Apartment shopping is the absolute worst. Second maybe only to moving; the act of lugging a 200[million] pound table made of solid wood up two flights of stairs while one lung collapses and you lose a limb to the tetris-like rotating required to fit it through a door, and that is enough to make even a saint cry in a corner. That being said, I just had the easiest apartment-finding experience to ever grace the pages of history.
In order for you to fully appreciate this situation, I still feel like you need more background. Apartment hunting = awful. Apartment hunting in Nashville = 3rd ring in Dante’s Inferno. We all know people in Nashville can be a little boujie. Sometimes they be thinking that just because they added some crown molding to a living room, you will be totally on board with their conviction that this building is now basically the Taj Mahal. “Now this one is about $150 more a month” they’ll grimace slightly just so you really feel like they’re one of you, then they turn on you and practically shout “BUT! It’s because IT’S UPDATED!” *cue hair flip and wink as you’re partially blinded by all the brilliantly white teeth they’re suddenly flashing at you in full force. What exactly does that mean, you’ll ask innocently. And you’ll learn that OBVIOUSLY this means they’ve cleaned the carpet. And made absolute certain that the dishwasher is the same color as the fridge and IT’S YOUR LUCK DAY, they’re both black because FOR THE LOVE, how would you ever have been able to look anyone in the eye if you had WHITE appliances!??!
And please, don’t even get me started on location inconsistencies around here. I currently live in the most diverse part of the city, but because we live near some old WASP-y people, our rent is higher? There’s nothing here but a Kroger and a McDonald’s but since the people in the neighborhoods 5 miles up the road are capable of differentiating between peonies and cabbage roses, you get to pay more rent. If you drive 5 miles the other way, however, you’ll find that rent is almost halved, and even though people’s eyes will grow as round as dinner plates when they hear you’re moving to Antioch, the only real difference is that people in those neighborhoods don’t have any seasonal monogrammed wreaths hanging on their doors.
It was with this insight looming in the back of my mind that I entered into
my latest bout of house hunting. I got easily frustrated with the basic Trulia, Craigslist game, so I made calling all the “For Rent” numbers I saw while driving my thing. One Saturday we walked to Musician’s Corner from KB’s (because, like, global warming and fitness and stuff) and on our way back I saw a tiny little sign in a cul-de-sac. Per my MO I called and some very confused sounding old man asked me weird questions about whether I was an adult or not and do I have ANY pets, because no, don’t have pets. It was weird and maybe most people would’ve been skeptical, but it was a one bedroom in an amazing location and it was affordable. (Also there’s that really unfortunate lack of fear when in potentially dangerous situations thing that plagues me too) I set up a time to meet him to see the place, and that phone call went like this:
Me: Well, I could come by Wednesday morning if that’s ok.
Him: Well, yeah, ok. Tell me your name again. What time?
Me: *spells name again. Is 9:00 ok? I can really do whenever is good for you.
Him: 9:00? Yeah that’s fine.
Him: Well can’t you do earlier? Earlier is better.
Me: I can do whenever works best for you.
Him: Well anytime works best for me.
Me: Ok….so 8:30?
Him: That’s perfect. Let me write it in my calendar. *35 seconds of silence
…Ok it’s in there, and just call me that morning and remind me about it and what time it is.
Me: […] sure.
A little confused about the purpose of his aforementioned calendar, but excited about potentially having a place to live I was excited for the meeting. When I pulled up that morning, he was already there, ortho-velcro shoes on, fanny pack in full force, moving the trash cans. I knew when I saw that fanny pack, I was looking at my new home. It’s tiny and hasn’t been renovated since probably 1972(the home, not the fanny pack) (they were required by the fire department to give me a brochure about lead paint and say that to their knowledge, there was none in that building), but I think it’s charming. The lease I signed had clearly been typed up on an actual typewriter, maybe also in 1972 and I had to agree that I WOULDN’T HANG ANYTHING OR PAINT STUFF, unless I used little tacks. It was all in all a pretty painless process seeing as I thought I was filling out an application to be considered while he was filling my name in on a lease. Absolutely everything about the entire happening was old school, but since the one bedroom in the condo next door is being rented out for $750 more A MONTH than my new place, I think I can live with it.
Pretty soon I’ll be running to the park and walking to KB’s for Kardashian marathons, and it’s all thanks to the unwarranted trust and confidence that wearing a fanny pack will cause people to have in you. So take that, fanny pack nay-sayers. The pack is [sort-of in a really weird way, almost] back. And I’ll be sending out new address post cards soon, to all you letter lovers.