Friday, February 6, 2009

Life Underground

Well, it's been about a week and a half since Ben got back. We managed to spend a couple of days in Heber, visiting a few friends and some family in the area before we came back to St. George to move into our new-to-us apartment.

It's a basement.

It's gross.

I'm the one that found it so I shouldn't complain. But I'm going to.

Sometimes real life sucks. Don't get me wrong, having Ben back is great; moving into a not clean 1970s basement apartment with a wood burning stove/fireplace, OLD church-style carpet, and a wooden toilet seat that's so nasty Ben is replacing it (without being asked) right this minute. . . . sucky.

And I thought Wymount was the yuckiest place I'd ever live. This place makes Wymount look like a palace.

To be fair, I have seen worse. Much worse. Like the "home" of a girl I used to visit teach in Provo. Ben and I had just moved south of campus (out of Wymount) and into a new ward. We lived in a pretty nice 2 bedroom apartment with all the amenities married college students crave: washer/dryer, dishwasher, large closets, bathroom cabinets (all of the things we hadn't had yet in our 4 years of marriage). I assumed others in the ward lived in similar circumstances.

I was wrong.

The ward was full of basement apartments. And my new visiting-teachee's had to be one of the worst. The first time I went to visit Megan* I spent 10 minutes searching the outside of the house, looking for a way in. I finally went around to the back and leaned over to peer through the open back door down a long concrete hallway with multiple doors. Huh? I got closer and heard a washing machine running. Someone must be home if the back door is open and the washing machine is going, right? I walked down the stairs and through the door and yelled Megan's name. No answer. Hmmm.

I decided to call my visiting teaching companion's cell to find out if she had arrived and if she knew what was going on. Turns out she was out front and was equally as perplexed as I. We finally got brave and ventured down the long dim hall through the back door. Turns out the doors down that hall led to individual apartments. Someone had turned a 1600 sq foot basement of a 1960s house into 4 married student apartments AND a small communal laundry room. What the heck?

Megan's apartment was 2 rooms. You entered through the kitchen which had a door to the bedroom which had a door to a bathroom. At least I assume there was a bathroom back there. She always kept the bedroom door closed, so I can't be sure. When we'd visit my companion and I would sit at the kitchen table which was against the wall on one side, 6 inches from the sink on another, and 1 foot from the refrigerator on the other. Megan would stand. She had an old fashioned stove that wouldn't even fit a normal sized cookie sheet. The sink was stained yellow. How is this place BYU approved?, I would wonder. But she seemed happy there. She was a newlywed afterall. The rent was cheap AND it wasn't like she was going to live there forever.

So this week as I've been scrubbing red globs of goo off the bottom of the cabinets above the kitchen sink and Ben's been scrubbing mildew stains out of the grout in the shower (I refused to take a shower before he did so), I've been taking deep breaths, counting my blessings (like 1350 sq feet, 3 bedrooms, free cable and internet), and channeling my inner Megan.

I can be happy here. I'm practically a newlywed afterall. The rent's cheap AND I will not be living here forever (or any longer than 6 months, which is when our lease runs out).

*name has been changed


Abby Hanson said...

Ugh! I remember one of my old roommates moved into a place a lot like that after she got married. Thank goodness you won't be living there long and most of those couples don't! But seriously -- how is that BYU approved?

Mindy Burns said...

Oh the joys of apartment and basement living!!!! I sorry girl!!!! It's so hard, especially with a little one! At least you won't be stuck in the basement for the entire winter- THAT can get VERY depressing! You are sort of like newlyweds again, so maybe you VTing Megan a long time ago was so that you would be appreciative and grateful for your place? Maybe? Just think at what "wonderful" memories and stories you'll be able to tell your children...."Well, your dad and I lived in a worse place when you were little......."

Miles and Kendra said...

Ugh! Honey, get out of there! None of this grateful crap. You are way beyond this kind of living. Ok...fine...I'll be good. I like that you are "channeling your inner Megan." I hope that works for you. And at least you have your husband home safe and sound and a beautiful little girl you get to see daily. So...there you go. That's me being positive. ;) (From Kendra, not Miles, but I can't figure out my freaking password!)

Marci and Morgan said...

Good luck Bridget, I know for a fact it could be worse- but that's no consolation. Six months will pass really fast though- so maybe that is!!

noelle said...

this sucks. i thought you were moving here. darn you and your crappy basement.

Anne said...

Sure I'd be happy to help you move when you find a place...what? It's already found and moved into. Why didn't I get a come-help-me-move call? I thought we had moved to that level in our relationship. I guess not. Maybe a DTR is in order.
PS. Where is this lovely place?

Liz Johnson said...

Yeah... my current apartment is a lot like Megan's. It's 485 square feet, two tiny bedrooms, and the stove/fridge/etc. are apartment originals from the 1960's. I have to guess what temperature my oven is being preheated to, because there are no numbers on the dial. It's gross and disgusting and makes Wymount look just like you said - a palace. But it's dirt cheap and has a great community (families of grad students) so I try not to complain. But yeah. It sucks. A lot.

I'm so sorry. :( I wish I could say that, after a year and a half, I've learned to love it... but I can't. :(

Jean said...

Oh Bridget!! It'll be okay, once that place gets a good cleaning. And you WON'T be there for very long probably. Some apartments are just whack!

Our apartment is okay, but there are things about it that I hate, like the kitchen linoleum that is cracking at the edges, and the regular spiders, and the location. Sirens go by our house probably 5-10 times a day. It's insane. Plus, we live right by a Napa store with bars on the windows. Hahaha!! Oh, and there's the homeless people who walk by our front door all the time in order to pick through our garbage cans next to the laundry room. Sigh. I just tell myself that we'll leave in another year, and until then I bite my tongue. :-)

Eva said...

yikes. i'm sorry about that. 6 mos is doable, though. i lived in an apartment in provo that had no heat. we used space heaters...but it was pricey to heat that way, so we'd only heat the bedroom...and it was still so cold in there that i'd sleep under a down comfortor AND a sheepskin rug. oh - and i had 2 roommates and a cat and we all shared the same bedroom. but the rent was dirt cheap and somehow, i still loved that place!

Brooke said...

Ah, to miss Wymount. Whoever thought, right? :)