That is all I could think the morning of Tuesday, May 1st, the day my mother and I hit the road in a 10 foot Uhaul, en-route to Toronto. After living on a couch in a studio apartment with a wonderful friend who graciously took me in for 3 weeks, it was finally time to move myself back to good old Canada land.
I had moved out of my apartment 3 weeks earlier than I was supposed to. 3 weeks earlier than I had paid for. Unfortunately, I had no choice- my apartment wasn’t safe.
3 weeks prior to Tuesday, May 1st, I had solidified the fact that I could complete my Masters at NYU from Toronto by taking 2 online classes and writing my thesis at home. Knowing it would save me upwards of tens of thousands of dollars, I decided it only made sense to move back home. I made all the arrangements I needed to make, including confirming my plan with my program director, finding a place to live in Toronto, and securing a sublet for my room to fill in for me. I hadn’t actually signed a lease for my place in NYC, but it didn’t feel right putting my roommate out like that. The sublet I had found actually happened to be a girl who went to the same university as us for undergrad, was an absolute sweetheart, and extremely trustworthy- I couldn’t have found a better match to take my place.
Well, apparently I could have.
I informed my roommate of my plans and about the girl I had found to take my place in the apartment, knowing that this was a win-win situation for both of us. She, however, did not see it that way. Instead, she told me that I was not allowed to sublet my room and demanded that I had to continue to pay rent. Shocked, I simply said ok and walked out of the room.
Little did I know that this was the beginning of one of the most surreal events of my life.
The next day my roommate began to harass me by texting me and calling me constantly, insisting that I call her parents, yelling at me, and slamming doors. I was in utter dismay with her attitude as I had simply said “ok” to her demands and nothing about not paying.
The next day, she served me with a letter (that made little sense) from a lawyer that told me she was going to sue me if I moved out, stating that I had said I was going to move out without paying, which I had not. I had expected this letter, but I didn’t expect what followed…
That night, after my roommate had served me the letter from her lawyer, I realized that she had made passive aggression actions towards my things. She had thrown my shoes in a pile, taken a Christmas card of mine off the fridge, took my shower products and put them in the middle of the tub in standing water, and… well… to spare you the gross details… she had “tampered” with my toothbrush in one of the most disturbing ways possible. This action was so disgusting that I questioned whether it was safe to eat the food I had left in the fridge, as I was unsure of what she could have done to it.
It was then that I realized I couldn’t live there anymore, so I moved out for those 3 weeks. The problem was, I had to leave most of my stuff back in the apartment. It was 3 weeks later that I was able to retrieve my belongings, with the help of my mother. But not, of course, without hassle from my roommate.
The weekend my mother came into to town to help me collect my things also happened to be the weekend my roommate felt the need to recruit both of her parents to keep watch on us. And by watch, I actually mean stalk. The entire weekend, while the 5 of us were living in the tiny NYC apartment, my roommate’s parents not only went out of their way to make living arrangements unbelievably difficult, but went out of their wait to literally stalk my mother and I. They waited in the building foyer for us to show up for the first night, and then waited outside of the building for us when we would leave the apartment. While my mother and I enjoyed our time in NYC by shopping, going out for dinner, and seeing a show, they were stalking us-waiting for me to move out.
My mother and I let it slide as we were having a really great weekend together. We were able to pack my things quite quickly, which is why we could enjoy the things we did in the city before we had to leave. It wasn’t until the last day that things really got messy.
I had sent my roommate a letter (from the lawyer I had to acquire) a few days after her letter, stating not only the harassment she had inflicted on me, but that I would be moving out May 1st, as I had a presentation the night of April 30th. Apparently, her parents were never informed of the letter and they were under the assumption I would be moving out on the 30th. When they realized I was not ready to move out by 5pm that day, they.. well.. kind of went nuts.
After much discussion, my mom and I had decided earlier that day that it may be a better idea to move out that evening, just to get out of their harrassing ways. So, by 5pm on April 30th, my mother left the apartment to pick up the Uhaul…Unfortunately, at the same time my roommates parents came back into the apartment. They wasted no time to come into my room, where I was alone and cornered, to begin to verbally attacking me. Hearing this from down the hall, my mother came back into the apartment to save me. It then turned into a battlefield, as my roommates mom began yelling at us that we needed to “get the f*** out” of her apartment or she was going to call the police and physically move my stuff onto the street. My mother responded by informing my roommate’s mother that she could not do that, which we knew, because we had done our research.
To this, my roommates mom responded, “of course you did your research- you’re Jewish.”
Thankfully, we packed up and moved out of the apartment by 10pm that evening and drove to a hotel for the night. I couldn’t spend anymore time in that apartment, especially with people so vile… so anti-Semitic. My mother and I had a wonderful night’s sleep that night and were well rested for our long 10 hour drive back to Toronto the next day.
I am now home in my new apartment, still unpacking and finishing up an assignment for my spring semester before my summer semester begins. I am looking forward to all the wonderful things ahead of me and hoping that I never have to experience what I had experienced again. While I always look for the good in people, I guess there are always some people who just have a bad case of the crazies.
Have you ever experienced a ridiculous roommate situation? What did you do and how did you survive?