On Top of California

On Top of California
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Monday, February 22, 2016

Aging around ageism in South Lake Tahoe

(Wow, this ends up somewhere completely different from where I started)

(UPDATE April: I finally got an apartment here by saving up three thousand dollars and going to one of the many places that would rent to me as long as I paid three times my rent to move in. Note: My lease does not even show half the money I paid to move in, I know I just ... threw it into the mix so I could get a decent roof over my head, oh well, that's life in Third World America, at least I live in one of the best towns there are to live in 2016, that is for sure) 

I'm beginning to think I'm experiencing Ageism in South Lake Tahoe, trying to find an apartment here. 
First time it happened was first apartment I looked at when I arrived here in early March 2015.  It was one of the many hotels reconfigured into monthly rentals.  The guy advertised on Craigslist and I'd been communicating with him by email and phone for a couple months before moving here as that's what I do. Try to line things up in advance so I have four or five to look at when I get to a new city.

So I knew he was expecting openings that Monday, I showed up that Monday.  I admit I was a bit of a mess having been packing for the past month and then driving all night up the 395 with a ten foot U-Haul truck in which I also slept. I was now driving the U-Haul around town with me from apartment to real estate firm to the lake now and then to coast then back to my hotel to work and my job was unusually busy that week so I had gotten maybe ten hours sleep over several days. . .
I did not look good, I admit, in fact I think when I went to Monthly Rental near Stateline #1, I was bedraggled, but I'm still me.
And I was then, one year ago, 66 years old.
He took one look at me and said, "No there's no apartments open, nothing coming available."
I didn't introduce myself at first, he just said that as soon as I opened my mouth, so I left.
Then not twenty minutes later my cell phone rings it's the same manager of Monthly Rental Near Stateline #1, he's excited in my ear, "I have an opening, a studio is available."
I said, "But I was just there 20 minutes ago and you said there was nothing."
He goes, hum, huh, hah, stammers
I think it's because I'm old. 
I think landlords look at me, healthier than most 67 year olds but still getting up there, they can tell I don't have any nearby relatives because I do not have that tended look of an aging person with family.  First thing landlords think is, oh my god, she's going to die in the apartment and then I'll have that mess to clean up.
And it's true. My daughter Lizzie would probably not travel here to pick up my boxes, as she won't even come to pick up her own boxes now. . .
She won't even call on Mother's Day.
So I'm trying to be grateful for the dirty rundown slum where I live because as long as I come inside and close my door and avoid everything right outside my door mostly my neighbors, I'm fine.
That sounds like I'm a snob. But most residents of this Inn are drunk and apparently stoned on stronger illegal substances most of the time, I don't want them to get too entangled in my life.
I'm not going to move to yet another city, no please don't tell me I have to leave Tahoe to get a decent apartment. I don't want to leave the mountain as I'm convinced that in next few years of global warming and unrest in the cities below, I'm safer here.  I keep being tempted by Reno, where it's easy to find an apartment but it's the opposite of Lake Tahoe in terms of environmental collapse and crime.

But now it's happened again in February 2016, where the manager of an apartment took my application and said, great, we'll call you, and now for past week and a half not only has he not called, but every time I call, I go to voicemail where I leave a message that is not returned.
In the case of the more recent apartment, he could have Googled my name and found this blog or someone in the management corporate office saw the blog and said, no way Jose, not having that Catholic basher in our apartments.
Or I could have looked too old for him to rent to me, as after walking a mile to get there that day, I was leaning on my cane.  

I don't even bash the religion, I even tried yesterday to go to a Mass at a Catholic Church here, and felt more regret that it doesn't work for me than anger or a need to bash.
I write about the whole misuse of Justice done by the corporate lawyers hired by the church and working closely with Bishops to mess with the pedophile priest victims. I'm sure most people who are Catholic don't even realize what they did. 
Another apartment I applied for is run by the Sisters of Mercy, a group of nuns who work for better housing for low income people and seniors, so I am ideal for their apartments, but that manager too, was friendly to me in our first encounters, then started letting my calls go to voicemails that are never returned.
It could be my blog, it could be they only want people with Fixed Incomes and I still work. 
I just know that in the Sisters of Mercy case, a friend who is a resident there told me they've had "lots of turnover" there in past few months, still no one returns phone calls from City of Angels Lady . , , 
It could be that Tahoe is just so overly tilted towards the needs of rich people that they do subtle little things to keep the rest of us feeling shunted.
It could be Tahoe doesn't want any more sick old ladies showing up and
Dying in their apartments leaving the managers to pick through your stuff for something, anything, worth reselling.
I will fill at least one whole dumpster if I die any time soon, and no one is around to clean up after me.  Dang Lizzie.

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