Instead, on our return to her home today, we were met with blatant rudeness and utter shock when she saw the boxes and luggage I had painstakingly picked through to travel as lightly as I humanly could. She gasped, "I thought you just needed a place to sleep!" and "I thought you would only have a couple pairs of pants and a few shirts!"... for three months? What do I look like, a homeless person? She would tug at her white hair and exclaim, "Oh my God!" at the "clutter" she saw in the large room where she had offered to let me stay. I have to say, I've moved many times in my life, and this time by far I was traveling with the least amount of "stuff." I had consolidated my belongings into as many boxes and storage containers as I could in order to keep my life organized without attempting to take over any of her dresser or closet space. We managed to easily fit everything into the room, and yet she still managed to freak out.
Many of my readers may not know me personally, but I hope that in reading my thoughts, you can judge pretty accurately that I'm generally a pretty nice and pleasant person. I never try to offend, and I attempt to be as respectful as I can. My grandma calls me an angel, just saying :) About a week ago I spoke with this woman on the phone asking her some simple questions about things she had in the house that I may be able to use, such as an iron or pots and pans. Today she exclaimed (quite rudely) about how I had given her the third degree, and "what house doesn't have an iron?!" There was no need to be that mean, considering I was trying to be as polite and respectful as possible, not assuming I could use all her things without asking up front.
When I was upstairs with my parents, and the woman had gone downstairs, probably in a huge panic over my "clutter," I started to cry. I said, "I can't believe this. I feel so unwelcome. I feel like I don't belong here. How am I supposed to live like this?" and my parents assured me that they wouldn't let me stay here like this, that they would make phone calls and we would move me out of that wretched place as quickly as we could. They were as shocked as I was. They told me to calm down, and they agreed that this woman must be insane if she was so freaked out by my completely moderate amount of luggage for someone moving for several months. What did she really expect? If you had any idea the number of sacrifices I made of some of my most beloved things in the world, you would totally sympathize. In that moment, I told my parents to just take half my stuff back with them, to just take it all, because I would be living in some sort of prison anyway, and I just felt such a loss of hope that it didn't even matter anymore. I had brought some simple dry goods to cook when I was hungry (dry pasta, canned chicken broth, cereal, etc), and she freaked out about that too because apparently I would attract mice. I wasn't allowed to bring food into the house. That's what she said.
After we "unpacked," my parents and I went for a walk and were all in such disbelief that this woman was behaving so rudely and freaking out over everything, honestly expecting me to go live in her house with the clothes on my back and not much else. On our walk, I considered my options. I had to call someone. I had to find someplace else I could go as soon as possible. Even if it wasn't a permanent option, I needed to be saved! I called my cousin who lives in Long Island. He had offered to let me stay for a few weeks while I figured out where I would be staying long term, but when this woman has so GENEROUSLY (cough cough) offered to let me stay with her, we decided to just go with it (such a big mistake). When I told my cousin what had happened, that I had been driven to tears (my mom had too) because of the crazy way we were being treated, he told me to come over right away, and that I was welcome to stay there until I figured out something more long-term. I felt a huge weight lifted!! We were so grateful, the clouds had parted! I was breaking out of this short-lived prison!
I made up an excuse, lied and said a friend living much closer to the city had just called and said her house guest had just left and had freed up a spare room where I could stay. She believed me. I don't even care whether she did or didn't. I needed to get the Hell out of there! We gathered up my luggage (in a matter of minutes, yeah, I brought SO much stuff) and left. I was welcomed with open arms by my cousin and his wife. They were actually surprised by how LITTLE luggage I had brought for my three month stint. Yeah, I know! I can't believe this whirlwind day. I feel like two angels came down and saved me from a living nightmare. I spent most of the rest of the day wandering around Manhattan with my cousin, chilling in Bryant Park, checking out a Brazilian Day Festival (I had unintentionally worn green, and felt like I TOTALLY fit in, haha), wandering through Times Square, just enjoying this now-beautiful day. New York City is so lovely when you aren't living with a psychotic paranoid freak. I can now focus on the start of my internship in a couple days without crying myself to sleep. My parents too can now sleep without worrying about my suffering.
Maybe I'm being melodramatic, but I guess you just had to be there. I wouldn't wish that feeling on anyone. PS Although the commute from my cousin's house is farther, they have internet AND TV! And they are so nice and welcoming :) I'm so relieved things worked out this way... I guess everything happens for a reason.
View from Bryant Park... Bank of America Tower (Love it!)
Pee-Wee's on Broadway, haha!
Macy's Shopping Bag Dress