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This Is Why Rental Agreements Exist

, , , , , , | Friendly | March 29, 2022

I was eighteen years old and in my “young, dumb, and naive” stage. I answered a posting on a university campus for someone looking for a roommate. It seemed to be the typical situation — girl in her late teens to early twenties, average-looking apartment, money was tight for her, and she needed to split the costs.

We seemed to be in an agreement with each other, and I readily moved in. One thing she did advise me after I moved in, however, was not to tell anyone I lived there if I was asked because the management (who was located offsite and owned several properties throughout the city) had stated in the lease that it wasn’t allowed unless approved, and the rent would increase for $200 per person. I told her that wouldn’t be a problem and simply had my mail forwarded to a post office box.

The first two months were not anything remarkable. I would do my usual routine of classes, work, gym, studying, and Xbox. We’d make small talk here and there, but it was primarily me going about my business.

Then, one day, I casually paid her my half of the rent, went to classes, and came home to find a sticky note posted on my door.

Note: “I want you out of here — NOW! Start packing and moving!”

I immediately pulled out my phone and called her phone… only to hear it ring in her bedroom, where she clearly wasn’t.

Thinking there was a serious misunderstanding, I called in sick to work and stayed at the apartment to wait for her to return so I could find out what in the world she was upset about.

She didn’t appear until nearly 7:00 that night.

Roommate: “Why don’t you have your stuff packed and ready to go?”

Me: “What… is… your… problem?!”

Roommate: “Flirting with and trying to get at my girlfriend! You thought I wasn’t going to do anything about that?”

Me: “Woah, stop. Define ‘flirting and trying to get at’!”

Roommate: “[Friend] spotted you two riding together in her car—”

Me: “She pulled over and offered me a ride!”

Roommate: “To which you should have said no! Then, with all the flirting and saying things like, ‘Hey, I like that tattoo,’ and, ‘That was a great speech you gave at…’ whatever school group that you probably joined after you saw she was there.”

Me: “Body art fascinates me — if you haven’t noticed from my own full sleeve — and I joined that group after she told me about it and suggested I join!”

Roommate: “Yeah, whatever. I want you out of here by midnight. After that, my brother is gonna come personally remove you, and I’m going to put a deadbolt on the door. Whatever is still in here hits the dump or goes on eBay.”

Her brother worked as a bouncer/doorman at a club. 

Me: “What about the rent I paid you this morning?”

Roommate: “What rent?”

Nasty lesson learned there about paying rent in cash. I spent the evening scrambling to find someone to help me move my things since I didn’t have a vehicle. Fortunately (and embarrassingly) it was my sixteen-year-old sister who lived two hours away that came to the rescue and helped me move my things in her pickup truck. We stored them in a buddy’s garage until I could find a storage rental unit and a truck to rent when businesses opened the next day.

After moving the last of my things and checking into a motel, I spent the night wandering the streets, unable to sleep due to the overwhelming anxiety. My phone rang, and when I noticed it was from my roommate, I texted her.

Me: “You wanted me out. I’m gone. LEAVE ME ALONE!”

And I blocked her number and muted my phone. 

The following morning, I was able to rent a truck and get my things moved into a storage facility. After remembering my phone was still muted, I pulled it out to find forty-four missed calls and twenty-seven unread text messages to the tune of this:

Message: “Hey, you forgot to bring back my keys. I need them back ASAP.”

Message: “Bring back my keys NOW!”

Message: “I’m holding you responsible for everything in this apartment. If anything comes up missing, it’s on you!”

Message: “GIVE ME MY KEYS!”

Message: “Look, I’ll give you the rent money back. Please give me back the keys. I’m going to get in a lot of trouble if I have to have the lock on my door changed because I’ll have to tell the management why!”

Message: “Okay. Obviously, you aren’t going to answer me or bring the keys back. I called the maintenance people pretending to be someone else and asked how much it was gonna cost to change the locks. They told me that aside from being evicted for having an unauthorized occupant living on the premises, they’ll also need to change all the locks in the exterior doors of the building and give new keys to everyone in the building… and then sue me for the total costs because they are special copy-protected keys that the office keeps track of when issuing duplicates! I will pay you DOUBLE your rent back! Bring me back the keys! PLEASE!”

It felt great to have a good laugh in the face of calamity. I texted back.

Me: “No, you go ahead and keep my money. You’ll need it for your U-Haul truck. Besides, with the way you played me dirty by kicking me out on the street with no notice and keeping my money, I wouldn’t put it past you to have your brother waiting for me when I show up to drop off the keys. I suppose I don’t have to tell you the lesson you’re about to learn concerning deliberately screwing people royally to be vindictive. Happy apartment hunting!”

And I dropped the keys in a sewer. I didn’t hear from her again, but I imagine she probably didn’t try that stunt with anyone else. As for me, I definitely learned my lesson about living with people on a trust basis!

Her Priorities Seem Fine

, , , , , , , | Related | March 8, 2022

I’m getting married. Some extended family decide they don’t like it because my fiancée and I are both women. My dad isn’t having any of their nonsense.

Cousin: “How are you going to explain it to the kids?”

Dad: “Explain what?”

Cousin: “That their sister isn’t marrying a man! They’re too young to understand.”

Dad: “I’ve been married four times and they’ve handled that just fine. But okay. I’ll explain.”

He turns to my youngest sister, who is seven years old.

Dad: “Hey, [Sister], your sister is getting married to a woman.”

Sister: “Are we going to the wedding?”

Dad: “Yeah.”

Sister: “Will there be cake?”

Dad: “Sure will. But there are two brides, not a bride and a groom.”

Sister: “Okay. Will I be able to have some of the cake?”

Dad: *To the cousin* “I think she’s fine.”

My sister is a big fan of my wife. There are pictures of them at the reception hugging and eating cake together.

This Is A Bigotry-Free Zone

, , , , , | Romantic | February 14, 2022

I happened to witness this exchange from a seat fairly close to the entrance of a restaurant. Several of the employees are wearing rainbow pins somewhere on their person, including an employee having a conversation at the front counter with a man in a suit.

A man and a woman step into the restaurant. The man sees the gay employee’s pin, looks around the restaurant, and then turns to the suited man, who speaks up before the newcomer can say a word.

Worker: “If you say a single word against my employees, I will bodily throw you from the restaurant.”

The newcomer stutters for a moment, turns around in a huff, and marches out of the restaurant. The woman looks between him and the man in a suit for a moment before approaching the counter.

Woman: “Well, that was the shortest first date I’ve ever been on. Table for one, please.”

Not Yet A Pro With These Pronouns

, , , , , , | Friendly | January 28, 2022

For some reason, possibly due to my ADD, I’m horrible at remembering details about people. I remember the people, the conversations we’ve had, and how I’m helping them if applicable, but a lot of what my mind considers “unimportant” gets lost quickly. Unfortunately, my mind files such trivial details as name, facial features, race, and gender in the “unimportant” category. This has resulted in my often needing to fake remembering people whose names I can’t recall to avoid others taking offense. I also volunteer with a large number of people, which makes it worse. I am always having to look back at old conversations when someone messages me just to remember which person they are.

One particular person I’d been helping for a while now and had come to consider a friend. I already knew she had dated women in the past; however, I remember being confused on several occasions about who they were dating currently. I presumed it was just my usual inability to remember details, but for reasons I couldn’t quite figure out, it seemed to happen far more often with this woman than others I volunteered with.

Finally, I had to travel out to my friend, staying with her for a few days, to help her with something important, and so I finally met her partner. They seemed nice enough, and at one point while my friend was gone, I was joking around with them and I jokingly agreed with them about something.

Me: “Aye-aye, ma’am!”

To this, they gave me a quiet, half-grumbled response, which surprised me a bit given the levity of the situation prior. Then, they almost immediately wandered off.

Partner: “Yeah, well, that’s ‘Aye-aye, sir.’”

This surprised me, since I’d been using — and had thought I heard others using — female pronouns to refer to this person for a few days now. I’m sorry to admit that I wasn’t knowledgeable enough back then to have considered they may be gender-fluid; I still thought people were either cis or trans, and neither of those concepts fit with someone who was referred to by both pronouns. More to the point, I figured that if my friend’s partner was trans, or non-cis, it surely would have come up during all the time I spent speaking to my friend by now. I would have asked her partner for details, but they didn’t seem to want to discuss their pronouns or identity anymore.

Still, they had asked me to go with “sir,” so I did my best to stick with male pronouns after that, especially once I heard others also using male pronouns for them. Given how oblivious I can be, I have no doubt I likely screwed up and used the wrong pronouns a few times, but I did my best.

Sometime the next day, my friend and I were alone.

Friend: “I noticed you started calling [Partner] ‘him’? How did that happen?”

Me: “Oh, he mentioned something offhand about preferring to be called ‘sir,’ plus [Other People that visited last night] were using ‘he,’ so I figured that’s what he wanted. Why? Did I screw up and call him something wrong?”

Friend: “Oh, no. He’s trans. It’s just that we hadn’t told you, so I was surprised you knew.”

Me: “No wonder I was so confused. I’d figured you would have said something if he was trans. Why didn’t you?”

Friend: “Well, we were kind of afraid you might refuse to keep helping us if you knew he was trans.”

Me: “I would never do that! He’s been putting up with female pronouns for the last few days just out of fear I wouldn’t support him? The poor man.”

Friend: “I’m so glad to hear you say that! He was the one that suggested we not mention he was trans, but I felt wrong calling him ‘her’ this whole time anyway. Sorry for not telling you sooner.

Me: “Oh. Oh, now I get it! No wonder I thought I was going crazy; you’ve been gaslighting me this whole time!

Friend: “What do you mean?”

Me: “You’ve been trying to refer to him as female, but I think you’ve slipped up and let out male pronouns a few times. Every time you did, I thought I must be confused about who you were dating or that you dumped them for a man or something, and you would tell me you’re still dating the same person, and I’d just think I was crazy. I figured it was my usual problem with remembering details about people, but man, I was starting to wonder why I could never keep who you were dating straight.”

Friend: “Oh, yeah, that probably was me. I’m sorry again that we didn’t trust you enough to tell you sooner.”

As it happened, my friend and the man she was dating had a mutual breakup a few months later. However, I’ve stayed in contact with my friend since, and many years later, she has recently married a genderfluid woman. As my friend’s six-year-old daughter, my goddaughter, likes to explain it:

Goddaughter: “[Mother’s Wife] is mostly a girl but is sometimes a boy. Mommy loves people like that!”

Thankfully, now my friend trusts me enough to just be honest with me about these sorts of things rather than confusing me with half-truths now.

A Most Reasonable Reason For A Meltdown

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: Ok-Fox-8931 | January 11, 2022

I am a hostess at a restaurant. The patio is open; it is a nice day. There is a family of five out there. A guy comes in on a mobility scooter and asks for the patio, and I seat him.

The server out there is bisexual, and it is Pride Month, so he has borrowed my bisexual flag bandana to wear. The next time I see him, he gives me back the bandana, kind of strangely.

Me: “Are you okay?”

Server: “Yeah…”

I give him the side-eye but let it go.

It’s been fifteen minutes, and every time my coworker comes in, he looks kind of upset. I get up to the hostess stand, and the mom from the family of five is standing there, PISSED. I brace myself mentally for an entitlement meltdown. Instead:

Mom: “I demand that you remove that man on a scooter! He’s been harassing our server for being bisexual. And when one of my kids told him to stop, he called my kid a ‘little s***’ and ‘probably a [slur], too’!”

We removed him and gave her family free dessert. Good on her, and shame on me for thinking the worst of her.