Attitude Adjustment

    The last week was god-awful, but I’m better now.

     I met with my landlord on Sunday morning.  I was so upset that I thought the intensity of my anxiety was going to kill me, but on the outside, I think that I held my shit together.  I am a good actress.   Gave the man half of July’s rent in cash and told him that I appreciated how patient he’s been with me the last few months.  He’s a good landlord, I really like living in this building, I would like to stay if possible.  Happy to give him two months’ security up front if he’s willing to renew my lease.

     He was nice.  Shook my hand and told me that he would get back to me.

      Meanwhile, I’ve been running around the Tri-State area hustling my ass off. You know the old cartoons where Wile E. Coyote is chasing Road Runner, and their legs are moving so fast that they become a big blur? Well, that was little Miss Margo.  I think that I slept about fifteen minutes in a week.  My mind was chock-full of worst scenarios.  My BOOKS!   My BIRDS!  Going back to my crappy redneck state IN DISGRACE!  (in my nightmares, all roads lead back to my crappy redneck state)

       Then I come home and find a letter from the landlord left under the door.  I am proud to tell you that I immediately opened it without fortifications of scotch or martinis.

       Get this: the man offered to extend the lease on the conditions of a ten percent increase in my rent and five (5!) months’ payment in advance.

        FIVE MONTHS?!  Hell, for that much, I might at well move!  Spent a long night on Craigslist researching potential monthly rentals and apartments available for subletting.

       I finally reached the end of my rope.

       I couldn’t call my family.  I just couldn’t.  I would literally rather die.  And yeah, I know it must look weird from the outside.

        I called the Surgeon for advice.  I told myself that it was reasonable.  I was his quasi-girlfriend for years, after all.

        He picked up on the first ring.

        “What’s the matter?  Tell me what’s happening.”   The first words out of his mouth.  Tell me he wasn’t waiting for this.

          I told him.   I think that I kept my composure.  From the outside, I probably sounded okay.

           He wanted to immediately call my landlord himself, but I refused.  The Surgeon knows how to persuade people, but he can also get his way by intimidating them, and I didn’t want him flying off the handle at my landlord.  Besides, I’m a grown-ass woman, I can talk to my landlord myself.

           He told me what I needed to do.  Adjusted my perspective, if you will.

           It must be nice to live knowing that you have power in the world.  It must be nice to think this way all the time.

            You’re being naive!  You’re vulnerable and he knows it and he’s trying to squeeze you for money.  NOBODY asks for five months’ security up front.  That is absurd.  It’s insulting!  He doesn’t want you to move.  If you leave, he’ll have to clean the place and repaint it and show it to people and he’ll be out at least two months’ rent, and then his profit for the year will evaporate.  Also, he has no idea what he’s gonna get when he gets a new tenant–he might get a flake who defaults and ties him up in court for six months when he tries to evict.  You are reliable.

           Then he gave me legal advice I can’t write here.

          Call me back and read the letter to me before you send it to him.  You are way too polite.  

           Well, I’m not going to do that, but I am going to take the day off and enjoy a nap.  I’m very, very tired.

3 thoughts on “Attitude Adjustment”

  1. Hi M., I am glad to have news from you.
    Hopefully, you will be ok. Please consider contacting your family. Yo will not have to go back in disgrace. your mom (and maybe your brother) can help. This is what family is for. Your mom has your back. You do not have to tell het about your secret life. She will try to help you. Your mom loves you. Moms like to help their cubs. It makes them feel useful.
    In the three years we lived together, I discover we are alike in many aspects, and very different in others.
    I fail to grasp the rationale that could explain why you would reach out for surgeon over your mom. Why walk a stride in a downward spiral?
    Take care of yourself. Let people that care about you help you. They would be happy to do so.

    -Your friend.

  2. I, too, am glad to read this news of you. And I’ll reiterate that there are people nearby who are caring and interested and thoughtful and trying to be helpful if and how they can.

  3. Hi!!!

    I really appreciate your kind words and advice, E. It means a lot to me that I heard from you.

    I am too independent, as you know, and I agree that I take it to such an extreme that it becomes a character flaw and a liability. A potentially dangerous liability.

    It is something I have to improve in myself.

    That said, I feel guilty and ashamed about imposing on my family. I am not a child. It is my responsibility to take care of myself.

    The Surgeon is not exactly Mr. Mental Health 2012, but–unlike me–he is an excellent businessman. I knew he could give me good advice, and he did. And unlike my mother, he owes me.

    Don’t worry–I’m not going back to him.

    I’ll think more about what you said.

    I can’t wait to see your baby!

    Miss you,


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