I’ve mentioned (many times, I know) that I’m moving. And my real-time friends knew all the ups and downs of the drama of finding an alternate for my comfy little South Carolina nest, but it was all so dreadful that I didn’t mention it here.
Here’s the story: at the beginning of July, the guy and I travelled to Washington to find an apartment for me. And we found one. The very first one I looked at was big enough, cheap enough, had wood floors that looked like home and adorable retro black and white tiles in the bathroom. I was sold. I was so sold that we spent the rest of the week sightseeing and figuring out AU stuff (AU, for the uninitiated, is American University, where I’ll be spending most of my time over the next two years) instead of looking at the other twenty-odd options we’d researched. (In retrospect, this was one of the more foolish things I’ve done. Eggs in one basket much?)
And we visited the chosen apartment complex a few more times… and every time it was a little worse. The hallways smelled bad. The neighborhood was perhaps a little more rough than preferable. But the inside of the apartment (truthfully, those wood floors, gleaming in the same shade of honey-brown) looked so much like home that I ignored the rest. I officially applied for the apartment on the last day we were there and returned home, arranging furniture in my head the entire way.
Then I got the call. The complex refused to count my fellowship or my financial aid as income. And even counting both of those sources which they didn’t recognize, I still didn’t make the minimum income requirement. And I had about twenty minutes of sheer panic (oh holy mother, school starts in a month!) and went back to Craig’s List.
And I found the place wherein sits the armchair where I’m currently writing.
I now live in a great old house, built in the 30’s, with a fireplace, built in china cabinets in the living room, and wood floors throughout. I’m sharing the house with three other people, only one of whom I’ve met, and that briefly, but she seemed quiet nice. And she had a Dorothy Sayers book, which I immediately commented on, so that’s definitely a mark in her favor. She lives in one of the upstairs bedrooms, a couple is moving into the other upstairs bedroom, the downstairs is all living room and kitchen and dining room… and then there’s me!
Correction: it needs a lot of work. The walls in my bedroom are yellow (ugh!) and there isn’t a closet (we’re going to rig something. My dresses need a home just as badly as I do!) But I have a private bathroom (which is important to me and not all that easy to find in a shared house), a private living space besides the bedroom (which I’m turning into an office/kitchenette/movie room), a fenced-in-yard for Ginger and the cutest little covered staircase/private entrance. I’m going to string lights on my staircase and have potted plants on each tread.
I think the biggest problem I face is the openness of the room. It is simultaneously not quite big enough for all my stuff and somewhat hangar-like. I think it’s all that white tile. And the lighting is horrid: way too bright and clinical. I’m going to need lower watt bulbs, maybe a few floor lamps, an interesting furniture arrangement and some brightly-colored fluffy rugs. But I have the utmost confidence that it’ll be fabulous. Eventually.
So that’s what’s going on in my (new) neck of the woods. What’s up with you?