Tag Archives: Relationships

10 Things I Hate About Moving Right Now

We thought we’d be out of our old apartment by now but here we are still checking Zillow and Westside Rentals every day or driving to different properties to take a tour. And because I like bulleted lists, I’m going to just get to the point with this post and write out my list of why moving is the bane of my existence these days. But in the spirit of looking to the bright side, I will add a bonus “positive note” after each bullet point.

  1. My dog is not with our family. My dog passed away a few months ago and this will be my first home (since moving out of my mother’s house) without him. Every day I’m reminded of his absence and nothing hits home more than looking for a new place and telling the landlord “no, we won’t be bringing any pets.” It feels like I’m betraying him. (Positive Note: not having a pet definitely broadens our choices and brings costs down.)
  2. Our current apartment is amazing and I don’t want to leave. Get this… we have a dishwasher, built-in microwave, personal washer and dryer, a balcony, two bedrooms, hardwood floors, plenty of counter space, storage space and relatively new kitchen cabinets, appliances and an updated bathroom. In other words, we’re looking for another unicorn right now and it ain’t happ’nin. (Positive Note: This apartment is expensive as all hell. Leaving will lighten the financial load in a major way.)
  3. Los Angeles charges too got-damn much for too got-damn little. It’s insane what some of these crappy-ass apartments are going for out here. I’ve gone to places and walked in just to turn right back around, tossing an “okay, thanks!” out to the landlord who’s just finished unlocking the door. It’s almost to the point that when me and my hubby see a nice place, we immediately know it’s out of our price range. And if it’s not out of our price range, it freaks us out. I’ve had nightmares thinking about what could possibly be wrong with a place that is moderately priced yet live-able. And after returning at night or a quick briefing from the neighbors in that area, my suspicions are usually verified. (Positive Note: Los Angeles pays more and has better jobs, so in a sense there’s a kind of trade-off.)
  4. Landlords ask for a lot of personal information. This isn’t so much a complaint as an observation. Los Angeles is the only city I’ve experienced where you meet someone for the first time and they’re asking for your social security number, bank account numbers, driver’s license info, pap smear results and whatever else information is needed for an all-in-one do-it-yourself identity theft starter kit. Some of the greasiest, shadiest looking people have sat before me asking a bunch of personal-ass questions before they even hand me the apartment application in the first place. And they’re so used to people just giving up this information without so much as a thought, that when you’re a bit hesitant, they treat you like you’re the one that’s crazy. I’ve asked landlords how they file records of my private information and for how long to be met with a look that implies “who cares?” It’s really insane how much they ask for. (Positive Note: There are ways around this. For one, you’re only required to give up information that would directly help a landlord to know if you can pay your rent or not. Anything else, like say a bank account number, is unnecessary. If you provide a bank statement, you can cross out the number or just give them the last four digits so they can match it up with your credit report. Everything they need would be provided on your credit report anyway.)
  5. My husband is terrible at leaving voice messages and it’s driving me crazy. “Um… hi, my name is um HUSBAND and um . . . (long pause) . . . (whispers) to see *ahem* (screams) I’D LIKE to um see if uh . . . you have an apartment for rent. I mean – uh – I see that you have an apartment for – uh – rent, I just would like to rent an apartment because I’m ummmm . . . (very quietly) moving. (Long pause) I’m moving in a few weeks and . . . it’s . . . it’s – um – we don’t have any pets. And um – we wanted to know if your apartment is um . . . the apartment located at 123 Blankety Lane is uhhhh . . . ummmm . . . uhhhh . . . still available. Okay . . . um . . . Um ok um. Thank you so very much. We um . . . really appreciate you and everything that you do for society. Okay, take care. Um bye!” (Positive Note: I gave him a script and although he was offended and tossed it aside, I secretly heard him using it the other day. Thank ummmm God!)
  6. We have to get rid of a ton of stuff. We’ve built up quite a collection of things and those things have got to go. And while it’s going to be hard to battle my inner voice that tries to tell me to hold onto every single thing, I know it’s going to be even harder battling my husband who will be trying to hold onto every single thing. This man is a beginner hoarder. (Positive note: We’re long overdue for a deep spring cleaning and this will be a good way to start anew.)
  7. Finding a good place is scary. We found a really great apartment the other day and then came back at night. It was creepy and there were some shady characters hanging around but this didn’t immediately stop us in our tracks. What stopped us was a third visit where we talked to some neighbors and one of them gave us the ultimate “buyer beware” speech about why we shouldn’t move in. So that place was off the table for us. The next place we liked was a gated community with hardwood floors, two full bathrooms and large bedrooms. We filled out the application right away and called back in a few days to ask about our status. “The apartment’s not filled yet,” said a man with a thick Spanish accent. “Well, umm when do you hope to ummm (long pause) fill it?” my husband asked. “We don’t know,” the guy replied. And that was the end of that. Today we checked out a townhouse style apartment and we absolutely fell in love with it. After the tour, I bee-lined toward the property manager and smiled, “I love it! Are these the applications?” and I reached out to grab one from the counter-top when she said, “Hold on . . . I’d like to ask you some questions first.” She eyes me up for a bit and looks back and forth to me and my husband suspiciously. “What do you do for a living?” From there we answered a bunch of questions, but then it eventually turned into a one-sided conversation where the woman unloaded all of her personal thoughts. At times, when we managed to bring the conversation back to the business at hand, she stated a few times that it’s not about filling the apartment as soon as possible, it’s about filling it with the right people. We deducted that she was the personal gatekeeper to this property so me and my hubby put on the charm and laughed at her jokes, listened to all seven thousand of her stories and nodded or shook our heads in sympathy for a good forty-five minutes. We were literally being held hostage in this moment by a woman who stood between us and our potential new home. We’ve dropped off the application and can only hope that this place will be the end of our journey. Regardless, it’s really an interesting thing to have such a large part of your life hinge on so many strange people and on so many scenarios that you can’t control. (Positive Note: This last place is IT. I’m claiming it.)
  8. We’re getting rid of the second bedroom. I talked about this in my other post. I’m getting rid of the second bed and replacing it with a desk. But as I write this blog post at 3:30am in the morning because I can’t sleep because my husband is snoring at top volume, I wonder if this is the right decision. (Positive note: It’s the right decision. Also, we’re considering getting a pull out couch or cot for the spare room.)
  9. There’s the part where we actually move. It’s a lot of muscle and hard work that will be needed and I don’t wanna. (Positive note: That’s the least of our problems, really. If anything, I’m glad to be at a point in my life where I can afford a moving truck. The next step will be when I’m able to afford movers. But at the very least I’m going to get a work out.)
  10. I was hoping my next move would be into a house. Yeah, wishful thinking. (Positive note: This move is really prompting a lot of goal setting behavior for me. I’ve been thinking about timelines and hard goals that I’d like to hit within the next two years. I’ve never been good at planning but lately, I’ve been motivated and I attribute that to this move which has put a lot of things into perspective for me.)

That’s all I got! Phew! I feel better. Now let me get my butt back to sleep while I still have this spare bedroom.

Advertisements

A List of Boundaries

I’ve been going to a therapist for well over a year now and – at the risk of sounding like a cliche – I think I had a breakthrough. By rambling on and on a few days ago, I came to a conclusion that is also very-much a cliche.

I have boundary issues.

I move the goal post when it comes to how I allow people to treat me. And here’s the thing, I came to this jarring conclusion about myself in the weirdest, most roundabout way. Through budgeting for groceries.

So here’s the thing. Me and my hubby have been handling our money situation all kinds of wrong. We buy food and then let it go to waste because we end up eating out or just not using up our ingredients. After a while, we’d find that we’ve thrown away hundreds of dollars worth of food at the end of the month. This ate me up inside more than it did my hubby who tends to run to the grocery store two, maybe three times a day. If he has a taste for something, he’s off to the store to get it. He will buy things just because we ran out of it, as opposed to because we plan to eat it. So when we saw that we were running into some rough financial patches, the first thing I wanted to change was our terrible grocery habit.

I created a tight budget and I mean, super tight. We plan our meals for the entire week according to this budget and buy all of the food we will need in one trip to the grocery store. There’s no “I have a taste for this or that” going on. We only do fully planned meals. If there’s a luxury food item it needs to fall within the budget or be made from scratch using ingredients we already have. And surprisingly, this budget has been working really well for us. Why? Because the hubby and I are competitive. So this has turned into a kind of game. How much lower than the budget can we get? How many different recipes can we derive from the ingredients on the list? What foods can we make based on what’s on sale? All of the excuses and strong cravings for eating out have even taken a backseat because the limits we put on ourselves are practically iron-clad. I never knew exhibiting this kind of discipline and self control could be so exhilarating. Also, real-talk, me and the hubster have never eaten so good.

Alright, so back to my boundary issues. I recently jumped off of a feature film project not too long ago. The project was great, but the person I would have been working with was exhibiting some red-flag behaviors and I decided to jump out while we were still in the early stages to avoid bigger issues in the future. This experience was unfortunate but not a big deal for me because… well… shit happens. Life goes on. What stood out for me, though, was everything about this project was something that I promised myself I would never produce in the first place. It pretty much checked every box on my “nope, not gonna happen” lists. But I was willing to forego all of the boundaries that I’d made because the script was really good, and it was a friend that pitched it to me, and it seemed doable, and why not? I’m not doing anything else these days and I can find a way to make it work and and and… It wasn’t that I was afraid to say “no.” It’s just that I wasn’t as firm in my convictions as I thought I was. I had no discipline. No self-control.

And so while relaying this experience to my therapist the other day, I mentioned how happy I was to have ‘dodged a bullet’ but then I had to ask myself how I’d gotten to that point in the first place. Why was I always going back on my word? Why did it seem that I was always biting off more than I could chew when it came to various aspects of my life? Thinking about this question lead me to grasping for areas of my life that were under control. And the first thing that sprang to mind was my super exclusive grocery list. This was the one area of my life where I was as firm as a bouncer at the hottest club in L.A. If it’s not on the list, it’s not happening. Oreo cookies? Nope, not on the list. No ifs, ands or buts. After this breakthrough, I realized that the list had become a healthy obsession. Writing down our restrictive budget made it so real to us that going outside of it was unthinkable.

With all of this in mind, I decided that I would make a list, a budget (if you will) that lays out my personal boundaries. Since having unspoken professional and social boundaries doesn’t seem to be working (similar to how my unspoken grocery boundaries were practically nonexistent) perhaps, writing them down and committing to them obsessively will lead me toward a reasonable social and professional life where I don’t have to waste energy questioning if I did the right or wrong thing. There is no right or wrong thing… only “the list.” Also, I’d like to refer to this list so that I can commit it to memory and possibly even send it out to those who need to know what I’m about.

Here’s what I have so far. It’s broken down into categories…

PROFESSIONAL

I don’t produce other people’s short films or TV pilots for free. I will only work on a short film or pilot that has financing in place and a budget set aside for my fee.

I don’t do crowdfunding.

I will produce a feature ONLY under these conditions…

  • The project must be under $1mil. to produce
  • I produce it alone or with additional producers of my choosing.
  • All above-the-line crew members must be proven professionals. No first-timers in terms of never having had experience doing this job in any capacity.
  • Film must include women of color as leads or in substantial roles.

I don’t read scripts that are not referred from a friend.

If I don’t like your script, I will not meet up with you to talk about it.

If I don’t like your script or concept, I will not produce your movie.

If I don’t like you, I will not produce your movie.

If you don’t take constructive notes or feedback, I will not produce your movie.

If I am directing or producing a film and you refuse to take orders from me, you’re fired.

 

SOCIAL

If you are not as attentive to what I have to say as I am to what you have to say, then we are not friends. I am your therapist and my fee is $33/hour. You only get one time for this to happen before I charge.

I will tell you when you’re being rude and/or inappropriate. If you don’t address it immediately, then our interaction is over regardless of the situation.

I won’t pretend I didn’t notice something you said or did. I will give words to what I feel.

I don’t get into loud arguments or fights in public places. But if I you ever force me into a situation where I must do this, our relationship is over.

MENTAL

I will focus my energy toward being positive and productive. Any changes in mood will be a choice.

 

That’s all I got for now. I’m going to start reading this list and reciting it every day like Arya Stark. Also, I’m sure I’m missing some things so I look forward to adding to this list as much as possible in the future.

 

Revenge of the Nerd

Years ago I dated a really nerdy asshole. Everyone knows the type. I think nowadays they’re called “nice guys.” And he was actually a very nice person… at first. He was the type of guy to go the extra mile, very polite, well-spoken, pressed his clothes and shit. He was never wrinkled. I think that’s a sign of a firmly placed, middle-class upbringing. Never wrinkled. But he was text-book nerdy. Like he dressed and looked like Steve Urkel. Except he wasn’t as smart and failed out of college. He was like a failed nerd. But really funny.

Anyway, I grew up in the ghetto. Didn’t really date a lot of guys from my hood because I was running in the opposite direction. I didn’t want to be a baby momma or a trap queen and so I ran dead smack into this nerdy asshole while at college. He was broke as hell, really fucking corny and not attractive at all. BUT he was persistent. And he had a huge dick.

And so I dated this guy to everyone’s shock and horror. I mean everybody. We were an odd looking couple. We would walk down the street and people would laugh at us. Guys would hit on me right in front of him. He wore glasses and weird clothes, was clumsy and walked really fast – which is like the nerdiest combination ever. Also, he had really big teeth like to the point where he couldn’t close his mouth completely which really sucked for him on extra cold days. But as Chris Rock famously said, a woman will date a corny dude if he treats her well. And so I found myself defending this ass-wipe to my friends, family and guys trying to pick me up. My mantra was “I know he don’t look that good, but he’s good tuh ME!”

That soon ended, because his personality turned REALLY bad and he started talking to me any old way. Started treating me as if I was lucky to even smell his farts. I’m a Leo by the way. If you know anything about horoscopes…you’ll know that this kind of behavior can get you sliced up. (Leos are all about being pampered and treated like Kings/Queens.) Either way, his change in behavior made it really hard to justify the relationship from my end because I was constantly in a swarm of eligible bachelors who were becoming increasingly more attractive with my ex-boyfriend’s every insult. So we broke up and I started seeing someone else and then met my  husband and am now married and living on the other side of the country. Far, far away from every single man I’ve ever been romantically involved in. Or so I thought.

Rewind to a few years ago. Before moving across the country, I lived in a major city about an hour away from where my ex used to live. And this negroid would pop up in my city all the time after we broke up! ALL DEE DAMN TAHMMM!!! And it would freak me out. He lived around the corner from my aunt, he went running in the park in the neighborhood where I would get my groceries. He knew someone, who knew someone that knew a friend of mine and I would see him in a picture or as a connection on social media.

The way our relationship ended, it would have been really awkward if we ever ran into each other face to face and were forced to acknowledge each other. I wasn’t afraid of him or anything. In fact, he’d tried to reach out to me via email, writing these long drawn out emails in which he’d try to explain every single thing in the universe and it looked very manifesto-like, but he was never physically abusive. Also, he was a total coward and was super afraid of confrontations with men. (Sounds like a real gem, right ladies? I’m certain he’s still single if you want the hookup… ) But seeing him for me would be like a reminder of a terrible mistake I’d made. It’s kind of like an old turd showing up in various moments of your life. Pooping is something we all do so there’s really no shame in the act… but it’s not something you proudly share with the world either. The moment you flush that toilet, you want to forget what you saw swirling it’s way down the bowl.

Any who, I really think that he thought that we were in one of those relationships where we would break up really badly and then get back together again or eventually become good friends and reminisce about the old times. Like he didn’t realize that our whole relationship was a freak accident. So he would say and do things that implied there could be a next time or that we had “good times.”

Fast forward to living over here, I see people all the time that resemble someone from my past to the point where I have to do a double take. 100% of the time it’s a false alarm and thank god for that because I don’t like those kinds of surprises. I don’t even like to look up old exes on social media because the shock of seeing these people on my phone is enough to make me toss it out a damn window. I like to move on and pretend that these people have died. Not to say that all of my relationships have ended badly, most of my exes I’ve managed to be friends with but in cases where the relationship was not something I was proud of, friendship is NOT an option. So, yeah…no looking them up on social media.

Anyway, after leaving a late night party, I see a guy with glasses, bad clothes, a nerdy gait and big teeth walking down the middle of the street and it freaked me out to the point where I logged into social media as soon as possible and searched my ex’s name. I hadn’t searched this dude in YEARS but thankfully, I did, because I saw that he was NOT in my town… yet.

Oddly, it is now suddenly his “life’s dream” to work in entertainment and move to the city where I currently live. He’d been making small moves to get closer to the vicinity but will make his final move to my city next month. So next month, if I see a weird ass dude walking down the street, there’s a chance that it could actually be my ex boyfriend. My husband finds it HILARIOUS and every time he sees a nerdy man he says, “Is that him?” I just close my eyes and hold my breath. And then, with one eye open, I do a quick glance to make sure.

So when I bring up the fact that my ex is moving to my city, my friends react by saying “So?” because I sound really self-centered. It’s not like this city belongs to me. Plenty of people move here. I moved here. What’s the big deal? And they’re right.

I think it all just boils down to this…

Who wants to know that every time they go somewhere there’s a chance they’ll run into an unwelcome person from their past who’s tried several times to re-establish some kind of connection with them? Who wants to know that this person has switched careers to work in their same industry and has decided to move across the country to the town that they live in? When put like that, it doesn’t sound so “chill,” does it? So that’s where I’m at. I hope it’s a coincidence, but I couldn’t imagine that this is happening in a vacuum.

Also, this city was supposed to be mine. It was MIIIIIIINNNNE!!!!

😦