Saturday, September 12, 2009

And then God smiled on me...

...but it was a mean, malicious smile accompanied by a dastardly chuckle that said, "Let's see how she gets herself out of this one!"

Okay, I shouldn't be so mean to God. He is being pretty good to me.

You know how I was positive I wasn't going to get that flatshare? I was wrong. She emailed me Thursday lunch to say they liked me and wanted me to move in. Joy! Ecstasy! Relief! I responded that I was super happy, they were my first choice, I love you I love you I love you. And then Thursday night, Juliana texted me to say that her friend isn't taking her room, it's available to me after all...Oh joy. Oh ecstasy. Oh crap, I have a tough decision to make. I made a pros-cons list. I discussed with John, Alex, and Holly (Carina didn't answer my text message). Holly said that she thought I knew deep down what I wanted and she was right. In a perfect world, this girl lives alone. Or with a hot, intelligent, wonderful boyfriend, but you know what I mean.

So I woke up this morning and called Juliana's landlord to see what I needed to do to get her adorable Notting Hill studio. After some emails back and forth, he informed me that I had to have a UK landowner as a guarantor. Right, dealbreaker. I called Juliana. She told me I needed to upsell the fact that I'm still technically a student and that I have money from the American government. They are my guarantors! She talked to him and he seemed okay with it, so I called the flatshare girl and broke the bad news that I wasn't going to be living with them even though I'd already said I would. Then I went to the landlord's office to finalize the deal.

Forty-five minutes later, I walked out with nothing. It was like trying to buy a used car. "Well, my director won't like this," "My director won't like that." "You're a liability." I had agreed to pay three months up front, plus 10 weeks deposit (a heck of a lot of money, but I have it.) Could I get my parents or someone in America to guarantee me? Maybe, but I'm 27 years old and I shouldn't have to do that. Fine, we'll do. I start filling out an application. He goes to photocopy my passport. "Do you want me to photocopy your national insurance card as well?" I've never worked in the UK, so I don't yet have an NI number/card. "Ooh, 'fraid that's a dealbreaker. Also, that huge wad of money I've just asked you to pay? That's not gonna clear until Thursday at the earliest. When did you want to move in? Tuesday? Hm, too bad, here's your passport back."


I walked across the street to Hyde Park and sat down. Must get advice from someone. Carina's at a festival on the Isle of Wight. Alex is MIA. Tanya left for Guinea Bissau today. Family is only just waking up. I called Holly (not that she was my last choice) and she said to call the flatshare people back and beg them to let me come back. The worst they can do is say no, right? So I did, and she was lovely and said it was alright, I could still live with them. But I felt like a moron and a spaz and an unreliable git. I was sitting in the park feeling this way, wishing Alex was around or answering her phone (since I was in her neighborhood). I got up to go get some lunch and a runner a little ways off caught my eye. "Wow, that girl really looks like Alex." Granted, I was in her neighborhood and she does go running in Kensington Gardens, but what are the chances, in a city with so many people, that I would look up and see the one person I most wanted to talk to? She started jogging away from me, so I ran to catch up, not wearing running gear and carrying a purse and a bag, not to mention the fact that I was shaky from having waited too long to eat lunch. But she slowed to a walk and I huffed and puffed and finally caught up to her.

I told her the whole story and it felt good to talk about it. We spent the rest of the afternoon together and it was wonderful as usual. I love this girl. I'm sad I don't get to live a block away from her, but it's probably for the best because I'm sure she'd get sick of me always tagging along. She made a good point yesterday when I was agonizing over which one to pick. She said that if she had to do this year again, she'd live with other people instead of alone. Other people could motivate her to get out of bed before noon and go out and do fun stuff. And you have a wider circle of acquaintances. This is a new adventure for me, and I'm looking forward to it.

However, we were supposed to discuss details tonight but the girl isn't answering her phone. Now I'm nervous that my flip-flopping made her change her mind and think I'm unreliable. They are taking on a risk by letting me live with them, as I don't have a job yet and I'm not a student anymore. Then again, maybe I'm just being paranoid. Where things stand, though, it's not so bad. If I can't move in there on Tuesday, Kate has offered her studio to me while she's in Italy. And if it falls through entirely, Anita's houseshare has a double room available for really cheap. So I won't be homeless. God's still got my back.

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