I have no title for this post that I feel I can comfortably broadcast. WordPress would certainly take a dim view of the words I want to write. Some of you may take a step back as well, but not because you are prudish or have never seen the words I want to place up there in HUGE, deeply BOLD, font.
I think that all the words that I want to use to make a title for this post might just be a post in and of themselves. I could go on to simply write FCUK FCUK FCUK FCUK FCUK… and you would likely get the idea that something was amiss, but even that word doesn’t seem to be enough right now.
My house is sold, we close on July 11th, and since yesterday it has been made very clear to me that I will not have a place to live. Now I knew, because I am a pessimist at heart, that for all the ease and predictability that has surrounded my divorce process to this point, that a change would be bound to happen. I knew that I wasn’t going to get away scot-free.
Perhaps I should backtrack for you to a few months ago, to the time that I began searching out prospective new living places. Even then it was apparent that living alone right now was going to be almost impossible. My income after divorce would not be enough to qualify for the overarching rule that ‘applicants must make 4x their monthly rent to qualify for residency.’ Learning that early on, and realizing that even if I had still been working at my old, pre-arthritis job in dentistry making $25+ per hour, I would not have qualified for residency anywhere within a 100 mile radius… well that opened my eyes for sure.
So, there were some discussions and some realizations and the youngest daughter and I worked out a plan that seemed to be beneficial to both of us for the foreseeable future. We made plans to share an apartment, thus allowing both of us the luxury of actually saving money.
We researched, we collaborated, we toured and compromised. We thought we had narrowed places down to a clearly defined list of possibilities, and we were ready. We (I) never hid the fact that my life story right now involved divorce. I spoke about the fact that online applications were devilish beasts when it came to trying to explain the intricacies surrounding my ability to prove income (the bulk of which would be coming in my divorce settlement) when they simply want to see numbers or look at downloaded pay stubs.
I was given a few ideas of options from well-meaning managers and representatives. I was encouraged to go ahead and start an application, that they were there to help.
Perhaps you should call me naive, or just plain stupid might be better. Call me clearly out of touch with the rental world after being a responsible home owner for 34 years. Call me a female body in a world where financial history means nothing when it comes to security and honesty and values. So that last one may be overstepping in this case, but I am looking for anything that I can blame.
The bottom line, after numerous attempts to explain my income sources post divorce, as well as exactly what that income will amount to each month (which by the way along with the daughters income will over qualify us for that 4x rule), along with a copy of the settlement agreement stating said income, added to a statement and transaction history of the past 4 1/2 years of part-time employment–after all that someone yesterday finally managed to be honest and state:
“In our specific case, and quite likely with most other places as well, even though you will clearly make enough and we would love to have you as a resident, without a final, signed divorce decree, and possibly even some proof of deposits of the awarded amounts in your checking account, I can tell you that the company we work with won’t approve your application at this time.”
I had suspicions about this very thing shortly after beginning the touring process. In fact, we held off on any final decisions for some time, simply because of this lurking issue that nagged at me regarding proof. Any ya’ll know what? I get it. I actually and completely understand where every single one of these places/companies is coming from. They can’t simply take me at my word. I look like a lovely, stand-up, responsible sort of almost 58 year old woman. Beyond that though, well geez, I could be tossing any old income numbers around, trying to play them for fools. I get it.
What I don’t get is why,
given the fact that my divorce was not final when we began this process,
given the fact that we were not seeking a move in date prior to finalization,
given the fact that I cannot be the very first divorcing woman to seek residency prior to finalization and solid proof,
given that it might be a great idea to have a clearly stated policy for matters such as this and that everyone who works with applicants should have access to it,
given the fact that I never should have put the house on the market for sale this early,
given the fact that my spouse may end up being turned down for not having 4x income versus monthly rent, but NOT be turned down because HE doesn’t have a signed divorce decree,
then why, for so many other ridiculous, frustrating, naive, stupid, f’d up reasons could someone not simply have stated that this round about way of proving income we were asked to try was all going to be for nothing.
My snarky, distrustful side says because these places are all about the appearance of being genuine and helpful while deep down they only want the application fees. That same dark side of me says that it’s easier and looks better to some corporate numbers people to show that they have huge numbers of applicants so their complexes must be superior. My not-naive brain says that this is the way of the world and tells me to get used to it.
Yesterday though, right about 4pm after hearing someone tell me my plans were screwed and the realization that I now need to find a temporary home hit me in the face-
my human side,
my already overwhelmed trying-to-hold-it-together side,
my still convinced that I made the right decision side,
my non-pragmatic, I don’t want to hold this inside any longer side,
wanted nothing more than to curl up into a ball and hide in the corner.
None of the above has changed as I write this, but today is a new day, and like others who inspire me with their words and actions and perseverance, today means one foot will travel in front of the other until this issue is solved, because what else can I do.