O hai! Have you missed me? Well, I've blinkin' missed you! *pinches your proverbial (virtual?) cheeks* I couldn't work out for a couple of days why I felt out of kilter or why I kept thinking there was something I was forgetting to do. Then I realised it was because I wasn't blogging! Blogging every day for a month will do that to you.But absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? ; ) And boy do I have a post and a half for you today. Ya know, just to stave off those feelings of bereftness you're all experiencing...
If you've seen me at work at all this week or been keeping up with me on Twitter, you might have some idea on the subject matter. Anyway, let's snap to it!
I live in a pretty awesome flat. In a pretty awesome location. With a pretty awesome flatmate-cum-friend. All discovered through the pretty awesome random-room-locator website spareroom.co.uk. My living situation couldn't get any better, really.
Or at least that was how things stood at the end of May. Until I had quite the bombshell dropped on me on Sunday evening that my aforementioned flatmate-cum-friend had decided she wanted to live on her own. My immediate reaction(s)? My face flushing red as I processed the comment, and then acting completely nonchalant, in an s'cool bro stance. But where had this come from?
There had been a few negative vibes of late but these were incredibly slight and since I am an over-analyser I put it down to me probably just imagining it. Thus, the confession still came as quite a shock. Before all of this, I'd described us as – and genuinely believed we were – getting on really well. We would go swimming and to the gym together. She'd driven me 95 miles home to see my parents and back! We'd bought plants at the garden centre, planted them in the hanging baskets outside and spent an afternoon cleaning all the windows. We had evenings in watching tv series and drinking red wine. Plus evenings out. I genuinely considered us to be friends. Meaning it's not just the inconvenience of having to move. It's finding out that you're not considered to be someone's friend in return.
I could not think what had gone wrong. What had I done? Was it the packet of quavers crisps I'd eaten from her stash? Surely not, she pinched plenty of my milk without any issue from me. Was it that she'd decided (or felt the need) to set up a cleaning rota? I was sticking to it pretty rigidly so it couldn't be that. Maybe I spent too much time with her/around the flat? Maybe I spent too little time? I was racking my brain. I concede that the choice to live on her own is understandable; she owns the place and I can definitely relate to wanting that if you are able to afford it.
But then the conversation went a little like this:
Names have been changed to pronouns to protect the
guilty innocent and I have distilled the conversation for your impatience reading pleasure.
Her: I want to live on my own.
Me: Oh. OK.
Me: It's OK.
Her: It's a bit shit for you, though.
Her: Or you know, maybe it will be good.
Me: red face.
Her: Oh, I have been dreading telling you. I can sleep now.
Me: What do you want, a hug?
Her: I will miss the money, though.
Me: white-as-sheet face as the penny really starts to drop.
Her: I need to stop spending it on rubbish.
Me: my money you mean? Good to know.
Her: Maybe I will rent Monday to Friday...
Hold up. Hold. the fuck. up.
So, wait a minute – and forgive me for having to process really quickly here – you don't actually want to live on your own? You just want the weekends to yourself in exchange for having a semi-stranger pay you money for a bed? Confused is not the word.
And so, it ends there. I don't probe. I don't ask. I barely even manage to process what she's said and the implications. All I manage that evening is to create a new 'room wanted' advert on spareroom (and Gumtree, and easyroommate, and RoomBoodies!) as every bone in my body screams I need to get out of here. Now. Most of my nights this week have thus consisted of refreshing this page:
The end of the saga you think, right? Yeah, apart from the emotional havoc and stress it has created, I thought so too. That is, until Monday evening. I'm refreshing the above-pictured page in the same way an ebayer might on a purchase they're currently winning but desperately willing to end. Another slimline conversation for you:
Me: not talking to you, *refresh*, not talking to you, *refresh*
Her: I saw you put an advert up.
Her: Had any interest?
Her: When did you say you were looking to move?
Me: As soon as possible. You only told me yesterday, so I don't know how soon I'll move out.
Her: I should put an advert up.
Me: 'Live on your own' you said.
Her: What date did you put?
Me: Yesterday's date.
Her: Do you mind if I take photos of your room?
Me: No. Not really my room anymore is it?
Her: Removing some of my belongings from the room to take photos.
Me: red face.
Her: Whilst attempting to take photos of the lounge Do you want to be in the photo? i.e. get out of the photo.
Me: No. I'm going.
Her: Oh it's so difficult to make this flat look nice. Literally, my biggest care right now.
Me: *refresh...refresh...refresh* Oh! This new advert sounds ideal... Oh wait, that's where I already live. Those are my converse in the photo.
This, ladies and gentlemen, was all said without an ounce of sorrow or guilt, or really much consideration for how I might be feeling about or taking the situation. Oh no, there was even some level of excitement for pastures new and being free of some sort of shackle. Or maybe I'm over analysing again... Well, that's great. Peachy. I'm happy for you.
You know what it's like? It's like your partner has told you they don't want to be with you anymore. That you should go your separate ways. That you'll be OK, you'll find someone new. But unlike a relationship, you don't feel entitled to ask why? You're not even sure you want to know why. You sure as hell can't start begging them to reconsider and take you back. That you'll change and things will be different this time. And there definitely isn't any break-up sex to soften the blow.
Now all that's left is awkwardness and no matter how hard I tell myself to be normal and not take it personally, I can't stop myself. It's made worse by the fact that nowhere on her advert does it mention Monday-to-Friday or part time. When I decided to bite the bullet and ask her via e-mail why it doesn't mention this small, insignificant fact – which, by the way, to continue the analogy, felt exactly like asking a partner, ex-partner, if they cheated when you were together – her response was, and I quote: "No, I didn't want to put it. I thought it would restrict too many people." What in the blue hell is that? Of course it will restrict people. It will restrict those who are actually looking for Monday-to-Friday. What a time-waster. It's bullshit. She wants me out and I get the fucking memo.
It wasn't long before questions of when I would be out so that she could show potential new flatmates the room. Friday, tomorrow, she has a guy coming round who would only want the room for 3 weeks out of 4. Newsflash: this is not living on your own, love! And now I'm just not sure if I believe any of what comes out of her mouth.
Why am I telling you all this? Well, in the vein of Nicole's recent – and brilliant! – post When's the last time you told the truth about your life, I thought I'd speak my truth. Maybe because if you can understand all this, I will eat my hat, but not before begging you to explain to me what the fuck just happened?! I'm sure people see me as quite a strong, hard-faced person but this, this has an effect. It knocks your confidence; leaves you wondering why you struggle to, or at least want to, interact with and trust people. Wondering whether I am a nightmare to be around, be friends with and/or live with? And mainly, it just makes me sad.
I debated leaving it there but I don't want anyone going away feeling down in the dumps. To that end: never fear, Jen bounces back. My friends at work have been truly exceptional in their offers of support and assistance. (So, I can't be all that bad, can I?) Whilst I don't want to speak too soon or jinx it, I'm pretty sure I've found a new place with a nice person and things might be looking up.