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Dear landlords, don't ask these awkward questions to single women

Looking for a place to stay in a new city is a pain for every young (single) woman. Not only is the city unfamiliar territory, the landlords pose awkward personal questions and make it all the more difficult to find shelter.

sex and relationships Updated: Jul 15, 2015 03:28 IST
Priyanka Sahoo
Priyanka Sahoo
Hindustan Times
Things landlords say,Landlords,Single women in new city
Looking for a flat is a tough task for single working women as they have to tackle awkward personal questions that house owners ask. (Shutterstock)

Dear landlord(s),

I (a single working woman in a big city) have seen many of you in the past couple of months but it never worked out between us.

Let me tell you why.

First things first, I think the term 'landlord' is very passé. Lordship left our country with the British Empire. So, let's settle for house owners, which is what you are.

Yes, I am a single woman living away from family and working odd hours. Does that give you a reason to judge me? You own the flat, not my life! *rolls eyes*

I know you are not even aware that you are reinforcing gender identities defined for women. So here's a reality check.

When you asked me those awkward questions, ever so casually, about my working hours, my drinking and smoking habits and more, here's what I wanted to tell you.

*Do you have a boyfriend?

Yes. No. May be! May be I have a girlfriend! How does it matter? I fail to understand how my relationship status is relevant to our situation here.

* Do you drink or smoke? I don't mind an occasional glass of wine or may be a drink or two at a party (Yes, I love parties. Judge me all you want!)

* Do you work in night shifts?! I was almost touched by the fact that you cared about my safety. But then you dropped the bomb -- you wouldn't rent your house to us night shifters. Reason- "Your safety will be too much of a concern for us."

* Will you be having guys over, often?
Hey! I am offended. What do you mean by GUYS (plural)? And anyway what is wrong with a few male friends visiting me occasionally? It doesn't really mean I am 'doing it' with everyone, just so you know.

* Do you play loud music?

Well, we have rock concerts at home every night. You can come enjoy sometimes.

* Do you eat meat? That's not allowed here, we are pure vegetarians. me now.gif
I do. So? Do I come across as a non-vegetarian-food-evangelist? Rest assured, I won't force-feed you that juicy chicken tikka or spike your food with fish pickle. *evil grin*

* What is your religion?
Errm.. I don't know! Humanity?

* How old is your brother?
*Impressed* You sly fox! You just want to make sure that I don't sneak a guy into the house and call him my brother.

* We don't rent our house to journalists and lawyers? me.gif
Too risky for you? Guess what! Both these professions are risky and we take pride in our profession.

* You have to be at your best behavior. This establishment houses decent people, and there are families here.

Okay boss! I am totally confused about what best behaviour is. And this is all too much for me. I'm outta here.

Okay enough said. My point is, as long as I keep the house clean and my rent is not over-due, why should you bother about my personal life?

I am ready to make a few compromises, just to please you. In return, couldn't you be nice and just respect my privacy? you.gif

The author tweets as @priyankaa_sahoo

First Published: Jul 14, 2015 08:37 IST