Wednesday, June 20, 2012

It Could Be Worse

I'm in the midst of moving out of the apartment I've lived in the longest in NYC and I think, because it's been two years, and because my last move was relatively simple, that I'd completely forgotten what a hassle the whole moving process in the City is.  From brokers' fees to rental applications, cashiers' checks to the Bed Bug Rider, selling stuff on Craigslist to contemplating a midnight move (apparently some people actually do that in order to move out on the last day of the month and then in on the first) everything surrounding this move has been such a pain.  Why this has come as such a shock to someone who has lived in NYC for seven years and moved six times, I'm not sure.  I just have to keep reminding myself that it could be worse.  It could be worse because two and a half years ago my roommate hit me on a Thursday night and I moved out over the weekend.  It could be worse because two and a half years ago I had to break my lease to get away from that lunatic.  It could be worse because two and a half years ago I risked being sued by my landlord.  Today my biggest worry is whether I'll be able to pilfer the Fresh Direct boxes from the recycling before my neighbors.  Today I do not need friends to help me move because I'm afraid of being alone with my crazy roommate.  Today I am mostly wishing my air-conditioner were more powerful, because really, it's 97 degrees outside.

So, back to two and a half years ago when Annoying Yvette became Crazy Yvette.  Way back when we finally signed the lease, after all of her shenanigans, Yvette had mentioned wanting a dog.  She had also said she was planning on getting one for Christmas.  While I occasionally missed Kerri's dog Elton, I hadn't really given this conversation much thought.  For the first six weeks or so we'd lived together I mostly attributed her weirdness to the normal growing pains any roommates go through as they get used to each other.  Given that I was planning on moving in December, I wasn't really entirely invested in the roommate relationship.  I wanted to have a pleasant place to live where I was comfortable, but as far as a new best friend -- that wasn't my modus operandi.  Also, I'd been really busy.  September is a pretty crazy time for a teacher.  I really was just trying to make it through each day in tact.

Imagine my surprise when, one Saturday evening I missed a call from Yvette and got the following message:  "Hi Margaret.  It's Yvette.  I'm just calling to let you know that I just adopted a dog.  I'll be bringing him home tonight.  He's a cutie."  Um, OK.  I was sort of stunned.  I mean, I liked living with a dog, and I love dogs but coming out of left field like this, four months after a theoretical conversation about it was just . . .  off-putting.  She did a lot of things like that that weren't exactly wrong . . . but not exactly right either.

I felt a little stuck.  If she'd asked me in the morning, or called and said she was calling to ask me about getting the dog, I would have said yes.  This whole being treated like an afterthought just made me feel uneasy.  She wasn't the most responsible roommate anyway, and I would have definitely brought up the clear delineation of doggie-duties (ie -- not my dog, not my responsibility) had she bothered to ask.  So I was kind of pissed, but the outcome wouldn't have been any different -- she still would have gotten a dog and I still would be moving in a few months -- so I decided not to say anything.  And plus, the dog was pretty damn cute.  She named him Lucky, which is among the stupidest dog names I've ever heard, and didn't turn out to be very lucky for either one of us.

Monday, January 9, 2012


Two years ago, when I first started writing this blog, I really just needed to get it all out -- all the ridiculous, shitty, and funny-only-after-the-fact things that have happened to me while on the quest to find a perfect apartment.  I really wanted to tell the story of what had just happened and needed to find a forum more appropriate than, um, whining on Facebook.  But I decided to start from the beginning.  I mean, I had been involved in other insane housing situations (see moonshine in my kitchen) that I felt might amuse people.  I didn't have a silly gimmick to hawk to the world, like a different apartment to sleep in every night of the week, nor was I trying to emulate some famous peripatetic traveler (Margaret and . . . Marco Polo?).  I just thought if I could make some of my friends laugh, it might make all the stress worth it.

Also, in waiting until I worked my way through the Peace Corps years, early NYC (featuring the Stomper and Dirty Artie) and later Bahrry and his never ending baths, I knew I could create a little distance between me and crazy Yvette.  I figured that someday I would probably laugh about some of her idiosyncrasies, but it was hard to wrap my head around when I was preoccupied with thoughts of housing court and filing assault charges.

Once I started writing and people seemed interested, I never thought I'd stop.  For the most part managed to crank out a post a week for the first year of my blogging.  Then it just . . . petered off.  I'm not really sure what happened, but I think I stopped really needing to write about my housing struggles because I wasn't really having any.  I realized this weekend, during a massive closet cleaning project (which has rendered my apartment a perfect model for "Hoarders -- The Studio Edition," so no drop-by visits, K?), that the reason why I need to clean out my closet is that I haven't moved in nearly nineteen months.  I've been in this apartment for almost as long as I'd lived in my last three apartments combined.  No wonder my closet needs to be reorganized.

Which brings me to my resolutions, both New Years and otherwise.  In addition to organizing my closet, I've resolved to finish out my story of how I got to my current apartment, and then put this blog to bed.  Maybe I'll start another one.  Maybe not.  Maybe you'll have to wait until something else fires me up this much and I start a new one.  Maybe something else crazy will happen to my living space and I'll continue writing Living Lavishly.  I mean, I wouldn't rule it out given my luck.  In the meantime, enjoy the final ride -- the ride to the resolution.  I promise it's worth the bumps in the road, and will be delivered on a more regular schedule.