Apartment Hunting: A Love Story

When I started trying to get out on my own, I didn’t expect this emotional roller coaster.

We met, of all places, on Reddit.  I was browsing, looking for good recommendations: someone mentioned you, and I sent you a message.  You responded that same day– with pictures, no less, and immediate availability.

It was love at first sight.  You were so cute, with your claw-foot bathtub and your 12′ ceiling, your quirky neighborhood, your standing fireplace.  I loved your loft and your basement bedroom.  I loved your location, your off-street downtown parking. And your landlords– oh, they seemed perfect, friendly and responsive and prompt!  I would have signed your lease right then and there.   I would have signed your lease so hard.

Alas, reality kicked in– it always does, doesn’t it?  Your rent, even with utilities included, was higher than I expected.  You swore you could change: a hundred dollars less a month was doable, wasn’t it? Compromise is the foundation of a good relationship.  And yet you couldn’t change the lack of central air, the still-high price, the inconvenience from the highway.  I drive a lot, in my job: despite your best efforts, you would add a good fifteen minutes to my commute each morning.  Some parts of a relationship you can negotiate, but I couldn’t ask you to change who you are.

And yet I tried, O one-bedroom downtown apartment, I tried! I wanted to make it work, I kept negotiations going with your landlords.  They badly needed someone to take you, and I did want you.  But something, somehow, held me back.

And then I saw the suburban apartment. On Craigslist.

Two bedrooms.  A separate garage, no fees.  Ten seconds away from the highway but in a quiet, lovely neighborhood.  Washer and dryer in-unit. Same ultimate cost, but far far more for my money.

You would have looked too.

I clicked the link.  There was a number listed, and I called it.  The apartment was available.  The pictures were gorgeous, the kitchen was to die for.

Forgive me, one-bedroom downtown apartment.  I strayed.  But I chose to stay with you in the end.  Why, you may ask, would I choose to stay with a smaller, beat-up, worn-down place like you?

This year has been hard on me for a number of very personal reasons.  Over and over again, my decision to open my heart or do the right thing has bitten me square on the ass.  And each and every time I’ve asked myself: do I want to be the person who makes that mistake? Do I want to be the person who falls in love only to be broken-hearted, who opens their family to a friend who only takes advantage of them? Do I want to be the person who makes good-hearted mistakes?

The answer has always been yes.

So I asked myself: do I want to be the person who lives in comfort in suburbia? Or who takes the leaner place downtown, with a little hardship?

You’re not the only apartment I like, one-bedroom.  But baby, you’re the one I choose to spend my next eight months with.  At which time we will revisit the lease, since that’s the start of rental season out there.

Let’s make ’em count.

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