Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Janice Story, Part 2

As background, I should mention our living arrangement. There were two bedrooms in the apartment, and then there was a "bedroom" that was really a slightly converted porch. There were also two parking spaces allotted to our apartment. I was willing to take the tiny "bedroom" (I spent most of my time in a practice room anyway) and I didn't feel the need to have a car on campus so I didn't use the parking space. To even this out, we agreed that I would pay slightly less rent than Janice and Stephanie.

The two parking spaces were in a driveway (the apartment was a converted house) and forced Janice and Stephanie to park each other in, depending on who got home first. This obviously became a problem as neither one of them trusted the other one with her car keys, and sometimes you'd just rather walk where you're going. I remember a particularly bad screaming match right around the time we decided that Janice wasn't using our stuff and vice versa.

Anyway, back to the story. During Christmas break, I picked up the phone to call one of my friends that went back to Milwaukee. The call wouldn't go through no matter what I did, even using a calling card, so I called the phone company. Near Christmas. I spent about an hour on hold, and finally talked to someone who told me there was a long distance block on my line. I asked him to remove it, and he asked me for THE PASSWORD.

Immediately knowing who was behind this injustice, I took the phone into Janice's room and explained to her that I needed the password so I could call my friend. She said she had no earthly idea what I was talking about and I explained to her that the guy at the phone company begged to differ. She grabbed the phone, told him she was in the middle of something important AND HUNG UP ON HIM. You know that feeling, that one where you literally see little flashes of light behind your eyelids? I now had that feeling. I'm not proud of this, but I gave her a big ol' shove onto her bed and screamed at her. She picked up her stuff and said (in the most dramatic tone possible), "I have to go, there are PEOPLE WHO NEED ME!" And left.

Once we were finally able to talk about this rationally, she explained that she would be happy to take the block off of the long distance, "when Jen starts paying her rent." Apparently, she was asleep when we negotiated the rent split deal. We told her she could swap bedrooms with me or give me her parking space, and then we would pay the same amount of rent every month. Then she said she would unblock the long distance but that I would have to put it in my name. I should mention here that we never had any trouble with not paying bills or being behind on bills, but I think she was plotting her next move, and didn't want to leave us with any way to get back at her.

Fast forward a little bit to a time when I have a friend visit me for the week-end. Stephanie and I are hanging out in the living room (on the floor of course since Janice's couch is off limits at this point), and we are discussing whether or not my friend can sit on Janice's couch. After some serious consideration, we decide that friends have no part in this war, and are free to sit on the couch. The friend sits on Forbidden Couch.

Later that night, Stephanie is studying in the living room (on the floor), and decides it's time for bed. She gets up and turns off the only light that's on the apartment. Right at this moment, Janice returns home and opens the door. Stephanie is startled and lets out a little yelp, which Janice takes as an admission of guilt. Clearly the only reason she can be startled is that she had been sitting on Forbidden Couch. After Stephanie goes to bed, Janice feels the couch cushions. Oh yes, you heard me right, she feels the couch cushions - and they are warm!

The next morning, I wake up and wander out into the living room and see that Forbidden Couch now has no Forbidden Cushions on it. What the...? When Stephanie gets up, I point this out to her, and she is equally clueless about what might have happened. We begin reconnaissance activities: the hallway, the basement, the kitchen, but do not locate the cushions. Finally, it can no longer be avoided - we look in Janice's room. OH GOD there they are, wedged between the recliner, bed, and dresser. For the next few weeks, Janice hauls the couch cushions with her from her room every time she wants to sit on Forbidden Couch. Granted this is not often because she is no longer allowed to watch our TV.

One week-end, Janice's father showed up with power tools. After everything we'd been through I guess we shouldn't have been surprised when he installed a dead bolt on her bedroom door. Oh yeah, she would unlock the apartment door with one key, then carry all her stuff to her bedroom and unlock that door with another key. Now, the Forbidden Cushions were safely locked in her room and we couldn't get to them. Thank goodness.

Next: things start to get even uglier.

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