The Jerk. No relation to the film.

As if moving’s not stressful enough.

In the Top 5 List of Life’s Stressors, they say.

Not so much for this Moving Queen, she says poised for the next move in two days. Move #56? Dunno, lost count. But if practice makes perfect, then the perfect mover am I! Got it down to a science and an art.


Even so, moving’s still a major stressor.

Made all the more so by people. Certain individuals.

Meet Jodi.

Some months back she posted a craigslist ad seeking a roommate. Unbeknownst to me, it’s present-time Jodi.

I replied, emphasizing that I’m a neat freak as the ad highlighted it as a desired trait.

No response.

I emailed again. Nothing. Again. Zero.

Persistence paying off? Not so much.

Then interest in the room morphed into annoyance at the lack of response, the lack of courtesy and manner.

Call me old-fashioned but I believe that every respondent to any ad deserves an acknowledgement as a courtesy. Even dreadful auto-replies are better than stone-cold silence.

I communicated this distress. Never heard back. Of course not. Only choice was to let go and move on — and find another place to live.

Fast-forward 3 months.

Same ad appears. Coincidentally, at a time when I’m ah-gain looking to move. I live in a perpetual state of looking to move but that’s another issue.

I respond again – again featuring my neat-freak qualities (and other things) since in this Round Two that’s again a stated preference in the ad.

Lo and behold, I hear back!

I pick my jaw up from the floor and go meet her. Jodi.

We hit it off more or less. I mean, how well can you know someone in an hour’s chat?

A green light to proceed far as I’m concerned. Jodi too.

Only one thing left to do: Meet the other roommate. A dude from India. No problem-o. So it seems.

Then a text from Jodi.

“I changed my mind. The roommate asked that since he is Indian and his family visits {ed. note: briefly like once a year}  that the new roommate be male to reduce cultural conflict.”

Wow! That’s a new one to this seasoned mover / roommate!

“I am sorry I got your hopes up.”

Jodi and I text fond farewells and I keep looking for new digs. Two months looking, one week before I’m to be out, Jodi drops the ball and I’m empty-handed trying not to freak out!

No other choice but to keep looking.

A new possibility emerges in the 11th hour. I pursue.

Then I hear from Jodi.

“I changed my mind. Can you come over to meet the Indian roommate?”

“Sure. When?”

“5 or 6 after work.”

“Can’t. I work evenings. How about I go meet him at his job like during a break?”

“You can’t. Have to meet him here at the house.”

“OK. How about Friday (yesterday). I have that day off.”

“I’ll ask him and get back to you.”


I wait. Wait. Wait. While the Moving Clock ticks ticks ticks.

Never hear back.

I text. “What’s the skinny on meeting the Indian roommate tonight?”

“Sorry. He’s already gone to Phoenix for the weekend. Maybe next week.”

No More Maybes.

“I wouldn’t count on this,” Jodi adds.

You don’t say!

Both rounds Jodi’s dropped the ball: (1) first time when she never responded to my shows of interest in the room then (2) when we met and talked — rather, she yammered, I listened — and advanced toward Go only to have her throw the curveball of cultural distress. Then rescind it.

When she texted: “I wouldn’t count on this,” I could only say:

“I’m out”

“OK. Good luck” she says.

“Goodbye” is all I could say — and needed to say.

Here’s a woman who not once but twice ignored me, jerked me around by offering her home, then taking it away, then essentially offering it again after meeting the roommate.

Every step of the way I accommodated Jodi.

At every turn she dropped the ball.

Either she didn’t respond … or did respond but sporadically and unreliably … or did respond all-in.

Like the three faces of Eve. Which Jodi would appear this day?

Her actions / inactions would’ve left me homeless had another door not opened at the very last minute. Whew!

In the end, I dodged a bullet.

Hence I write:

As if moving’s not stressful enough … it’s people, certain individuals, who make it 1,000 times more stressful.

People like Jodi. Who jerked me ’round not once but twice and for the last time. Jodi the Jerker. Jodi the Jerk.


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