Sunday, May 15, 2011

Subletting Shenanigans

Before we get on to the wonderful and fascinating story of when Yvette and I lived together, we must first take a trip into someone else's story -- that of my lovely subletter, Miranda (who, for the record, took no part in any shenanigans).  

I spent six weeks that summer in Costa Rica, taking Spanish classes and volunteer teaching, and during that time both Miranda and Yvette moved into my apartment.  In anticipation of their brief tenure together, I "introduced" them via e-mail.  I thought it would be nice for them to be able to communicate directly with each other about their upcoming moves without going through me.  

Yvette, however, managed to change her move-in date three different times without telling either one of us until we inquired.  First she had to stay in her old place through the end of July.  Then, when I asked about mailing in the August rent, she said she'd decided to move mid-July, just to get things started.  Finally, when Miranda mentioned her move-in date, Yvette said she was moving in the same day.  All of this would have been helpful to know when she decided it so we could all plan, not when it just happened to come up in conversation.

Miranda and Yvette were now both supposed to be moving in 4th of July weekend, and Miranda's long-distance boyfriend was coming in to help.  Miranda, being considerate (and far nicer than necessary) offered to have her boyfriend stay somewhere else if Yvette wasn't comfortable with a stranger invading her space the first weekend in a new apartment.  I thought that this was a really generous offer, considering that Yvette is the one who changed her move-in date to the same day as Miranda's.  Had I been in the same situation, I wouldn't have taken Miranda up on the offer.  Just knowing that she would offer shows how accommodating she is and how little imposition her boyfriend's presence would be.  Yvette, however, said yes.  Please do have your out of town boyfriend stay elsewhere.  Moving is stressful to me.

And moving did turn out to be stressful for her.  Hey, it's stressful for all of us (even people like me who do it all the time), but eventually we get over it.  I did my best to help facilitate the transition.  The night before I left for Costa Rica, which was the day after the last day of school, I ran around my apartment trying to get it ready for its new occupants.  Kerri had left in the afternoon the day before, and taken much of the furniture with her.  The apartment was pretty bare.  I had already started clearing out enough of my own stuff that I ate ice cream for dinner.  Then I started remembering when I moved in and all the quirky little things about the apartment that I never would have figured out if Kerri hadn't been there to guide me through it all.  

I decided to leave Miranda and Yvette a note with pertinent information . . . but one little note didn't seem to cut it.  I then ran around the empty apartment in pajamas at 1:00 AM (when I should have been sleeping given that my flight was pretty early the next morning), putting post-its with little notes and reminders on everything I could think of.  Notes in the kitchen as to where each person's food went.  Notes on the trash can and recycling about the days to take them out.  A note on the toilet reminding them to hold the flusher down for at least ten seconds.  Notes on internet router and cable box about the password and what to do when the cable goes out.  Notes on the ancient washer-dryer as to how to keep them functioning at their maximum capacity.  You name it, I put a note on it.  I really wish I had taken a picture of it all, because it looked a little ridiculous.

And then I left a mere four hours later.  I overslept, naturally, because I'd been up too late the night before plastering my apartment "A Beautiful Mind" style with post-its (in different colors, shapes, and sizes -- I am an elementary school teacher, after all).  I woke up five minutes before my car service was scheduled to come pick me up, stepped on a giant roach in the shower (the only one I ever saw in that apartment, perhaps he came out to look at the post-its?), shoved the last of my stuff into my walk-in closet, and left.  I stumbled out of my building carrying two backpacks (one full of donated school supplies) and a cup of coffee to find my driver asleep and completely useless.  I had to rap on the window with my coffee mug to get him to wake up and open the trunk.  And then we were off.  And Miranda and Yvette were left to their own devices.

Miranda kept me updated and she and Yvette seemed to be getting along just fine, but Yvette seemed to be having some trouble adapting to the apartment.  She couldn't figure out how to work the washer-dryer and Miranda had to help her (um, didn't you get the post-it?).  Then the toilet clogged one morning and she couldn't figure out what to do about it.  Then she saw a mouse and totally freaked out,  although I can't really blame her.  Mice are gross and I tend to get a little screechy when I see them too.  But the second time she saw one she called Miranda, on her cell phone, in the middle of the night, while she was asleep, to come rescue her from it . . . because apparently Miranda is better equipped at rodent dispossal than Yvette?  I don't know.  Miranda did in fact do a good job of getting rid of the mouse and saving Yvette, and neither were worse for the wear.  It just made me think, what kind of person calls a roommate they barely know in the middle of the night to do something gross and yucky just because you don't want to?  And although I once had a male roommate check our kitchen for mice before I would go inside (I had just seen one in my tortilla chip bag!), I'm inclined to think that proper protocol leaves late night phone calls for actual emergencies -- like being locked out, fires, and people trying to break into the apartment.  

Are these little isolated events really ominous signs of evil to come?  No, not really.  Just perhaps a hint at how Yvette struggles to problem solve in a rational manner.  Or maybe, just because I don't like her, I'm projecting negative vibes onto actions that I might just find quirky or funny had she not become, in all honesty, the worst roommate I ever had.

1 comment:

  1. I can't take full credit for the mouse incident. Were it not for the glue traps the landlord strategically placed all over the apartment, the mouse would have continued to make Yvonne a prisoner in her own apartment.