If you’re regular reader, you’ll know that last month, I went through a bit of a personal upheaval that resulted in the Dude and me having to find a new home with almost no notice. The experience has been slightly short of hellish, but only due to the generosity of our friends. Now, however, we’re in our new place, and all we have to do is turn in our keys and get back our security deposit.
However, as several readers and any number of my meatspace friends have queried, we are hoping to recoup the financial cost of the move, since there’s no way we’d be able to get back the lost hours of work and sleep and worry. There is an outside chance that this might mean legal action, but, to minimize our entanglement with the owner of the previous building owner (hereafter “Slumlord”), we’re first going to try the simpler route of asking for compensation directly.
We’ve been informed that Slumlord is a sensitive man with delicate feelings, and that, while not a monster, he will “shut down” any request that he feels is an attack. So, should we want to succeed in our COMPLETELY JUSTIFIED quest to have our FORCED move paid for, we should “be nice.” As you might imagine, this has every single vein in my head throbbing with barely-contained fury. We were also told that we might have an even better chance of getting reimbursed if I, not the Dude, were to go to Slumlord and plead our case, possibly while batting my eyelashes and appealing to his manly sense of manliness to pwease, pwease! save me, Big Mister Slumlord! Save me from the problems you caused by your criminally negligent assholery!
Fortunately, it was the Dude who received this message, or I might have left my brains splattered all over our former, still-highly-flammable apartment. To his great credit, the Dude demurred on that point on my behalf, saying “errrm, I don’t think Dork is the woman for that job.” Right he was. It would be difficult for me to refrain from verbally flaying Slumlord were I to see him again; the idea of going All-Out Bambi to flatter his ego elicits a particular kind of rage-nausea to which I’m not yet accustomed.
However, we do need–and yes, are OWED–this money, and so I ask you, adored readers: what would you do? What do you do in situations where you are at a clear disadvantage all the way round? Do you use the Master’s Tools to get what you want/need/deserve, even if it makes you feel cheapened? Do you tell the Master to shove it up his everlovin’ ass, and savor the taste of your righteous fury while you choke down ramen noodles and cheap, limp, about-to-expire produce for a few months? Do you approach the Master as an equal, trying to save your self-respect while still attaining your goal?
My mother says “do what you have to to get the money, and then put it all behind you.” Laugh all the way to the bank, in other words. Or, as BeckySharper phrased it the other day: fuck the Man with his own dick. I see their point, especially, as feminists have pointed out repeatedly here (and elsewhere): the Big P is set up to screw you over no matter what you do. So, shouldn’t we take what benefits–however compromised, however filthy–we can wring from it? Or do those benefits more deeply entrench the double-standards and justifications that the Patriarchy uses to further disenfranchise women (and non-alpha men)? If there’s no winning, how do you lose less?
I don’t have a satisfactory answer to the larger question, but right now, I’m barely capable of approaching Slumlord in a civil fashion; the idea of playing his knight-and-damsel game is utterly repellent. I think I would loathe myself if I attempted it. I think I would cry hot tears of disgust all the way to the bank.
But the bill hasn’t come due yet. Thoughts?