Sunday, July 25, 2010

Facebook should have an "acquaintances" category

That was the subject line under which I found the e-mail, written about a week ago, which including the line, "I waxed my armpits...more on that later."

That e-mail actually tells the story pretty well, so after a preface, I'm simply going to paste that e-mail into this blog post.

This story is about a placed I rented in NJ, a one-bedroom carriage house for which I paid very high bills. It appeared to be adorable, a nice "bachelorette pad" (as one of my friends put it), yet another astute friend always felt that the vibe from the house was "creepy." That creepy vibe could have originated from my own lack of privacy, which made it impossible to feel fully at home there. Ways in which my privacy was violated, by individuals who may or may not have had good intentions, would take up a blog post on their own, so, aside from the few examples included today, I'll save that for a later date.

For example, I had a neighbor who regularly yell through my open windows to talk to me or ask me about something, rather than knocking on the door and then walking away when I didn't answer. My landlords themselves simply violated the law stating that they could only enter my apartment with good reason and 24 hours' notice. My apartment was frequently entered without my knowledge until after the fact, if at all, for seemingly benevolent reasons such as, "We thought you weren't coming home, and it's supposed to rain later, so we closed your windows." Both parties acknowledged that my cell phone number was in their possession, so there was no reason not to contact me first, both to notify me that they planned on entering my apartment or to even ask me if I wanted my windows closed in the first place. It wasn't until I moved out of that apartment that I saw through the appearance of good intentions and realized that things like "open windows on a rainy day" were just an excuse to snoop.

So now, here's the e-mail in which I told this story to a friend, the same friend I had previously e-mailed on an unrelated topic under the heading, "Facebook should have an 'acquaintances' category." It has been edited or added to only for the sake of clarity.

date       Easter Sunday at 5:10 PM
subject       Re: Facebook should have an "acquaintances" category

I am sharing my grumpiness with you. For some reason, you are the friend I can confess to when I am grumpy about things that people are not normally grumpy about. Or things people feel guilty about being grumpy about.

The landlord told me that on Tuesday a window washer was coming on Saturday and that if I wasn't home, he'd let the guy in, and it was someone they knew and trusted so no worries, and also that if I had anything small and breakable to move it away from the windows. (This was mildly annoying &mdash why can't a professional move stuff himself!?) If it was raining on Saturday, he was not going to come. So, yesterday it rained, and I assumed the guy would not come today, Easter Sunday. I had the house all ready for him yesterday. The house was totally clean except that I had all kinds of junk piled on the living room table and the floor needed to be vacuumed. [I had started sorting my things, deciding what to store in NJ, bring to Oregon, or donate to charity. I kept this large, messy project confined to one table so that the house would still be neat, aside from that little corner of confined chaos.] Between last night and this morning, I messed up my clean house &mdash a friend and I sorted garden seeds in one corner of the living room, I started going through a bathroom cabinet, I waxed my armpits (more on that later), and I baked a chocolate cake. Plus, I was in a hurry getting dressed for Easter dinner, so I left clothes all over my room. Today, the kitchen is full of dirty dishes; there's still crap all over the living room table; the once-clean corner of the living room is now a mess from the seed sorting project; my clothes closet has stuff spilling out onto the floor; rejected Easter outfits, my pajamas, and my dirty underwear are strewn about the bedroom; my bed is unmade; and the bathroom! Since I stopped in mid sort, the contents of that cabinet are spilling out onto the floor and include all sorts of embarrassing things, like tampons and pads (I don't know why I don't have a container for them.) Also, there are hairy cotton strips on my sink next to the Parissa container.

Ok, so this is all embarrassing but really, who cares?*

But here's what I'm not happy about. Though the windows look REALLY NICE, they looked fine before and my house STINKS of this cleaning product and also MY TOILET SEAT IS UP which it totally wasn't before (why would it be?) That means that some strange man peed in my toilet! And didn't put the seat down! That's kind of weird!

I guess it wasn't a big deal, just an unpleasant way to come home &mdash to a bad smell and that feeling of someone being in your home when you didn't expect it. I thought he was going to clean the OUTSIDE of the windows!

The landlord and landlady just came home, I hope they don't think it's weird that I have all the windows open--but that cleaning product smell was really strong!

Oh, I said more on the armpits later. [Here, I have edited out a lengthy description of my thoughts on using Parissa sugar to wax my underarms for the first time. I'm sure you all don't mind being spared that information!]

The end. After I unwind a little I'm going to tackle my to do list which includes making a Wegman's shopping list.

Of course, now I see that all that, "I feel bad being angry about this" and "I hope the landlords' feelings don't get hurt..." was a symptom of my being emotionally manipulated. Yes, I now see that I had the right to be upset, that it was wrong for my privacy to be invaded like that, and that such bad, strong-smelling cleaning product was probably not intended to be used in a house that someone was going to return to within the next 24 hours.

Someday, I will also write a post explaining the title, "Facebook should have an 'acquaintances' category."

And also, what kind of person has making another list on their To Do List?!?!?!

* Apparently, I didn't care enough not to post this on the Internet a year later!

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