Semi-interesting story last weekend. I was out at Teak with my childhood friend, Matt, trying their food for the second time and i'm planning to write up a review about it soon (I like to eat at a place at least three times before reviewing it). Afterwards I went over to Mulligan's for a drink and met up with some people. So there are some cute girls there and I mention to the guys there how cute one is in particular, and immediately the guys are goading me into talking to them.
No, not me. I'm not that guy and never have been. I try to explain, but they keep hounding with suggestions and what not.
I know they meant well, but that simply isn't me. Call me a coward or call me shy (although i'm not sure if I am really that shy if you know me). But I completely clam up when it comes to trying to approach cute girls. Once that ice is broken, i'm fine. I'm just not the icebreaker and I hate that "being set up feeling" when it comes to meeting someone.
Anyhow, we left Mulligan's, and went to Moran's. I'm in the bar for about 2 minutes, and a blonde, 30-something woman in jeans and a cool t-shirt approaches me. First thought was, "Damn she's cute.", she looks at me oddly and says, "Hey, aren't you the guy who has the blog on Hobokeni?".
Poker-faced I say, "No, sorry. Never heard of it." and act like I walk away. I turn around and say, "Nah, i'm kidding, that's me."
She laughs and I smile and we make our introductions, and chat a bit about the blog. In the back of my mind i'm thinking "Cool, I meet a cute girl and the blog did all the introduction work". I talk a bit about the recent articles I wrote and about bartending at Mikie's. She says that "we" were there last week.
I'm thinking, "Ok, here comes the 'boyfriend bomb'.
The "boyfriend bomb" is a term that I made up in college. It always happened to me, i'd be talking to a very cute coed and it would take about 5-10 minutes of conversation before I get her to mention something about her boyfriend. Usually it was completely out of the blue, like her saying, "My boyfriend has that same shirt!" or "You studied in Italy? My boyfriend is Italian!" I either took it as an innocent, casual mention of her boyfriend or simply her way of saying "I'm not interested, I have a boyfriend." I mean don't you know those kind of people who get wrapped up in a relationship that every 10 minutes they have to say something about them?
A moment or two later, I was able to meet her very nice husband. No harm, no foul. I chatted him up a bit, and introduced both of them to my friends. I just chalked it up, and still liked the fact I met someone who liked reading my blog.
After that, I go over to the bar, near the corner by the opening and i'm about to order a drink. Out of the corner of my eye I see some guy looking at me to my right. I look once, and I don't know who it is. I wait at the bar, but again, out of the corner of my eye he keeps looking at me. It isn't a friendly look, either. It is like someone who knows me and someone who isn't very happy with me.
Finally, I turn and stare back at him. I shrug my shoulders and throw up my hands as if to say, in a non-threatening way, "What are you looking at?". I notice he is swaying a bit, like he had too much to drink, he turns away from looking at me. What-the-fuck?
I get my drink and chat with Lenny, the owner, a bit. I turn and go back to my friends by the Golden Tee machine, and the guy is looking at me again. I glance back his way and everything falls into place.
Sitting next to the drunken guy is my old roommate, Helga*.
Helga lived with me for two years and left my apartment about 3 years ago. Each roommate is different in my apartment they fall into three categories: Tolerance, Cordial or Friends. Roommates I tolerate are just there, they pay the rent and don't socialize with me at all. Cordial ones are semi-social roommates, but really not that friendly with me. Friends are one that we really click and get along, go to movies, concerts and the bars together.
Helga and I we were cordial to each other. She paid her rent on time, and mostly during her years, as my roommate, she had a boyfriend named William*. William was one of those boyfriends who was at our apartement at least every other weekend, for the whole weekend. I called him the "4th roommate". Fortunately, William was cool and we all liked him, so it wasn't a big bother. They mostly stayed inside her bedroom all weekend, anyhow.
Right before Helga moved out, 2 years ago, that she and William broke up. She bought her own apartment in Hoboken and met a new guy, Ken*. Ken and her hit it off and now they are either engaged or married, and soon to move into the suburbs in New Jersey into a new home.
So my brain is quickly adding everything up. This must be Ken, I did meet him once, long ago, but I just didn't recognize him. Why is he giving me dirty looks...?
Oh, ok, I sort of get it now. The other day, about 2 weeks ago a common friend of Helga and myself walked into the bar. We talked a bit about my PSE&G situation. He spoke to Helga and told me that she doesn't feel as if it is her problem. I was responsibile for the bills. I was responsibile for collecting from the roommates what was owed on those bills. She feels that she does not have to pay me, especially that she hasn't been in my apartment for over 3 years.
The settlement, for those keeping track at home, was $5,500 for 55 months ($100 per month), or 4.5 years from October 2005, which makes that date January 2001.The amount that Helga (and anyone who lived with me from January 2001 to October 2005) owes me, $33 a month. I believe that Helga moved out July 2002 (I have to double check that), she lived with me for 19 months, or $627 (her name was on the lease every year). I sent her an email about it 2 months ago. One to her "normal email" and another via a website she is registered. She never responded back to me.
My ex-roommate Jon, and current roommate Kristen both agreed to pay me back. I emailed Fred* at his yahoo address, but he was always broke and clearly upset with me when he left Hoboken because of his failed relationship.
So, i'm sure Ken was well aware of who I was and wasn't happy that I was in Moran's. I considered walking up and saying something to Helga, but Matt, turned to me and simply said, "It's not worth it." and Matt just shook his head and rolled his eyes as if to say, "Whatever".
I figured that a Friday night at Moran's, with a few drinks in me, wasn't the time and place to have an discussion over $627 contested dollars. I just enjoyed the rest of my night listening to Willie O'Connor play his guitar.
What would you do in my situation?