New Neighbors – Part 1

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About a month ago, I moved to a new apartment to be closer to where I’ll be teaching this fall. It’s a nice place, built like a townhouse with a garage on the bottom level and my living area stacked directly above it on the second floor. I have granite countertops and a patio, and – because it’s so far outside of town – this awesome unit costs $400/month less than my last place.

Seth helped to move me in. Actually, he insisted on it, pressuring me to let him be a good boyfriend rather than hiring movers. My compromise was to let him move all of the boxes but hire movers to move the furniture. That way, Seth would get to do the manual labor he loves so much (think country boy stuck in the city), and I would still have an intact boyfriend (and furniture) when I finished getting moved.

I made the mistake of giving Seth the keys to both my old and new apartments while I ran to a baby shower I was hosting. And when I got to my new place later that afternoon, I discovered that Seth had decided to move my couch by himself when I wasn’t there. Something about proving to me that I really shouldn’t have hired movers… That’s what I get for dating a manly man.

Anyway, while we were unloading boxes from the back of his pick-up truck, we both stopped short at the sight of a familiar face across the walkway from my garage. My new neighbor is kumquat Joe.

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My Gold-Plated Shanty

7S2My new apartment complex is like an upscale resort. It touts not one, but two pools, two exercise rooms and an arcade.

Interested in a private yoga instructor? Just show up at the gym on Tuesday evenings to sign up. Need a conference room for a business meeting? Step right this way! Have a thirty year old bottle of wine that needs to be kept at a crisp 48 degrees? A swanky wine cellar and cozy movie den are just some of the other amenities available to residents.

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After touring the floor model, I figured I may be paying a bit more per month than before, but I believed that gaining wood floors, granite counter tops and cutting my commute time in half made the extra cost worth it. That is, until I saw my particular unit for the first time on move-in day.

The prior tenant clearly had a dog named Jaws, as evidenced by the chunks missing from my window blinds:

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More Jaws attacks are evident in the bathroom, where the edges of the cabinets have been gnawed on, the toilet seat is crooked and there are pieces missing from the toilet, revealing a rusted exterior.

“This was clearly a bachelor pad,” I thought to myself as I cringed at the damage. I’ll probably find stale pizza behind the refrigerator two months from now.

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Probably most distressing of all Jaws’ attacks is his frenzied attempts at returning to his natural shark-dog habitat by flooding the entire apartment with water. The bathroom sink leaks into the cabinetry below, where months of water damage have caused wood rot.

When I opened the bottom cabinet, the stench nearly knocked me over. Why didn’t the guy before me ever call this in for maintenance?! He must have just lived at his girlfriend’s place – supposing someone like this shark-owning sloth would be capable of landing a girlfriend!

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The entire moving process was a disaster. Not only was my new unit in a disgusting state of disrepair, but the movers (who were supposed to show up at 8:00 on Saturday morning) forgot about me completely. At 8:20 when I called to ask where they were, the manager said that my move was “unconfirmed”, whatever that means. So I spent Saturday morning moving myself with my aging parents (thanks, Mom and Dad!).

On Saturday evening, after a full day of frustration and toil, I got a call from the leasing office that a package had been delivered for me. My mood immediately lifted. Someone was thinking of me, hoping to welcome me into my new apartment with beautiful flowers or a lovely gift basket! What sweet friends and family I have!

I hurried down to the leasing office to pick up my delivery. I eagerly accepted the box and was about to tear it open when I read the name on the address label: To Anna.

My eyes widened with shock. This package wasn’t for me. It was for my apartment’s prior tenant. And this disgusting prior tenant wasn’t a slothful shark-dog-owning man. It was a woman.

#assumptions

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