Oh, Find Me a Home (Apartment)

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I’m in the market for a new apartment.

The places I’ve been looking at are a series of “I like this, but definitely don’t like that” experiences that have left me a little frustrated. All I want is a nice two-bedroom with a walk-in closet in my price range. Is that too hard to ask for?

The first apartment I didn’t even get a chance to see because I was told I made too much money. It’s a nice apartment building, lovely and almost brand new, with a volleyball court, playground, exercise room and clubhouse. Apparently, though, it’s subsidized by the government and its tenants could only make a certain amount to reside there. When the renter told me for a two-bedroom  I had to make between $20-24,000 a year, I had to stop myself from looking at her sideways.

“I make more than that,” I said politely.

“Oh, I’m sorry, you can’t live here,” she replied. “But, if you plan on having a roommate, the salary cap could rise to $28,000.”

With a friendly smirk, I told her, “Uhh, I still make more than that.”

“Oh,” she said, like she was shocked. I guess she wasn’t expecting a sistah to say she makes over $30,000 a year.

I quickly left after that.

The second place was spacious, nice view of a golf course, washer and dryer included. But the bedroom closet is in the bathroom – yes, I said the bathroom. The shower would be only a few feet away from my precious clothes, and I’m not trying hear that. Not to mention my landlord would be a dubious looking, middle-aged white guy.

The third crib I saw this week had two great bedrooms – both with a lot of room – but the kitchen was only two-people big. Imagine a kitchen with a refrigerator and stove on on side, and a sink and dishwater on the other…and only an arms-length between the two. Girl, if I did the Cha-Cha Slide or Walk it Out in that kitchen, my legs would keep bumping into the cabinet. (Don’t ask why I would do that in the first place – just go with it). If I opened the refrigerator door, nobody would be able to get by. And then the walk-in closet is in the spare bedroom. Not cute.

The fourth I saw yesterday was 1180 square feet of perfect. Roomy kitchen. Gargantuan living room. Walk-in closet. Everything modern. I was very impressed. However, the apartment is on the higher end of what I want to pay. I could dish out that price, but if I could find something just as roomy for less, why not?

I plan on looking some more next week, but I’m getting tired. My last apartment ended up being the very first one I looked at; after discovering it, I didn’t bother to look at many more. I truly lucked up. This go round, it’s much harder. Everything is either too expensive, too small, too ghetto, or too far from work.

It also doesn’t help that the people you contact about these places either don’t return your phone call or act like they’re doing you a favor by showing you the apartment. There’s one place I need to visit because I’ve heard it has pretty good prices and loads of space. However, every time I go by the office, it’s closed. And I still haven’t received the application the snippy-sounding manager was supposed to fax to me. It’s enough to make you wanna slap a hoe, but you can’t because you need a clean criminal record to rent.

So wish me luck as I continue on my way. I have a couple more places to look at, and I’m done. I can’t take this anymore.

Lover’s Paradise

beach.jpgMy lover and I, namely LeBron, woke up to this view last weekend. Lovely, ain’t it?

We decided to run away from home, take one of those much needed trips to rejuvenate our spirits. It was a last minute decision as we left around 2 on a lazy Saturday afternoon. I usually like to get an earlier start, but as we contemplated spending another weekend in our boring hometown, with “been-there-done-that” attitudes, getting away was the best thing we could have done.

All couples need this time.

Which lead to us against the wind, driving on I-10 toward the beach, LeBron and I facing our first road trip.

It hit a small bump in the beginning, the journey starting with us arguing about how to get there. In her usual masculine superiority, LeBron thought we should take a more scenic route, rather than the congested freeway. But the problem was she wasn’t quite sure of the direction. She was a person used to using landmarks in lieu of maps as a guide when traveling.

“Baby, I think it’s this way,” LeBron said in her typical studlike manner, which is just a step above grunting.

“Are you sure? Don’t lead me down the wrong way,” I carefully threatened. I was not about to waste any gas  (at $2.39 a gallon) following her blind notions. LeBron said she knew the way because she went to the same beach as a kid, but I think trying to find your way by sight after many years is not as trustworthy as a Yahoo! map.

She mumbled a “Yes, I’m sure,” but the doubt was written on her face. After a couple moments of uncertainty, she finally conceded and we hit I-10.

The rest of the ride was smooth with me driving around 80 mph, sun still beaming high, just chattering in our easy way, with Robin Thicke providing the soundtrack. It was a nice feeling, having an adventure with the one you love. And when we arrived on the beach strip, LeBron and I couldn’t contain our excitement. It was something we had accomplished together.

“We’re here, baby,” LeBron gushed, and pulled me in for a kiss from her passenger seat.

Now came the hard part: finding a hotel with a vacancy. It was the beginning of the infamous Spring Break season, and we didn’t have a reservation. We rode for the better part of an hour, trying to find a spot on the beach, preferably without the beer-carrying frat dudes or bikini-clad beach bunnies walking in front of us.

Then we found it — the perfect location at the right price, a suite with a full kitchen (oven included!) directly on the beach. The view from our window alone was worth the price, a picturesque scence of crashing waves lapping against the shore. Balmy palm trees swaying in the breeze. Fresh salt air you can’t find anywhere else.

beach2.jpgSoon after we checked in, the sun began to set against the eastern sky, a horizon filled with fading hues of orange, purple and pink. I couldn’t imagine a better moment than curling up with LeBron on our balcony, where we blanketed for warmth against the water’s chill that enveloped us. No cell phones, no TV, no qualms — only finding the enjoyment in each other and in the beauty around us.

And that’s what this trip was for.