Well, it’s been one hell of a week, what with moving and all. Moving is superstressful at the best of times, and even more so when you had no intention of moving in the first place, so thank you, greedy landlord, for cashing in on the housing bubble in the big city, and forcing me to find new digs. The new place WILL be nice though, after I finish cleaning and replacing the bathroom cabinets that are covered in black mold. You might remember me telling you that every time I went to see the place, it was really awkward because the previous tenant, a university student, was half-naked. I should have realized at that point that people who are too lazy to dress themselves completely also can’t be bothered with things like making sure the microwave isn’t covered in layers of grease, that the floors don’t have mud all over them, and that the bathroom doesn’t require a hazmat suit to simply be IN it. Oh well—it seems to be my lot in life to take over places and have to clean the sh*t out of them. When Ken and I bought our cottage, it was the same deal, what with layers of dirt underneath the carpet and a stove so unsalvageable that we just tossed it out and bought a new one.
Of course, I left my condo in pristine condition, because I’m a grown-up. Also, because I was threatened with the cost of a cleaning crew if I didn’t, which I realize now was an empty threat, based on the fact that, according to my property manager, it’s a standard clause that all Tenant Termination agreements contain. If my current landlord had any balls, he would have charged half-naked girl, or at least paid ME for the cleaning, but that didn’t, and won’t happen, based on his reaction to the mold in the bathroom (by the way, he doesn’t speak English very well):
Me: What’s wrong with the cabinets?
Him: Oh, I don’ know—maybe jus’ dirty. I clean.
Me: I don’t think Windex will work. That’s mold between the veneer and the particle board.
Him: So sorry for the inconvenience.
I emailed him later and told him that Ken and I were taking the drawer fronts off and replacing them, and that I would let him know the cost, to which he again replied, “So sorry for the inconvenience.” I think he’s confusing ‘inconvenience’ with ‘fungal lung infection’, but hey, that’s the crazy English language for you.
I suppose it’s a testament to the power of my will (among other things) that we got the whole ordeal over and done with on Friday. Here are the things that the universe kept throwing in my way to overcome:
1) Late Thursday night, part of the ceiling in the elevator lobby suddenly collapsed. On Friday morning, my concierge told me that he couldn’t put the elevator on service for the two hours I’d booked, because they were already one elevator down, and that we would just have to load everything into the hall, then do the entire move in 20 minutes.
2) I was moving into the building next door, but it was pouring rain, and we had to traverse 75 feet of flooding pavement to get from one garage bay to another.
3) The garbage company hadn’t done their usual Thursday pick-up, and the garage bay of my building was full of giant dumpsters, so we had to take everything through a narrow hallway instead of the bay, and then try NOT to get hit by garbage trucks while carrying couches in the pouring rain.
4) My property manager showed up at 10 am to pick up the keys and said he couldn’t leave until the place was completely emptied. I suggested that perhaps he should pitch in and help if he wanted to be out of there before noon, given the circumstances. He said it was OK, because he had nowhere else to be and then he literally stood in the living room for the next two hours, fiddling with his phone. He DID carry the last box out of the apartment though, so that TOTALLY made up for the fact that I was charged 5 days rent for doing what the management company suggested and not moving out on the first, which pretty much cancelled out the incentive I was given for moving out a month early (it really didn’t make up for it, and I have the email to prove that I was told to move out on the fifth, so we’ll see).
5) I had no Allen key. No one had an Allen key. How do I have furniture that was put together with an Allen key, yet I have no f*cking Allen key? Luckily, I had a multi-purpose screwdriver that I bought at Loblaws. When I initially purchased it, I thought to myself, “When am I ever going to need anything other than a Robertson head, or maybe, worst case scenario, a Philips? What are all these other weird heads for? This one’s a f*cking hexagon—when would I ever need THAT?” Well, mystery solved.
I was fortunate though, to have the help of my family throughout this whole debacle, particularly T and my brother, who has a PhD and who is also extremely cheerful and strong. Between the two of them, they got all the heavy stuff moved in record time, and found a way to get around every obstacle the universe threw at us with dignity, grace, and a minimum of swearing. I was also lucky that the concierge of my former building kept “forgetting” to take the elevator off service, which gave us pretty much the entire two hours to get my stuff out. Also, T and I took the train back together, and, without asking, not only did he carry my suitcase for me, he held my hand on the packed, standing room only subway so that I wouldn’t fall over. I don’t mind telling you this, because he NEVER READS MY BLOG. So he’ll never know how much I appreciate the little things he does for me. I guess what I’m trying to say is that, no matter how sh*tty and stressful things are, I’m extremely lucky to have people in my life who care about me and who will go out of their way for me when I need it. From Ken, who made several trips to the city to help with the preliminaries but who couldn’t be there on moving day because of work, to my parents who were willing to help with anything I needed, to all the other family and friends who offered support and encouragement, all I can say is “Don’t be sad about losing this one, universe—you didn’t know what you were up against.”
Saturday: Teenage movie reviews
On the weekend, we like to pick a movie to watch together as a family in our back room. We have a sectional couch back there, and the first person to yell, “Long spot!” gets dibs on the part of the couch where you can stretch your legs out. Sometimes they’re new movies, but when there’s nothing good available, we delve into our own collection, much to T’s dismay. On Saturday night, we had “The Hobbit,” but then I got this intense desire to watch “Lady in the Water” directed by M. Night Shyamalan.
T: What’s it about?
Me: It’s about this apartment complex in Florida where the Super of the building discovers a mermaid in the pool. I don’t want to say much else and give it away, but it’s a great film.
T: Really? Is this going to be like when you made me watch “Bladerunner?”
Me: “Bladerunner” is an amazing movie! What are you talking about?
T: Amazing? Robots from the 80s with mullets?
Me: They didn’t have mullets! What are you talking about?
T: And Indiana Jones yelling, “Kill the robots! Kill the robots!” Yeah. Amazing.
Me: You’re a philistine.
So we watched “The Hobbit.” I kind of owed him.