointed out that there were even labels stuck to the furniture saying not to move them.

“That’s not true.”

Of course, it was true! I went over to a piece of furniture and pointed to the label, exclaiming that it was right there!

He rolled his eyes, muttered, “Typical,” and instead started pulling out the drawers to make sure they were all empty.

When he left the room, my friend poked his head through the window. He had been just about crying trying not to laugh loud enough to be heard, and he said that he thought I’d been exaggerating how much of a pain the landlord was. 

NOPE! Not at all. This story is one single perfect example of just how he was.

My boyfriend and I had decided how much of our deposit we’d be willing to say goodbye to, just to be rid of him; we said he should take the last couple of week’s rent out of it. We got a little more than our minimum back and off we went.

In the years since, we’ve gotten married, we’ve stayed close friends with the friend who was there, and my mental health has enormously improved.

I just pity his wife, who was as lovely as our landlord was petty and controlling.

Parents, Man

, , , , , , | Related | May 11, 2020

I’m a transman. Before realising I wanted to transition when I was twenty, I struggled with my sexuality, believing myself to be a lesbian, which my parents — of course — passed off as a phase, before I realized I was “sort of bisexual.” (My actual sexuality is more complex than that, as I understood some years later.)

After I’ve been living as male for a while, I have a long-distance relationship with a lovely woman for a couple of years. It fizzles out, and a while later, I start talking to a sweet guy online.

Here is how my mother and my stepfather take that.

Mother: “Oh, did I tell you that [Older Cousin] is getting married?”

Me: “No? I didn’t even know she’d been seeing anyone since she broke up with her last boyfriend.”

Mother: “Yeah, he works in the medical industry. Quite well off. He’s called John.”

Me: “Huh. I’ve been talking to a guy called John who’s interested in me.”

Mother: “Wait. Really?”

Me: “Yes?”

Mother: “I thought you were straight now.”

Me: “What?!”

Mother: “I mean, after [Ex-Girlfriend]—”

Me: “I’ve always been into both men and women! That hasn’t changed because I finally had a longer-than-brief relationship with a woman!”

Mother: “Oh. Well, how do you know he’s really into you?”

Me: “…”

Mother: “I mean… what if he just wants—” 

She gestures towards my crotch.

Me: “Because. He’s. Gay.”

Also, I don’t think most straight men want to sleep with someone who is a man, and both looks and sounds like it, simply because he has a vagina. Come on, now.

After I get with this guy, this happens.

Mother: “I told your dad—” *meaning my stepfather* “—about you and John.”

Me: “Oh?”

Mother: “Yeah, he didn’t get it.”

Me: “What’s not to get?”

Mother: “Well, he doesn’t understand what the point of being a man is if you’re just going to have a relationship with a man anyway.”

Me: *Pause* “Oh, my God.”

Anyway, “John” and I eventually got married, once we were legally able to. He’s pretty fantastic. My parents behaved terribly on our wedding day, and that was the final straw on top of a whole bale of being awful. I’ve cut ties with them, and that’s also been pretty excellent!


This story is part of the bisexual-themed roundup!

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Further Evidence That Moms Shouldn’t Be Involved In Your Wedding Night

, , , , , , , | Related | May 2, 2020

My mother and I have always had a troubled relationship, but after my mother had a period of ill health, on the run up to our wedding, my now-husband and I — also male — tried to patch things up.

My mother doesn’t know what it is to be poor; her parents had a decent amount of money — not rich, but definitely comfortable — and while she’s a complete penny pincher I never had the impression as a child that she was struggling or tightening her belt.

My husband and I, however, were poor. Dirt poor. We barely scraped by on benefits for several years due to my being disabled and my husband being my carer. So, our wedding was as cheap and DIY as we could make it while still feeling like an “occasion.”

My mother offered to buy flowers — actually, insisted, despite us not wanting them due to my husband’s hay fever — but much more appreciated was her offer to pay for a hotel room for the wedding night. Our best couple of friends were taking us for a single-day honeymoon, so that was nice! We still had to get home to drop off our wedding stuff and pick up our stuff for the next day before going to the hotel, but as we lived in a shared house, it helped the whole thing feel like one event.

My mother asked us which hotel we wanted; there was one literally two minutes walk from us, and one in the town centre, which involved our best friends picking us up and taking us there as we didn’t drive. We knew nothing about either and were going frantic with getting everything done, so I asked her to look into them and give us some information. She came back and said she went for the one in the town centre “because it was ten pounds cheaper.”

As it turned out, the one near us was much quieter, had a four-star rating, and had breakfast included. It would have allowed us to drop back home that much easier. Instead, we had to pay out of pocket for breakfast, listen to loud drunks passing through the town or drinking at bars, and had a far smaller room, and of course, we couldn’t get home easily.

It feels petty to complain about it; she still paid for the room for us. But I’m still a little bitter that she just looked at the price tag and, despite being very comfortable, financially, and never helping us out in that regard, took the worse option for ten freakin’ pounds less, leaving us to spend money we hadn’t accounted for in order to have breakfast in the morning.

By the way, we’re doing much better now. I’m self-employed and my husband and I have a great relationship. And as this story is really the tiny tip of the iceberg, I’m no longer in contact with my mother.

I Don’t Drink, But After This, I Wanna

, , , , , | Healthy | May 29, 2019

(I am 19, and I go in for my annual checkup at the doctor. I am given a standard medical questionnaire to fill in. One of the questions is, “On average, how many units of alcohol do you drink a week?” I have never been a big drinker, not even as a teen. Not for any particular reason; it just isn’t my thing. At most, I have a few drinks on New Years and a few on my birthday. I write on the form that I have a couple of units a week, which would average out to the few drinks on my birthday and New Years with plenty of wiggle room to spare, just in case. I hand the form in, and it is sent to the doctor. Eventually, he calls me in. We do my height and weight and blood pressure. All good. Then he comes to my alcohol intake and narrows his eyes at me.)

Doctor: “You can be truthful, you know. I’m a medical professional.”

Me: “I know. I am being honest. I’m not a big drinker.”

(He stares at me for a while.)

Doctor: “I was young once. And I have teenage kids. I’m not going to judge you. Be honest.”

Me: “I am being honest. I’m not a drinker.”

Doctor: *condescendingly* “What do you do when you go clubbing? Drink water?”

(Taken aback, I shake my head. I don’t go clubbing; nightclubs are my idea of Hell. I have a full-time job, often working fifty or more hours, and I have no interest in going to loud clubs or bars on my days off.)

Me: “I don’t go out much. I’d rather go out for coffee than go clubbing.”

(The doctor raises his eyebrows.)

Doctor: “Okay, well, I’m going to put you down for ten units a week.”

(He picks up his pen and actually crosses out what I wrote.)

Me: “No! What I wrote was true. I don’t drink. Even a few units a week is generous. I don’t want you to change what I wrote.”

Doctor: “Look, just be honest. If you’re not, we can’t treat you.”

Me: “I am being honest. I don’t give you permission to change it.”

Doctor: “Well, I’m the doctor, and I have reason to believe you are being dishonest. You need to stop lying on medical forms. That’s a big deal. If you keep lying on them, you could die because we don’t have the right information.”

(I keep trying to argue with him but he writes over what I wrote and puts down ten units a week. Dumbfounded and unsure of what to do, I carry on with the rest of the exam, just wanting it to be over. As soon as I am out, I go straight to reception and tell them I want to make a complaint. At first, the receptionist is alarmed and asks what the problem is. When I tell her, she pauses and then rolls her eyes.)

Receptionist: “Look, sweetie, we won’t tell your parents. Everything you tell us is confidential.”

Me: “I live by myself. That’s not my issue. The doctor falsified my medical records without my permission.”

Receptionist: “Your medical records need to be accurate, sweetie. Otherwise, we can’t treat you.”

(The receptionist refuses to log my complaint. When I continue to insist, she looks down her nose at me.)

Receptionist: “For somebody who doesn’t drink, you sure are protesting a lot.”

(I wanted to scream at her that I was angry because they were DELIBERATELY FALSIFYING my medical records, but instead, I left and transferred to another practice.)

They Pulled The Rabbit Out Of The Hat

, , , , , , , | Related | May 20, 2019

When my now-husband and I got together, I had one house rabbit who was very much a daddy’s boy; that is, I was his daddy and nobody else! A couple of months into our relationship, we decided to go to the pet shop to look at and pet the other rabbits under the pretense of wanting to get him a playmate. The babies were all adorable of course, and then the staff member asked if we wanted to meet the adoptions.

The last one she brought out was a large doe who was still in isolation and not ready to be adopted. She had been brought in because she was “aggressive” and she had nicks and still-healing bites along her ears. When I picked her up and stroked her, she just melted into my arms.

We returned the day she was available for adoption and took her home.

We were able to guess from her behaviour some of what happened to her. She had serious food and attention issues, and would pester us constantly for attention, as well as my other rabbit once we got them living together. Most heartbreaking was the nightmares; when she slept she would squeak and twitch and jolt out of her sleep, clearly distressed.

About a year and a half ago, we lost the older rabbit, and when she fell into a depression we knew we had to get her a new playmate, no matter how we felt about it.

She’s been with us for approaching six years now, and while some of her issues remain — primarily with food; to this day she’s terrified of not getting enough — the difference warms my heart every time I remember it. She still loves attention but now it feels less like being attention starved and more like her simply being an affectionate rabbit. She and our newer rabbit absolutely adore each other. Best of all, now, when she sleeps, we can still tell when she’s dreaming, but now they’re clearly pleasant dreams; her eyes and ears twitch, and she does the gentle intermittent tooth grind that is the rabbit equivalent of purring. She wakes up slowly, sleepy and happy. She has gone from an animal constantly afraid of losing what she had to one who is simply… happy.