Friday, July 22, 2011

The Big Man in the Little House

Now that Esmeralda has settled in, I can start to enjoy my new home, and she can, too. Esmeralda has discovered that having a long house with an open floor plan makes a great beagle race track. During sudden bursts of energy, she runs from one end of the house to the other while barking at me when she passes by. This lasts about five minutes and is funny to watch because she is a little clumsy and has a big tuchus, like me. I think she is also Jewish. Do you know what they call a Jewish ballerina? A klutz.

But enough about her. I’m the one paying the bills, and I can operate the can opener!

As I settle in, there are some subtle differences I am beginning to notice.

In a luxury building, you have a concierge who accepts your packages for you. This is a major convenience. Here they leave packages on your porch. However, if you are as fortunate as I am to have the community spy living across the street, who is also your dog walker, she will sign for them and bring them in for me. Or as I did for Mrs. J, the chain smoker next door, I signed for hers and gave it to her when she arrived home on Saturday.

In a luxury apartment building, you have garage parking. This is lovely until you go grocery shopping and realize you live two city blocks from the garage. This is not a joke. I lived two city blocks from the garage. I had to go through three security doors before entering the hallway, then walk to the other end of the building while carrying bags. I ended up buying a granny cart and a dolly.

My mobile home has a small driveway, and it is a pleasure to walk from my car to the front door in just a few steps. It is also a pleasure to walk the dog without having to wait for an elevator that may or may not be in service ... or have a vicious Bijon waiting inside to attack your dog because her alcoholic owner never trained her.

But, here is where size matters. My driveway, although a two-car affair, can only accommodate two subcompacts, side-by-side. Before I moved, I had to sell my 1979 Lincoln Towne Car because her ass stuck out in the street.

In a luxury building, the crazy people are outside and cannot get access without a fob – unless they move in next door. I never told you about the woman who would search the online sex offender registry every time a new tenant moved in. She was convinced everyone was on the registry (the same way Suzanne Sugarbaker reported Charlene’s nanny to America’s Most Wanted). This former neighbor of mine thought everyone wanted to rape her.

I heard she was attacked by three gay men right outside the building. Two held her down, and one gave her a makeover.

Here, the crazy’s have their own homes, and guess who is the world’s foremost crazy magnet? Me. That’s right. I have a witness. My friend, Ed, and I were at the DC Auto Show, and the only crazy in the place found me and started a conversation. Ed couldn’t get over how I am a crazy magnet. Sometimes I end up dating them – it cuts out the need for a middleman.

We have one here who knocks on your door asking if you need yard work. Yard work? I have a yard that is no bigger than my driveway. I can mow my grass with an old fashioned reel mower in ten minutes. He always seems to knock on my door just as I’m getting ready to take a piss, too. How curious.

A luxury building is noisy. Seriously, I have never lived in or visited a luxury apartment building that was not noisy. Someone is always throwing a party, or the location is next to a busy street. The hallways are filled with people having loud conversations as they try to impress their neighbors with where they are going and what they are going to spend when they arrive there. I think they are purposely designed to allow hallway conversations to travel into your apartment by pretentious people and those that love them.

Mobile home communities are quiet. That’s right, quiet. People stay in their homes. I usually sleep through the night. Sometimes, the quiet keeps me awake. If your neighbors are outside, they are usually sitting on their decks having a conversation with some friends, but nothing loud. I have walked Esmeralda at all hours of the day and night, and I have yet to hear any noise.

However, there is one aspect of mobile home living that is cause for adjustment. The size of things. Although I gained 120 square feet of living space – efficiently laid out I must add – there are certain things that are smaller – especially the bathtub. You can get a “glamour bath” installed, but I opted out.

I think that if they let everyone take a shower in their new home before purchasing it, no one would buy a new home. Getting used to a new shower is the hardest thing to do. We have all stayed in hotels with little water pressure or tiny tubs or shower heads that are set too low. My brother calls them penis showers. We are both over six-feet tall, so hotel showers aim right for our “members-only section.” To wash my hair in a hotel shower, I have to do my Cirque du Soleil moves. Some might find that alluring.

In my luxury apartment, I had what they called a “deep soak tub.” I had to step way over the edge then down into the tub. It was huge and a pleasure to take a shower. However, giving the dog a bath required me to get into the tub with her (Serena, too, when I first moved in). I got totally used to stepping up and then down. Sometimes in a hotel, I would find myself stepping way up before getting into a tub.

My new tub is the exact opposite. It has a low rim, and it is set higher than the floor. It is also set against the side of the house. The first time I stepped in, I slammed my foot on the bottom thinking I had three more inches of tub. Once in, I realized that because of the slant of the roof, my head was two inches from the ceiling. Fortunately, I put in a hand-held showerhead. The tub is also six inches narrower than my old one. It is a good thing I lost weight, or I would have to step out to wash my ass.

When I was done with my first shower, I stepped out of the tub expecting to step up. When there was no floor where I thought it would be, I tumbled and almost slammed into the opposite wall (my master bathroom is as wide as the house as most mobile home bathrooms are). Fortunately, I recovered before leaving an imprint of my naked body on the exterior wall of the house, or worse, falling through the vinyl siding. Now that would have been something for the evening news.

Even without a deep soak tub, living here is so much better than where I was. They may call it luxury living, but I was never champagne and caviar.

I am the beer and pretzel type.

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1 comment:

  1. Ricky, this quiet is so loud I can't sleep.

    ReplyDelete