Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Adventures in Apartment Hunting. Be Jealous.

I keep starting and re-starting this post.

I haven't posted much this summer - completely unintentionally and probably for the best, since I'm not sure I'd be able to express myself clearly in words. I think once you don't blog for a while, you sort of forget how to blog. I start to think that I should only post when I have something really profound and useful to say. My ability to write gets rusty and I am disappointed with attempts. So I'm going to just jump in and ignore myself.

My life in June has been consumed with trying to find a perfect little apartment (or condo or townhouse or duplex) to move in, oh, a week and a half. The stakes are higher now because we'll be raising our little baby there. This will be our fourth address since getting married, and certain things matter now more than they did during past apartment hunts. (Though we are by no means moving a house in the suburbs to raise our little bean. We refuse to completely compromise!)

Apartment hunting has been both depressing and disappointing, and incredibly entertaining. For some reason, landlords latch on to the idea of Mike and I being their tenets and are overly pushy about getting us to rent their place. I don't know if it's because we're young and married, or if they think it's cute we're expecting, or if they're just eager to rent to people who seem normal - but we too often seem to fall into situations where a landlord has cornered us with puppy dog eyes and pleas of, "We'd really like to have you as tenets...". Last week, a couple called us 15 minutes after viewing their apartment to offer us their COMPUTER (an old, crappy desktop, I'm sure) and internet connection to entice us into signing a lease. We always leave with the empty promises to be in touch if we're interested.

It's partially our fault, too, since we both seem to get far too emotionally invested in these random landlords' lives. We talk fondly of how we'd like to rent from Veggie Bob - the older gentleman whose wife died of cancer and remarried another woman who was also widowed by her husband dying of cancer. They are both vegetarians at, like, seventy years old. Too bad his duplex smelled like mold. There is the nice lawyer lady renting the bottom of her duplex and the fireman who has an adorably tiny apartment over his garage. I find myself forgetting important details about what the carpet was like, or how big the closets were, but remembering, "Oh! That was the house where the landlord's boyfriend own a taxi company." and "That landlord couple makes wine in their basement!" Helpful, right?

Not all places were difficult to turn down, though. One landlord assured us that he didn't "rent to ghetto hood rats." I'm sorry, what? Did you just call a person a RAT? Wow. I wish he knew what a terrible impression that made on us. Another house had a property manager showing the place. When I mentioned the smoke smell, he raised his eyebrows and cocked his neck with all the attitude he could muster, "Honestly? I don't smell it." (Mike assured me it wasn't just Pregnancy Nose.) We wandered down into the basement to check out the washer and dryer, and while down there - a bit of a tiff ensued upstairs. The property manager and the owner's father (the owner lives in Texas) snapped back and forth at each other about the carpet as Mike and I stood in the shadows of the basement, listening to them argue. SO AWKWARD. Needless to say, we were out of there quickly.

Happily, though, we've settled on apartment in a small high-rise in a cute, funky little area. It will take us three minutes to walk to a coffee shop, movie theater, library, and several restaurants - including an ice cream shop! The decision making was an excruciating process fraught with doubt, spreadsheets, and cries of exasperation. (And, okay, maybe a Magic Eight Ball and list randomizer.)  Why is decision making so difficult? Or maybe we're just bad at it. Just be glad I didn't blog during the process. It would have been something along the lines of: "WHY, GOD, WHY? Blerg. Someone decide for me, please. No, seriously. I'll bake you cupcakes, JUST TEL ME WHAT TO DO."

In other exciting news (I know! The excitement never stops around here!), we haven't even STARTED packing - just typing that makes me break out in hives. I am usually the more anxious one, starting to pack two months in advance. Not this time. Stand by for my inevitable spiral into insanity by the end of the month. Happily, I only work from 9-2 during the summer...and only two days a week. Lots of time for packing awaits.

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