Moving sucks. We’ve all done it and I don’t know anyone who enjoys the process. I’ve been moving for nearly a month and I’m finally almost done. I suppose, really, I’ve been moving for even longer. I started packing things I knew I wouldn’t need before I’d even found a new apartment. We officially moved in ten days ago when we moved our furniture. But, I’d been moving boxes for several days before that. I’ve been unpacking, organizing, and downsizing ever since. I even had to take a week off of work so that I could organize what used to fill a townhouse into a much smaller flat.
It has been stressful, but it is a relief to look around now and see paintings hanging on my walls. It’s comforting to walk into my kitchen and see my Irish Blessing plaque hanging on the refrigerator. It brings me joy to walk into my spare room and see my books on my bookshelf. I love that my desk sits in front of a window so that I can daydream if need be while I’m writing or editing. Now, I just need to go buy a chair so that I can actually sit at my desk. I used to use an exercise ball as a chair, but my cat has punctured two of them. I don’t think that the third time will be the charm to break her habit.
We left a horrible, awful place and we are so glad to be out of there. No longer are we awakened by screaming guitars, out of sync keyboards, beating drums, and wretchedly off-key vocals in the middle of the night. Never again will we be roused at four in the morning by squealing laughter before the neighbor’s girlfriend starts shrieking, “I want another shot! Give me another shot!” No more will we be awoken at seven AM by stereo bass from downstairs shaking our bed while he tries—and fails—to sing along with Gin and Juice. I mean, come on! That album is almost as old as he is and he can’t sing one of Snoop’s most popular songs? I haven’t owned that CD in at least ten years and I still know the lyrics better than that fool.
It is wonderful to not wake up every day feeling the effects of the moldy walls on my allergies. And did I mention that we now have smoke alarms? Woot woot! We had one smoke alarm in our last apartment. It was at eye-level on an exposed stud in the basement—right next to the furnace—and had been affixed in such a way that the long-dead battery could not be changed. Lovely, right? I had to go out and buy some smoke alarms and put them on top of very tall things like my bookshelf and the fridge. My own brother is a fire marshal and I had no smoke alarms in my nightmare apartment. Goodness… Of course, the owner did nothing about it when we told him and you can bet your ass I wasn’t going to leave stuff I paid for in the crap hole.
He also did nothing about the noise, the mold, the leaking bedroom ceiling, the filthy air vents that smelled like an ashtray, the fact that there was one single light bulb in the entire apartment when we moved in and our lease stipulated that all lightbulbs had to work when we moved out, or the fact that our windows were covered with trash bags when we moved in even though our lease also stated that window coverings were included with the apartment. Yeah, um…we didn’t think that trash bags constituted proper window coverings. So, we went out, bought blinds, and hung them ourselves. When it came time to pay rent, my husband gave him the receipt for our blinds and the amount we owed for rent, minus what we’d paid for the new blinds and cleaning supplies.
Because, you see, the last tenant moved out three days late and the apartment never got cleaned. In fact, she even left her rotting food in the fridge and her cat’s litter box under the bathroom sink. Well, the whole under the sink area was full of litter, but there was also a litter box sitting in the middle of it. And I had to clean that shit. While working full time, trying to visit my grandparents in separate nursing homes every day, clearing the rest of my stuff out of their house, and unpacking into my new apartment, I also had to clean that pig sty from top to bottom. It was a huge pain in the ass.
But my new apartment was cleaned beautifully before we moved in. The carpets are brand new—not “only three months old” but never before been vacuumed like the last place. The counters are nice and don’t have a huge burn mark next to the stove. The refrigerator doesn’t freeze my lettuce in the crisper while the ice melts in the freezer. The dishwasher actually cleans my dishes instead of making them dirtier! The walls are nice and thick so that when the neighbors are being loud, we can barely hear them. Instead of hearing my old upstairs neighbor’s phone vibrating on a table, followed by every word of his conversation, I can hardly even hear it when my new upstairs neighbors are walking around.
We’ve only been here two weeks and I already love it. Two pools, fitness center, sauna, hot tub, gated community with security patrol, covered parking, recycling, private patio, 24-hour maintenance, and on-site management sure as hell beats a concreted-over pool which gets used as a shared community patio, zero maintenance, no management, free-for-all parking with not enough spaces for the number of apartments, and cars getting broken into/stolen. When I told our new complex that a rogue tree was growing in our patio, they had someone out here to fix it that day. When pipes in our basement were backing up and overflowing with rancid water anytime one of four different apartments ran water or flushed a toilet, it took our former slumlord over three days to get a plumber out there! When I asked—what about this shit all over my laundry room floor? He told me to pour some Clorox on it and clean it up like a good woman. Dick.