Tuesday, May 01, 2007

People Are Strange

I'm not much of a Doors fan, but this song has been running through my mind today.

You know how much I hate Wal-Mart. Because of my deep hatred for this institution and its patrons, it is really irritating to be forced to shop there due to personal financial reasons (ie, I am now living alone). And it's even more irritating when you forget why you NEVER go to Wal-Mart on weekends, let alone during the day, only to arrive on a Sunday afternoon and be reminded instantly: Wal-Mart is Hell on Earth. Or at least a weekly convention of nasty people.

Alas, this was what I did last weekend. I bravely ventured into the insanity that is Wally World on a weekend. Too broke to shop at the regular grocery store and too lazy to drive halfway across town to go to Target, I decided to hit my local one-stop-shop, Wal-Mart. By the end of my trip, I was so tired of being stared at, cat-called and dealing with smelly and stupid and scary people, I was literally running through the store. Convinced I was going to be kidnapped and taken to Mexico, only to be gang-banged and forced to live out my life as a drug mule, I began to panic. I almost hit a guy in the frozen foods aisle as I wheeled around a corner in a panic-stricken sprint. I just wanted to GET OUT of the building by that point.

I wanted to go take a shower. I felt dirty. Wal-Mart grosses me out. Icky. I got into my car and slathered everything from my elbows to fingertips with hand sanitizer. Blech!!! No amount of money saved is worth it to me to ever go through that again. I will go back to my strict rule of going to Wal-Mart only when I run out of the things which MUST be purchased at Wal-Mart (my vitamins, my mascara, my favorite juice) and only during the week after the sun goes down.

There were more strange people in my weekend, though. I have ventured into Craig's List. I need a roommate and I have been thinking about selling Toby. (Not because he's a bad dog, but because I need the money.) So I placed some ads. It was very quick and easy, not to mention free, so I definitely had a good initial experience.

Then I started to get the emails in response to my ad for a roommate....

That's when I learned that people with overactive imaginations do not mix well with Craig's List.

One person used the word "rentage" (among other cringe-worthy English errors), as in, "What is the rentage?"

My imagination said, "This person is drunk or high as they are typing this, because the TITLE of the ad clearly states the 'rentage' of the room. You do not want to live with an addict. Or someone who doesn't have a firm grasp on English. Or reading comprehension. Next."

One person said they would be interested in renting the room because they will soon be moving to the area for job-related reasons. It all depends on how the "negotiations" go.

My imagination said, "Negotiations? What, like he's in the mob? And he's vying for the Vice Don position? Or he's attempting a hostile corporate takeover? Or he needs to see how his parole hearing goes? None of these people have any business living in your spare bedroom. Next."

One person wanted to know what form of payment I accept.

My imagination said, "Um....check or cash, just like everywhere else in America. Visa is not everywhere they need to be. Money orders, payday advances and stuff like that are also not going to work. Neither are payments in livestock or virgins or coconuts. Seriously, where are these people from? Neptune? I'm thinking this Craig's List thing was a bad idea. Wait, is it a guy who can fix stuff? Because fixing stuff can go towards rent. That's the only exception. Shit, if he's hot and wears a tool belt, he can pay half."

One guy was a "quiet" 57 year old man.

My imagination said, "Dude, I am not living with a 57 year old man. He's probably an ex-con or a convicted sexual predator who cannot find anywhere else to live, because no one wants to live with him. At the very least, he obviously has bad credit. And anyone who describes themselves as 'quiet' is either very loud or is hiding something very illegal. No way, Jose."

Another man wanted to make sure his privacy would be "expected".

My imagination said, "Dude, he wrote a whole paragraph about privacy. Not that I would be interested in going through a complete stranger's things anyway, but what exactly is he going to be doing in there that would require privacy so adamantly? That really freaks me out, because obviously, this guy grows marijuana plants. Or he films porn movies in his room. Or he is a serial rapist and needs a private place to store all the souvenirs from his crimes. Or he masturbates to Disney movies. Can we place a veto on criminals and porn directors, please? I mean, seriously. Why is your house so attractive to felons and perverts?"


So, needless to say, I have not found a suitable replacement yet. I don't know if I'm just freaked out by the idea of living with a TOTAL stranger, or if I really want to try and re-work my budget so I can live alone forever. Maybe get a PT job. Or at least hold out for a normal, single, younger-than-57 woman. Preferably a friend. Or someone who would end up being a friend. As opposed to someone who would want to re-enact Single White Female.

Some grad school students I emailed with sounded good, but none of them need a place until August. I do have one girlfriend who needs a place starting in July (perrrrrrfect!), but she doesn't know if she's going to keep her job or move. Argh.

Anyone have GOOD Craig's List experiences to share? Tips for weeding out potentially bad roommates? Or ideas for a solution to my problem? Hmmm...perhaps I should look into part-time work. What would be fun for the summer? Who will hire a young woman with an overactive imagination? Probably some weirdo....


Coco said...

Aw, I'm so sad that you might have to sell Toby. :(

Yes, I opted to go the alone route too-though a roommate would mean I could afford lots more things than I do now . . .something other than generic food items, perhaps?? it just seems really scary to just "pick" someone that you don't even know. I would have the exact same overactive imagination responses, I am sure!

Jonathan Zero said...

Walmart on a Sunday afternoon is what Sears used to be on a Sunday afternoon in the '70s. Tuesday mornings are usually empty except for stockers. Evenings are bad, but after midnight during the week it can be very very quiet.

Good luck with the roommate search. Never heard anything positive about Craig's list so I am not much help on that. Been living alone, mostly, for 11 years now.


I have a friend who might be a good roommate for you. His English isn't the best but he's gainfully employed.... his name's Jesus and he's a "greeter" at Walmart. Is that ok?

Single guy blogging said...

eeeeeekkk.... you HAVE to fight the Walmart urge! I hate that place with a passion -- just walking in there makes me want to get a 2nd job to pay for a higher price elsewhere.

BTW, I've never had any luck with people on CL. People really are strange in that world.

MC said...

Walmart can be so creepy, I won't go alone. Although you can meet interesting people there, like a transvestite who wants to know your opinion on the use of hula hoops and spray glitter in making his/her new dress.

Phantom Hater said...

Yet another Wal-mart hater. Hey, even if I get gang-raped, I'm saving a big chunk of money every time I shop there.

You do have a crazy imagination. Still, it's better to be safe than sorry. I'm assuming the mob guy was referring to "salary negotiotions", and not something nefarious. I got over the whole roommate thing when I got out of college. It's a hassle, even if you like the person.

As for extra cash, Wal-mart is always hiring.

Anonymous said...

You should call the Offices of Student Affairs at the law, med and business schools. They will post information for you on their bulletin boards for incoming students. I rented a house to some law students in Columbia using this method. Law school does not start until Augutst, but I think the med school and MIBS program have courses for new students starting sometime in the summer. Hope this helps.

RWA said...

I hope you don't have to sell your dog, but saying that you have an "overactive" imagination might be understating the situation!


lenfercestlesautres said...

Hey, don't get paranoid.

I've had an excellent experience with Craigslist - found a room in Boston with a kick-ass lady. We had the best time ever.
You'll always get weird replies because the Internet is a place where weird people tend to gather. Just ignore and find some nice girl to share the house!

Scott said...

Hope you dont have to sell Toby...

As for the living situation, always meet the person (of course!) before you agree to anything. That, and I think that a student might be good choice. I mean, at the very least you know that they need a place for a reason (since they are from out of town) and weren't kicked out of somewhere else or something. Then again, you can always play it by year and see if someone comes along.

Hmmm... roommate... does this mean you wont be tromping around nekid anymore?

Meghan (The Declaration of MY Independence) said...

Aww Toby! If I wasnt running a zoo of my own, I'd adopt him VB!

It never ceases to amaze me that no matter where you go north south east tokyo (do they have walmarts in tokyo?) that Walmart is the same gross place. I stopped going there. When i first moved out of mom and dads I used to go, but now i realized that Im worth the extra $20-$30 I will spend at a regular grocery store. Why do strange, dirty people tend to congregate at Wally World? What is it about Walmart that lures them there? The free food samples from the granola lady perhaps? Not sure. I just know that I need to stay out of their for my, as well as others physical and mental well being. I have experienced one good Walmart though. The one up my Penn State. Now that was a Walmart I could stand to go to.

I think you will be fine with having the place to yourself. I say give it a month and see how your bills are. If your handling them fine, then good. If not I would get a part time job. I dont think I could live with privacy man, or creepy old dude.

But I'll make you a deal. Find me a job in PR, I can move down and we can be roommates! Whoopie! But I have to make it perfectly clear that I dont "mosey" like you people do down there, I "hurry the hell up." hehe.

Anonymous said...


Behind The Curve said...

Live alone if you can. It's worth it!! I've had bad roommate experiences, and I'd rather eat top ramen everyday than ruin the sanctuary that is my home.

Walmart sucks ass!!

teaorwine said...

Do you have a Target nearby? A better choice for your shopping pleasure.

E said...

Craig's List is hit or miss. I searched for months and for a place to rent and I kept finding weirdos who were renting rooms...ugh! I finally found a place last month and after living with these 2 girls I want to shoot them! One is anti-social and the other is SHADY! She's trying to take over the lease on her own when it's up in July and have me sublet from her. Wtf?? You don't own this shit!

If I didn't have such hefty student loans, I would def opt for the PT job and go it alone! At least hold out for a friend, someone you can trust....

sj said...

Let's see, this got me so excited, I don't even know where to start...

I hate Walmart too! You pretty much summed up the reasons!

I agree with the people who posted above me. Cut back where you can because it is SOOOO worth it to live alone! I lived alone since college, then bought my house last year and feel like I am living at the same comfort level, go out the same, buy clothes still. I was like "What the hell was I doing with that $500 that was added from my rent to my mortgage?" Because I don't really feel like I'm living less.

And last, I LOVE Craigslist...wait...not to meet people, but to read. The people on it are too freaking stupid to breathe. I love the missed connections, these people are like "You looked at me? Was there something there?" It cracks me up! And the rants and raves! Good Lord, that makes for an entertaining mid day break. I've had good experiences though with it. I wanted to get rid of my couch before I moved, and was buying a new one when I moved into my house. I lived on the 3rd floor and didn't want to deal...I posted it for free as long as they came and took it away. Two really cute boys came (I had a friend over with me - didn't want to be alone -same fear of pychos) and we actually ended up all going out for drinks afterwards! It was fun! And I answered to this woman's post for tickets once. Totally non-sketch, picked them up at her work, face value. But those are completely different than living with a complete stranger. Hope your friend works out in July.

Ok, why do I always feel like I leave the LONGEST comments!?

jennster said...

hey whore.. you can't sell your dog cause you need money!!!!! i mean, at least sell him for drugs or something. lol poor dog. does he know you stopped loving him? bwhahaha

crackfire said...

You are selling TOBY coz you need money that's bad virginia always thought you to be made up of better moral fiber

get a PT bitch :P

and why do you hate wally so much , I wouldn't know coz they aren't in my country YET !!

Becky said...

i hate LOATHE DETEST walmart. and i've avoided it quite well in teh past 2 years. i've only been twice and ONLY cuz matt made me and both times i thought i'd hyperventilate in there! i hate it! its so gross...so unorganized...so disgusting...i could go on and on about it. i'm with ya

Lady Wanderlust said...

Call me crazy, but I don't hate Wal-Mart. I used to work there in high school. However, that being said I much prefer Target. It seems nicer and less garish and there are far less shrieking employess on the P.A. Some Wal-Marts are better than others. There was one in Tampa that my husband and I not so affectionately dubbed "Ghetto Wal-Mart." It was exactly as you described and we hated going there. I don't mind the super Wal-Marts in nice suburbs. To answer Meghans question, no there are no Wal-Marts in Tokyo. At least none that I've seen.

Virginia Belle said...

Holy Comments, Batman!

Toby is growing on me, y'all.

And roommates.com is muuuuuuch better for finding just the perfect stranger to live with me. Far easier to weed out weirdos.

and ohmygosh do i hate me some wal-mart. the prices are the ONLY thing keeping that place in business.

marfsbaby -- ha. ha. very funny. ;)

mc -- WOW. holy freaking schnikes. it sounds like you are speaking from experience....

scott -- yeah, i have had to step it up in the nekkid department. i now do one thing per day nekkid-style. it's fun! today was dishes. hee hee...

sj -- it's ok! i leave long comments too!

ster -- OMG LOL