I'll be chronicling my new life as I go through the divorce process and I hope you'll follow my journey. If you're looking for me to bash my ex, that won't happen. But if you're looking for a woman and mom excited for a new life, if you find it interesting to read about the roller coaster of emotions and all of the things that come with starting over... then join me here.
I am a professional.
I am a business owner.
I am a mother.
I do not have a husband.
Therefore should it be assumed that I must not be able to pay bills?
Should it be assumed that I must not be able to afford to pay rent?
Should it be assumed that I must not have good credit?
Those were the assumptions made by a real estate broker who refused to give me an application for a rental apartment based on the little information he had about me.
I am college educated.
I have worked as a journalist, television producer and executive for the past 15 years.
I was lucky enough to be raised in an upper class home.
But all he saw or heard was that I am a single mom.
I now know what it feels like to be the victim of discrimination.
I have been judged often in life. As the child of a parent in the spotlight it is an uncomfortable territory one is born into.
I learned early that I was determined to pave my own way. I was determined to work hard and succeed on my own; standing up for myself when I was the recipient of ignorant comments like, "Oh, your dad got you the job."
My hard work and dedication quickly earned me respect and a reputation that no one can ever question. That, I'm sure of.
I have been judged as a workaholic mom.
I have been judged for choosing to get out of an unhappy marriage.
I have been judged for letting my son get cornrows.
I have been judged for writing these pieces.
None of that has ever stopped me from continuing to be me.
Therefore, nothing could have prepared me for the day I would be denied a rental apartment application in New York City because I am a mom without a spouse. An independent mom. A single mom. A mom on her own.
I was asked questions like, "How will you pay", "I don't understand, you have a business that pays you?" "How?" "Your company has a payroll?" "I responded with solid affirmations and even offered to pay six months up front using my hard earned money from my "real company" that does pay me. Isn't that what an application and credit check is for? "Oh that's right....You won't give me one."
Days later I proudly filled out an application for a different apartment. I will now continue my journey in an apartment where I am welcome. I will pay my bills on time to continue my good credit.
I'm thankful for my go-to-guy Mitch at Chase who promptly faxed everything needed. I'm glad I was smart enough to have chosen a husband who would be reliable as an ex to fulfill our child support agreement. And I am grateful I have a father able and willing to serve as a guarantor (but can't wait for the day when I don't need it - but since I choose to live in NYC it's not now).
I will probably continue to be judged for choices I make in my life. I can handle that. I hope I will never again be the recipient of erroneous assumptions made by ignorant people with power. I'm not sure I can handle that again.
I know that others with fewer options and those less fortune are often judged or denied in this way. It is despicable and hopefully these discriminatory practices are lessening; for now, despite the inappropriateness of one ignorant real estate broker, I am a proud independent un-married hard working, business owner mom just approved for a NYC rental apartment.