The Great Escape

I have lived in my apartment for over six years now.  I watched most of my kids go from single to double-digits here.  I lived here when I married my husband, and we have very many happy (and sad) memories within these walls.  But…

The decision was made in springtime that we needed to move, for varying reasons, from new landlords to space requirements.  The boys barely spend the night, and when they do it’s on t4e couch, so their bedroom became K’s room not long ago, instead.  I keep their mattresses and such for when they do want to stay and sleep comfortably, but mostly they are out there living their lives with work and hobbies and friends, just as teenage boys should be doing.  The girls always come, so it only made sense to give them separate rooms, but the point is that it wasn’t needed.  We don’t need three bedrooms anymore. 

I looked at a lot of 3-bedroom apartments during the great hunt, and I am sad to say they were all terrible.  Either they were way out of our price range, the rooms were too small, or it was a dump in a bad neighborhood.  At one particular dump, we were about sign a lease, but then a miracle happened and my uncle told me of a friend with a 2-bedroom for rent.  I jumped on that.  I sent Mark and Bernie to check it out when I was in Salem, and when their reports came back great, I called the landlord and told him I wanted it…no, I don’t need to see it.  Yes, I have the money.  Ok, see you Tuesday…and then it was ours.

Lease signed and money paid and keys in hand, we unloaded our first few boxes yesterday.  It is smaller than the place I have now, with 2 bedrooms and no dining room, but that only means less to clean and clutter.  So currently I am purging my house.  I wish I had enough time for a yard sale, but I do not.  It is however possible I will put a sign on the lawn this weekend that reads “Free Crap” in front of whatever furniture and such I do not want to take.

What I do need is a kitchen island.  Just something small.  I found the perfect thing on Amazon, but I don’t have 80 extra bucks lying around, so it will have to wait.  That and our new tv are the only things I want added to our collection of stuff.  Everything else can GO.

I find that unlike literally every other time I have had to move, I am not sad.  Yes, I enjoyed it here.  We almost always had good neighbors, and our landlord, Frank, was a kind man.  I planted all my flowers out front, and spent summers on my porch, and put the tree in the front window at Christmas time.  Alas…I’m done here, now.  Now, it is time for change.

Neither myself nor my husband have been well this year.  Me, more of the physical variety, (though lately things have been very good, knock-on wood,) though the mental plays in heavy right now, especially with all the stress I have been under.  Mark is handling his mental health in a new way, but he’s about a mile up the path to healing now…nowhere near the end, but far enough that there no reason to turn back anymore.  And so, we look at this new apartment as a fresh start for ourselves, mostly for our health and family.

I am pleased with where we are going, and the new opportunities that are arising, and I am hopeful it means brighter skies ahead.  Now, all I have to do is pack up everything I own in the next two days.  Easy-peasy.  (No, really…I’ve had less time to leave a place before.  This can easily be accomplished with focus and discipline and panic.)

Happy Thursday.

PS If you don’t hear from me on Monday, that is 1000% my internet service provider’s fault. We are at war at the moment.

Adventures in Adulting

Due to circumstances of the physical, mental, and social variety, there are many things that I, a fully formed adult, have not yet done on my own.  Given certain limitations over the past 20 years, I am a little late to some of the parties.  For instance, my credit score.  I don’t have one.  Well, I do, but I am what is called “credit unscorable,” meaning I have very little activity, credit-wise.  But, I do have a little debt.  My husband is “credit invisible,” meaning he has absolutely no credit history, and no debt attributed to his score.  That is at least something we can build on, I knew none of this until I started looking for an apartment, another grown-ass human thing I never really did before.

Now, this is not my first apartment, but in the past it was different.  It was desperate.  First, there was an emotionally unstable anciet landlady who barely spoke English and tried to evict us for “no GD reason,” as per the cops that showed up Easter Sunday to make sure we were out.  So, we moved quickly to a dump that was available and rented out by an LLC who kicked us out 2 years later to renovate (I’ve yet to see that happen, PS.)  So, again, desperate, we move to a place owned by a landlord who makes unstable landlady look like my lovable grandmother and literally causes both my husband and I to catch a PTSD diagnosis from our respective psychiatrists.  Desperation again, and I find this place:  a nice apartment just the right size at the right price with a good landlord who makes me feel at ease. 

Now, six years later, and time for change.  The rent elsewhere has skyrocketed, and they know they are losing money on us.  We know we have outgrown where we are.  And so, I make the decision, for the first time, to move on.  What I want is for them to fix this place up and get more money for it.  That might sound weird, but this has been my home for six years, and I want only good things for it and the people who provided it to me.  When the billion bucks was on the table for all of us last week, Mark and I were talking about what we would do with a bunch of money…not even a billion, but enough.  I’d leave some for my landlords, so they could update.  Like a thank you, because it might be their house, but for a while, it was my home.  And their kindness over the years helped heal some of the scars left on me from my previous landlord.  I am appreciative. 

But I am broke, so instead I’m just going to try to clean the hell out of the carpet, which has seen 6 years of my kids growing up and God knows how long of the family of toddlers that lived here before us.  I am PRAYING there are decent hardwoods underneath this thing for them.

But I digress…

So in looking for an apartment, sans desperation for once, I am encountering moments of adulthood I was not previously familiar with.  Like, credit scores, and their total ineffectuality when it comes to renting property.  Why, landlords of Buffalo, does my credit score apply? Just ask for a rental receipt.  I don’t know how you budget, but rent always gets priority in my house.  I will take a shutoff notification from the electric company and I will take a deferral on my student loan and I will take some bread from the food pantry, but you can be absolutely certain I paid my rent.  But no one keeps track of that.

Then I go to a showing and learn of a software called Avail that lets landlords use rent payments to apply to your credit score.  I don’t know why EVERYONE isn’t using this, but if they were…I wouldn’t be looking to rent an apartment right now.  I’d be taking out a loan with my good credit to put a down payment on a house that’s mortgage is HALF MY CURRENT RENT.

It’s a flippin’ scam, kids.  Adulthood is a scam.

Y’know, I’ve yet to buy a car that I didn’t find on Craigslist, also.  I can’t wait for that day, I’m sure my head will explode in a similar fashion.

Anyhoo…I continue with my apartment hunt.  I plan to be out the last week of September, so if anyone in the Buffalo area knows of anything available then…hit me up.  Unless they want a credit score, in which case they can GTFO.