Bad Landlords: ‘We Were Dolls in Her Dollhouse’

Trembicky has a very very bad landlord story that sounds like a prelude to a chainsaw massacre.

“…Her ‘grandmotherly’ attitude wasn’t niceness, it was pathological
we were the dolls in the ‘doll house’…”

“I locked the door behind her and told her I was going to bed and she needed to go home. She banged and yelled for a bit, and I walked into the kitchen just as she literally vaulted herself through the window…”

Our thrilling tale continues after the jump…

I’ve lived in a lot of rentals, and I’ve had some pretty rotten landlords along the way. I could talk about leaks, drunken handymen, electrical fires, and garbage all day long, but I didn’t have any of these problems with the worst of all of them. My worst experience ever was with a gal named Georgia Anshus. She was a retired schoolteacher and seemed nice enough, and she was willing to rent me a room in a pretty decent house. There were two other rooms rented out, which meant I didn’t have to look for roommates or be responsible for deadbeats. Best of all, she seemed to care about the house
she called it her “doll’s house”* and everything was neat and up to date.

Unfortunately, the “sweet old lady” had a dark side. For starters, her ‘grandmotherly’ attitude wasn’t niceness, it was pathological
we were the dolls in the ‘doll house.’ Shortly after I moved in, she began to make weekly visits, even though she lived almost eighty miles away. Whenever she came, she’d bring a little “gift”
for example, a dirty old footstool held together with duct tape that she expected us to keep in the living room. Once, she brought a pair of ceiling fans, and a ladder- for me to use to install them. I also glazed windows and loaded a truck with a previous tenant’s junk because she had a ‘bad back.’

The home improvements were an annoyance, but worse were her surprise visits to inspect them. When she discovered one day that we’d removed the leather belts she’d added to our living room curtains (!), she went nuts. She calmed down when we promised to put them back, and all seemed well.

After that, things got really strange. She would call the house while we were doing laundry and demand we close the garage door, or she’d complain that the drapes were open, or that we hadn’t watered the lawn long enough. After we had guests, she came by to holler at us
and to tell us we needed permission to have company! Turns out she recruited another old lady who lived across the street to spy on us
and spy she did, ratting us out for every little thing.

The shit really hit the fan when I committed the unforgivable sin
I had a cup of coffee with my neighbor, who had committed a grievous crimes against her when he parked his pickup overnight in the driveway while the house was unoccupied. This criminal act on my part necessitated a special trip to come out and yell at me
I was never, ever to speak to this man, on pain of eviction. This was included in a bizarre set of rules she posted in the garage. After that, we decided to pretty much ignore her. We stopped answering her calls, so she started turning up almost daily
and when she turned up, she wouldn’t leave. She wasn’t nice, but she wanted to socialize after she yelled at us.

After one particularly ridiculous tantrums (I trimmed the rosebushes wrong), I just couldn’t take any more. I asked her to leave. She just kept on puttering around the house, criticizing this and that, rearranging the furniture, etc. When she decided to take my broom outside, I locked the door behind her and told her I was going to bed and she needed to go home. She banged and yelled for a bit, and I walked into the kitchen just as she literally vaulted herself through the window. (A previous victim, the same gal whose ‘junk’ I’d moved, related to me that the ‘old lady’ had thrown her against a wall!)

At that point, I’d had it, and called the police to run her off. At this point, I was at my wits’ end and I decided to relocate. I gave her thirty days’ notice; my roommates simply left.

About two days later, I was heading for the bathtub, and being alone, I had nothing on. I got about halfway there when the front door opened, and in strolled a man with a duffel bag and a toolbox
my new roommate, who she’d found at a homeless shelter. Long story short, she’d promised him free rent to do repairs around the house, and without bothering to mention it to me, gave the man a key. It took my crazy new roommate about five minutes to go from “nice to meet you” to “I’ll f***king kill you.” Needless to say, I left that night.

She sued me, too, for the entire month’s rent, including that of the roommates she’d selected.

*This is where it gets really weird. She called it the doll’s house, she told me, because she’d found a doll collection in the attic. When I met my husband years later, I discovered his granddad had built the house and raised his mother in it. The first thing she asked me when she found out I’d lived there was whether or not I’d seen a box of dolls in the attic.

Who knows what would’ve happenned had she stayed. Something very bad and involving music boxes being played too slow……


Edit Your Comment

  1. mrscolex says:

    as if right on cue, fark head an article yesterday about landlords getting lawyers to sue bloggers who defame them:


  2. OkiMike says:

    This story is fantastic. This would make a great movie!

  3. B. Dailey says:

    Holy snot. This tops everything I’ve seen here so far.

  4. Mr. Moto says:

    Riighht…. Her future husband’s grandfather built the house and his mother was raised in the house. What town was this Mayberry? What are there about 4 houses in that town?

  5. Major-General says:

    @Mr. Moto:

    Hey, stranger things have happened. My father’s second wife spent her summers in the town he grew up in, both of them going daily down to the swimming hole (ok, this was in Missouri). They hadn’t realized this until shortly before her death.

  6. Jennifer Emick says:

    It’s true, and most of it’s a matter of public record. It was at one point a “Mayberry” sized town, and this was just one of a string of strange coincidences involving my husband.