Saturday, January 8, 2011

Bahrry and Bills

This post starts marks the beginning of the end of the era of Bahrry.  Up until this point, the ridiculous things Bahrry did were irritating, grating, and obnoxious, but around the time of the bill confrontation, things began to get unbearable.  As it was, I already spent most of my time in the apartment in my room because I didn't want to deal with Bahrry and the smoking, the yelling at the TV, or the random air-freshening.  Dan was perfectly pleasant, but after a long day at work I really didn't want to have to have small talk with people whose habits were making me miserable.  With the exception of eating and making dinner, I mostly kept to myself.  My room was my sanctuary.

One day in the middle of November, Bahrry knocked on my door to tell me about the utility bill.  Mind you, I moved in in the beginning of August, and this was the first I'd heard of any of the bills we might have to pay.  I mean, I knew that I was going to have to pay bills eventually, and I knew they were probably going to be high because the boys were terrible about turning things off, but with all the other things going on, nagging about paying the bills on-time didn't exactly seem necessary.  As Bahrry started to tell me about the utility bill, scenes started flashing through my mind, like in a movie, of all the wasteful things I'd encountered in that apartment -- Bahrry's smoking window open while the AC was on all day, flash!  all the lights on in the apartment, flash!  the radio left on all day, flash!  the TV left on when no one was in the room, flash!  fans on inside when it's cold outside, flash!  I snapped out of it as I realized that Bahrry had just said the words "hundred" and "dollars" in the same sentence.

What??  $170 for two months, and that was just my portion.  All of August alone was more than $300, and I wasn't even in the country.  That's fucking OUTRAGEOUSLY high, and I essentially told Bahrry that.  In my old apartment, we only paid $15 a month in the winter, really only getting as high as $45 a month in the summer (per person).  I told him that the only way I would pay it is if he and Dave started turning all of those things off from now on.  I told him that it was fucking ridiculous that I come home every day to find a million lights on, sometimes the TV, sometimes the air conditioner with the window open.  I listed all the lights I find on when I come home (his room, his closet, the bathroom), how he left candles on the other day that could have burned the apartment down (which I suppose is not actually related to the electric bill, but seemed relevant to the theme at the time).  I told him flat out that I couldn't afford to pay him until I get paid.  I said that I don't want to be a bitch about it, and I shouldn't have to nag them about it since I'm not their mother, but I shouldn't have to pay for their irresponsibility.  I said that the only way I would pay this month is if they promised they would turn everything off when they left the room in the future.  I also told him that if they didn't, I would expect to pay a smaller portion next month.  Then I stared him down until he left the room.

I wasn't really sure where to go from there.  I mean, I turned all those things off when I got home anyway, so maybe they didn't even notice?  Passive agressively, I was thinking of leaving post-its that said "turned off by M, 11/13/08, 4:05 PM."  Too bitchy?  Did I even care anymore?

In my little tirade about how I would not pay for the boys' irresponsibility, I also asked if Bahrry would put the bills up on the fridge for me when they came in so that I could pay them in a timely fashion.  When you don't have a ton of money, like me, you need to budget your bills, and you don't always have $213.58 on a random Wednesday night.  When Bahrry first told me what I owed, he just had the number written down on a piece of paper, and I wanted to see the actual bills.  With all of my other roommates we'd posted the bills somewhere with a breakdown of who owed what below them.  It was not hard, but I do realize that some people care about these things less than I do.  Essentially, I told Bahrry (and by extension, Dan, who paid the cable bill) that I would need to see the bills once a month.  Since the boys actually paid the bills and I reimbursed them (the bills were in their names), it was really to their advantage to give me fair notice or I wouldn't be able to pay them back.
Getting back to the incident at hand, Bahrry left a list of what I owed on the refrigerator, so I could pay it when I got paid.  Then I realized the next morning that he didn't leave the actual bills, just a list on a piece of paper -- as if I was just going to trust him and just write a check for hundreds of dollars!  Clearly, he missed the whole point of my request.  I turned over the piece of paper and wrote that I needed the review the bills before I paid them.  Eventually he left the bills, and a breakdown of what I was paying for each month.  Then I wrote him a check and tried not to cry, just hoping that they'd take me seriously when I said that I wouldn't pay a full third if they didn't start making an effort to conserve energy.  And then I started to look for new places on craigslist.


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