Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I've been looking for a new place to live. It has NOT been fun. Any good leads have been ruined by smokers (didn't everyone get the memo about smoking?!!), ridiculously high rents (Um, thanks, but for $1500 a month, I don't want to live with a stranger and his band), or cats. Effing cats everywhere! How do people "forget to mention" that they have five cats?! YOU HAVE FIVE FREAKING CATS! MENTION THAT!!!!
That would be like me showing up to an apartment with five kids and being like, "Oh! Forgot to mention, but I have five kids. Are you cool with that? They climb on everything you own and poop in a box in the kitchen. Is that going to be a problem?"

I went to look at an apartment tonight, and because I've been warned about showing up 10 minutes early to these appointments, I walked around Inman Square for a minute to kill some time. Checking my teeth in my reflection of a glass window of Punjabi Dhaba, I made awkward eye contact with a guy passing by. I messed around with my hair, shaking my head, trying to play off the fact that I had just been exposing all of my teeth to a window, and continued to make awkward eye contact while doing this. 

I strolled slowly to the apartment, wasting as much time as possible, and trying not to sweat through my shirt. I arrived at the place at exactly 5:30. Prompt, not pushy. Punctual, not weird. Sweaty, but not--what the what?! Why was I so sweaty?! Checking the door for a bell, a guy on a bike rode up behind me. We engaged in the squint/stare-down/you ask first, no you/light smile/shoulder shrug/apologetic introduction "Hi. Are you..."

We both arrived for our meeting at exactly the same time, which was perfect. He was very nice and the place was clean!!!! What a nice surprise! At one point a cat did jump out of a room and I nearly shit my pants, but he explained that it belonged to the person subletting and would be leaving with her. Phew. 
I continued to sweat as we walked from room to room, focusing only on my sweat. I must have said, "Oh, exactly" 300 times in a row because it felt like something that would fit well with whatever he was saying while I could concentrate on cooling my body using only the power of my mind. 
"Oh, exactly." [Wipe forehead. Deep breath.]
"Oh, exactly." [Pull shirt away from body. Think of winter.]
"Oh, exactly." [Scan room for cat...OK, seriously, where's the cat?]

After knocking on his roommate's door, and calling his name as we walked around the place, he explained that the other roommate wanted to meet me and was planning on being home. 15 minutes later, he finally walked in. 
Of COURSE-- no surprise here-- it was the guy who had seen me giving a monster face tooth inspection to an Indian restaurant's window. And of COURSE I had to tell him about this, because my fatal flaw is that I have to call out embarrassing situations before anyone has had the chance to even recognize them.
-And this is...
-Oh, hi! I just saw you a few minutes ago! I was staring into a window.
-....Oh, yeah. Right. Right. I thought you looked familiar.

Truthfully, people, I debated doing my weird Indian restaurant window reflection face to really bring the point home, but I stopped just short of that. 
I'm so pleased that I did.  


Amalia said...

"[Silence.] [Sweat.] [Cat.]" Hilarious!

Brina said...

Amazing post, Jess. This HAS to be good apartment karma to write something so funny about the process. The next place will be a home run! Or you'll just live outside of JP Licks, sweating while writing blog posts over borrowed internet connections on the street, and shooing away stray cats. Either/or.

MFB said...

"At one point a cat did jump out of a room and I nearly shit my pants" ancient girlfriend shit the bed...

"I must have said, "Oh, exactly" 300 times in a row"
...for sure. (?!?!?!?!?!)

gems. like you. they should be so lucky :) ff.

Chantel said...

jess this is HILARIOUS
good GOD !!!!!!