Proverbs 21:19 says, “It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.” Likewise, Proverbs 27:15 states, “A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.” I’ve met a fair number of women who fit this description, one of whom was my landlady for six frustrating months.
Back in 1972, I attended a public school in Edmonton that had counselors who helped sight-impaired students with reading assignments and tests. Since my parents lived twenty miles away, Mom rented a room for me. The landlady immediately developed a fixation about my activities. I frequently caught her in the act of tidying up my room and she often entered without knocking. I once saw her peering at me through my window one evening.
Because nobody had explained to me that this sort of harassment was illegal, I didn’t know how to handle it. On a certain Saturday afternoon in November, I felt I might say something I’d regret later if I didn’t leave at once. “I’m going to take a walk,” I announced as I put on my jacket. She continued wiping the kitchen counter as I closed the door behind me.
As I roamed the neighbourhood streets and seethed, I grew cold. Snowflakes tickled my nose as the wind howled in my face. “Lord Jesus,” I prayed as I shivered, “Please make her leave my room when I get back. She’s always barging in on me. In your name I pray this, Jesus, amen.”
When I entered my room, she was still cleaning. “Did you have a nice walk?” she asked as I took my jacket off and hung it in the wardrobe. “Yes,” I lied. It was all I could do to restrain myself from telling her where she could go. That woman continually complained about how messy I left my place and how noisy I was. The truth was that she and her boyfriend regularly argued late at night. I wasn’t as tidy as I should have been but that landlady couldn’t respect my space.
A sympathetic teacher told me about the Landlord Tenant Act a few months later when I poured out my troubles to him. According to the law, landlords and landladies had to give twenty-four hours notice before coming into my rented room.
I mentioned this situation in my new book, How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Read more about it at the Virtual Bookworm site. My previous books can be found at the Bruce Atchison’s books link.