In the spring of 2016, I knew I needed out of the place I was currently in. The landlord was terrible (he cheated my old roommate and I out of close to $350) and I am not the best roommate.
I need to clarify that. I’m not the best roommate for one reason and one reason only: I have my own schedule and I do not like being taken away from that schedule for anything. It is terrible, I know!
Working on it!
I found a place not far from my old apartment. Not only was it awful far away from the college and at least $100 out of my monthly budget, but it was in the basement. A middle-aged couple and their three dogs were going to be above me, if I moved in. As the husband worked nights at the factory and the wife babysat her grandkids until 3 in the AM, I figured it was perfect.
I was pretty salty about the price, but I was able to have my cat. The place was pretty and I liked it. The couple’s schedules and mine worked out, for the most part. He would be leaving for work just when I was getting back from work (I worked 5 AM to 9 PM most every day). She would get back from babysitting and let the dogs out at 3 AM every morning. A bit annoying, but ok.
Then, just a week before Fall Semester began for me, the couple broke up and he moved out. That’s when things really went downhill. For a solid two weeks, people were coming in and out at all hours of the day and night. They were not quiet about it, either. Living in the basement, I heard every… single… heavy, stomping… echoing footstep. Every conversation was heard clearly through the walls. Every scrape of furniture on the wooden floor. This would go on sometimes until 5 or 6 in the AM.
Rough… so rough…. Especially when I had class at 8 in the morning.
There were times that I was severely tempted to go upstairs and tell her off. However, as my mother always said: you never know what the other person is going through. In fact, that’s my life’s motto. Giving people the benefit of the doubt is one of the acts of mercy rarely seen in today’s world.
Now, what followed was progressively worse as the days went on. The grandkids had, apparently, moved in with her. There were at least two of them (three during the day) with ages ranging from a baby to a little older than a toddler. Not a problem, necessarily… until I got a very nasty text calling me a c— for watching TV at 10 at night. My very first reaction was to be angry as this whole situation did not seem fair to me, but she was in a stay-at-home-and-watch-the-grandkids-all-day-every-day situation and that cannot be easy. So, I switched my life around to help her out – going to bed earlier and getting up earlier. Until I got a text after an 8 AM shower that I had “woken up the babies, you petty b—-.”
I snapped. She got a piece of my mind over text and I started recording their noise and once a month or so would go talk to her and show her how loud they were constantly. Finally, she told me she pays more in rent and, therefore, can behave as she wishes upstairs.
On average – and I’m looking at what my fitbit was telling me my sleep patterns were – I would be awake until 2 or 3 in the morning and then woken up twice more every night. So, a person who needs 8 1/2 hours of sleep was getting 2-4 hours of sleep a night with no chance of a nap during the day because I either worked or the kids were running about constantly.
I have been looking for a new place since November and found one just recently. It is significantly smaller (I do rather like small spaces) and month-to-month is more expensive.
Such is the cost of a good night’s sleep.
The landlady seems very honest and very straightforward. I am lucky to have found her.