That time our landlord broke up with us via text


On the last Tuesday of April, my landlord texted me my 30-day notice to vacate the property.  Reading the text I was gut-punched. My first  instinct was to look for the cameras because as far as I knew, we’d always been good tenants: paid our rent a week early every month, never hassled him with petty repairs, never bothered the neighbors; so obviously I must be being Punk’d.

Finding no signs of cameras,  I did the next natural thing,  grabbed my coat and quickly walked to my car before I was caught crying at my desk again. Yes, again. Story for another time. I wanted to go to my car to hide and cry in peace, except, of course, I had left my keys at my desk and there was no way in hell I was surviving the trek back for the keys, so I walked to the bench on the edge of the property, overlooking a cliff, and contemplated jumping. Just for a second. Decided to call the husband instead.

He wasn’t at his desk so I texted the landlord. “Can I ask, did we do something to cause this?” What else was I going to say? “No. I reject your notice”? Waited for him to text back. Cried. Called the husband again. This time, he answered. I told him what had happened. 

He asked why, and  as if this had all been scripted in a movie, right on cue, the response text came through. “No, nothing. I have no problem with you as tenants. My son is getting married and needs a place to live. I can’t  say no t o my son.” No, of course not. Nor could I. But is he trying to say this wedding and his son’s lack of residence were sudden news to him. Could he really not have given us 60 days to find a new place to live and relocate there? Especially since he knows my husband and I both work full-time jobs and have a child to consider? Of course, I said none of this.

Side note: three weeks in and our landlord has had no further communication with us except for a printed copy of the text taped to our door a week later.

I gave my husband the answer and asked what are we going to do and in his typical fashion, he told me he couldn’t  deal with this right now, he’d talk to me at home. 

We hung up and I stared into the abyss crying into mutli-convulsions of panic attacks. What  are we going to do? Why does this keep happening to us? How are we going to do this all in a month? Then the list of things to get through…. It was all too much. That jump didn’t seem like such a bad idea afterall. Except, there’s the kid and he’d never forgive me if I just disappeared one day so I brushed myself off, headed back inside and told my boss I had to leave.

In her typical fashion, she said, “No problem. Everything ok?” It had taken all my strength just to get back up to the third floor, walk over to her desk, and tell her I was leaving; I simply could not keep the tears back so I gave her my phone to read the texts. She apologized for me having to go through this and asked if she could do anything for me, which lead to me hyperventilate. I wish I could say that had been the first time I’d hyperventilated at my boss’ desk.

She tried to walk me to my desk drawing as little attention as possible; however, everyone along the way noticed and wanted to help. This should have been a comfort but it made me cry even more. She and a friend walked me to my car with promises to reach out to their contacts to find me a new home. 

On the way to my mom’s house to pick up my son, I called my mom to give her a heads up. By the time I had arrived at her house, my mom had already warned my son that I would need extra hugs and kisses which helped a little, I’m not gonna lie. We jumped right into solution mode and looked at a few dozen apartment/house listings. Between sobs, I left messages and made appointments. I had three appointments and left six other messages for appointments by the time I’d returned  home that night.

My husband came home, sat on the couch, and took turns sulking and hugging our kid. He was defeated. Already. This pissed me off. How dare he? How dare he quit at the first bump? This ride hadn’t even begun to get bumpy yet. We still had a month of struggle ahead.

Over the next few days we looked at a half-dozen houses and apartments and a few dozen listings online. Each house we saw only depressed us more. Everyone wanted more money for less space and the down payments were all more money than we had in the bank. I was losing hope.

I told my husband I needed him to be the strong one for a minute while I let go and fell apart. I needed to not be the strong one for a minute and then I could go back to being the woman with the plan and the strength to carry it out. He didn’t seem to get what I was asking for because by the weekend of week one we were in our driveway giving our neighbors a show as we screamed profanities at each other and called each other out on our BS.

I guess though, we needed the screaming outlet for our frustration because by the end of the night we’d  become  a well-oiled machine. We worked together to find a new place and get this place packed up. Not the heslthiest way to get on the same page, I know.

Sometimes the weight of it all is just too much and my anxiety can’t deal with it. I want to scream and kick and cry. I want to throw bricks through windows. I want to yell up into the heavens, “Enough! Enough already! Pick on someone else!”

I toggle between feeling sorry for myself and believing this is the universe kicking our butts into shape becaue we never followed our dreams, either out of laziness or fear, and this is our punishment for said laziness and/or fear. I start to wonder, what if this is simply fate’s way of forcing us to make a change. But also, what if all of this is just negative attracting negative? I haven’t felt the greatest about myself lately.  Mostly because my job is one of the soul-sucking careers that no one ever really dreams of when they imagine what they want to be when they grow up, but also, I work really hard and and a lot of freakin hours to be coming up this short in life. What’s the point of working so hard if a broken car or a sudden move can cripple us?

So what if all my negative feelings are drawing a negative life? What if that’s true? Well then, I guess I need to change my life.


What brings me here, you ask?

Once upon a time, I wanted to be a writer. A professor once told me, “writers write.” Bam! Done! I can write. No problem. Except, life kept happening and being a writer and paying the bills was just not a reality that seemed willing to meet me half-way, so I did the sensible thing and got myself a Master’s in reading, because I love to read!

But, as it turns out, reading teachers were not in such high demand as I had been lead to believe. I had a kid and got married, life again. Kids are super expensive, so I took what was meant to be a temporary job at a soul-crushing corporate cube farm while I waited for teaching positions to open up. Six years later, the cube farm is still crushing my soul and my therapist and I have come to the conclusion that the only way to return my soul is to write.

I recently started looking into jobs for writers and everyone seems to want a writer with a strong social media presence. They all say to open an account for every media available and then be active, which is easier said than done when you’re working a full-time job and raising a kid while having to move your family because your landlord just  gave you 30-days to vacate so his son can move into the house. Oh! And the experts suggest being social, which I’m awesome at, not really. But hey, it’s time to leave my comfortable cocoon and live my dream, so let’s do this!

And finally, a name

If my family is to be believed, I basically came out of the womb with a nervous disposition, which means I basically spent the next 30 years of my life tormented by feelings of agitation, isolation, and trepidation.

I never quite fit in, which I know, is the sob story dejour, but it is my story nonetheless. I couldn’t trust anyone who wanted to be my friend. Not because I felt myself unworthy, although, let’s face it, I probably did, but because I believed anyone being nice to me was only waiting for the opportune time to humiliate me in front of the entire class. I learned this seemingly irrational fear mostly because, well, this happened. Often.

Most days, I came home in tears. My parents would say the other kids were jealous of me because I was smart and smart girls aren’t appreciated until they’re adults. I hated this answer. If they were right, I wanted no part of being smart. What was the point if being smart meant being bullied? It’s hard to say if the nervous behavior amplified the teasing or if the teasing amplified the nervous behavior but it seemed one did not exist without the other.

This lead to more nervous behavior which lead to me believing there must be something wrong with me. I must be crazy.

It took 30 years to learn I’m not crazy. Not quite. Thirty years, one baby, and one couple’s counseling session, to finally meet a therapist who could give a name to what had plagued me from childhood, “anxiety”.

With that short story long, I bring you the world through my quirky, anxiety-colored eyes. Adorkable jokes and all.