For the last 2 months I have been working on a new relationship. I’ve been apartment hunting. It’s very much like dating, you set your criteria: storage space, walk to transportation, price range, amount of light, etc. Then you look online, ask friends and go to a “matchmaker” aka real estate broker and they set you up on “dates” (viewings/open houses) where you go see the apartments and you report back on the likes dislikes, what worked and didn’t, sometimes you have up to 9 “dates” in a single day, and you do this until you find your match. Just like with dating, sometimes, when we find the perfect place, we compromise on our criteria, over analyze things, ignore red flags and have commitment issues. And before we make a commitment we need to meet the “family” – or in this case, landlord, because, if the “family” is hard to deal with – the “relationship” just won’t work.
My last “relationship” I found in a mad rush, only met twice and the “family” once. When I got there, there was no heat (so in the winter when it was 9 degrees outside, I was very cold!). The floors were sloping and sagging (to the point that I couldn’t level my furniture and was getting vertigo from it), the electricity was a mess. The landlords didn’t care, they lived below me and said if they raised the heat so I was warm, they were too hot. It ended in a bitter divorce – also known as housing court. As with all divorces it was messy, drawn out and no one got what they wanted, other than the lawyers.
I wasn’t making the same mistake twice!
I searched for a while – went on many “dates”, had a few “matchmakers”, and of course looked online. I met many duds, and a few that had a glimmer of hope but nothing special, but then finally, it was down to two… “Bachelor #1- the handsome stranger” was a beautiful 2nd floor apartment of a brownstone, with lots of light, lots of storage space, sealed fireplaces with beautiful molding around them, a large bedroom, dressing room, den, living room and kitchen. “Bachelor #2- the cute guy” cute, 1 bedroom, good storage space, kitchen, living room and eating area.
But as with any “relationship” they both had their issues.
“The handsome stranger” was in an area I don’t know well; about 20-ish steep, narrow steps into the building and about 20 more to get to the 2nd floor – how will I ever get the laundry up the steps, let alone food and everything else; it’s at the highest of my price range and the worst thing was – alternate side of the street parking – 4 days a week! I have no time for the alternate side shuffle, I work too late to deal with that when I get home and would never find parking. But I had a big crush from the moment we met, I saw our future together, I mentally placed my furniture and artwork. Could I find a way around the parking problem? What would I be willing to give up to afford the rent? Could I find a place to pay for parking and not deal with alternate side? Maybe work from home so I can move the car (because with such a beautiful place and all those steps who’d want to leave to go to the office anyway)?
“The cute guy” is on the ground floor, not a lot of light, plenty of parking, smaller than what I am used to – but still not small, close to public transportation, in the area I know and love, right in my comfort zone price wise. It was cozy, safe and I felt we could have something but, could i down size? Would my furniture fit? I had to go back a few times to see if it could work.
Still dealing with my “break-up”, I was confused, which do I choose? How do I make sure I don’t have a mess like last time? I decided the best way to handle this… a meeting of the parents! So my parents came armed with a tape measure and judgement, ready to decide who was good enough for their daughter.
We started with pictures of the handsome stranger and then went to see the cute guy. They picked the cute guy. It was safe, had good qualities, a good “family” and would provide me a good home.
Two weeks later me and my 112 boxes moved in with the cute guy. We’ve had issues – the previous tenants were smokers and the smell wouldn’t go away, things need to be fixed – but like any relationship it takes adjusting when you first move in, so, we’re adjusting, purging and getting used to each other. And so far, this has not been a waste of good lip gloss!