Here’s the story of a lovely lady…

A gal walks in to a leasing office…

Nah, we need a straight start. After months of planning and paperwork and recreational vehicle marketing, today was the day I was to sign my lease and move into my apartment.

The leasing agent needed a couple of minutes, so I sat in the lobby, trying to dig my check book from the recesses of my Josh-Tesh-called-me-insecure-ly large purse.

As she was finishing up, she called out, “Have you had your electricity switched over yet?”

I said, “Um… no. Do I need to?”

“In the next couple of days.”

“But that’s included in the rent, right?”

“No. You’re responsible for that.”

“When I came in, the first lady I talked to told me that it was included.”

She could see that I was getting upset.

“Oh, Laura. I’m sorry. Come on in…”

I said, “I can’t afford the rent here plus utilities.”

She said something about trying to get my deposit back, but my head was already a million miles away. It was swimming through the muddy goo of trying to figure out whether I should backpedal or plow ahead. I’d already sold the trailer. I had a car full of stuff for the new apartment. A friend had half of an apartment full of furniture that she’d planned to give me. She’d kept it in her house for weeks and weeks, waiting for me to get moved in.

Some people had come in to talk about renting, and she said she’d be right with them. She was trying to close the door, I assume because she didn’t want them to see me crying and have it reflect poorly on their establishment. Maybe she thought that I cared. I didn’t.

“I have to go outside.”

I sat down on a curb to think, but my head wouldn’t work. I called my best friend and got voice mail. Funny how that works. Duh. I should ask God.

“What do I do?” I asked him. “You have to fix this for me.”

That was my first instinct: we’ve come this far; I go through with it, and trust that God will straighten it all out. He can provide, if this is where we are supposed to live.

But as I repeated, “What do I do? What do I do?” I got a couple of things, and they were consistent with each other:

1) When you thought rent included utilities, the price of this place was still about $100 more than you felt entirely comfortable spending. You could swing it, you knew, by cutting out all superfluous spending and maybe picking up more shops. But the $100 was a source of mild stress; think about how much more $200 is going to be. Plus, think of the money you still need to spend on beds, book shelves, night stands, etc.

2) Remember what you told someone today? About what a Type A you are, but how you have packed nothing yet? Even knowing you have to be out by Monday night? You haven’t packed. You don’t have to move back in. You’re already home.

Eventually, I went back inside without knowing exactly what I was going to do. The girl was still with the new people, and I heard her tell them that they had to pay electric and water. I wish she had been the one who’d me with me initially. That woman is on vacation until Tuesday. That woman is going to talk to me again, and here’s why.

When the people finally left, I went back into the girl’s office. She said, “I talked to my manager, and she said that we can try to get your deposit back, but she’s not sure that we can.”

Right then, I realized that I didn’t want to live with these people. Oh, they’ll get my deposit back. I placed that deposit with them in good faith that the verbal representations made to me were true. Also, half of the deposit was a pet deposit, and my cats have never entered the premises.

So I just stood up and walked out. She apologized down the entry way behind me, and I just looked at her and said, “I sold my trailer. I was supposed to move in today.”

That doesn’t even make sense. But it’s what I said.

When I got home, I texted my trailer buyer and returned his deposit on eBay. I apologized. He was very disappointed. I apologized again.

I went to PetSmart and returned the litter box and the cat perch. I went to Wal-Mart and returned the microwave and shower curtains. I kept the toilet paper. That’s always a wise purchase.

And as I did these things, I calmed down. People called. They texted. They reached out. I felt a calm about not having to stretch my budget to the limit. I was glad that my weekend opened up so much. I have an important day tomorrow and am glad that I will just have the important on which to concentrate, and not purchasing furnishings. I have a mystery shop on Sunday, and am going to see a friend I rarely see anymore. It will be a good day.

Walking out with my fun and healthy groceries (I spent more than I usually do, but I wanted to get some good stuff that Daphne would happily eat, considering it a treat), I felt peace. All was well.

Daphne is disappointed, but she was disappointed when I told her we were going to move. She eventually did what we all do, which is adapt and then adopt. She loves the trailer, though.

I love the trailer. Apparently not all of my friends feel comfortable there, and that is where my major disappointment lies. I was looking forward to having friends visit me and feel as much at home at we did. As we do, even in our special little box. That is the one thing that saddens me still.

We have been in the trailer for nearly a year. I applied for a job as a dorm advisor in August, ready to commit to that for a year. But right now, it feels like a year’s commitment might be too long. That God might have something planned that I don’t expect, and I should be free for that. Maybe that’s just the coping mechanism kicking in.

Whatever it is, we’re officially still trailer trash. Thanks for riding with us…

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