Thinking back, the potential landlady jerked me around the first time I interacted with her, too, so I shouldn't have been as surprised as I was on Monday night.
When I first noticed the ad for the house, I called to say I was interested in renting. She asked that I drive by and take a look to see what I thought. I did, and thought it was great! I called back right away to tell her that and to schedule an appointment to see the inside... and she said that she hadn't known how to tell me during the first conversation, but at that time she was already checking references on someone she planned to rent to.
Why did she have me waste my time following up on it and driving by if she was already planning on renting it? Not a nice thing to do.
So then a week later she called back and said the other renter had fallen through, and was I still interested ... and that's where this tale ends, and the other one begins. (I wonder what his story was, and if it was any nicer than mine.)