“God save us from people who mean well.” ― Vikram Seth, A Suitable Boy
You know when the phone rings or beeps with a text message and you know the person on the other end wants a favor? You know those few seconds where you debate answering or not? This is my story of how I wish I hadn’t answered or at least answered differently.
It all started when a good friend ours got orders to Japan. He had been dating a girl for a month or two and seeing as how they knew each other for several years before starting to date things were pretty serious. He said when he got the orders he knew it was either end it or see if they could make it work. A few weeks later and they are married. The thing is, this was a long distance relationship to begin with. She was going to move here and needed a place to stay before they moved to Japan together. This is where that text message comes in. He asks if they can crash at our place for the three months they have in limbo between here and there. We have the extra bedroom, so it isn’t like we don’t have the extra space… and I would want someone to help me out in a situation like that, so of course we say yes. I mean really, it’s only three months right? No big deal. Oh how I look back and laugh at myself.
About a week after agreeing to allow them to move in with us, he tells us she has a small dog that she’d like to keep instead of getting trying to find another home for it. He assures us it is housetrained and that we won’t even know she’s there. Still in the good intentioned way, we agree that it will be fine, again, no big deal. I had never met his wife before, but he was always fun to be around, so I assumed the same would hold true of her. After meeting her, something just kind of seemed off. I just assumed it was me being backwards and shy and brushed it off.
Later that night we went outside like we normally do, letting the kids play and hang out with the neighbors blowing off steam. Of course, we invited our guests to meet everyone and things were going pretty well. We put the kids to bed and stepped back outside to discover our new visitor fighting with my neighbors and making a scene. After some careful defusing of the situation, they decide to head to bed for the night.
To this day, I am still unsure exactly what happened or what was said, but I made sure that the situation could never repeat itself by keeping them away from each other as much as possible. A few days pass and I notice that she still hasn’t taken the dog out. I knew they were going to attend the Marine Corps ball in a few days and I asked if we needed to take the dog out while they are away. She informs me she doesn’t take the dog out. She just cleans up after it.
After they leave, I decide to take a peek in our guest room and there it is. My formerly pretty, clean carpet is littered with stains from where the dog has relieved herself all over the place. I hang my head and wonder what in the world I’ve agreed to at this point.
As time goes on my husband and I just keep our mouths shut and try to make the best out of a situation that is less than ideal. She never seems to clean up after herself after making something to eat; he showers around 4 in the morning with music playing and wakes my youngest up. Honestly, little things in the grand scheme of things and not worth causing drama over.
We’re counting down the days to them moving on in their Marine Corps journey (a little over a week left), but who knew having “roommates” would be so stressful and seem like so much work? At least some good has come of it. I helped someone out when they needed it and I have learned my lesson to think things through more before agreeing to things so easily. So if you are reading this and need a place to crash or to borrow the car just for a few hours or anything else, please forgive me when my answer is no. I’ve had my fill of favors for the next decade or so.