I haven't used my blog to write a rant in years, but today feels like the right day to bring it back. I used to write them almost daily about my horrible nonprofit job years ago. Remember Passion for Fashion? She was a girl who tried to dress like Kim Kardashian and was as snooty as could be, and it was my responsibility to train her. I still get a chill down my spine when I think of her and her top-knot so tight it gave me a migraine.
All you people who only like to write about sunshine and fairies and unicorns? You might want to find another blog to read today, because I am unhinged. This is coming off an already terrible week involving cat vomit, broken toilets, and screaming babies. Honestly, I'm writing this so someday I can look back and see how far we've come. Because this has to end someday; it has to.
Our housing situation hasn't changed since I last wrote about it, whenever that was. Our realtor retired out of the blue, so we found another who came highly recommended by some friends of ours. She has been a NIGHTMARE. She's been deceitful, unhelpful, unavailable, and very rude. More than once she's belittled my decision to stay home with Gracie, and even laughed at me for wanting to attempt homeschool (at least for the early years). Gracie screams whenever she's around and I don't even blame her. We have the contact info for another realtor, but we haven't contacted him yet and I'm not completely sure why. Actually, I do know why. THE HOUSING MARKET IS ON CRACK. Houses selling in hours. Literally, hours. The produce guy and I almost hugged at the grocery store yesterday because our stories are identical. We've been house-hunting for over a year and have lost in some nasty bidding wars. He recently bid $30,000 OVER the asking price and STILL LOST. That's what's happening in my city right now. Yes, we have looked in surrounding areas, please don't ask. Yes, we have done/tried/looked at everything you want to suggest, so please don't. It's not better anywhere within driving distance.
We've decided we don't want to buy at the top of the market. I am not about to spend $30k more on a house than it's really worth. James and I both feel deep down in our gut to lay low for awhile, so that's what we've done. I still check the listings every day, and even though our budget is not bad, there is NOTHING we would want. People are unloading their crap houses full of mold and 1960s carpet, and they know they can get away selling it as-is for far more than it's worth.
So, as you know, we're stuck in our townhouse where we've been for SIX. YEARS. Well, this exact one for almost 4, but this complex for 6. I bristle when people call it an apartment. I know it technically is, but our office refers to it as a townhouse, it has 2 stories, and saying that makes me feel less like I'm living in college housing. Can you tell I'm, grasping at straws here? This is my mental state over this mess. For an apartment (ugh) complex, it's actually really nice. The location is fantastic, we have a ridiculous amount of closets, a gorgeous wood-burning fireplace, vaulted ceilings, and plenty of space, and the management is very good about handling things. If this were a single family home, I might even buy it. Rent here is also insane at the moment, so we're paying almost double what we did in 2011. Not to mention, the neighbors.
I might as well introduce you to our neighbors--at least the ones I know. When I say "know," I mean "I've seen them." No one here is that friendly or outgoing, so I don't actually know anyone other than the guy and his fiance who let Gracie play with their dog. Our downstairs neighbor is the pot smoker. I hate him with the power of a thousand burning suns. I know it's unChristian to hate, but he is awful. He's made me so sick for months, and he gives me a death glare so intense that makes me wonder if he's about to physically assault me. I don't even feel safe around him. The day he moved in, he knocked on our door and introduced himself. He was SO nice and I thought maybe we would be friends. He looked past me, took one look at my mom holding Gracie, and I'm not kidding--he turned around and walked away without saying anything. That's the kind of person I'm dealing with. Our next door neighbors are two guys who have a cat. This was the only thing I knew about them until the other day, when suddenly one of them started playing God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen on the piano. LOUDLY. If that wasn't weird enough, a saxophone soon joined in. I mean, WT to the actual F. The neighbors on our other side are a lesbian couple who have a one-eyed dog they push around in a stroller.
I really can't make any of this up.
The people who lived in the Christmas Saxophone apartment were kicked out a year ago after playing profane rap that woke Gracie many times. I got so mad at them one day I banged on the wall so hard, the shelf fell down and smashed my Grandma's Depression-era china. I don't know what it is about that apartment, excuse me, townhouse, that encourages loud music.
All of this leads me to this morning. The pot smoker has been driving me up the wall for months now. We call the non-emergency police every time we smell it. Sometimes they come and talk to him, and sometimes they say they can't smell it outside so they leave. We've just been trying to build a record. The police say it's the management's problem to take care of, and they say they can't legally do anything without the police involved. It's a catch-22, and we've been playing monkey in the middle with them for an eternity. We were told the other night that pot smoker is leaving. I have literally NEVER seen James so jazzed about something. I almost fell to the floor in tears. They said it will be awhile until he's gone, so I'll believe it when I see it, but at least I have HOPE.
And then this morning, we got a letter on our door that we're too noisy and in violation of our lease. A complaint has been filed that there is "yelling, stomping, and banging" noises coming from us. HI, HAVE YOU EVER MET A 2 YEAR OLD? Since we've had so many bad neighbors over the years (don't get me started on the TV explosion noises that wouldn't let me sleep a wink last winter), I try VERY hard to not be an obnoxious neighbor. I don't let Gracie bang on the walls, I try to be quiet, and I rarely even listen to music even though that's all I want to do. However, I have a two year old, and no matter what I do, she's going to throw tantrums, drop things, and just generally be loud. No matter how much I try, I can't silence her 24/7. It's impossible! She's virtually quiet from 7pm-7am, and she naps in the afternoon, and we're usually out of the house in the morning. When she's in bed, James and I are reading or quietly watching TV so we don't wake her. The other day I dropped a pot on the floor and considered a hand-written note of apology to my neighbors until I realized they were probably all at work. Due to the "stomping" complaint, we're 99% sure pot smoker is trying to exact revenge on us by getting us evicted too. No one else would be able to hear the NONEXISTENT stomping. She's been crying more than normal this week due to a tooth coming, but I am NOT going to apologize for that. No one is more tired of the teething than I am.
So this is where we are. We spent MONTHS begging the office and the police to do something about the illegal drugs being smoked that were affecting my health, the music next door, and that's to say nothing of the dog that barks 24/7 to the point that I've considered breaking in and shooting it. But my daughter throws a tantrum and now we're in trouble. I don't think anything will come of this and I'm not worried, but I am so tired of this. So tired of not being able to play music or let my daughter make normal 2 year old noises. I want to replace our stained, gross living room rug, but who knows what the size of our next living room will be? We need to upgrade some furniture, but obviously we can't do that until we have a home and an idea of what will work. I WANT FLOWER BUSHES. I want to grow my own zucchini! I want TO PAINT A WALL GREY. All we want is a little home somewhere that belongs to us. We don't want anything fancy, just a home and a garden and maybe some chickens a la Laura Ingalls Wilder.
I JUST WANT SOME DAMN CHICKENS. WHY IS THAT SO HARD?
I got so upset over that stupid letter that I took Gracie out for cookies. The store near us is closing next month, but their bakery is fantastic and basically across the street. For weeks I've been wanting to stop in for one more treat. We walked in, just to see an empty bakery and a sign that the bakery counter closed for good on April 17th. I'm not even going to lie--I cried real tears in the middle of that store. There's nothing more depressing than an empty bakery counter, especially given the reason I was there.
In the grand scheme of things, this is dumb. We have our health, a roof over our heads, and I even splurged on organic milk at the store this week. We're doing fine. But we've been stuck in this horrible holding pattern for an eternity and nothing is changing; if anything, it's getting worse.
So, future Michelle, if you're reading this and complaining because you don't want to get eggs from your backyard chickens or weed the garden, SHUT YOUR MOUTH AND GO STOMP ON THE FLOOR. Not one can hear you because it's yours and you OWN it. And you can't smell pot! Unless you've picked up a habit, in which case, we should chat.