I’m generally a patient person, but having experienced several frustrating situations at our apartment complex over the last few weeks, I’ve had it.
After slipping and sliding down inadequately shoveled and salted flights of stairs and sidewalks over the last few days, it started me thinking about the plentiful reasons why I love apartment life:
#1. It’s convenient that only one person can cook in the kitchen at a time.
I don’t really like to cook–so it’s quite helpful that only one person can stand in our adorably tiny kitchen at a time. In fact, one of my students even warned me of how her uncle was nearly bludgeoned to death in an unfortunate kitchen accident–simply because two people tried to use the kitchen at the same time. The bonus? You get to wait to set the table, get anything out of the pantry or fridge, or load or unload the dishwasher. It’s almost like you’re forced not to multitask–because, after all, why wouldn’t we want less time in our day?
#2. You get to learn all about your neighbors.
That’s right–paper-thin walls ensure that you hear every baby cry, every drunken fight, and every wild frat boy that’s invited over on the weekend. Oh, did I mention the oven timers going off, the cell phones ringing, and every dog bark? It’s like every moment in apartment life has its own unique soundtrack–and you learn all about those neighbors you never even have time to talk to!
#3. All the free entertainment you could possibly watch.
Forget paying for cable to watch Jersey Shore and Jerry Springer–that sort of drama is right outside my front door! All I have to do is walk out to the balcony and listen to the unfolding saga of betrayal, violence, and stupidity happen in my building. And when the cops are called in, about two or three times a week, they conveniently bring the troublemakers out to the front of the complex–which means I can literally sit on my couch, eating popcorn and watching the show.
#4. The chance to interact with your property manager builds self-discipline.
It’s really great to be able to regularly flex my debate muscles with a property manager that was no doubt so excited to graduate from the 8th grade. And it’s so nice that she keeps such careful tabs on everyone in our building, and cares about spending their money for them in so many ways that we didn’t even know possible. I’ve really appreciated the opportunity to exercise verbal and physical restraint over my body whenever I see her.
#5. My neighbor got Rock Band–and it’s almost like we have it too.
Doesn’t everyone love a beginner drummer banging away on a cheap plastic drum kit while you’re trying to fall asleep at night? We didn’t even have to pay for some fancy, new-fangled video game in order to reap the benefits of it.
#6. I love having pride in the building that I live in.
Yeah, you see that dog poop over there from the multiple owners that don’t clean up after their dogs? That serves as a cost-cutting fertilizer for the beautiful rock gardens we have here at our apartment complex. Oh, and look at that–our next-door neighbor left his trash out for the ninth day in a row…he must have a really clean trashcan inside his place. I know, the little boys downstairs just love riding their bikes and proudly displaying them in the middle of the entryway so the whole apartment can get a close look at them as they get some added exercise by clambering up the stairs in a new route. See that empty beer bottle sitting on the steps, leftover from a party two weekends ago? It just serves to show how careful our neighbors are with each other’s property–it hasn’t even been touched by the chain-smoking owner who sat and guzzled 6 of them in an hour.
#7. It’s refreshing to have people yell at you, every once in a while.
I know–how dare I think I should be able to water my potted plants outside on my balcony early on summer mornings? Don’t you know my downstairs neighbors have hundreds of valuable items sitting outside on their porches that can heartily stand up to a deluge of rain, but can’t handle a few sprinkles of water on a hot day? My poor neighbor had to find another place to leave her two-year-old when I accidentally misted the plants as she was smoking and talking on the phone to her best friend for an hour…but it’s always nice to have someone scream and curse at you for ten minutes, isn’t it?
#8. It helps me appreciate my own health.
I can’t tell you how great it’s been to now take pride in my teeth, skin, hair, lungs, and nose now that I’ve lived in apartments for a few years. Not everyone has been blessed with the ability to withstand binge drinking every night, chain-smoking all day long, going six months between hair bleaching, and consuming a balanced diet of Twinkies and potato chips–but I count myself as one of the lucky ones. Gosh, I even have a college degree and a job, to boot–I’m really spoiled rotten.
#9. You have opportunities to invent games about the strangers visiting your building.
Is that a new UPS man? How long did the man in Apartment C really date that blonde girl with the motorcycle before moving onto the redhead? Does the guy across from us indeed only own sleeveless shirts? Are the downstairs neighbors actually running a human trafficking ring out of their place? Why did Apartment F buy a full-sized, retrofitted ambulance as their new car? If I was a gamblin’ girl, I would have lots of opportunities to bet on the strangers that traverse our hollowed hallways.
#10. It’s strengthened my mathematics ability.
I haven’t had a whole lot of opportunities to use the mathematics that were drilled into me for so many years, although I’m sure all my teachers’ claims about geometry and calculus being useful for everyday life will prove true at some point. Nevertheless, I’ve been able to engage in some rudimentary math and learn exactly how much I’ve paid for every square foot of my apartment for the last few years–and the results have motivated me beyond belief.
To all of you friends living in apartments out there, good luck. You’re going to need it.
And…possibly a really good defense lawyer.