YP vs. MP - Live Like a Mensch
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YP vs. MP


My first apartment after I graduated college was a townhouse in Westerville, Ohio. I moved in with the guy who had originally rented the apartment, and had recently lost his roommate to a move across town. I only lived in that apartment for about six months, and my roommate and I generally got along pretty well, considering that we found each other through whatever the 2001 equivalent of a Craig's List ad was.

The only negative aspect of moving in had to do with the former roommate. (After all this time, I can neither remember the name of my roommate, nor the name of the roommate before me. So, for the sake of clarity, let's call my roommate Bingo and the former roommate Lassie. No, they weren't canines.)

Anyway, I had just barely gotten my (very little) furniture moved into the room I was renting when Lassie called me up. She wanted me to give her $300 as my deposit for the apartment.

As I recall, her argument went something like this: she'd paid half of the $600 deposit when she and Bingo had moved in. Since she'd just moved out, she was owed the deposit. As Bingo wasn't leaving the apartment, the apartment managers weren't going to pay her the deposit back, but I should. I would get her $300 when I moved out.

I need to point out that I was a bit lacking in self-confidence in some ways as a 22-year-old. I didn't want to make anyone angry, nor did I necessarily feel sure of my sense of right and wrong in the post-college/post-childhood world. If someone authoritative told me I should do something, it would have to really go against my sense of justice or rightness for me to contradict.

So Lassie's proposal caught me a little flat footed. She sounded pretty authoritative. Bingo refused to weigh in on the relative correctness of what she was asking, despite my hope that he would be able to tell me if this was standard procedure. I fretted for a couple of days about it before I called Lassie back.

Ultimately, I looked at my checking account, which had pocket lint in it, and I told Lassie that the deposit issue was a YP (your problem) rather than an MP (my problem).

I got the distinct impression that Lassie didn't expect me to reach that level of decisiveness. She sighed heavily when I told her "No way, Jose," and again tried to argue her case. I was adamant. There was no blood to be found in this particular turnip, even if I had felt like I owed her money--which I didn't, after I took a hard look at my own finances.

Strange how having no money can really help you grow a backbone.



frugal_fun said:

That's too funny. I could see the ex-roommate asking that as a sort of what the heck question, but I fail to see how she thought she had any leverage if she left before the lease was up. People. Strange creatures. :)

December 9, 2012 10:22 PM

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