A lot has happened in a couple of weeks. Remember the roommates I was supposed to move in with? The little apartment in Wrigleyville I was supposed to call home? Yeah, that’s not happening.
2 weekends ago Ella and I went shopping together for some items we still needed – she’d been living there a couple weeks and I was scheduled to move in, well, this weekend. I’d just come out to my parents and we had a lovely moment where we sipped smoothies at a Chinese restaurant and she listened to my anxieties and told me not to worry because It Gets Better.
Then she told me – well, mentioned in a sort of backhanded way – that two of her friends from out-of-state were living with her. “You mean, living with us?” I asked, trying to wrap my mind around what she was telling me.
“They’re staying in my room, they won’t bother you,” Ella replied, with this sort of look on her face that said I Can’t Believe This Bothers You.
“Well OK,” I said. “For how long?”
“I don’t know,” she said. “They were living in their car because their apartment in Chicago wasn’t ready yet. End of September, maybe? They have to kick some guy out.”
Oh. Of course.
Now, I know there are plenty of people out there that just “roll with the punches.” That would accept situations like as part of the adventure. But I’m not one of them.
I’m an adult with a grown-up job who gets up early, wakes up easily and sometimes works from home, and they are slightly younger twenty-somethings who are new to the city, not yet employed (yeah), not paying rent, and, from the look of the photos posted on Facebook at 3 am, enjoy partying on weeknights. As it is, I would be sharing a bathroom, kitchen and living space with 4 other girls when I have become used to having my own space, and intensely crave it. Ella made it quite clear that I had no veto power in the matter – my opinion was not necessary to begin with and wouldn’t be for any future Open Hostel events. (The fact that this hadn’t come up in our first 50 conversations is concerning.) There are only so many punches I can roll with.
It’s highly fortunate that all of this happened when it did, because I hadn’t signed a lease yet, and a few days later it may have been too late. I called my bank at 6:00 in the morning to put a stop payment on my security deposit (the landlord who don’t care that there were infinite squatters in her apartment also hadn’t cashed my week-old check yet) and texted Liz to tell her how sorry I was. She responded with a nonchalant “Oh, yeah, don’t worry.”
Not 10 minutes later, she posted on Facebook, “So excited that X and Y are going to be my new roommates!!” They’d signed the lease for my room. Yay for them. It was almost like they’d planned it, to wedge me out of the picture.
My parents assured me that I was welcome to keep living at home for as long as I needed. This was nice. If my coming out had gone poorly, it would have been a very dire situation indeed.
I had to go back to Ella’s apartment yesterday to retrieve the box of stuff I had already moved in. I had to call her, text her and ring the buzzer twice (not to mention reschedule the trip twice) to get her to let me in, and when she answered the door it was with a regretful look.
“Hey, did you happen to use the shower curtain rod I bought?” I asked her.
“Oh, yeah, we put it up. Do you want me to take it down?”
I just laughed. “No, keep it.”
I highly doubt we’ll end up being friends. It’s very sad since we spent so much time getting to know each other, and I felt like we had a connection. But I suppose I outlived my purpose of helping her get to Chicago and now she doesn’t need me. People surprise you sometimes.
I am, however, still moving out: I found myself a gorgeous 1,000 SF one-bedroom in Andersonville for slightly over my budget (but all utilities are included and there’s in-unit laundry and parking is easy so it’s OK) and I’m moving in the last weekend of September.
Sometimes you can’t have it all. I don’t like the thought of living alone. But I’m hoping my lack of roommates at least makes dating easier… And the neighborhood is fabulous for such purposes. Andersonville is the historic lesbian “hub” of Chicago, and there are several gay bars and a feminist bookstore within 3 blocks of my front door. I nabbed a good location, that’s for sure!
I brought my family out to lunch near my future apartment yesterday after picking up my box from Ella, and two women walked by holding hands and smiling at each other. My heart did a little flip while my family did a little “OMG” and we had pizza and that was that. It’s going to be LEGEND-
wait for it –