I’ve now been a homeowner for two full weeks, not so long, but long enough to shift from sandals to boots. (I originally wrote this yesterday and now it is sunny and humid again and I’m wearing sandals out of spite.) I still refuse to wear a coat or tights yet, though. Because this is a neighborhood with plenty of old folks and immigrants from warmer climes, the parkas come out when the temperatures dip into the 60s. I saw a woman wearing quilted winter boots on Roosevelt Ave. this morning, I swear.
This was the application that I had to put together and make three copies of. I note this because the number of pages ended up being the exact asking price–if you added on three zeros. The tidiness pleased me.
I don't know if it's the mono exposure finally kicking in (with a four to six week incubation period, this would be the week it could show up), my punishment for drinking a Manhattan at Denny’s (and sharing a glass with a sick person–alcohol would kill germs, though?), general moving stress (I'm disinclined to believe that trope about moves, divorces and job changes being the stop stressors, oh and death, I guess) my new mattress (no bed until…I don't know, it's backordered—once again, a lot can change in 24 hours; according to Fed Ex alerts it was delivered to my door three hours ago and now I'm going to have to muster the strength or wherewithal to assemble it), all the breaking down of cardboard boxes (you will get into trouble for not recycling properly here, not that I didn't before–gone are the days of the garbage chute in the hall where pile-ups were someone else's concern) or all the cleaning. So much cleaning. My finger joints and wrists are killing more than ever and now even my shoulders have started aching. I feel like I could sleep until 2015.
I already knew that I hate cleaning. I’m organized and despise clutter, but scrubbing and mopping is not my thing. And I have become spoiled, or rather just accustomed to conveniences that normal middle-aged women not living in NYC take for granted. I haven't done dishes by hand or left my apartment to wash clothes in 10.5 years and it's killing me more than I had anticipated. I haven’t even attempted laundry yet (there is a machine in the basement, which is just below me). I’m going to get a dishwasher installed at (nearly) any cost even though there is absolutely nowhere for one to fit within my cabinetry’s current configuration. You can get a dishwasher for $500. Gutting and replacing cabinets can cost $15,000 on the low end. (I’m not doing that, by the way.)
But that grime. I’ve also been the first tenant in my last two apartments, modern, everything brand new, white and never-used, and apparently forgot about pre-war nooks and crannies and decades of build-up.
There's nothing overtly dirty, everything is in pretty good shape with good bones, which is why it's so off-putting that if you spray bleach on any surface, a white that is six shades lighter than the color you thought was white is revealed. The whole apartment needs to be boiled in bleach. I’ve spent hours scrubbing every doorknob, door, ledge, shelf, baseboard, molding, windowsill, light switch, and tops of tiles until multiples sponges disintegrate. And then there are still gray streaks and patches that won’t budge.
I also thought I’d live with the mauve Formica counters and backsplash, and refrigerator that I now see is dwarf-sized and still has crumbs in the crisper, and the stove, which is functional but basic (in the misogynistic sense, of course), until I could afford to replace them. Now I’m not sure I can hold out.
The co-op was to be left “broom clean” as per a legal document, and it was, I suppose. It’s how I would’ve left my apartment if I wanted to play roulette with getting my deposit back. My apartment was pristine (through James’ help since he is the clean freak, not me, despite how this all sounds) not because I cared about the next tenant.
I’ve already received it (phew) and it’s enough to buy the range I want, plus wallpaper hanging (though not the wallpaper). Or I could use the deposit to pay for every single room except the kitchen (which I have other plans for) to be painted a non-buttercream color (I can see that most rooms were previously a glossy periwinkle that sounds inoffensive in theory and that still haunts every surface of the closet). I'm going to–or rather pay someone to–paint the shit out of this place. I have five colors picked out in three different finishes and it’s all happening before November end of subject. (Benjamin Moore Snow White, matte; Jade Green, matte; Ocean Spray, matte; Black Beauty, semi-gloss; Beau Green, high-gloss, thanks for asking) I hadn't intended to paint the windowsills, baseboards and moldings, but now see it’s the only way to get them crisp and white and satisfy my addled, dirt-clogged brain. But painting over dust and grime grosses me out more than it should rationally, so there will be more scrubbing.
There are a zillion plusses to the new place too. I’m just too tired to talk about them right now.
One throwaway plus: I now have NY1 back.
One non-related resolution: I haven't worn a really good red matte lip in years, and that must get resurrected for the fall.