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Posts Tagged ‘roommates’

I found a new place to live today, after a relaxing night of cuddling and dinner with an overworked Type Geek, I checked out an apartment share close to his neighborhood.

You see, in the last several years I went from being a shoestring budget entrepreneur with a small business and a small condo I owned in an up and coming neighborhood to a bankrupt entrepreneur with a failed business and condo in foreclosure. The recession and housing burst sucked, I won’t lie. It has been a rough couple of years watching my housing value disintegrate to nearly 60% less than what I paid for it, while the neighborhood became even more unstable than it was when I moved it. Back then, 4.5 years ago, there wasn’t violent crime, there was only a huge immigrant population and no Starbucks. But, a Starbucks was planned, less than a mile from my condo, so the purchase made sense.

Only, 6 months later, the recession kicked in and that mixed used hotel development with the Starbucks, well, it pulled out and went elsewhere, and so did my equity. A couple of schwag bean joints opened up, all with the potential to have good coffee, but without the dedication to actually doing so, so I gave up on finding real coffee in my neighborhood. Then began the graffiti, and the random men following me on the streets,my dog getting attacked my strays, the stolen plants from outside my door and finally, the drive by shootings. I’m done. I never would have been able to sell for what I paid and by the point I needed to get out for sanities sake, my business was in the state of being dissolved.

I had been holding on by a string, wading through the recession and the competition from Amazon (any retail business these days hears, “but Amazon has it for this much”. Sure they do, because they buy 100x more than I do and get the distributer pricing and sell to you at wholesale. I get wholesale pricing… I can’t sell to you for less than I pay!) So, eventually the string began to disentegrate. Perhaps where I am today is an inevitable, however, having my mother proclaim herself emancipated from my father, and moving in with me (no asking, just proclaiming), I was forced to use my entire savings, take out personal loans from friends and barter for the remaining needed in order to build out a second bedroom in my condo. The promise was that she would contribute once here. I told her I was not in the financial state to do this, but that I would, if she could help once she arrived. She stayed 3 weeks. She complained the entire time and then left, without apology. I saw not one dime to replace or help pay towards the loans I now had over my head.

Within months I was defaulted on my condo. I eventually gave up wanting to renegotiate my loan because frankly, I wanted out of the neighborhood anyway. Short Sell? The unit above me has been trying to short sell for a year. It isn’t happening. No one is buying in this neighborhood. So, I began seriously looking at apartments a few months ago. The dog has presented a hurdle that 4.5 years ago wasn’t an issue. Now it is a renters market though. Things are harder, more expensive.

Type Geek told me that I might need to bite the bullet and accept that living with someone might be a viable and potentially attractive alternative to a tiny studio, which at this point was becoming all I could afford. I found a loft I loved. The owner said no to the dog. I made appointments to see various places, only to have the potential roommates flake several times. So, on this morning, since I was close by the apartment I was to view this weekend, I decided to see if I could check it out early, since I was around. Hardwood floors, dining room, back deck, fenced in back yard, dog friendly, flat-mate rooms on different floors so built-in privacy, laundry on site, quiet residential, close to good coffee, good food and… Type Geek. Dog will have company. I will have a room with sunlight again. I will have a kitchen I can cook in. I will have a yard to spend time in and grow my tomatoes. I knew immediatly that I would be able to live there. We shook hands and agreed to finish the paperwork in 15 days. Sigh. Now, I call the mortgage company and see if they will pay towards my move. There is this great thing that Obama’s legislation helped create, a relocation reimbursement for deed in leiu properties. Even if it is only $1,000, that is incredible. I am so happy and so relieved. It is truly the beginning of a shiny new era in Student Driver’s life.

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I don’t talk to people on the phone prior to meeting them. I know this sounds odd. There are a number of reasons for this though. First, you can’t see someone’s face, so you may not be able to pick up subtleties in the conversation. Second, some people are poor telephone conversationalists but GREAT in person. It isn’t fair to make the telephone conversation your first impression of them. Third, and last, IF the conversation flows, a false sense of intimacy can occur. So, I like to meet for coffee as soon as possible and see if investing in awkward conversations on the telephone are worth the hassle. No spark, no need, right?

Well, Mr Bratty McLawyer turned IT Guy, or Bratty McLaw, as I will call him, insisted that I call him. UGH, FINE! He was cute and charming in his messages and his profiles, so I figured I would go ahead and break that one rule. I wanted to hang up on him after talking to him for an hour. I was finding him to be egotistical, self-centered, arrogant, insulting, condescending and rude. It didn’t seem like the man who had been corresponding with me, so I spoke up and gave him a bit of a verbal smack down and, after being stunned silent, he apologized for how he came off and changed course to try to resurrect the conversation, if possible. We spent 10 hours on the phone. The sun came up and I said good-bye to him and hung up as I locked the door behind me and headed to work. It wasn’t an amazingly passionate conversation. It wasn’t even that we connected in some deep sense. The conversations pale in comparison to the things said in my shared silences when I was with Brooklyn, however, he was interested and charming, so I kept talking. I am far too old for a night without sleep these days.

I came home from work and took a few hours nap, and began some laundry. It was chilly out however and I really wanted to get out and have a cocktail by a fireplace somewhere. My other possibilities were not available, so I texted Bratty McLaw and asked if he wanted to have a drink in a few hours. He eagerly confirmed and we agreed to meet in 2 hours.

Shower, run to laundromat, move clothes to dryer, run home, apply make up and finish getting dressed, run to laundromat and grab dry clothes, run home and drop off, walk dog, grab purse, catch bus to subway, subway to taxi and drive by as he is walking down the street thinking he will meet me at the train station. Umm, I said I would meet you at the bar silly boy. Geez. Luckily I saw him and was able to get the cab driver to pull over and let me out early. I rang him on the phone and proceeded to direct him in my direction. There was a humourous moment of voyeurism that I found myself stuck in as I was able to pull his strings and move him without his knowledge as to where I was or how I was able to see him so clearly when he didn’t see me anywhere.

He was cute in person. Not breathtaking, but attractive. Softer facial features than the photos in his profile implied. We decided, as we stood on the street, that my original location choice for a rendezvous wasn’t actually what either of us were feeling. So, we opted to walk to his car and drive over to a different bar. Chemistry, mmm, ish. 6′ 2″, blonde, fit but not gym rat like, comfortable smile, arty glasses, and just enough vanity to be self-confident in person. I was honestly worried that he would be the schmuck I was thinking he might be when we first started chatting the night earlier. This person though, it wasn’t there. Perhaps it was nervousness that led him to project the persona of douche bag shithead, but luckily, whatever it was, it was nowhere in sight when we were in person.

We arrived at the second bar around 10 pm. It was dead. Which, honestly, was quite fine. We sat at a high top and each ordered a glass of wine. He was snackie, so we also had some spinach artichoke dip. Conversation was friendly. By the second glass of wine, he was reaching for my hand and stroking my arm. By the 3rd, he was kissing me. Did the kisses overwhelm me and leave me speechless? No, but they were quite good. His kissing style is similar to mine and it felt nice. We decided to go back to his place and make out a bit more. My dog could easily do an 8 hour span of time between potty breaks, and since it was midnight at this point, she was probably sleeping anyway and wouldn’t miss me for a few more hours, at least.

We drove back to his place and I took off my heels as we walked up to his apartment. Heels on wood stairs in these old multi unit buildings, well, I would have woken everyone in the building. He made me sit on the stair outside his unit while he took 5 minutes to tidy up. I chuckled. Knowing the current condition of my own residence, there is virtually nothing, short of live creatures roaming about, that would offend me. I live in a cluttered construction zone, bring on your mess… I can trump it right now buddy.

A few minutes later he comes out and ushers me in quietly. His roommate is sleeping on the other end of the unit so we need to be self-aware of voices and laughter. So, why put on Colbert and Jon Stewart if you don’t want me to laugh out loud?! The laughing didn’t last long however, as he made his move within 5 minutes of us sitting on the couch together. My rule for the night…. sadly overdue for a wax… I look like a hippy body hair loving freak… hands stay out of the pants and they stay on.

An hour of making out on the couch can kill any back, so, logically we move to the sleep number bed. We play with the settings, laugh some more amidst some occasional shhhh’s from the each of us to the other. So, the shirts end up off. Of course they do. Then, even though I say…warning will robinson…danger danger… furry wildebeast…stay away from the Northern region… I end up with his hand down my pants. He said that he would take note of my objection and embarrassment and keep in mind that au naturale is not my current state… and then he peeled the jeans completely off. Oh oy vey. This is not leading anywhere good, is it?

Well, leading anywhere good? Hmm, well, after a lot of frustrating teenage grinding in our undies… I stopped him and stated what we both knew. Let’s just admit that we are going to have sex and rather than keep up with this silliness under the ruse that we aren’t going to…. go get the goddamn condoms now. So, student driver finally got laid. Was in earth shattering? No. Did it need to be? No. Was he a sweet and kind lover? Yes. It was comfortable, even though I was furry as all get out and embarrassed by that. We were both exhausted from the previous nights marathon conversation and our lack of sleep, so neither of us got off in the end, but it felt great regardless. The sun was coming up as we finally disengaged and gave up on a definable finish line. We set the alarm for 3 hours, so we could get a little sleep, and then readjusted our personal sleep numbers for our individualized snoozing comfort.

The dog? She was asleep on the bed when I walked in the door at 8:45 am. She hadn’t noticed that I hadn’t come home that night, in fact, she seemed quite pleased to have the bed entirely to herself.

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