“Extemporaneous – to get along in a makeshift manner.” Merriam Webster- Word of the Day September 2, 2019.
Wow, so what happened to moving day? Well, let me tell you. I was so proud of myself because I pulled up my boot straps and started to work fast and furiously to accomplish the millions of things one has to do to complete a move from one place to another, which is made even more difficult when you are moving with a son and an ex (my was-band, only here for awhile) and three pets, all of which do little or nothing to help with the move. I hired professional cleaners to do a deep clean, all the moving boxes arrived on time, along with the supplies, paper, magic markers, spools of tape, and bubble wrap. I changed TV and Computer Wi-Fi. Contacted the gas and electricity to be started on my moving day. I hired a maintenance man … (the cute, nice, one) to take down my tons of paintings and mirrors and TV off of the walls and to patch the holes left by the nails and hardware for hanging heavy objects. I reserved the elevator for the move 8 A.M. for Saturday. The mover came to give me an estimate. We worked out the moving plan. He told me that his employees could pack anything that I had missed the day before the day of the movie. I WAS READY!!!
THERE WAS ONLY ONE MORE THING TO DO BEFORE THE MOVE. I had only seen the apartment in photos and the plan of the apartment on my computer. I thought I should see it in person. So my son and I happily drove to our new residence on a bright, warm, sunny, Wednesday morning to drive to the other side of our fair city to check out the neighborhood as well as our new home. We noticed that there weren’t many stores in the area. At a stoplight a homeless man standing right next to the car started screaming and swearing at me walking ominously, right next to my window yelling profanities when I motioned to him that I didn’t have any money with me. I didn’t have a penny, only credit cards.He was frightening. I told my son that I had hoped this was not a premonition of things to come. We laughed, how people laugh in movies just before something terrible is about to happen.
As we entered our complex, flowers were blooming and the fountain was tossing small beads of water as I walked into the grand hall, with a 30 ft. ceiling towering above three modern desks sitting in a row in front of a lovely modern sitting room with a huge television that was set on to the Weather Channel. I felt cheerful and relieved at the cool, pretty leasing office and sitting room. A smiley young woman was sitting at the first desk. I introduced myself and mentioned that I had signed a lease for apartment number 1717. (BTW, I took the number of the apartment as a good omen.) I asked if she could show me my apartment so that I could have an idea where to place my furniture ahead of the move. I noticed that she had an odd sort of foreboding look on her face and I felt slightly uncomfortable. She said to follow her. I was surprised when my son and I drove through the iron gates and she stopped. I called out to her that we would follow her. She said just park where she was standing, which was about four feet from the complexes’ locked gates.
We walked directly across the street, walked up two stairs to a dirty, dark hallway with dead leaves flying in the breeze. Around the dark hallway were two doors. Our apartment was the first door on the right. I noted right away that this corner would be a perfect spot for an unwelcome intruder to hide as a surprise to the renter (me) who would have her keys out and ready to open the door when returning home at night. The door itself was dirty with three locks that looked as it they had been opened with a crowbar sometime in the past. I held my breath when the leasing agent opened the door. As I entered and looked around my eyes adjusted to the dim light that entered through the smallish window in the living room. I literally fell back a step or two as if someone had pushed me. The kitchen was tiny, painted a dark grey just big enough for one person. Under my feet was a plastic sheet of flooring that was supposed to resemble a wooden floor. It was easy to see that it wasn’t wood because there was a bubble that went across the floor announcing the fact that the floor was indeed plastic not wood. The dining room was seven inches from the tiny kitchen. On the right was a mirror that reflected a built in desk on the left supposedly for the lady of the house to use as a working desk. The wood on the bottom of the desk was scuffed obviously the painters had missed it. There were pillars separating the dining room from the living area, on either side of the dining room that managed to look ridiculous in such a small space. (Nothing resembled the photos I had viewed on-line) The living room was a small square box. I walked into the little hallway where I saw two broken doors that I pulled open to view an empty closet where a washer and dryer were supposed to be. The agent said that I had to rent them for only $35 dollars a month. On the right was a hose covered in dirt and mold? Perhaps?
Next, I glanced at the two tiny bathrooms. One had a tub the size that would have been perfect for a child of six or seven. Two small square bedrooms were located on either side of the hallway each containing one window and one closet. The only way to separate the master bedroom from the second bedroom was the fact that the master had a small walk-in closet, while the second bedroom had a small closet with a sliding door.
The straw that broke this camel’s back was the small balcony or porch? This space was the size of a medium couch. The balcony looked out on two sets of iron gates. If you sat in a small chair at night with your glass of wine on this balcony every single car that would drive in or out of the complex opening and shutting the larger iron gate to come and go would see the person sitting with her wine glass in her hand and if they were friendly folks they could wave hello and goodbye every night.
To make a long story longer, I told the nice lady-leasing agent that I could not live in her complex. Funny, she didn’t even try to talk me out of my decision. She let me out of the lease immediately.
Interestingly enough my building took me back with open arms. My blood pressure returned to normal. My heart palpitations disappeared. My rent in my present luxury apartment is not that much more then the one I was going to move to, to save money. I decided that my son and I would just have to work harder to add to our income. Sometimes it’s worth it to come home to comfort and a little bit of luxury.
What have I learned from this sad saga? DO NOT MOVE INTO A HOME OR TO AN APARTMENT THAT YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IN PERSON, FIRST!
UNTIL NEXT WEEK…