Rent To Dis.Own…

It seems like every few years I am confronted with a reality I guess keeps repeating itself because I continue to not learn my lesson… and, I continue to be surprised every single time. Sigh.

I just got blind-sided and highly disappointed by my landlords – the gesture they offered in January that I felt so very blessed for, that led me to sing their praises and to pray that when I again find my new home, I am lucky enough to duplicate the experience I had with them – has all turned sour. In one fell swoop, they have again reminded me that many human beings are selfish and that any action, despite what it may present as, will eventually reveal itself for the self-serving motive it held.

So, a few moments after blogging on January 2nd about my impending move (because of the sale of the brownstone) and sadness about same, I received a text from him welcoming me back home (remember, I spent the holidays in Trinidad) and offering me the opportunity to remain longer and I quote, “rent free’. Naturally, I called right away and was told that the sale had “hit a snag”, so things were a bit delayed; and their not wanting the ‘stone to be completely empty and knowing of my sadness at leaving, it would be a good thing for them as well to have me stay until things were figured out. Naturally, I accepted! That conversation ended with his saying to me, “Happy New Year”; it was indeed (I thought).

So, I stayed January and, because things were still up in the air, I stayed February as well; but paid rent for that month (that was the fair and right thing to do). I moved out on February 28th. Then, I did what was required of me – I sent them an email with my new address in anticipation of the return of my security deposit. I also thanked them for the opportunity to have lived there for 3+ years. Two weeks after that first communication with no acknowledgement, response or check, I sent another email. Still nothing. Then, I sent a text. This solicited a response (on April 2nd; thirty-three days after having moved out and three days after the period allowable by law (I watch a lot of Judge Judy) to either return a deposit or an explanation for what is being withheld). The response was an accounting of why it was being withheld in its entirety– and by now you must have figured it out – for January’s rent!

I was/still am flabbergasted! I could not believe what I had read! How do people allow themselves the space to be so less-than? What happens in people’s minds and lives that switches on the green light to move forward and be assholes?! And why do some think that there is any possibility that someone like me, who is so very tickled by (seemingly) great acts of kindness, will ever have deleted a text that offered the largess of a month “rent free’?!?! So, I responded to that “accounting” and expressed my disappointment at this about-face. I pointed out that I acknowledge that I was not entitled to a month rent free when the offer was made and, if the offer were to simply stay in my home for another month or two I would have gladly accepted and happily paid my rent for both months. But now, this is about the fact that you blatantly lied to achieve your purpose and now that that has been fulfilled, you are now removing both the condom and the lube and attempting to fuck me raw!!!

To this I received a response expressing their confusion that I would have ever thought it were “rent free” (I guess despite what was written), as to have me stay there longer cost them money to heat the entire brownstone, etc etc. Wow! But, because I was so valued as a tenant, they are now willing to return $400 of my deposit (still unsure how this new accounting summed down to that amount). So, here we are; I have not yet responded to that last communication – I am unsure what to do – but certain how I feel.

Let’s address this: for a woman like me, it is much better (if you had to choose one) to anger me than it is to disappoint me. I can and do get over being angry very quickly; the passion in that emotion flares up bright and hot, but dissipates equally as quickly. But, the great news is that there is passion. Disappointment however… well, that’s an entirely different kettle of fish. To disappoint me means that before the circumstance at hand, I must have regarded you with very high regard; I must have believed in the substance of your character. When you lose that, when I no longer look at you the way an alcoholic looks at a back-bar, then, there is a problem. And, there is no going back from there. See, unlike Humpty-Dumpty, you can be put back together, but, your cracks will always be visible L

So, I have been so disappointed that I am thinking of simply walking away. And, the reason now has nothing to do with them – it is all me. Yes, I can sue them if they do not wise-up (yall could see me on JJ one day); I will absolutely be within my right to do so (and, may even have a case for more damages than just the return of my deposit). But, what I am struggling with is this – I am hell-bent on keeping away from me, anything and any person that I know will bring me anger, sadness, disappointment or pain. Naturally, there are the people and instances that I cannot anticipate until too late, that they mean no good; but those that I know – those situations that simply scream “negativity” I have vowed to avoid. This one does.

What are your thoughts? Do I simply pretend that I never received the offer for “rent free” and consider my deposit as January’s rent and walk away shaking my head/? Or, do I insist that people step up as opposed to stepping-down and make them honor their word? Do I choose me over them by choosing to remain in a place of peace and tranquility, understanding that my peace of mind and heart is worth what any amount of money cannot compete with; or, do I choose me over them by getting what is financially owed to me?

Listen, I know the road to honor, integrity and exemplary moral fortitude is for some, the road less travelled. But here’s the thing – that means that there are less potholes and it’s smoother and easier to maneuver – try it! Fuck!!


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