You Should Stand Near Me, I'm That Lucky Right Now

Hi lambs. Sorry to subject you to that lame post for the last 5 days.

(You know how a story is really funny in person? And you call all your friends and tell them and everyone's hysterically laughing and it's the bestest story ever and then you try to write it and it just ....doesn't translate? Yeah. So. Sorry about that. You really should just give me your phone numbers I think.)

Anyway, lately I've been packing. My face. With Lean Pockets mostly. But, I've also been packing the contents of "my" house and that pleases me to no end, this house not actually being mine and all. Also, the mold is not mine. Mold which has appeared in the downstairs bathroom and refuses to leave no matter how many angry looks I give it. (Sort of like my old high school friend who came to visit "for a few days" and showed up with her unemployed husband and three boys and stayed for an entire week and clogged our toilets and broke our dishes and gave me hives until Chris and I started throwing shoes at them to get them to leave.)

This mold is sort of like that, but without the memories.

Anyway, mold may seem boring to you dear folks, but here it is all the rage. And by rage I mean actual rage because as soon as we moved into this house Savannah developed a persistent cough that turned my brain inside out with all the Googling because dear God if the steroids and antibiotics and freaking breathing machine weren't going to do the trick after 4 months, what the hell was wrong with my child?!

Naturally, I was driven into the arms of an Indian man (and that's not a figure of speech. he hugged me.) who smelled of jasmine and vinegar and deli meats - not as pleasant as you would think actually - and he turned out to be the most brilliant of Indian medicine men I have ever met (which so far is one).

He took my hands into his at his little natural healing shop and asked me what brought me here today. (I said "my car". Boy, how we laughed. ) When I told him about Savannah's cough he asked her age and if I could imitate the cough for him. He leaned in close while I coughed on his turban (I couldn't make this stuff up) and then closed his eyes, inhaled, and plucked a large bottle of this from the shelf behind him. It was expensive - almost $100 - but after ONE DOSE, Savannah's cough completely disappeared. Completely! (Which was such a relief because the mean moms were starting to brightly suggest that "maybe it's TB!".)

(I totally didn't plan on this post taking such a wild detour. Where am I?)

Anyway, I thought all was well and good until the same cough developed in Chris a few months later. (Of course I was immune because of my super human powers. That and a steady supply of Sour Patch Kids.) That's when we realized that the air conditioning in this house is likely circulating mold. Awesome with a capital F!

Fast forward 1 year and 5 leaks later to when I found mold in the bathroom. The owner showed up, used a moisture detector (Internet: Yes, we heard) and showed me that the entire floor and wall were wet.

I then called Mrs. Owner and our conversation went like this:

Me: "Hi. There's moisture all over in the bathroom and Mr. Owner said that the wall and floor need to come out."

Her: "No. It simple."

Me: "Uh, it's not simple. There will be more construction now."

Her: "No. It just toilet."

Me: "Did Mr. Owner tell you that there's visible black mold growing?"

Her: "Yes"

Me: "Did he tell you that there's water under the floor?"

Her: "Yes"

Me: "So, can we get a rent credit, you think?"

Her: "Nooooo. No. I don't think so."

Me: "Did he tell you that I'm going to set fire to your car tonight?"

Okay, that was in my head. What I really said was "This is our fifth leak. Can you at least think about it and not cash my check until we come to an agreement?"

Her: "Yes. I will call you tonight".

Me: "So, don't cash our check."

Her: "Okay"
You know where this is going right? She hung up the phone and cashed our rent check that very day for the full amount. Love. Her. Am making her a special gift. Out of a small doll and many pins.

As if that wasn't bad enough, then they even refused to fix the floor and wall in the bathroom. Even though there's moisture underneath! Growing visible mold! Mold is still bad, right? Did I miss some sort of breakthrough that it's the next acai berry or something?

So, we gave notice. They sent their agent. I sexually harassed him and then, lo and behold, guess what came in the mail yesterday? Our entire deposit plus 1/2 month's rent credit! Before we've even moved out! Couldn't you just die from the wonderfulness of it all? I'm now rethinking the voodoo doll. Maybe I'll just buy her a pretty dress and name her Sparky.

I don't which packed the more powerful punch - the mold or the cleavage. Since I nursed and I'm 30 hundred years old, I'm going to go with the mold. It is pretty compelling, right? You be the judge.

That toxic fungus. It wins every time.

In other news, as if our windfall (of our own money) weren't enough of a kick in the pants, guess who suddenly moved her daughter out of the school? Girl C! Just up and moved her daughter out with an email to us all that her daughter got into a school she'd been "waitlisted" for. (Another way of saying "later, public school bitches!".) I don't know what I'm going to miss more, her or the mold.

So, things are lovely here for a brief moment and I'm just going to bask in these delightful surprises. Because if I don't...I might start talking about how Chris works at a b-a-n-k. And no one wants to discuss such unpleasantness at this point, right?


Jay said...

Just keep that windfall out of the market for now. And consider buying some lower cut shirts.

Karen said...

So glad you got your money back and Girl C is gone. Sounds like a good day for you!

P.S. - You are a wonderful writer. I am so glad you're back! LOL

Butrfly Garden said...

Sounds like things are shaping up quite nicely. :)

I don't think I could have handled speaking to Mrs. Owner. Ever - but especially for that conversation.

sheila said...

Isn't there some kind of court action you could bring against your landlord? At least to cover medical bills for the coughs?

I'd say the coughs are definately related to the mold. Especially if it's black mold. If there's mold you CAN see, imagine how much that you CAN'T see! Frickin sick!

Atleast until you move out, just keep a spray bottle with a mixture of water and bleach (like you haven't thought of that already) and squirt the areas you can see.

Our old basement had black mold that we weren't aware of, until after having 2 of 3 kids diagnosed with asthma, had someone come and check it out. After waterproofing, and later moving, kids are 99% asthma free.

Sorry this is so damn long. Good luck! I'd see if you can sue those bastards.

Kristen said...

Lena - I am so glad you're back. Oh, how I've missed you. :)

Have you gone back to being a brunette?

Heather, Queen of Shake Shake said...

Mold is some nasty schnitz nit. We had it in an apartment while we built our house. I was baffled why my kids kept getting cold after cold when we had always been so healthy. We couldn't find the actual mold, but our neighbors had it. We moved out, respiratory infections stopped.

Anonymous said...

Hurrah for you. And hello, welcome back to the internet (I know I'm late on that one). I was so excited to see your tweets the other day and then I sat on your blog posts for a week.

Ree said...

As another (shhhhhh!) banker, I feel his pain.

But good for you darling. (Note, I said the "g".)

A.B. said...

I've missed you.

Jenny said...

Am a long time, lurky type of reader, and I must say as well that I missed you and am glad you are back. I love this type of stuff. Not black mold, but the way you write about black mold. Yes, I just typed that.

The Over-Thinker said...

I think Girl C and the Mold could have a very happy life behind the toilet. And you could ask Chris to "whoopsie-daisy" his aim at the bowl every once-in-awhile and nail her right in her smug face.

What I've learned from this post: Girl C, Mold and Bank are all acceptable swear words.

What I need to know: WHAT did the kind Indian give you? Seriously, what was that magic stuff?

Theresa said...

I am so Fre*king happy. A word that is now banned at my house since the two-aolmost three year old started using it at church. I just googled you and about died when I saw you were back. Excellent.

b said...

Good wishes that Chris keeps job and gets raise, Mom C gets black listed by moms at new school and the Cheeky family gets a huge check from landlord to make sure they don't sue.

Shannon M. said...

Thanks for the pic! Now you need to do a podcast or something so we can hear your voice. What say ye?

And I agree with over-thinker about Mr. Mold E and Girl C!

Frema said...

Bah for mold. Hooray for getting your money back.

(And I thought your last post was hysterical. I actually laughed out loud!)

Heidi said...

Just wanted to say welcome back! You've been missed.

Mad said...

Wow, you won! And then won again. Loved this story--what a cast of characters.

Randy said...

Mad said...
Wow, you won! And then won again.

Actually, I think we all won. Welcome back- the internet has been a boring place without you.

Mel said...

Hey, hello, remember how you're blogging again? And yet, it's October 20 and this is the newest you've got?

Hmm. Packing is no excuse.


DianaCLT said...

Oh, our Cheekiest of Lotuses, you give me great hope! As soon as I can afford it (HA! I keep dreaming!), I'm going to buy that handy little miracle cure for asthma and allergies. Because - for reals - my kids will be slammed with both in the next few weeks.
Also - can you give me your Indian medicine man's phone number? I'm so serious - I need it! I don't even care that I'll have to drive a bit to get to him!

Karen said...

I have to agree with Mel...have we lost you again?? Please say it isn't so. Come back!!

Anonymous said...

So happy your back!

Shannon M. said...

You're so "lucky" these days we're really worried. Please post soon or I'm sending out a search party.

Lena said...

I'm alive! I'm not good at multi-tasking. I've been...hanging pictures? I have no good excuse. I'll be back with stories this week. I swear on my Keds.

Kristie said...

I don't know you personally, but wow did I miss you while you were gone! And I didn't even know you were back (because duh, how would I, since you don't know me either) but yeah for Y and her link to your site. :)

Shellie said...

YEAH! I haven't even had a chance to read yet, but I was checking out Y's new blog & saw this link. I had stopped checking back a long time ago... but good, good, great to see you back! Definately worth de-lurking to tell you that ;)

ramonandpotato said...

I just happened upon your blog and I sincerely hope you keep writing more often, as it made me snort beer out my nose. I'm glad that you're getting out (or got out) of the black mold casa.

The Over-Thinker said...

Where aaaaare you?? (said in a totally non-nasaly/totally-not-annoying-way)

Sue said...

So glad you are back! Missed You!


Linsey said...

You're such a tease, Lena! ;-)

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