When You’ve Been Screwed


Last week, I found out that my landlady wanted my apartment back and that I would have to vacate by April 1st. This was after my roommate informed me that she would be moving out in a month, so all I had to do was find a replacement. Cool. I found a new person to move in within a few days, and that was that. Unfortunately, I overlooked the fact that my landlady is a senile old bat who is completely unpredictable. I’m not exaggerating – whenever I call her or vice versa, it takes at least two minutes to establish who I am, and then she usually has no recollection of any past conversations. So as much as this whole situation had me blind sided, I can’t say that I was surprised. I had a gut feeling I’d be getting the crap end of the deal and that for whatever reason, I’d be forced to move within a short amount of time. Of course, what my landlady is doing is illegal since she didn’t give me 30 days notice, much less a proper WRITTEN notice – but at this point, I really don’t think it’s worth fighting. As much as I love the location and my enormous bedroom on the ground floor, I might as well just move on to something better.

It’s inevitable that you’re going to be thrown into a tight spot every now and then, and as much as I wanted to throw a fit (and several pieces of furniture), I decided that it would be a better use of my time to figure out a solution rather than dwell on how none of this is fair. It’s not fair that I only had a month’s notice to find a new roommate, it’s not fair that I was only given two weeks to find a new apartment, and it’s not fair that I have to take time off from work in order to meet with realtors – especially since if I don’t work, I don’t get paid. But at the end of the day, this is NYC. This city is fabulous, but it’s not always fair. So how do you deal with things when you’ve been screwed over? Well the first thing I did was research other Upper East Side apartments in my price range. Actually, that’s a lie. The first thing I did was down a couple bottles of Barefoot pinot grigio. But then I sobered up and got to work on the apartment hunt with my new roomie. If anything, that’s the very nice, shiny, silver lining in all of this – the replacement roommate that I originally found turned out to be an amazing person and we decided that since we were both now in the same boat, we might as well live together.

I try to think of every negative situation in two ways: 1) there’s always a lesson to be learned, and 2) a setback is nothing but a setup for a comeback.  You can either waste time fuming over it, or you can channel that energy into figuring out the next step. That doesn’t mean that I don’t curl up in bed, turn off my phone, and go to sleep in order to avoid the “big bad world” from time to time, but I also try to remind myself that once this is all over, I’m going to see that everything turned out for the better. In this case, I learned that when it comes to real estate, nothing is 100% secure. Your building may go co-op, your rent may skyrocket, or your landlord may be a psychotic 100-year-old gypsy who kicks you out for no reason. However, this whole fiasco has reminded me that whenever I get screwed over, I always make one hell of a comeback. Sometimes it takes a bad situation to bring out the “fighter” in us, and it’s good for that fighter to come out and exercise once in awhile. It keeps us on our toes. There’s a saying… “The best revenge is to live a good life”… and I already know deep down that I’m going to have a much more fulfilling, content, and prosperous life than everyone involved in creating this whole mess. It really is the perfect revenge. So to them, I say thanks for the opportunity.