Don’t Rent to Us

Kathleen and I have lived together for almost five years. We get along really well, we cohabitate peacefully, and we’ve remained close friends regardless of any typical roommate-related disagreements that may have come up.

But we’re cursed.

When we first moved in together, we found a nice spot in the Fan. As with many Fan apartments, this one too was inundated with mice, mold, leaks, broken appliances, broken locks, drafty windows and warped doors. But we just chalked all that stuff up to the drawbacks of an old building as we laughed and hugged and told each other how much we liked living together.

And then we got the hell out of there before the roof collapsed in on us.

From there, we moved to an apartment building in Shockoe Bottom. You know, something more stable and up-to-date with more credibility and fewer rodents.

But somehow our complications still followed us.

And I’m not talking about minor concerns like an occasional light bulb replacement. I mean, major issues.

THE GARBAGE DISPOSAL

Our first order of business when we moved in: have a broken garbage disposal. Now, we know the rules of owning a disposal and we didn’t put anything suspicious in it. If that’s what you’re thinking.

It just kept breaking on its own. We’d have to plunge out its contents and wash them back down, then make a service request with the building maintenance crew. They’d fix it, and it would be fine for a little while, and then it would break again.

Finally they gave in, and installed a brand new disposal. It worked beautifully and we lived happily ever after.

“Whew, glad that’s been resolved and we can move on with our lives without having to think about any other household disturbances,” we both thought, like idiots.

THE PANTRY DOOR

Our pantry door was one of those stupid sliding/folding doors that was a horrible off-white color and made a nails-on-a-chalkboard scraping noise whenever anyone opened it. And as if all that stuff wasn’t bad enough, it would frequently pop off the door frame and flap freely into the kitchen like a flag in the wind.

After many maintenance calls, we finally figured out that we could just pop it back in ourselves.

Okay…that one was partially our fault.

THE TIME WE ALMOST DIDN’T GO TO EUROPE BECAUSE OUR KITCHEN FLOODED WITH WHITE PAINT WATER AS WE WERE PACKING TO LEAVE

Then there was the time we almost didn’t go to Europe because our kitchen flooded with white paint water as we were packing to leave.

While we sat on the floor of our dining room making the last minute additions and checks, we heard a steady drip of water coming from the kitchen. We got up to find our entire sink filled with this chalk-colored liquid, brimming over and spilling onto the floor in a manner as if it had no intention of stopping.

I assume it got resolved, though, because by the time we came home two months later, it didn’t do that anymore.

THE LAUNDRY ROOM

If you missed this piece about how we got kicked out of our last apartment, here’s your chance to read it. To summarize (but then go read it because it’s an absolute knee-slapper!): Our laundry room flooded approximately once a week for over a year. No matter what the maintenance crew did and no matter how many times they came to do it, the laundry room continued its debauchery. It led to mold, cracked floor tiles, warped floorboards, and many wet kitchen mats.

And don’t even get me started on the resulting cockroaches, as I might curl up into a ball of hyperventilation on my kitchen counter again.

In the end, we never saw this one the whole way through because our landlords politely moved us to a new unit so that they could fix the issue once and for all.


So, great! We’ve moved out of the cursed apartment and into a fresh start.

Or so we thought.

But just like when we moved out of the apartment in the Fan, our issues continued to follow us. But this time the issues graduated from minor annoyances to full-on malfunctioning appliances.


THE REFRIGERATOR(S)

The first week in our new apartment, I went to grab something from the refrigerator before leaving for work. I noticed it was a little…unchilled. I touched another thing. Unchilled. Another thing. Unchilled.

What the…?

Unbeknownst to us, our entire refrigerator had shut down in the middle of the night amidst our slumber. So we set aside the food items that were salvageable, and broodingly threw away the rest. We made a less-than-friendly call to our management office, who, to their credit, took care of the issue promptly. We had a new refrigerator by the next day.

I won’t go into the tedious details of the rest of the fiasco. But I’ll just tell you that this exact circumstance happened two more times. TWO MORE TIMES.

Refrigerator breaks. We have to throw away our perishables. We call our landlords. They provide a new refrigerator. Repeat.

Finally, they wised up and realized that we couldn’t be trusted with just any old, used refrigerator. We needed a brand new one.

And so that’s what we got.

THE OVEN

We started to notice that the front right burner wasn’t warming up very quickly, or getting as hot as the others. Eventually we noticed that it barely worked at all. And then we noticed that it was cold metal coils no matter how high the dial was turned.

So we informed our landlords.

I guess at this point they knew they just needed to cut to the chase when it came to us, because shortly thereafter, we came home and had an entire, brand new oven.

Perhaps that was a bit extreme. To be honest, I didn’t think one non-working burner was that big of a deal. But who can say no to a never-before-used flat top stove?

AND NOW…THE DISHWASHER

There’s not really a good story to this. I guess I could try to spin it in an interesting manner, but you get the idea at this point: after awhile, we began to observe that the appliance in question wasn’t working as well as it should have been. Then eventually it stopped working altogether.

And yesterday, we got word that we’re getting a brand new one.


Just as a disclaimer: Before you start thinking that it’s the quality of the apartment building itself and not us that’s cursed (because, yes, we thought this too), we became aware that none of our neighbors have had as many home-related problems as we’ve had. But at least our curse comes with new stuff.


So, to the River Lofts management team and leasing office: I’m sorry you ever decided to rent to us, and I know you’re sorry too. But if you wouldn’t mind hurrying it up with that dishwasher already, that would be great. I’m just really tired of hand-washing everything, okay?

Love,

Rachel and Kathleen

IMG_8487.JPG

Advertisements

Should I Reinstall My Bangs?

I was bald for the first year of my life.

I went that entire year having to rely on my large eyes, easy smile, and rolls of fat to get people’s attention. I didn’t have the advantage of thick, shiny hair, like many of my associates had, to fall back on.

Every day was a struggle.

FullSizeRender-2

Eventually my hair grew in (blonde, in case anyone was wondering). I went through the “Baby’s First Haircut” photoshoot, and I’m sure somewhere there’s a lock of my hair stuffed into one of those baby scrapbooks that literally no parent has ever completed.

FullSizeRender

So as my hair grew and became like a normal child’s, my hairstyle matched those of any young white girl’s in the 90’s: long hair that was usually tangled in hundreds of places, topped with thick bangs sitting straight across my eyebrow line. And if I was lucky, my mom would toilet paper them on special occasions.

FullSizeRender-3

IMG_7523

FullSizeRender-1

To put it bluntly, I was…well, I was adorable.

Then came third grade. When every girl whose parents had bestowed bangs upon them decided to grow them out. And since I was definitely cool, that’s what I wanted to do too. I asked my parents to buy me clips to help shove them aside during the growing process, and they did.

IMG_7516

By fourth grade, my forehead was the clear, bangs-free forehead I had dreamed of.

I lived the low-ponytail, center-part life every day until middle school.

IMG_7524

Like I said, I was definitely cool.

Then in seventh grade, the bangs fad returned. And since I was definitely cool, my bangs also returned. They were the feathery kind, not as thick as before…and I think they lasted about a month until I realized that they did not look good I was too cool for them.

My hair has gone through a lot of alterations since then, including some highlights, blowouts, bad haircuts, good haircuts, its own recent decision to become curly, and more split ends than I care to even imagine.

And now I’m starting to wonder if the bangs life is for me again.

And that’s where I need your advice.

If you’re thinking, “Well Rachel, how can we give you advice if we don’t know what your hair would look like with bangs?” I have a solution. A solution called the internet.

I’ve replaced my face with some celebrities’ faces, to see what exactly I would look like with bangs. I sat on my couch last night experimenting with all sorts of potential hairstyles, and I’ve set aside the best options for you to look at.

Take your time, sleep on it, don’t feel like you need to answer right away. But here are some accurate depictions of what I could look like with a new ‘do, for your careful consideration.

unnamed

 

unnamed (3)

 

unnamed (5)

 

unnamed (2)

 

unnamed (4)

 

unnamed (1)

Technology these days is amazing.

Anyway, thank you for your contemplation, and I look forward to your feedback.

Boy, the Crazy Thing About Boston is that They Really Like Dunkin’ Donuts

So I went to Boston over President’s Day Generic Monday Holiday weekend with my Boston-native boyfriend. He had mentioned before that Dunkin’ Donuts is “kind of a big deal,” as in “the only coffee that actually matters” in Boston.

I wasn’t so sure about that, but he encouraged me to keep track of all of the Dunkin’ Donuts (oh, hold on, sorry, I mean “Dunkie’s”) establishments that we came across during our three days in Boston. So I did (and succeeded), including the locations in which I spotted them (sort of succeeded).

They were as follows:

  • The one at the airport
  • The other one at the airport
  • The other other one at the airport
  • The one in downtown Roslindale
  • The one in Hyde Park
  • The one at Walcott Square
  • The one we drove past when I didn’t know where I was
  • The one with the dogs fighting in front of it
  • The one right down the street from that one
  • The three we saw but I forgot to write down because I was drunk
  • The one across from the Sephora pop-up shop, which is a thing I didn’t even know existed!
  • The one next to the adorable outdoor ice skating rink
  • The one next to the enormous yacht
  • The one with the homeless man holding a cat on a leash
  • The one with the snow pile in front of it
  • The one I had to squint to see
  • “The one idk.” That’s actually what I wrote. I’m not sure what I meant by that, I might have been drunk for this one too
  • The one with “Dunkin’ Donuts” written in chic black instead of pink and orange

You’re probably thinking I must have really loaded up on coffee and donuts, what with all of this temptation surrounding me in Boston. But in the three days that I was there, I actually only imbibed once, and only for a cup of coffee.

And here’s what happened.

Exhausted from our 6:00 am flight, we drove into the parking lot of Dunkin’ Donuts (the one across from the Sephora pop-up). We walked in and ordered our coffees (his: iced coffee with cream and sugar, mine: a medium black coffee). The cashier who took our order wasn’t overly friendly (as in, I didn’t see her smile at all).

Now, I’ve lived in Virginia my entire life, so I’m just used consistent pleasantries and southern hospitality. I realize that perhaps friendliness, and smiling, are different [nonexistent] up north. So I just tried my best to be nice and brush aside the fact that she looked at us like she would prefer we weren’t there at all.

Anyway, so she handed us our coffees, and mine was scalding. Like I could barely hold it even with the coffee sleeve on it. But I paid and took it out to the car anyway, because, I’m from the south and I’m too polite to say anything that would cause any sort of inconvenience. Once we got into the car, however, I began to have images of my burning tongue, the agony that would ensue from a scorched mouth and numbed taste buds. I thought long and hard about going back inside to ask for a few pieces of ice to put into my coffee, just to make it drinkable.

But then I thought about her non-smile, her impatience, and how angry she would be if I interrupted her from standing around.

I had an angel-on-one-shoulder-devil-on-the-other moment, with one side being my polite southern self afraid of what she would think of me, and the other being the fear of a devastatingly scalded mouth.

But I couldn’t stand the thought of a burnt tongue (and I really couldn’t stand the thought of having to wait for my coffee to cool down), so I put aside my hesitation and walked back inside.

“Hello!”

She looked up. Non-smiled at me. Willed me to go away.

“Hey! Hi, quick question, could I please bother you for please a few pieces of please ice for please my coffee, please?”

This is what happened next, and I’m not making this up: she rolled her eyes at me. Rolled her eyes. Like I had just asked her to help me change my flat tire, or give me a ride to the airport, or be my surrogate. She reluctantly scooped up a few pieces of ice in a lid, and asked me “if this was good enough.”

Now, I know what you’re thinking.

“Not everyone up north is that unfriendly, it was probably an isolated incident by a woman having a bad day.”

Wait, no not that.

You’re probably thinking: “The Dunkin’ Donuts employees down south are probably a lot friendlier, because Richmond is friendlier [better] than Boston. But just to be sure, you should try and see by going to a Dunkin’ Donuts here in Virginia as a side-by-side comparison.”

I thought that exact same thing.

To be continued.

dunkies