Wednesday, October 28, 2009


When it became clear I could no longer subject Rick and Emmy to my mom's panic and fear induced delusions we began searching for a place we could call our own. We cast a wide net both geographically and economically. We looked far and wide but we wanted something close to both my mom's home and Rick's part-time job. Then we set a cap on what we thought we could afford. As we began to make our rounds, I kept a pasted smile on my face for the sake of Rick and Emmy but underneath festered the nagging question, "Who the hell is going to rent us a broom closet with a financial record including a zero credit rating, a foreclosure, an apartment eviction and no money in the bank?" I soon found the answer - almost everyone. Maybe our age, or our New York aura, or maybe it wasn't us at all, maybe it was the economy and we were just a couple of warm bodies but whatever the case most of the rental agents were more than willing to overlook all of our shortcomings and hand out a lease.
So now we've signed a lease and my hand is continuing to shake. Prentice Park, a two bedroom on three floors. It's new construction; the kind you see all over America but this one has a certain small charm. From the outside the complex looks like a little village with manicured grounds, a central swimming pool with a connecting clubhouse, a man-made pond, and meandering stone walks leading to brick facades with gabled roofs. You enter our townhouse either through the front door or through the garage. Because of the extreme cold in this part of the world almost all rentals come with individual garages or underground parking facilities. Once inside there is an entry with a coat closet and a huge laundry room. A flight of stairs leads up to the main floor showcasing a galley kitchen with a huge walk-in pantry, dining area, and a living room with a cathedral ceiling and a deal breaking fireplace, at least for Rick. There is also a master suite with another enormous walk-in closet and a bath with a whirlpool. From the living room you could exit out to a suspended deck with an outdoor storage area or ascend another set of stairs up to a good-sized loft with a half bath, a set of matching closets and a skylight. The loft will be Emmy's room and this was her deal breaker. All of this comes for a whopping nine hundred dollars a month plus a thirty-five dollar fee for Buddy. Finding a place that would take a dog was almost more difficult than finding a place that would take us. We think we can handle this until we get on our feet and then it should be a piece of cake. Rick's part-time job and his monthly royalty check from the furniture licensing deal should cover our rent and our food and transportation will still come from my taking care of my mom. We pinch pennies in ways we never thought about before and this is a lesson well worth learning.

Remember that the welcome mat has its honeymoon period after which you need to look at moving on. After a while even your mother can think you're a real pain in the ass, or vice versa.

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