I don't think of myself as an envious person. I don't think I covet other people's things. Thoughts like I want your _____ (husband, baby, car, sweater set, or salad spinner) don't pop into my head. There are a few instances where I might covet, but this is typically in a restaurant while I am walking by plates of food, and the thought, "I want that" is not really harmful because I fully realize I can have it. And I typically do.
But today I have discovered another instance. Housing. As soon as I located a great neighborhood I started looking beyond my means. Here's the one bedroom studio in my range, oh but look at that old brick bungalow with the glass doorknobs. Or even when trying to stay on task, with the craigslist items do I stray and call the unknown leaser hoping for a surprise. This is just how Anne Shirley in Anne of the Island found her dream living situation. But I am not Anne, there have been no fortuitous surprises, the surprise is that mostly apartments are not priced for me, but rather for someone needing a 3 bedroom home with hardwood floors, granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, and a central vac.
David Sedaris wrote something about home envy and Ann Frank's house. "[O]pen the curtains and the first words that come to mind are not "I still believe all people are really good at heart" but "who do I have to knock off in order to get this apartment?" I'm not quite there, but I did feel pangs of why isn't my budget bigger?
Also, while being confronted and grappling with my envious side, I am gathering a list of red flags while hunting that mean: don't do it.
Seeing water damage in the bedroom and being told that will be cleaned up soon. When the reason for looking for a new situation is...water damage.
Calling a landlord at 10:45 am and hearing
Him: (GROOOOAN) Hello?
Me: Hello, I am standing outside of your rental and I was wondering how many bedrooms it had and the price?
Him: Ummmm Can you call me back after one? uhhhhhh
Me: Oh. Um. I guess so.
An owner returns your call with information, and then the conversation stalls.
Me: I would like to set up a time to look at the apartment. Are you available tomorrow?
Her: I am, but it would have to be after 10am, I'm retired and I live in the building, so I take awhile to get up.
Me: Would 10:30 be far enough after 10am for you?
Her: How about you call me tomorrow and we can set up a time.
After being asked about safety in the neighborhood, it took a informative turn.
Well, I think it's pretty safe. Most of the crime is just with the cars on the street. Smash and grabs. Especially Chrysler. Apparently they are easy to break into. It's there turn now. A while back it was GM's turn, and Fords, and now Chrysler. But as far as crimes against individuals....About 70% of the tenants are women and we haven't had any personal attacks. Assailants following them or being inside the apartments. Of course there is probably some domestic abuse going on, but that would be under the radar and I don't know about those. It must happen though. It is everywhere.
But all these make it necessary for a day 3 tomorrow.