Fair Housing: Give Your Kid A Credit Check.

No, silly child art. Everyone (with excellent credit) deserves a home.

Before the days of sippy cups and aprons, I worked weekend-in-and-day-out at a luxury apartment home community. In addition to enduring rigorous training to exchange terms like “luxury apartment home community” in lieu of “property” or “regretfully decline your application” instead of “We don’t want you” I spent whole hours clicking through on-line training courses ranging from Sexual Harassment In The Workplace to the golden laws of leasing known as Fair Housing. The sexual harassment rules were mostly simple. While I didn’t see the harm in calling everyone Honey, I grasped the inappropriateness behind using sporty chest bumps and tush smacks as friendly, co-worker greetings. The Fair Housing standards were, well, fair. The purpose was to dictate what could and could not be used against an applicant in the court of The Clubhouse. All potential residents were approved or declined based upon identical rules. The good news is I could rent you an apartment because you have a spotless rental history (even if your dog is nippy and I think you’ll be the type to call me about your microwave clock being too bright at 2:30 in the morning). The bad news is I couldn’t rent you an apartment because you have horrid credit (even if you are a uber fine bachelor with brilliant John Stamos hair). The worst news is I couldn’t so much as flood conversations with the Stamos-haired stud with suggestive innuendos (ex: This gourmet kitchen is so spacious. You know what else is spacious? My bed) due to the threat of a sexual harassment suit.

NO HOME FOR YOU!

Rules. They are no fun.

After a pregnancy, a birth, and- who’d of thunk it!- a baby, I turned in my name badge, burned my pantyhose, and delved into the domestic world. I was not truly boss-less. I learned that sometimes bosses hand you projects and paychecks while others call you crying at all hours of the night and bite your nipples.There were definite perks to this new career. The formality of dress code no longer applied, and watching Oprah in the afternoon was pleasant. Oh, and the concentrated spiritual connection between mother and child was great. Loving to the moon and back and all that. But for all the sudden comforts this was a foreign workplace, and I would have to navigate without the aid of online workshops. I quickly missed the nine-to-five grind of an office, the systematic routine that blocked off work from life. I was on-call always. I diligently completed tasks just as before, but they involved less paper, less daylight. More lullabies, more spit up. And where did paid vacations go? Or pay in general?

Trying to make sense of a world without structure, I quickly resorted to employing tactics from the safer days of employment.

I fashioned a name badge out of duct tape. It read Tori, Professional Nap Administrator. I greeted the small child with a firm hand shake. He cried. Handshakes work best when hands are soft and doll-sized. I gave him the grand tour of the grounds, a detailed displaying of what our place had to offer.

Over here we have a relaxing jacuzzi tub. No sir, it’s filled with water. I’m certain it’s illegal to fill a hot tub with amniotic fluid. Anyways, I think you’ll find our state-of-the-art Fitness Facility just what you need to work up a sweat. The baby didn’t look impressed. I couldn’t tell if it was the dismal appearance of the dust-covered pile of hand weights tucked in the closet or that he had no motor skills with which to control  limbs.

We pride ourselves on creating a friendly atmosphere. Community events like play group and pacifier potluck are held regularly. And I know you’ll feel right at home in our luxurious suites. This particular home is offered furnished with discount Target crib and further discounted Wal-Mart bedding. I’m sure you’ve noticed we aim to give all residents with a Ritz Carlton experience. The small man quickly announces that he’d like a concession on rent, seeing as how he doesn’t sleep and has no use for elephant-themed bedding. I am professional, so I try to turn my audible whimper into a giggle.

I felt the thrill of having performed a solid tour. I was about to welcome the newbie into the community when I was struck by my absolute foolishness.

I’d yet to properly approve the client.

He announced that he would have two roommates, a dad and a dog. I cursed the Fair Housing rope that bound me when I discovered that the dad failed the Dishwasher Aptitude Test. The dog had few Puppy Trick Qualifiers to speak of. Equal opportunity being what it was, I approved their applications despite the fact and  told the dad to thank the Visa God he had good credit.

Housemates approved, I turned my attention to the smallest sir.

Criminal Record: Applicants with criminal records (felony or otherwise violent misdemeanor) will be automatically declined. While the kid’s long rap sheet included citations for Playing Under The Influence Of Formula, Public Intoxication (sloppy vomiting and slurred babble-speech), and Small-Manslaughter of Perfectly Innocent Diapers, I had no formal cause to decline his request for residency. The criminal justice system has yet to rightfully enforce punishment to the most dangerous of infant offenders.

Smooth criminal. Smoother bowel movements.

Rental History: Applicants with unpaid debts to previous landlords will automatically be declined. I asked my womb a series of questions regarding the tenant’s stay there. Turns out the boy thumped on uterine walls at all hours of the night, clogged up the plumbing, and had the audacity to vacate the premises before daybreak, leaving a total mess behind. Unfortunately my vagina can’t sue for damages.

Proof of Employment: Applicants without documented & current income will most likely be declined... because in my case, your home is my business. I asked the prospective client to supply proof that he wasn’t a freeloader. After all, I would need to know where his rent money would come from every month. He spat a half-chewed gob of banana into my palm and cooed.

A freeloader.

A clean shirt killer.

A midnight mover.

The decision then was simple…

You’re definitely going to need a co-signer. Could you call your mom?

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73 thoughts on “Fair Housing: Give Your Kid A Credit Check.

    • Ewww, you are brilliant. A little case action lawsuit could go a long way. I suppose we’d have to wait until the kids are teens, though, and even then we’d only get a portion of the profit from their after school jobs :(

    • Haha! That is a true mom mentality. I find myself saying “Oh, I miss when you were this tiny newborn…. except I don’t. at all. ever.”. It’s kind of like labor. You forget how bad it is until you’re stuck in stirrups and it’s too late :)

  1. This was hilarious! I love “Professional Nap Administrator”. I have to rework my resume now…hmm. I figure in my nine years as a professional mom, I’ve changed about 5,000 diapers, breastfed 1,000 hours, been thrown up on, spit up on, boogie-wiped on a few billion times and lost around three solid years worth of sleep.

  2. But you should be fired from your job, because at some point, you obviously sexually harassed the elder male tenant. (Yeah, I know, it ain’t harassment if you BOTH agree to it!) Or was it more the other way around? ;)
    However, I WILL be kind, and fail to point out that you engaged in “lady bits” talk without a proper “Vag Talk Ahead” warning sign……..

    • JOHN! My computer crashed a week ago and I can’t find the warning signs you sent! I really did look for them ( for a good laugh if nothing else)! Can you resend? I might have to dedicate a whole blog post to your creative works :)

      • Oh rats! I just got a new computer running as well, lost all my Email stuff like that in the laptop crash. (Literally – my fat cat knocked the laptop off the bed.) I’ll have to re-do my search, find those (or better) ones, and get back to you. Sorry! :(

    • It looks so sweet doesn’t it? Well, it wasn’t. The child found it HILARIOUS to smear yellow icing all over my face. I’m pretty sure that picture caught the aftermath as he scooped icing from my hair and ate it :)

    • I’m thinking I might create a new name badge with glitter and maybe bubble letters. I think it’s important for me to show clients (or toddlers) that I have a playful side…. you know, when I’m not laying a nap smackdown or using my mean mom voice :)

    • Ryan, I think I should create a serious tab on my page so said lawyers will know I’m not kidding. I will be, kidding and all that, but I think I could get a few laughs and blog posts out of corresponding with the “concerned law professionals at Crotch, Cootch & WhoHa”

    • Boss of Everything. Looks good on ya! I’m thinking I need to upgrade my boring, old duct tape badge. I’ve always been a little jealous of the girls at the supermarket who bedazzle their badges and take creative liberties like spelling “Tracy” “*Teraysee*” :)

  3. I agree with Deborah. The last picture is priceless. But can’t forget the laughs either.

    This is a good piece of work — the writing, and the humour in humdrum, Tori. Your baby’s housing is in great hands.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Priya! I love that picture. I mostly appreciate the irony in it. It looks so sweet when, in fact, the child was smacking my face and smearing yellow icing all over me!

  4. Hey Tori,

    Have your heard about the WP WordCamps? They seem to be mini blogging conferences held at locations all over the globe. However, there is one in Louiville, KY on October 1st. It’s a day-long event. I’d like to attend, but thought it might be fun to meet another blogger I know there, especially since WP Daily Post sent out the email linking to my post about meeting other bloggers–Emily and Lisa. Maybe that’s becoming my niche–ha, ha.

    (Sara said that Louiville would be a 5 hour drive from Memphis.)

    At any rate, I wondered if there would be any chance you’d like to attend. You could even come to Lexington the night before and spend the night and we could ride up together in the morning. It starts at 8:30 am. Louiville is an hour and a half from Lexington. It would also be a decent drive from Nashville, if you wanted to come directly from there.

    Couldn’t find your email address for some reason or I would have contacted you that way.

    The link is:

    http://2011.louisville.wordcamp.org/

    You can email me at kownroom@yahoo.com. I’d also love to hear from any other bloggers who would like to attend, if you are out there.

    Kathy

    • Kathy,
      Your message made me so excited! I started packing and gassed up the car. Then Tom told me he has a golf tournament out of town that weekend, wrecking my world with his day hobby :( Boo. I might just have to plan a trip to see you ladies without the WP camp!

  5. Awesome post! I laughed until I almost peed (and then reminisced fondly about the time when my bladder had never had two sets of feet pounding it and I didn’t have to cross my legs to sneeze). Thanks for the chuckles!

    • Desi, I can’t really say “until I peed” anymore. After the kid it doesn’t take much. I can just about think of laughing/sneezing/jumping/ coughing and it’s enough for me to grab a jumbo diaper :)

  6. Oh babies…my husband is ansty in the pantsy for a baby. Every other day he’s like ‘do you feel pregnant?’ He is also slightly OCD and very AADD and is grossed out by just about everything related to bodily functions. I cannot wait until his first time changing a baby. I’m going to have a camera ready just to capture the look on his face when he opens the diaper and – TADA! Poop!

  7. Ahh, love this :) I am not a mom, yet… but this makes me realize how many writing opportunities will come from it! :)

    Love the brilliant way this is written with all the parallels :)

    XOXO.

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