Tabatha Deans

Bringing Integrity to the Written Word

Some things are too good to last. When I rented my 300 square feet of home, it came at a modest price. The building is nearly 100 years old, there’s no elevator, and the space is small. But for $515 it was well worth it. That price included all utilities (how much could they be for such a small space?) The wifi was spotty, since we technically poached it from the restaurant next door, but overall I thought it was a more than reasonable price for what I was getting.
So I didn’t balk too much when the building was purchased by a new company, and when I re-signed my lease for one year my rent went up to $525 plus utilities. A ten dollar increase wasn’t bad, and again, how much could utilities be? Well, my last utility bill, during which billing cycle the heater actually turned on about six times, was about $65. Still not too back, other than the fact that the only reason the gas increased $20 was simply because the landlord could. After calling to question the increase, the response I got was “Well, that’s just what it is.” Plus, the cleaning people have stopped coming. Keeping an old building spotless goes a long way toward keeping up the appearance, but now the carpets are getting black paths where people walk and spots. I was starting to feel a little taken advantage of.
Then I got my new lease agreement, which doesn’t take effect until the end of my lease in September. Apparently with more people losing their homes and being forced to rent, the new owners of my building are blinded by money signs. The new rental price will be $595 plus utilities, with an overall monthly price of nearly $700! For 300 SF!
I understand the concept of a free market, and certainly wouldn’t begrudge the owners a bigger profit—say maybe a 30-50 dollar increase—but I really believe at this point that I’m merely another number/renter, and am severely being taken advantage of. My “quaint” little apartment, at the new price, has evolved from being “eccentric,” to being more of a slumlord situation. ARGH!
But, as often happens in my life, I think this will turn out to be a positive change for me. I spent the day looking at apartments closer to the office, which would save me transportation costs each month. I’m not really a fan of the big apartment complexes, but for the same price, I’m finding many places with a pool, clubhouse, workout center, executive center and more than twice the square footage of where I am now. One even included a set list of utility prices (which are much cheaper than now) and showed me proof that they actually DROPPED their gas prices to their tenants as the winter was not as harsh as they’d planned. So perhaps it’s time for me to move along, hopefully to a new place with more opportunity to meet people, save a few bucks, and not be taken advantage of.
On a brighter note, I cleaned up at the grocery store, due to my diligent coupon clipping, (actually this is the first time I’ve done it, and I think I’m hooked.) and the help of a coupon veteran in the cereal aisle. I came home with thirty dollars worth of groceries for only thirteen dollars. Woohoo! Of course I had to carry it all home still, so I rationed it into two equal weights and took half with me, and will collect the other half tomorrow. The load was quite heavy, two full bags, one with cereal and eggs and the other with milk, butter and toothpaste. No worries though. The 65 bus picks me up right in front of the office, then a change to the 15 and I’m delivered within two blocks of home. Usually. Things went well until the 15 transfer—the 15 didn’t show up. The 15L did, but that’s a horrible, terrible bus full of angry people, and it drops me about eight blocks from my house. An angry old man jumped off the 15L and sat on the bus bench next to me. He didn’t say a word but his jaw and lips were grinding so hard I could tell he was pissed.
The next bus that came along was also a 15L. I couldn’t help but exclaim in exasperation out loud.
“The 15L?! Where’s the 15?”
The old man looked up at me through cloudy blue eyes and shook his head.
“It’s a mess. The whole thing’s a mess. The 15 got into an accident. I’m already 45 minutes late.” He huffed.
“So this is it. This is my best bet?” No. No. No. If that were true I’d have to carry my groceries eight blocks, uphill.
“Yes. Take it. The 15 isn’t coming.”
Luckily this particular 15L wasn’t full, so the people weren’t all that angry. But they were still crazy.
“Psssst. Ma’am.” I heard the man across the aisle address me.
I smiled and tried to pretend I hadn’t head him, but he insisted so I leaned across the aisle to hear him out.
“Hey, listen girl, you know anyone do youndel?” I had no idea what he said, but it sounded like youndel to me. I shook my head slowly and smiled again.
“I don’t even know what that is.”
“Oh, you don’t? That’s cool. So I guess you don’t know nobody lookin’ for any?”
I was nearly home. The closest stop to my house on the 15L was only two blocks from the library/Civic Center Park/downtown. The streets were busy, cops were everywhere, including behind the bar cuffing and giving tickets to people. And I remembered it was 420. That meant everybody between me and my house were probably stoned, drunk, or dangerous.
But thankfully, there’s Lucky Charms. They’re magically delicious, are rumored to be nutritious, and tonight, are my new best friend.

April 21, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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