While living in Allegan, I lost my job and quickly got another one in Grand Rapids. So, I moved to Grand Rapids. I stayed about a month on my friend, Mandy’s, couch in her and her boyfriend’s tiny apartment. Yet another saint, who put up with me.
Then, I found an AMAZING home to live in. It was huge, and gorgeous. I lived there with two other single people. We were all a little jaded from past relationships, and it was nice to have other people around. And the home was AMAZING!!! For all of my future home, I have been completely spoiled by the size and look of this home.
During the summer, I tanned on the tin roof. It was one of the highest points in our area, so it was wonderfully private. There was also an amazing front porch that we all spent time on. The island in the kitchen and the counter tops were way to tall for me because Tracy, the owner, was tall. It was wonderful to have a place where I could have multiple friends over because there was plenty of space.
Rita was the house pet. She is a pitbull and the sweetest thing on the planet… if she knows you. If she doesn’t know you, her bark is terrifying, and makes a great security system. We needed a security system, because we were one of the last houses in Heritage Hill… next was the ghetto. I once woke up to Rita barking in a different tone than usual. When I looked out of the window where she was freaking out, I saw a kid trying to break into the basement. I was pissed. I threw on my sandals, put Rita on a leash, and ran after him. The entire run, I let her pull, and bark, and behave like a “bad” dog, to scare the crap out of the kid. We caught up to him. I asked him why my dog doesn’t like him. He didn’t know, but informed me that she was “an ugly bitch.” I laughed and told him that she was going to be a whole lot uglier next time I see him near the house, because I was going to let Rita outside without her leash on. He was never near the house again. I did see him now and again, but he was always running past the house… which I appreciated.
Another time, Kim and I were sitting out near the road and these two thug guys drove past, and then turned around and stopped in front of the house. They told me that they had seen the curve of my ass on their way by, and needed to come back to say, “Hi.” I asked them what they were up to that day, and they told me, “You know, gangster things.” I kept straight faced for the rest of the time, and pretended I didn’t understand any of their weed references. I also wouldn’t give them my number. I also told them that Rita was a mean dog. It was easy to tell them that, because she was at the front window barking like mad. I hate to say it, but she’s racist. She would freak out every time I was talking to black people on the front porch… which happened a lot because we lived on the edge of the ghetto, and I’ve got a big ass that draws them in, like mosquitoes to flame.
I once had a guy walk up to me and my friend while we were on the porch. He gave us a great story about being in school and how his car had gotten a flat and he needed to get it fixed. After quizzing him some more about his situation, I finally gave him $10. He said he would put money in the mail box as soon as he got back. The money never showed up. I was taken! Right before I moved out (two plus years later), I caught that guy telling my parents the same story, as they tried to pull out of the driveway. They fell for it too… he’s good.
Like I’ve already said, when I moved in, all three of us were single. We all had totally different schedules, and it almost seemed we each had our own home, because we never saw each other. There was a week that Tracy and I were ships passing in the driveway. We only saw one another while she was leaving for work, and I was just getting back from work. When we first moved in, Nick and I weren’t dating anybody, but Tracy was dating a guy named, Eric. He was still around a year later, and after a vacation where they got engaged, Tracy was also pregnant!!! So, Nick’s room turned into the baby (Charlie!) room. He moved in with a girlfriend (Nick, not the
baby), which didn’t end up working out. I also moved out to live with a boyfriend for two months, which didn’t end up working out either. One out of three isn’t bad for a house of single people! So, Eric moved in, Charlie came into the world, and Eric’s two boys were around on weekends. It was great to live with a family… but it was time for me to move out and let them be a normal family.
I moved in to another one of Tracy’s houses. It was also huge, and gorgeous. There was a patio with a fire pit, which got a lot of action from me and my girlfriends. It was the main place we hung out, other than Logan’s Alley, with out favorite bartender, Tim.
I got the master suite. It had two walk in closets, a jacuzzi, and a double headed shower. My room was mind blowingly awesome.
I had three roommates. One of them, Andy, was a friend of mine’s best friend… so I already knew him. He was the clean one in the house. Thank goodness for that. I tried, more than I ever had in any other house to keep the shared living areas clean. I didn’t excel, but I tried, which was more than I had done with Tracy and Nick (Sorry!). The girl that lived upstairs was wonderfully sweet and we had a baking session before Christmas. Freddie lived downstairs and worked as a bartender downtown. Again, we hardly saw each other. I recommend shared housing to everybody. Just make sure you “interview” all of the potentials to make sure you have similar values. It was a great experience in both of my homes.
A couple of quick stories from when I moved in with a boyfriend for two months. We rented a house that was next to our landlords, and they wanted to be our friends. We were okay with the idea, but we had nothing in common with them. He and I agreed that we had to break up with them as friends when the guy came over to have a drink with Bret. The entire time he was in the house, he was looking around and pointing at TINY scratches on the floor. Then, he got up and was rubbing his hands on the walls and looking for problems. Umm… no.
After that, I had a couple of problems with him. He would knock on the door while he was snowblowing. Not a problem, except that I worked third shift and this was the middle of the night for me, and he knew it. Why was he knocking on the door? He wanted me to move my car. I did it the one time, and then I just gave him an extra set of keys after the second time. He and I didn’t like each other after this. Another day, we had an intense conversation about garbage that Bret and I had in the garage. He wanted me to go to the store right then and buy the blue bags that the city will pick remove. I informed him that Bret had said he was going to do it for the last week, and that I wasn’t going. He told me I was a bad girlfriend, and that I could go to the store too. What he didn’t know, was that Bret had been promising, every single day, that he would do it. That meant, each day, I didn’t feel I needed to go and get them. Plus, the reason he wasn’t going to get it, was because he was sneaking off to have drinks with friends of his that I knew were a bad influence. The summary, is that this guy had no reason to tell me I was a bad girlfriend. Now I hate him.
I was correct that Bret’s friends were a bad influence. We broke up after I caught him talking to his ex-girlfriend more than 1000 minutes a month on MY phone plan. When we had the landlord over to tell him we were breaking up and moving out, he asked, “Are you sure you can’t work it out? I really need the money, and it’s a bad month to find new renters.” Bret laughed and said, “Sure, we’ll make it work for you. We hadn’t considered you into the fact that we can’t stand each other anymore.” Of course, he was being totally sarcastic. The guy turned around and walked out, slamming the door behind him. Why do I keep having moody, male landlords?
Now I’m living in Point Roberts. I have already explained why it’s crazy here in a previous post, https://newfrankyj.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/adventures-with-flat-stanley/. My landlord has no idea what he’s doing, but at least he’s not moody.
We’re moving to a farmhouse in Ferndale, WA this weekend. We’ll see what craziness arises there. I’m hoping it will work out and we stay at least a couple of years. I’m so sick of moving.