I can’t censor myself with my posts because this is a real life experience. I can’t only write about the happy times because that’s not going to be very reflective of my experience. So, here goes nothing…
This past week has been stressful, crazy, exhausting, weird, and now…sad.
I’ll cut to the chase, The Norwegian has basically just been kicked out. You may be wondering how it got to this point. I am, too.
At first we were strangers that came together to live under one roof. We didn’t know each other before this. I’m sure we were all scared or nervous (or both!). But once we all came together, I felt like I had won the lottery with the people that I would be spending my year with.
Eventually, things gradually began to change. We (The Norwegian, The Brit and I) had to make room for ourselves in the fridge/freezer, and in the cupboards. Mind you, The Landlady has her own fridge/freezer stocked up with food and then has more food in the lodger fridge/freezer. The Landlady would turn off the boiler so we wouldn’t exactly have hot water, nor would we have heating (it actually gets pretty chilly at night). Anytime I’d turn up the heat when the boiler was on, it would just get turned back down or the boiler would be shut off. Her dishes would be left on the side/in the sink to pile up for days. Then a new rule came into play: everyone combine their dirty dishes and take turns washing when there was enough. It wasn’t a home anymore. It became a dominating business relationship.
I wasn’t used to this. I’ve never had someone turn off a boiler or the heating. I come from a home where you wash something straight away. You don’t let things pile up. Even if it’s one spoon, you wash it right away. I’m OCD, so, none of this would ever fly with me. Plus, I have a theory: if you have a dirty kitchen then the rest of your home is dirty. It’s just that simple in my mind. What drove me over the edge was one night when I was washing a container and a spoon, The Landlady basically told me I shouldn’t be doing that. Inside, I was angry and annoyed. I’m not a child. And I’m paying to be here and to use all the services that were laid out in my contract. I told her I couldn’t leave things sitting and carried on washing. That was when I reached my limit. The Landlady wasn’t living up to her end of the agreement. The Norwegian and The Brit felt the same way. We started thinking about our one and only option: to just move out. We didn’t sign up for this. Had any of us known about these rules beforehand, we would have NEVER signed the contract. Eventually, The Norwegian and I sought some professional advice about our situation.
1. Discuss our concerns with The Landlady and see if she will amend her behaviour
2. Come to an agreement to move out peacefully and have our deposit returned, and not pay the ridiculous penalty for “breaking the contract.”
3. Get ourselves evicted and we won’t have to pay the penalty at all
My mind works within a legal framework. Our contracts were broken. It wasn’t our own doing. The Landlady broke the contract when she was not providing us with the services we were entitled to. Null and void is what I’d call that.
The Norwegian, The Brit, and I went back and forth about what to do. How to go about the whole situation. On Friday I was gung-ho about moving out. And then The Norwegian, The Landlady and I had a brutally honest conversation. It didn’t get ugly, it didn’t get nasty, it wasn’t rude. Everyone laid out every single issue and how they felt. After the conversation had ended I was on the fence–should I stay or should I go? I talked to my parents and I eventually realized that I should give this another shot. The Landlady listened and was understanding. I couldn’t “punish” (for lack of a better word) her. I realized that we were all guilty of failing to communicate properly. Everyone let everything build up. But The Norwegian was convinced she still wanted to leave. She was unhappy and she wasn’t going to be happy as long as she was here. She didn’t feel like this was a home because it never started off as being a home. It was a prison.
Realistically, at this point in the term it’s hard to find a 3 bedroom flat or house. It’s too late in the term. And we could wind up worse off. We may have had to split up. There are some really terrible places out there.
This morning I went to yoga. When I looked at my phone after the class I saw a couple texts come through from The Norwegian. She said she had been kicked out and asked me to come home. I was so confused, I didn’t know what I’d be walking into. I called The Landlady and she explained her version of what happened. I tried calling The Norwegian but she wasn’t answering. She was answering my texts, though. I walked home and saw The Norwegian with all her stuff in the front. She had told me what happened. She had said that there was no compromising with The Landlady. So she did what she had hoped she wouldn’t have to do: she got herself evicted. We stood out front laughing about the whole thing. It’s so shocking. Who would have thought it would come to this? I sure didn’t.
It’s sad now. There’s an emptiness to this house. I hope it becomes a home again. But I’m not holding my breath.