Sunday, 22 May 2011

Apartment-Hunting - The Pain of Success :)

So boyfriend and I went apartment hunting last week.  It was more like - apartment-hunting safari, or ... or something.  We went at it like "we was killin' snakes"*, which is a phrase I don't quite understand but I'm using it anyway!  It was an incredibly high-speed, hi-volume, exhausting hunt that started the morning after we got here, and involved like five or six apartment viewings PER DAY.  We kept falling in love with various places and completing the application, and somehow, despite the fact that boyfriend is a student and I am currently unemployed, AND we have a dog, we kept getting approved.

 * I read it in a book once and it's been stuck in my head ever since, probably because it brings up a hundred unanswered questions.  I mean, does one usually go at killing snakes with a sort of manic demented rage?  Unless you're terrified of them, but in that case I'd just run - I'm not fast on my feet but I'm pretty sure I can outrun a snake.  And even then - how does one wind up killing a whole lot of them all at once?  I personally didn't know snakes travelled in packs and have never encountered more than one at any time, and at that time I was definitely not seized by the urge to grab my machete and swing insanely.    Unless the originators of the phrase used to go to snake dens and kill hundreds of them wildly and furiously - in which case ... the phrase really makes no sense because it refers to a very few people with an extremely unique hobby, meaning it's completely unsuitable as a homily.

It was the getting approved part that made it brutal.  It was stressful, people!  I know it sounds good but you try it.  You fall in love with a place even though rental prices here in the big city are absolutely staggering.  It's beautiful, the area is great, it's shiny, it has all the features you want except for one or two, and you think, okay, we probably won't get it, but we have to try.  Then the phone starts ringing and you're approved.  And approved again.  And again.  And then you have to discuss them, all of them, cause nothing's out of the running cause you keep getting approved.  And you have to do so as calmly and rationally as possible (how many guesses on how well we did at that?).  And then you find yourself yelling at each other:

"I WANT A BALCONY" (well, I was yelling that part); then
"BUT I WANT THAT KITCHEN!" (boyfriend), and
"IN SUITE LAUNDRY IS AWESOME!" (boyfriend); then ....
 "BUT THAT STUPID APARTMENT IS TOO SHINY AND ANU WILL WRECK THE FLOORS AND WE'LL HAVE TO PAY A FORTUNE TO HAVE THEM REFINISHED WHEN WE MOVE OUT WHICH WILL BE IN LESS THAN A YEAR BECAUSE THEY'LL PROBABLY KICK US OUT CAUSE THIS APARTMENT COMPLEX IS FULL OF YUPPIE SNOBS!!" (phew, then deep breath.  That was me, btw :)

The fight above (sorry for subjecting y'all to it, but wanted you to know what I mean!) was abut the boy's favourite place.  Billed as a modern 1 bed + den*, it was shiny, with sparkling pale hardwood floors, an open floor plan, french doors opening onto the 'balcony' in the living room, with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances in the kitchen ....

Kitchen.  This was actual open to the living room area:

You can see the "balcony" through the patio doors.

*This is the "den".  You can't tell cause there's no furniture in it, but it's maybe four feet by five feet square - aka smaller than the walk-in closet.  
This part still perplexes me.  
Is it a selling point for anyone?  
You can barely even use this as an office, 
unless you don't get depressed working in a space that makes you feel like you're being punished by an evil lunatic who's locked you in a closet.
Since that is where my overactive imagination goes ... no thanks!


It was beautiful, and five years ago, if I'd been in a position to afford it, I would have been in love and awe and ... well, I'd have been living there :)  But that was five years ago!

So - here's the crisis with boyfriend's favourite apartment.  It was very modern, and my homemade dishclothes and pillows would look tragic there, instead of fun and unique.  None of the furniture I see in my future (thrift store & flea market finds) would look good.  We'd have to buy new stuff we'd be afraid to sit on.  And my dog would have to wear rubber booties to avoid scratching the floors.

And I would bet that if anyone in the building DID have a dog, it would the kind that fit in your purse and never leap enthusiastically onto strangers (thinking of course that strangers are all coming to see THEM and probably throw the ball several million times).

I worry a little that boyfriend actually thinks we would fit in with those people.

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