Monday, October 08, 2007

The Tenant

"We tried to find the visiting teacher a place, but even the hostels are full. Can you help out? It's only nine weeks."

I thought about this. We have a small guest house that's detached from our home. When we bought the place, it was dark and dirty, but over the past three years we have changed it to an inviting space with wood floors, light paint, and cute furnishings. Currently, its primary use is for sleepovers my daughters host. Still. The idea of having someone we don't know living on the property is a little strange, and I know this won't go over well with Bob.

"Yes, sure! Of course we'll help!"

He arrived on Saturday, and when the principal introduced him, I couldn't place his accent. Vaguely European? He looks like a child, although I will find out later he is at least in his late twenties. He is very thin, with pale skin, dark hair, and dark eyes. He is also very, very gay. This puts my husband at ease with the concept of a male tenant, and also mildly irritates him. Like most straight men who are not homophobic, he is uncomfortable with the sashaying, hand gesturing and giggling that accompany this visiting dance teacher.

"Where are you from?" I ask.

He sighs. It is, clearly, a weighty question. Why have I asked such a question when he is so jet lagged?

"Ohhh. 'Tis a hard question." His voice is nasal, and he sounds strained, as if it is a mammoth effort to speak, so he comes across both bored and pained. And with a slight head cold.

"I was born in Lithuania, but I've lived in Austria, Germany, France..." he trails off. "I need water. It is so dry here."

Later that day, I knocked on his door with a bag of sheets and towels from Target. He opened the bag silently, then took out the package of sheets. He held them in his hand at arm's length, then brought them closer, squinting.

"Are these black?"

"No. I think they're navy blue. But they're flannel. So you'll be warm. It should be well below freezing tonight."

He thrusts the package back at me, and I fumble as I grab the sheets. With a tsking sound he tells me, "They are cobalt blue. I am, how do you say? Allergic to cobalt blue." His body suddenly shudders all over as he runs his hands up his thighs and brings them to his face.

"I get hives. All over. You have tea? I have the ulcers."

He shuts the door. Eight weeks and six days to go.

I need to start saying no.

23 comments:

Epic said...

oh my goodness how hilarious! and horrible. hmmm horribly hilarious?

Caren said...

Wow... to take an opened minded viewpoint, I'm sure not all people from Europe have manners such as this, but it just reminds me of all the times I have read negative feedback about American tourists. And I cannot imagine a teacher taking that approach. If he is teaching children I do hope he behaves in a less pretentious manner.

Lawyer Mama said...

Oh. my. god.

I can't wait to hear more!

Rimarama said...

Holy crap, I am so embarrassed for my fellow countryman! If you ever need me to translate anything to or from the Lithuanian, I'm totally your girl.

Nancy said...

You have a house guest that is going to be giving you eight weeks of blog fodder!

Sneak a few photos too!

Kristi B. said...

O Dios Mio. OMG. Oh My Stars. I do not know what to say!

Why don't we get a bunch of people to pitch in and put him up at the Holiday Inn?

By the way, I too am allergic to cobalt blue! :-)

Sophie's Mom said...

Oh my goodness. You MUST update us daily on your interaction with this man! I cannot even imagine.

Crystal said...

yep... good blog material.
I have such a picture in my head. You must post a real picture. Of course a real picture might be more humorous after we hear 9 weeks of stories.

Amber said...

Wow. This will be an interesting 8 weeks...

Robin said...

What a whack-job. I've known countless Europeans, that has nothing to do with his country of origin and is just plain odd. Reminds me of a crazy roommate my husband and I had for a month once. He never stopped talking about horoscopes and the "influence of Saturn" on things. At least you'll probably get lots of great blog fodder out of it.

BetteJo said...

8 weeks of hystericaal stories it sounds like!

jakelliesmom said...

Oh. no.

Oh no he didn't.

No, no, no.

I hope that his affectations are perhaps simply the stresses (?) adjusting to his new surroundings and that he becomes a delightful, engaging house guest.

Otherwise, just, well, no.

Mary Alice said...

I have a lot of colbalt blue in my house....want me to send you some so you can scare him the heck out of your guest house? You could just start leaving little colbalt blue marbles around in things...also be sure to get some blue tidy bowl to add to the guest house toilet.

Circus Kelli said...

Oh WOW. Sweetie, repeat after me. Ready? Ok...

NO

Now you try.

theghelertertwins.blogspot.com said...

What a nut-job! Wow.... Rude!

Maureen said...

Wow. Just wow.

Can't wait to hear more...

Fairly Odd Mother said...

So, he is now sleeping without sheets??? Thank goodness he is separate from your house. Do you have to feed him too? I can't wait to hear more!

dawn224 said...

Mary Alice and the toilet idea is great!

painted maypole said...

wow, he sounds like a big jerk. I hope that he gets a bit nicer when he is not jetlagged. If not, you will have lots of funny stories to share. Allergic to Cobalt Blue? sigh.

MommyMommy said...

I love the tidy bowl idea!!! And feed him some blueberries...

Jennifer aka Binky Bitch said...

Oh my God, seriously? I'm at the edge of my seat to hear more.

Seriously?

crazymumma said...

oh dear.

but what fodder.

Mrs. Chicken said...

Three things:

1) Interestingly, I am also allergic cobalt blue. :)

2) Is it wrong that I laughed the whole time I read this?

3) Totally jealous of your guest house, but meh, not the guest.