Thursday, July 19, 2012

Catholic Guilt Only Works If You Are Catholic

Every time I'm about to post something that I think will be offensive to a lot of people, I like to preface it with a warning. It would seem, though, that those are always the posts my readers like best. Also, I suppose "a lot of people" is relative. Even if 50% of my readers were incredibly offended and started some shit in the comments, that would only be like 6 people, and that's closer to a bar brawl than the sort of viral, internet,  hate-filled shitstorm I keep imagining. Anyway. This is one such occasion. Consider yourself warned.

In my last post, I told you guys that I'm moving. Without my husband. The thing of it is, we have actually been separated for almost 3 months now, but as I also mentioned, he had refused to move out, so I went out and found a place on my own.

You would think after being separated for months, with him asking for a reconciliation more than once and me refusing each time during that period, that Rodolfo would not have been shocked when I told him I'd found a new place to live. But of course, he was shocked. It was a little over a week ago that I told him I'd be moving at the end of the month, which gave him a solid 2 and a half weeks until I left. It isn't a ton of time, I realize, but again, I'd like to reiterate how he should have not only been expecting this, but also preparing for it.

Rodolfo's immediate reaction was to tell me how much I'd screwed him over, and to heap on serving after serving of guilt about the financial and logistical ruin our break-up would cause him. He decided in less than 5 minutes that he would also need to move, because, despite making more money than I do, somehow he simply can't afford a 1 bedroom apartment. He informed our landlord the very next day that we would be leaving on August 1st.

Yesterday afternoon, Rodolfo called me to let me know that he had spoken to our landlord, who informed him that we would be losing 1 month of our 1 and a half months security deposit, because we did not give "enough" notice before our move. Now, I could absolutely go off on a tangent here about the fact that we signed a one year lease that did not have an automatic renewal clause 3 years ago and were never asked to sign a new one after it expired, which would make our current situation month-to-month. I could point out that even if we were basing it off the old lease, there is not a single word in that lease that specifies what our landlord considers "enough" notice. I could rant about the fact that he just arbitrarily decided to keep our security for reasons he made up right there on the spot. But you know, that isn't what this post is even about. I simply brought it up because I think I know the real reason he decided to keep our security, and it's definitely not about notice:

So. Last night comes and I'm making dinner. Actually, I had just finished making dinner. The dog was in his cage and our food was on our plates (our = mine and Caitlyn's. Rodolfo was at work), sitting on my kitchen counter. I had just set out to wrangle Caitlyn into her high chair so we could eat, when I heard a knock at my door. I ignored it. A minute later there was a second knock and I knew she wouldn't go away until I talked to her.

It was our downstairs neighbor. I should mention that our landlord is her son. She and her husband live in the apartment downstairs and their son owns the house. I opened the door and she asked if she could come in. I told her that I had been packing and my house was a ridiculous mess. "Don't worry", she told me. "I'm not here to look at your apartment, I want to talk to you". Ugh. Backed into a corner, I let her in. I should also point out that while I was distracted talking to her at the door, Caitlyn had let the dog out of his cage and so I spent the entirety of the ensuing conversation swatting him away from our dinner. I think it's important for you to have that as a part of this visual as a whole. This woman saw that our dinner was sitting on the kitchen counter, uneaten, and did not even offer to come back at another time. Nope. Saving a person is something you need to do right away, I guess.

Apparently, Rodolfo had mentioned to her that the reason we were moving is because I had decided to leave him. And when I say she was there trying to "save" me, let me assure you that I do not mean she came there with the intent of helping me get out of my marriage. There were no questions about my safety or finances or emotional well being. No. She had a different agenda. She was there to intervene on behalf of Jesus.

Her first words after she walked through my door, were to tell me how upset she was. "Feel my heart- it's racing", she insisted. At first, I thought she was upset because we had been friendly tenants, on good terms with them, and they always took the time to play with Caitlyn and Joey when they saw them. I thought, when she told me she was upset, that she was expressing some sort of sadness because we would be leaving.

Her next words, though, cleared that misunderstanding right up. "You know, 2 of my sons are divorced and it really hurts me. What religion are you- Catholic or Protestant?". Oh. None of the above, thank you very much, but I did make the unfortunate distinction that "well, my father is Catholic, but I'm not religious". "Well," she said, "if your father is Catholic, he's really going to suffer if you get divorced".

She then proceeded to ask me if Rodolfo and I had sought out the counsel of a priest to help deal with our marital issues, and when I made it clear that that would never happen, she suggested a non-religious counselor. I thanked her for her suggestions and even gave her a little hope so that maybe she would leave me the fuck alone "well, we aren't technically getting divorced yet. We are simply spending some time apart to see what our next step is". That was a mistake. She latched on to her mission to get me to stay with my husband, despite never having asked a single question about WHY I left (maybe he was beating me, lady. What if that were the case? Oh, that's right, Jesus still wouldn't approve of a divorce).

Once she thought there was a chance, she spent the next 5 minutes or so telling me how bad it will be for Caitlyn when Rodolfo and I split up. "Children who live with both parents are much better off- it's bad for them when the parents aren't together. Those children aren't as well-adjusted". That right there? The fact that I responded with a polite "well, my mother was a single mother, so I don't agree with that"- that might have actually proven to me the existence of a god. Because maintaining my decorum in that moment and NOT telling her to go fuck herself? That was patently miraculous.

After that she spent a few more minutes Catholic-guilting me. She explained to me how much easier it would be to fix this problem if I were religious, because "then you could just pray and God would help you". She told me that, when her son split with his wife, he wanted to go to counseling but she said no. Then, when she decided she wanted to go, he had already found another woman. Another woman who interacts with his children, even! Tragic, really. I mean, what kind of family values are those?

After each argument she made, she would stop talking for a moment and look at me expectantly, as if she was waiting for the moment when I would realize she was right and thank her for saving my soul from eternal damnation. About 10 minutes in, after repeatedly making it clear that she did not approve of my choice, no matter the reason or my own personal belief structure, she realized that, alas, she would not be able to get me into heaven, and finally left, obviously dejected.

I'm going to try to not turn these last few paragraphs into religion-specific hate. That being said, this is why I hate organized religion (Yup. Contradictory like a motherfucker). I managed to maintain my composure because she's a nice woman and I know she meant well, but in my head, I spend the entire time screaming "who the FUCK do you think you are?" at her.

Okay. And really, WHO THE FUCK DOES SHE THINK SHE IS???? She's not my fucking grandmother or my best friend or a trusted confidante. She didn't give a flying fuck about my reasons for leaving or my well-being. All she cared about was her own personal belief system, and cramming it down my throat as hard and guilt-riddled as possible.

And then it occurred to me. Is this why I'm getting screwed out of my security deposit? If my husband and I had found a house like we had originally planned, would it have been all sunshine and puppies and rainbows and prompt return of my fucking money then? I sort of think maybe it would have been.

I really wish I hadn't taken the high road during that conversation and instead shown her the exact same level of respect she showed me. You know, none. Nadine seems to think I should have told her I was a bisexual Muslim and I was leaving Rodolfo for another woman that I had been cheating on him with for the entirety of our marriage. God, that would have been so fantastic.

In a completely unrelated note, why did I spend half my train ride today thinking about "The Human Centipede", a movie which I have never seen and never ever ever want to see? I'm going to put it right out there and say I blame Jesus.


Unknown said...

Hey, I saw Human Centipede. I was disappointed. It's only as gross as you already are expecting it to be. Yes, there's people ass-to-mouth and obviously there is an implied issue of two other people eating the first person's shit, the third person eating the shit that has gone through two intestinal tracks, but IT WAS BORING AND NOT GROSS. You'd like it. Maybe. Not that much. Tara and I watched it on the big screen at my old apartment building's movie room.

Bisexual Muslim, you are obviously having that affair with me, btw. Wanna go make out in front of your landlord? I'll do it. Not right now though, just had Greek salad and that's not polite to you.

Jaclyn said...

Seriously, I want to do that. You will need to take the day off work now when I move, so we can kiss in front of her. Not even make out. Just kiss like it's the most natural thing ever, two ladies in love. YES.

Unknown said...

we should practice first. you know, a lot. so it looks natural.

Mandi said...

I can't remember where you live, but I'm a landlord here in Wisconsin, in a city that has some of the most convoluted landlord-tenant laws which could only have been passed while city council was hungover. I may be able to help you out.

If your lease doesn't contain an automatic renewal clause, and there's nothing in the lease that specifies how much notice you're required to give, then most places default to 30 days. Even then, they can't keep a month of your security because your landlord would still have to show the exact cost of mitigating damages because of Fucktwaddle's failure to plan and give "proper" notice.

What I'd do in your situation is to go to the landlord and tell him that if he tries to withhold your deposit for reasons not legally allowable by law, you will sue him in small claims court. Where I live, that sort of thing is good for 2x the amount of your deposit, and only costs about $100 to file. Usually, just the threat is good enough to make the landlord pony up the dough.

Let me know where you are specifically, and I can give you a better idea of where to turn for the technical details.

Mandi said...

Also, if you're in Jersey like I seem to think you are, it IS a 30 day notice, but you don't have to move out just because you give notice. So Fuckertwat can still march over to Catholic Guilt Gary and tell him that he will move out by September 1st, hence eliminating the illegal and arbitrary withholding of the deposit.

Mother Knows Best Reviews said...

People like this give Christians a bad name. That is awful.

Jaclyn said...

Thanks Mandi! I am in NJ. It sucks that they can legally do this, and yeah, I blame Rodolfo and he definitely blames me. He also found an apartment already, so I know he doesn't intend to stay. I'm pissed! I guess I'm just extra annoyed that they have no qualms about screwing me out of my money, but they are right there to save my fucking soul. So basically, it's a waste of time to take them to court?

Mandi said...

No, I would definitely confront the landlord and tell him that he cannot withhold a month's rent automatically. In Jersey, you're also supposed to accrue interest on your deposit.

You're only allowed to withhold money to mitigate damages (i.e. Lost rent, damaged furnishings/appliances/carpets/etc.)and you're legally required to take all reasonable steps to mitigate those damages. If you were to, say, find a person that wanted to rent your apartment the day after you move out, and that person does so, then your landlord didn't lose any money on the tenancy and he has no right to deduct that from your deposit.

If nothing else, read this to him and threaten him. If it's a shady landlord (and he sounds 7 shades of both shady AND retarded), chances are excellent that throwing the law in his face will be enough to get him to refund your money.

Susan Bodendo/Super Earthling said...

Wow, that sounds like quite the evening! Sounds like you have more than enough on your plate without having to deal with someone's judgmental behavior. I hope your move goes smoothly. :)

Anonymous said...

What a small minded jerk. Tell them Jesus told you to sue them in if they don't return your deposit.

IF you and Nadine do the girlfriend bit.. you have to post about it. That would be so damn funny.