Well, I’ve been living here in the new digs for about 4 months now and have found my fellow tenants to generally be a happy and friendly bunch. Everybody has really banded together and there are all sorts of associations one can join if one is built that way. I am not a joiner by nature so the garden committee will have to do without my Black Thumb of Death for the time being. So far, for every holiday, including Halloween, there has been a potluck party one can go to complete with decorations and sing-a-longs. It is very sweet. It is also glaringly apparent that I am a total curmudgeon as I have not attended a single communal gathering either. Eventually when I am over my social angst and feel like joining the masses again I’ll break out my Famous Quinoa Salad and karaoke on roof garden with everybody else. Until then The Hermit shall herm.
So I was surprised to find a note on my door a few weeks ago asking me to call Autumn*, A Fellow Tenant ASAP!!!! at such n’ such phone number. It sounded very urgent and I was frankly a little alarmed since I didn’t know this person having never been to any social function where I could have met her.
And so I phoned.
I quickly learned that Autumn had been down in the basement where the storage lockers are located and had seen in my locker (the walls are wire) some furniture she was interested in buying if I was willing to sell. Well, what do you know? I WAS thinking of getting rid of that shelving as it no longer fit in my new space. Perfect. What were the chances…
Then her negotiating started. I immediately got the sob story how she was on her own and didn’t have very much money and couldn’t afford a lot. Well, I too am on my own and don’t have a lot of money so I could certainly understand her position but, frankly, I didn’t buy into the guilt trip and due to my abject aloneness and extreme poverty I wasn’t gonna just give it away either. But I wasn’t going to be greedy. I wasn’t going to ask very much for the shelving and I was even willing to give her a couple pieces for free. She was very excited and agreed to pay me $20 for two metal shelves and I would throw in a couple wood ones for nothing. I probably could have got a bit more if I had sold my furniture on Craigslist or something but I was glad I didn’t have to have strangers through my place for viewings etc. Yippee! Quick sale!
*insert dark foreboding cello music here*
When I was arranging with Autumn to get the shelves to her I told her I had just had surgery and couldn’t haul the VERY well packed shelving (think Tetris) out of my locker on my own but would arrange for my parents to get them out for her over the weekend. She asked me what was wrong with me and I explained that I was going through reconstruction due to having breast cancer.
Well, what do you know but she was just waiting to get a surgery date to be explored for breast cancer too. I instantly sympathized with her. We had a little chat about our situations, she just starting the process and me coming to the end of it, and she exclaimed brightly that she knew she would be “just fine” because she had a positive attitude and that if I had a positive attitude as well I would have NOTHING to worry about, too. I, the sick, bitter and twisted cancer survivor didn’t tell her what was really going through my mind; “Yeah, right. If it was only so simple.”
So my parents dragged out the shelves and she took them and said she would stick a twenty under my door.
Yeah, she did stick it to me in her own way. I didn’t see any money.
Four days later she called me saying that she hadn’t paid me as she had forgotten what apartment I lived in. I gave her that information again and she said she would get me my money right away as she didn’t like to be in debt to people and ALWAYS paid her bills immediately. However, she had spent the original $20 bill allocated to me on pizza so she would have to get to the bank machine again before she could pay me. She made it sound like a difficult feat which confused me since there is a bank machine located right next door to our apartment’s front entrance. I had my doubts I’d be seeing my skooties any time soon despite her perky assurances that she settled her accounts promptly.
Guess what! I am psychic! Spoooooky! One week later after not finding a crispy little cash giftie under my door I called her to see what was up.
WELL! Poor, poor Autumn had been sick. Very very very sick with a FEVER and everything. She had not left the house since our last week’s phone conversation and therefore had not made it to a bank machine. She was “terribly sorry,” she said. “Ok. Fair enough,” I told her. “If you’re contagious then you’re contagious.” I simply asked her, in the future, to let me know what was going on. “Don’t blow me off.” I explained that after our last conversation she lead me to believe that I would be getting my money within a 24 hour period and here I was a week later calling her up about it. I asked her to keep me in the loop and let me know what was happening and not to leave me hanging like that again.
She promised she would get a friend to get the money to me if she wasn’t able to get out of the house within a couple days herself. “Perfect,” I said thinking our conversation was finished.
Oh no it wasn’t. She then launched into a pity tirade about how hard it was for her since “she was all alone and didn’t have anybody” and that “she was waiting for a cancer surgery date and everything!”
Oh no she didn’t. She didn’t just pull The Cancer Card?!? To a person she knows has already gone through the entire cancer treatment process? Oh noooooooo…
Well, it is four days later and still no cash under my door. I am going to have to get nasty on her possibly cancerous ass and rip her a new one. But I will also give her some advice. Very important information that might help her in the future. Explain how The Cancer Card works. Explain that merely waiting for a surgery date might tweak the heartstrings of an uber softie (only found in a bright fluffy world where unicorns dance in the meadows and poop chocolate nuggets) but does not cut it with me, chemo soaked and overly radiated unfeeling bastard that I am. Hell, I’M waiting for a surgery date myself but am still managing to pay my bills on time. Last time I checked waiting for the phone to ring didn’t count as a disability. Now if she had recounted tales of low red blood cell counts and infections requiring hospitalization and blood transfusions I would have cut her all the slack in the world. Tell me that you are nauseous and dizzy and unwell after a chemo date and I will drop off homemade soup seasoned lovingly with my tears. Even a radiation cracked nipple would have extended her bill payment deadline indefinitely. Now that is correctly playing The Cancer Card. Legit use of The Card. Respectful use of The Card. But waiting for a surgery date? Oh no no no no nooooo! That is insulting. That pisses me off.
No more Miz Nice Kranki. The bitch is back.
*not her name