So I ended my last blog mentioning an “eviction”. This was a joy. Now keep in mind I am only able to speak from my perspective, and I doubt anyone reading this blog knows who these people are, those who do, know this story pretty well from my continuous rant – But I will not waste your time with it. In general, they assumed I was leaving for May, never messaged me to double check except to say that a new tenant would be moving in May 1st. It was not my landlord, but her mother who messaged me about said need to have me move out. In the same message, I was told the next tenant was going to pay $200 more and pay for their own internet. She (again, the mother who, in fact, bought the house for her daughter, the landlord), in formed me that she would clean the apartment. Well… that was nice to have never double checked. Too add to the stress, I found out two weeks prior that I may be needed here until July. Not that they knew, but in less than 24 hours I had found a place. Again, thank you to Jessica and Mike for being there for me. My response was quick and polite, but highlighting that they indeed put me in quite a predicament and in fact, I had always said my graduation in June and then I would leave. I also messaged the daughter, my landlord explaining the same thing. No one responded. About a month later after the daughter continued to push my buttons over a facebook fight, she wanted to “resolve” the issue face to face – and to start her talk with a condescending “I’m guessing you’ve had a stressful day…”. Now, I am not a push-over, there is a reason for why I keep my mouth shut; I’m not about to make my life more difficult while I still need to wait two months before I can actually do anything to relieve the situation. She did however mention that she wouldn’t want anything to go unsaid, and as I have an (un)fortunate gift of not leaving things unsaid, I brought up what was grinding my gears. It was the eviction. I ended with the same argument – ” Why didn’t you just send me a message to double check before an assumption, like, ‘hey, when did you need the place til, again?’. Because I am in a predicament and no one is going to rent to someone for two months. ” Her response was “Well you didn’t know.” “I’ve been saying June this whole time. ‘I cant wait to graduate til June’ or the ‘Just make it to June, Just make it to June, Just make it to June…’, I’ve been saying June since my parents visited last August”. She repeated that they were sure that I said April and that I didn’t even really no. There was no reply as to why it would have been tedious, back-breaking work to have asked. So when I left at the end of April, I did not leave the apartment pristine as I had hoped. Nothing was damaged, no large bags of garbage were left. There was a pile, about a garbage bag’s worth of donation stuff, mainly clothes, that I said were first for the landlord if she wanted anything and the rest could be done away with. Just before moving, as in days before, I am finishing and handing in papers, doing last minute errands between school, profs and graduation works, preparing for another exhibition and working more. I didn’t have time to do more. And, as I stated, the apartment was fine. Nothing more than the usual cleaning by the landlord was required (and is required by law). I handed my keys into the husband, he took a gander at the apartment, mentioned stickers I had to take off the window (that I forgot), and He said everything was good to go. Shook hands saying “Pleasure doing business” and Ella and I took off to finish our, what was it, 5th round of moving with her tiny sedan that only had the back seat available to help me. I was tired, I wanted to go to the new place, unpack, eat, sleep.
Here’s a few kickers, for you. First of all, I never actually signed a lease, and I am thankful I got away with that. Second of all, In the conversation with the landlord when I admitted what was grinding my gears, I had mentioned “Well at least I got 60 days notice” to which she replied, “actually the landlord and tenant act only says I needed to give you 30 days notice”. 1- No, the municipal code of this city still says 60 days notice for monthly and annual tenants; Only daily and weekly tenants are given 28 days. 2- I never signed a lease but those points are still not as pertinent as 3- She looked at her rights as a landlord before the confrontation with me because she knew that she was doing something wrong and that I was likely to refuse or fight; she wanted her legal stuff in order. That makes me wonder what kind of person she assumed I was and helps me know that even people who live with me can underestimate me.
This is where the majority of my friends, family and I begin to laugh. The day after I get a message from the mother of the landlord (remember,the one who bought the property for her daughter so that her daughter could rent it?), saying that she was unimpressed with the state of the apartment and began to mention petty things like car rides her daughter and son-in-law had done for me. Here’s how you know you didn’t do anything wrong – mention petty stuff and not anything actually wrong with the apartment (except the leftover food in the fridge, that was an honest mistake, like the stickers on the window). AND she makes an excuse for the husband letting me go – stating that he was frustrated and thought best not to say anything. Ooh boy, that’s shooting one’s self in the foot. She doesn’t just message me, but my mother too. Yes my mother is a large part of my life, one of my greatest supporters and possibly the only one who puts up with me when I’m “cranky”. And no seriously, I get half as mad as I do in those moods because I irritate myself because I have a poor attitude. But I have a question – WHAT DOES MY MOTHER HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH MY ADULT DECISIONS, PARTICULARLY AS ME BEING A “TENANT”? Why, on this earth, would you message my mother?
I tell my mother about the message I received, not knowing she has received almost the same letter to, and explain my thoughts. I did nothing wrong and quite frankly, if someone has to pick up another bag of garbage, I don’t feel bad as I was put out of a place without remorse or responsibility. The mother then ends the letter to me with stating everything was being taken care of. So what? This was a message to make me feel bad? I reiterate, I don’t feel bad if you have to clean your daughter’s property of an extra garbage bag when no one seems to even note that in how they kicked me out was entirely, and I would say, morally wrong. I wasn’t about to respond and get myself into trouble – as the mother had said, everything was taken care of. My mother replied (on BBM) that she also received a message. Originally, I did not read that she read a message to, but that answering the message may lead to more trouble, especially as my initial feelings to anything are pretty spastic (another reason I will not react in front of others too soon). I checked the message again an hour later, and thought something funny of it. Surely enough, after reading what she typed aloud, I pieced it together and said “wait, WHAT?! She messaged you to? What did she say? and no offense, what do you have to do ANYTHING with this situation?!” I sounded off and most people had a good laugh. The last joke of the day was how she ended the message to my mother. To effect of “You should tell your daughter that in the real world, and not on campus, [this] is how things are done” (slight paraphrasing but you get it).
Some fun facts: University Residences are actually ridiculously strict in how you leave. For example, If the drawer is not put back in the exact location as when you moved in, then you could be fined. And not a $20 or $50 fine either, should anything else be wrong, it’s upwards of $500. Should you not pay ANY TYPE OF FEE to the university, it’s residences or it’s programs, your marks are not released and therefore you cannot continue to attend school. This is in the lease the students sign. But hey, this isn’t my first time living off campus (I’m not dumb either, but hey), I have been under other leases. I wasn’t kicked out or wrongfully accused of anything, it was still a poor landlord, but I was never put in a predicament that left me couch surfing (actually the lease from the university did, I lived in a spare room with a friend’s family and they were very nice. The father grew a small garden and we shared toasted tomato sandwiches almost every lunch, anywho). Lastly, two parts about real life; My parents were the on-land superintendents and had to act in place of a landlord. You want to talk about how places are left after tenants? We had some scuzzies, let me tell you! My father has stories that will make you hurl last monday’s breakfast. Secondly, mothers don’t buy and take care of their daughter’s businesses, at least in the real world.
I was told by shamans in my life that I posses spider magic – Ironic that I have arachniphobia. But maybe it’s because I know spiders just that well. Where Louise Bourgois believed her mother and herself was a spider of sorts, I feel the same way. Spiders in Greek mythology were weavers, story tellers and artists. In aboriginal myth, spiders created language. Spiders are instinctive, creative and posses skills most are too impatient to learn, let alone use. Patience in setting and maintaining a web, patience in waiting for that payout, like food. Also, they are quick to act on opportunity, rarely missing a chance to get ahead. Spiders, when spooked, actually stay still until they know when to react. I think I am a spider – now if I could get over how I look *shudders* (and I mean that over both bodies).
I’d like to pride myself on a few things – I have always been hard working and I have not been without a job since my first one at 15. I have always pushed myself despite stress, illness and poor finances. I can say I put me through school, and despite a surgery and being diagnosed with digestive disorders that have changed my life, and despite going through my first love, being bullied (even in university) and every student loan clerical error that I have had to pay for, I have put myself through school. This isn’t to say I didn’t have help from friends and family and because of them, NOTHING has stopped me. Not even finding another place to living within 12 hours of an eviction notice. The last thing I pride myself on, and it’s something my ex said about me that he loved and I forgot I had – I am always so polite and at the right time. And I am always so impolite at the right times. My mother said “it takes more strength to be a doormat than most know”. Don’t mistake anyone for being a push-over when that person is picking and choosing their battles, their priorities and the finding right time to get what they need and want. I don’t need to be mean, about it either.
But to remind you about this blog being about art for a second – sometimes works are autobiographical. In the second year, I painted “CEDO NULI [I yeild to no one)”. My mother knew instantly what it was about and could psychoanalyze every piece. The trucks that were transferred on, was the model of the truck my father sold just a few months before so I could keep going to school and the woman was confident, even defiant but was still making decisions. Really, it was about struggle and not stopping (and I think that meaning came naturally, I just painted and it happened).
Copyright Elizabeth Hoskin, 2010
From this year and In fact is currently at the Definitely Superior Art Gallery until June 9th as a part of the Lakehead University Retrograduates Show, a sculpture piece by me. Entitled “The Reade”, it is ceramic slip casts of fabric, undefined voodoo dolls stuffed with filler, leaves and tea and mold stained. In high school I worked at a new-age shop for a short time, and I suppose I was eing “trained” as a sort of witch. In that time, I would learn the reades of the occults. For pegans and wiccans, the reade dictated that you were not to do spells on people without their expressed permission (special circumstances only), but more importantly, whatever you put out was to be returned tenfold (or threefold or however many depending). These dolls were wishes I had made that have come back to bite me or wishes I am glad I did not follow through on.
Copyright Elizabeth Hoskin, 2012
… I need a good camera and photoshop IMMEDIATELY, I know. I’m working on it.
Both are copyright, Elizabeth Hoskin, 2012
I have found in life, that the times you want to be mean, it is unnecessary, because something tenfold is waiting for others. You do not need to do anything wrong, and it will be enough to drive the other straight around the bend. The best revenge is living well.
Along with this drama, I also had been contacted by my ex. It didn’t end well for him. Long story short(er than my skinny on the eviction), One day in November, I was deleted from everything and I could not get in contact with him. At 11 o’clock that night, I had decided that he was no longer worth it. And then began to try to get over my first love. Yeah, that’s how he broke up with me. Just deleted me without warning. Better yet, I find out two weeks later that for four months prior to the “break-up” he had been telling our friends (and this town is so small that everyone was a mutual friend), that he was planning on breaking up with me. Even so much as some people defending him. See it was within that day I had found he was giving everyone a story, just alike enough it sounded like truth, just different enough to each person it took them a short while to realize I hadn’t lied. Once again I had to sit quietly to heal and to hope that things would mend between friends and the dust would settle to reveal his lies. I have my responsibilities to, and this was my first love so there was plenty of mistakes to learn from. Exactly 6 months later he tries to chat with me and managed a sub-par apology. I promised myself I would not speak to him until he apologized, so I did speak briefly to him on the phone, rather, I got my closure. We haven’t spoken since and when he visited town he was taking off much earlier than expected so we couldn’t meet for coffee like he wanted (before our phone call). Hasn’t spoken to me still – He remains too chickenshit.
Tomorrow, more about the exhibitions, including the current show at the Definitely Superior Art Gallery, and please read up on their recent and very exciting news including winning a town award for paintbombing, recent publications, and just amazing art!
Thank you for reading my novelas here,
Copyright, Ella Bell, 2012 – http://ellabellphoto.com/
– I am Elizabeth Hoskin, and I am LovingBedlam