I got to thinking about when you’re young(er), living at home, probably in the same bedroom you’ve had since you had a bed time. At some point, for most people anyway, comes the time to move out and get a place of your own. Get a bunch of bills and complications. I was thinking today, after having a convo with my best friend. Thinking about the fact that instead of ordering pizza, I had to buy toilet paper. Paper that you use to wipe your ass, then you just throw it out, watch it flush away. $20 of my money…just right down the toilet.
**I just have to add that really, I was sad because I wanted to buy pizza instead of ass-paper BUT, the pizza would’ve disappeared into my stomach, turned into crap, and that also would’ve just been flushed down the toilet so…same difference I guess.
Anyway, that’s just the kind of expense that comes with managing your own household, growing up, getting old.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s AWESOME. I still look at my place (years after having moved out) and I think, Look at this place; it’s like a real home. I have tools, and extra bedding, and tooth brushes for guests, and a food processor. It’s not just playing house. This sh*t is for real.
For the purpose of this blog post, I’m going to reminisce on my journey out of my parents’ house and into the fabulous apartment, in the douchiest building, that I share with my girlfriend and our two cute-ass Chihuahuas.
#1: My friend’s super-cool townhouse
~It all started a few months before I finished nursing school. I was 22 and I had no money. My friend, Natili (not exactly her real name) bought a cool townhouse in Scarborough. I moved my stuff into one of the two extra rooms. We had a freakin’ great time. We played Super Nintendo; froze our asses off because heating was too expensive; got a dog who peed on the carpet, turned evil every time he took a dump, and destroyed things like movies, college honor roll letters, and brand new cigarette packs. Natili would make me dinner sometimes, ready for when I got home from hospital placements. It was like a long-ass sleepover, in an igloo. Then, six weeks later, it ended. Something in that house (perhaps the essence of fifty cats that had soaked into the walls and floors) gave me horrendous allergies. To the point of nearly getting pneumonia and not being able to breathe.
I lugged all my crap back to my parents’ house. Except my sister had taken over my room by then, I believe, so I ended up in the unfinished basement with a curtain for a door.
#2: The basement apartment in Oshawa–enough said
~I started working as a nurse, so I could afford some rent. My mom and I went to check out this basement apartment in a bungalow in Oshawa. The price was good and the apartment was a one-bedroom that was pretty spacious. The landlord was a nice dude. So, I signed the lease. I moved in and it took a couple hours for me to realize it wasn’t gonna work.
First of all, I could hear EVERYTHING the people upstairs were doing. From Montel on TV, to cutlery being jangled in the silverware drawer. The laundry was next to my place, so whenever the lady came down to throw a load in, it sounded like someone was breaking into my place. Then, there was the issue with the looooong driveway that was only wide enough for one car. Apparently, I was to leave my keys next to the side door so that the upstairs tenants and I could move each others’ cars when we needed to get out. Uh…what now?
I don’t remember actually living there. It took five days and I got my money back and moved the hell out. Back home I went. This time, I took my little sister’s old room–the tiny one with the baby wallpaper. I could fit my bed and a dresser but it was quiet and at least I could sleep.
#3: My first, amazing apartment
~A few months after the botched basement apartment thing, my mom and I went to check out a 2-bedroom apartment not far from my parents place. I love Ajax so that was great. It was a semi-crappy highrise that the company was trying to fix up and revamp. So, my apartment was all redone. New appliances, counters, fixtures. I loved that place. To this day, when I smell Shea butter hand soap, I think of that apartment.
I mean, the elevators were totally busted. Trapped people inside daily, or crapped out right when I got home with 56 bags of groceries, or when someone on the eleventh floor had a heart attack and needed to get transported by paramedics through the tiny stairwell. One time, the elevator door actually fell sideways and trapped a group of us inside until someone came to rescue us. The fire alarm went off every day–courtesy of whatever idiot kids lived there at the time–and I work nights, so yeah. That sucked.
#4: Back with Maman and Papa I go…
~I was partially kidnapped, partially lured into moving far, far away. To a whole other province, because my parents and sisters were moving there. Mostly, I was a big baby and I didn’t want to be left behind. I took a pay cut, took my debts with me, and ended up moving back in with my parents, in their new house up there, in rural Quebec. They were cool enough to finish their whole basement for me into a 2-bedroom apartment. I got to pick out the kitchen, get a nice bedroom finished the way I wanted it.
But…I missed Ajax, my friends, my job. All the places I used to go, you know? Plus, I wasn’t into the area, the people, the constant French language, ALL THE TIME. I’d eaten a truckload of poutine, cheese curds, and seafood–I was done.
So, 3 months later, I decided I was bailing. 6 weeks after that, I packed some of my sh*t, quit my temporary job at the hospital, left my almost-finished pretty basement apartment (wasted a hell of a lot of my parents’ money) and moved back to Ajax.
#5: A layover with another friend
~The reason I was able to come back from my 4.5 month stay in Quebec was because one of my lifelong friends, Nettle-ton (also not exactly her real name), somehow sold the idea to her mom to let me move in with them. It lasted three months. What I remember most is eating brie, sleeping so damn peacefully (it was quiet ALL DAY), and watching Alias.
#6: My current apartment, the early days
~From Nettle-ton’s place, I moved into my current place with a friend. A dude. We got a big place with rooms on opposite ends of the floor plan, with two bathrooms. For the first couple years, we lived together in there. It was old, never renovated, with filthy carpets, busted closet doors, rickety window screens, and a stove that was crusted with soot from the last fifty years. I mean, renting sucks. I wouldn’t wanna be stuck with a mortgage and all the associated homeowner crap, but still, renting means your landlord doesn’t really give a crap about doing anything to ameliorate your living situation. “Oh, your bathroom’s crumbling? We’ll get to it. In a year.”
#7: My current apartment
~Three years ago, my girlfriend (“roommate” if we’re being non-lesbianic) moved in. Ah, pure bliss. The place still sucks, the landlord is a douche, the building’s falling apart, we had to get our own appliances. I think our carpets are a cesspool for diseases we thought were long extinct. Oh, and let’s not forget the disrespectful tenants above who allow their out-of-control child to stomp over our heads 24/7. If you forget all that, then it’s just a good time. A damn domestic good time.
There you have it. My journey from my parents’ home all the way to my current home.
Three things I’ve learned:
1) Moving SUCKS.
2) Having one’s own place makes one very cool.
3) The more “things” you have, the more grown-up you seem.
If anyone reads this: I’d love to hear (read) some stories about your moving out experience(s).