Of Jobs and Hideously Tiny Bedrooms

I should probably get, as my mother calls it, “a grown-up job.”

I am loathe to do this, (what the hell does that mean, anyway?) so much so that I’ve actually blown a few interviews. On purpose.

You see, common sense tells me I need a job, need to make far more money than I am now, but every time I go to an interview my stomach rebels and I feel like I can’t breathe. Seriously, there’s something about putting on a business suit and heels (yes, I have one suit and one pair of heels left) that makes me physically ill. So really, I’m acutely miserable just being IN the interview. The last one I went on… they led me to a conference room where I waited with nothing to look at but one of those motivational posters- you know, the ones with the black matte that have a close-up of a guy jumping two mountain peaks or two hands shaking? Yeah, this one said something like “INSPIRATION: DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR FUELED BY THREE MARTINI LUNCHES” and I swear to god my ass started sucking up the fabric on the seat and my hands started to sweat and every fiber of my being screamed “Get OUT! Get out NOW!”

I purposely made it sound like I didn’t have the experience they wanted while trying to sound like I wanted them to think I did. Sound complicated? I did it on only one cup of coffee, folks. I was pissed I drove all the way to Tri-County Business Park to be met with fucking motivational posters.

The one before that I actually told them I would love the job… if I could work from home. It was made clear to me before the interview that was in no way, shape, or form possible. They offered me fifty thousand a year to market car audio components and wiring. It ain’t enough. I threw up a little in my mouth just thinking about working there every day. I told them to call me if they wanted a freelancer and bought myself Chik-Fil-A, my new reward for wearing ANYTHING from Petite Sophisticate. Yes, I know it looks good (Damn good, actually, especially on me. I have nice boobs…) if you’re into the Chex Mix Junior League Young Republican Stepford Wife scene (I’m not, if you had any doubt. Just wanted to clear that up…).

The one I was supposed to go on last week I canceled via e-mail. I lied and told them I was offered a – and I quote – “lucrative contract position.” Shelly, who actually WANTS to work somewhere 40 hours a week (crazy bitch) was also up for the job- writing advertorials for “I Found My Doctor!” (dot com, of course) – and it just seemed wrong to go out against one of my closest friends when I really didn’t want the job. She got the job, and she’ll love it. I would have hated it within a month and been out of there as soon as they sent me a memo about appropriate footwear or why my advertorial on colorectal surgery wasn’t peppy enough.

But I did get a paying roommate, so that should help with the finances. I miss Derek desperately but need a gross influx of cash right now. And it’s just weird. I mean, this new guy seems nice. He answered this ad, which is much to his credit:

Despite any reservations I may have, I need a roommate. That’s OK, really, except I worry having a roommate won’t be like an episode of Friends. I am uneasy about living with a complete stranger, but property taxes and homeowner’s insurance have made it more appealing.

So here’s the deal: The monthly rent is in addition to half the water, power, security, and internet bill (generally totaling $200, $70, $40 and $30 at its worst, so $170 for you except in extreme cases) You MUST clean up after yourself and have some modicum of common sense. I pick up after myself and clean the house, but I fight being a messy person and it’s all I can do to pick up after myself so I really don’t want to have to get after someone else to pick up after themselves.

You MUST love dogs. This is a dealbreaker. I have a dachshund who is almost always with me. I have a television but no antennae and no cable, although there is a jack in your room. I’m happy that way, but would consider splitting cable with someone. You can smoke outside. If you throw the butts in the yard I will kill you in your sleep (see, that’s a joke that I hope you got. If you’re offended, perhaps we’re not a great match.) I have a small parrot and I take care of her, but she’s there and isn’t going anywhere. She isn’t terribly loud… for a parrot. Which means she’s quieter than most parrots but still makes more noise than a fish.

I have a fenced yard (front and back). You can bring a dog that gets along with mine. In fact, the more the merrier if they’re yours and you take care of them. The backyard fence is a 6′ privacy fence; the front yard has a 4′ fence. The house has a nice but smallish front porch. You will have access to the front door as well as a door to your room off this porch.

I’m allergic to cats and I’m glad.

Everything works in the house but I’m gradually trying to make it nicer. This means that I have workers there from time to time. Not so great neighborhood. That translates as such: don’t leave your car unlocked if there’s anything of value in it. Don’t move in with me if you’re easily intimidated by a neighborhood. I live in Bartlett Park, about 2 miles from downtown St. Petersburg off 4th Street South and 22nd Avenue. If you don’t know the area, please drive through to make sure you’re OK with it. I may be making it sound worse than it is…

I can be a bitch, but it’s NEVER personal. For me (another joke… mostly.) I don’t share booze but I do share food. Sometimes. I rarely share veal, citrus, or Bagel Bites. It’s a crazy world.

If needed, I have a bed you could use. The closets are tiny but the backyard is ample. I keep to myself and don’t spend a lot of time in the house. If my future roommate can DO things, handy things like guy things with tools and such, we can talk about the rent.
Jaye, my new roommate, has checks that clear the bank, no apparent criminal record, and an affinity for woodworking and, apparently, making corn whiskey. Yeah, that last part seemed a little weird to me, too, but as long as I don’t have to live with a drunk I’m happy enough. He’s old enough to be considered a gentleman, and he’s originally from Virginia. They don’t have many serial killers there, do they? No matter, Shelly (you know Shelly, of “I Found My Doctor! fame) assures me that serial killers rarely (if ever) prey on roommates or neighbors.

Whew! That’s a load off.

So now that I have a roommate I have to fit my crap into one bedroom instead of two. You know, five years ago I got a divorce and when I moved out I fit everything but my clothes, computer, dog accessories, and furniture into six boxes. What the HELL happened since then? Do I REALLY need four ball caps?

Well, yes, actually, I do. Because otherwise I have to wear one all the time and they just get dirty and gross. This way I rotate. OK, you got me, I don’t need all four, and I’ll clear out at least two tomorrow. But I DO need the SCUBA gear, and the sleeping bag, and the sewing machine… actually, it seems like I had the SCUBA gear and sewing machine when I emancipated myself from my marriage shackles (my good GOD I sound like a Feminazi. I’m not, I swear. I just don’t believe in marriage. Or commitment. Or… well, you get the idea) so maybe I never really fit into six boxes.

But it’s a good goal, isn’t it?

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I write. I take pictures. I love my dog. I love Florida. My 2016 book, 'Backroads of Paradise' did really well for the publisher and now I feel a ridiculous amount of pressure to finish the second book.