Just When You Think Life Can't Get Any Worse . . . 

It always does.

We just got evicted today. Our landlord came to our door and served us -- served me -- with a notice to vacate the premises by the end of March. The letter stated something to the effect of, "Too many late rent payments; too many bounced checks."

Let me set the stage properly:

I started working -- outside of my full-time duties as the stay-at-home parent (read: housewife) -- in August. I took over the payments of all utilities, leaving the Bitter Half with only rent to pay. I took over the utilities with $800 due for gas, $300 due for electric, and $200 for the phone. And all three had been shut off at least once during 2004. In fact, she overdrew our bank account to the tune of $1400, knowing that a check to the gas company was still clearing (something else I have to pay now, even though she destroyed my bank card and has never let me use the account once). I took over the utilities to ease her feelings of "financial responsibility", since I obviously had no idea how draining all that could be. Please note that was written with the utmost of sarcasm.

I make between $30 to $70 a week, depending on how many hours the store is willing to give me. I can't work any more than that because I still have to worry about the Things, and because the Bitter Half's schedule is far more important than my own; she refuses to arrange her schedule to coincide with mine. She is, after all, an assistant manager, and I'm only a lowly employee.

We've lived here for 4 years now. It's not the greatest, not the warmest, not the biggest, but it feels like -- felt like -- home. We moved from our last place because were evicted because of consistenly late rent. We moved to that place because of -- you guessed it -- late rent.

But, as she claimed all night, it's not her fault. She apparently suffers from revisionist memory.

I haven't been feeling too well since Christmas; I've been getting frequent dizzy spells, and have nearly passed out a few times this week. Tonite I gave in to sleep, catching a quick nap after dinner. I don't know what she was doing, but I woke suddenly to hearing the doorbell ring several times. My heart was racing, I couldn't stand straight, but I went to answer the door anyway. I'm like that.

And I was greeted by our landlord, informing me (as if it were my fault) that we have to move come March 31.

Now, we've been living in fear for the past year, when our former landlord put the place up for sale. He said he didn't want to be a landlord anymore; he didn't want or need the responsibility. I knew it was also due in part to our late rent; we've been late ridiculously and inexcusably late for well over two years, and he was far too kind for letting us go as long as he did.

But he warned us when the new landlord took over. "Get on a regular schedule," he said. "Don't fall behind with him. He may not be as generous."

When I started working and bringing in a few dollars, I told her we needed to work on a budget. I said we needed to work together, that her paycheck wasn't just hers (which she told me outright was how she felt), that it belonged to the entire family. She couldn't see that.

She has her cell phone to pay (to the tune of over $100 a month); she has her "work" laptop to pay off (which she uses almost exclusively for personal email and chat, and will cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $4000 because she's getting it through a rent-to-own place and is also regularly behind or late with payments); she has her pay-sites to consider (like those online dating services and psychic "friends" I mentioned in previous entires); and there's AOL, her ISP of choice.

There's no food in the house. The Things have no health insurance (which I am taking care of myself), and haven't been to a doctor in nearly two years. She won't even take care of the car, which not only hasn't had an oil change since we got it in May, but is also riding on a tire that is one size too big. Which I suppose is better than the spare it would still be riding on if she hadn't wrecked that by trying to eat and drive at the same time. And that's not taking into account the accident she had two weeks ago when she "slid" into another car while making a deposit at the bank (the other car suffered no damage she claims), which would require $1200 work if she hadn't decided to buy a car off of someone at work later this year.

But all that doesn't stop her from buying new clothes for herself; snatching up every piece of NASCAR (her new obsession of choice) memoribilia she can find, ordering jewelry from QVC, odering crap from Avon, or bidding on stuff from eBay.

Which brings us to today.

So now we have to move.

Of course, she doesn't see what this going to do to those of us at home. I'll be in charge of packing, like I was the last two times. I'll have to reassure the Things, since this will obviously upset them to no end. I'll have to find a way to juggle my cartooning, writing, public relations work, teaching, and working at the store with taking care of the house and the Things all the while taping and sealing boxes. And that's while I'm finding a place to live, and figuring out how to pay for the movers, the deposit and the first month's rent.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need a drink.

Doc "I Can't Stands No More" Absurd



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