Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Positively Positive

. . . That’s what I’m trying to be this week. Don’t know if it is working, but that’s the mantra I’m using.

My friend, L, called last night. She asked if she could stay with Mr. Random and I through the end of September until she can get her own apartment. Her sister, who she is staying with now, is moving in a few weeks to another part of Virginia. She said that she knew that Mr. Random and I are just getting over having Random Mum-in-law stay with us, but she really needs a place to stay.

I told her that we would think about it. When Mr. Random got home from running, I told him what happened. We were both incredibly conflicted about what our answer should be. Our first impulse was to say no, but we both felt like that was a selfish thing to think. We want to be good people and do the right thing, so shouldn’t we want to help out a friend?

We talked about how we were both going to be super busy next month – what with Mr. Random starting grad school, having weekend soccer games and training for the marathon, and me starting to teach ESL again, having choir practices and traveling for the early part of the month – plus working our normal jobs..

Mr. Random also would not feel right with a semi-stranger living with him in the condo while I was gone. Also, our condo is not very big and 5 weeks is a long time to share a small space with a non-relative. Now, if my sister wanted to come live with us for a month, that’s another story because, well . . .she’s my sister! And if our unemployed friend, C, had asked to stay with us, it would have been an easy no to say.

L is a sweet woman who has worked pretty hard to get through law school and was kind enough to let me visit her in New York (even though that turned out pretty lousy). We have talked for countless hours and I have given her tons of encouragement and advice over the years. I have tried to be as supportive a friend as I possibly could be.

But there was a layer of uneasiness about L that we couldn’t quite verbalize.

So Mr. Random and I had been agonizing over this decision all last night and all day today. As we were taking our usual lunchtime walk, we came to a decision.

We are going to say no. And try to do what we can to find her a good roommate situation that she can be in for about 6 months or so. Because if she can’t afford an apartment right now, she probably won’t be able to comfortably do so by October, and then we really wouldn’t be able to tell her to leave once she was living with us. It would be a huge strain on an already stressful period, and we wouldn’t feel real comfortable with her there during this transitional time.

Am I horrible for not wanting to help out a friend in need? It’s OK if you think so – I already feel really bad . . .

Now to see what her reaction will be . . .


Merci said...

You did the right thing. The chances that she will be ready to leave by end September are slim. Home is a very personal place, and you have to be careful with it.

Virginia Gal said...

No i agree with merci, I think you did the right thing. If L wants to live out in Manassas, I could put her in touch with someone, an older lady, who is looking for a roommate.
If interested, email me - ubah@hotmail.com

Ivory said...

I once had a friend try this with me and she ended up staying 3 months. It was the end of the friendship. Go with your gut.