Monday, April 07, 2008
Why is it people don't tell you when they don't like someone right off the bat?
I talked to Mom last night and she said, though she only met my landlady once she didn't like her, thought she was hard. I asked Beanie what she thought this morning and she said she thought the landlady was hard, too, but probably all right.
There's a certain reluctance to be honest about how we view people and voice our first impressions. I can see how people would think the landlady is hard; she is at times. But she can also be incredibly generous and nice. She is also a horrid gossip and two-faced, but who doesn't have their flaws? She does make me uncomfortable when she rails on and on about Nel across the hall and telling me how much Nel drinks and smokes pot, and how she's such a negative person who duped her about her animals, but she won't say these things to Nel's face. She told me at the end of last year she was going to raise Nel's rent to see if she couldn't force her and her animals out (a cat and an iguana), but then when the time came she said she decided not to raise the rent.
The landlady has her moods, just like everyone else, but she is inconsistent about some things and she's always in everyone's business. I have to admit that I really don't like the way she keeps track of my comings and goings (and when I'm not coming and going) or how often I go to the bathroom because it feels like I'm being watched all the time. The fact that she is watching all the time probably has a lot to do with that. She pries into my mail and comes out into the hall whenever I get a pizza or Oriental food delivered or bring the groceries home from the store. It's not that she wants to share but that she just can't resist knowing what I'm doing and what I've bought. Yeah, it's annoying. Sometimes I feel like I'm under siege, but into every life a little rain -- and gods above we need the rain.
I've lived here almost three years and I love the apartment, but when you rent can you live happily ever after with a landlord or nosy neighbors watching your every move? Is it time to move on and find something else? This is the longest I've lived anywhere since I moved out on my own, but most of that was due to being married to the military and doing a good bit of traveling on my own after I got divorced.
Anyway, I looked at the ads on Craigslist.com and found one apartment right off the bat. I called the landlord, Joe, and it turns out he's retired and he and his wife are snowbirds who want a more mature renter for their garden apartment with washer, dryer, microwave, garage and big back yard in a quiet neighborhood a couple miles from here. I'll be farther away from Old Colorado City and the squirrel porn tree, but I'll have things there that I don't have here -- like a laundry room I don't have to schedule a month in advance or walk down the stairs and around the house to use. I just have to open the door to the laundry room and walk through. A garage would be nice, too, but the best things about the apartment are that it's cheaper, has a gas stove (I hate electric stoves) and free cable and high speed Internet. That means I could get rid of my DSL line and be able to cook without having to worry about the pans boiling dry because even on warm the electric stove is too hot to just simmer the food. I'd have a much bigger kitchen and a dining room (something I lack here) and the landlord who lives upstairs would be gone to Florida or Arizona for six months of the year, not to mention having the ground floor and being able to walk outside the door to get the mail without the landlord stopping me and asking what I got or nosing into my groceries when I come home because I won't have to walk past their door. The way the landlord talked about the yard with its privacy and pine trees and beds of flowers (instead of the rocks and boulders that currently pass for a yard here) and sitting outside writing on my laptop in the shade on a sunny day made it sound so relaxing and pleasant. I don't mind that it doesn't have a bathtub and has only a big glassed-in shower and the air conditioning would definitely be a plus.
I'm going to see the apartment this afternoon and if I like the place and the landlord likes me I may be moving next month. I've already checked the rates for movers and having someone in to clean the apartment after I've moved out and it's definitely doable even though it means I'll have to work like a dog even more for the next four weeks, but maybe it is time to move on and find somewhere with fewer downsides and more amenities that will save me about $300 a month. I could use the $300 to buy clothes or put away for a fun vacation or just blow on books and computer parts. You just never know.
Into every life a little rain must fall, but it's good for the flowers and trees and animals, and it's certainly good for me.