Welcome to hell

I don’t know if you remember this classic from the duo of Long and Hanks about a couple who buy a fixer-upper and hijinks ensue. This is how my signif and I spent our Labor Day Weekend. Not watching the flick. Coping with my new rental.

Let’s not get into how I couldn’t get my couch up the stairs because the passageway’s too narrow. Or how we had to pull the box spring up and over the third floor balcony for the same reason. That’s nothing compared to the soft, damp hole forming in the entryway ceiling. It’s directly underneath where the refrigerator sits at the top of the stairs.

You can’t close the bathroom door because the wood frame is too damaged to hold a metal fixture in place. A window air-conditioner in the living room has been leaking through the wall for what appears to be years. Years. There is so much water damage already that brown sludge seeped through a fresh coat of paint the minute we rolled it on.

We have re-painted the apartment ourselves. Most of it. Except the bathroom. Ah, the bathroom.

The fact that the door won’t close is the least of the problems. We could talk about the corroded and peeling wallpaper that stripped off in chunks and then needed to be scraped clean. The now-mottled prison concrete walls are already an aesthetic improvement. The plan is to prime and paint, but we haven’t gotten there yet. The floor tiles aren’t just divorcing each other, they’re clearly taking space from the wall. The ones that aren’t missing large pieces, that is. Those can’t be saved. There’s a clawfoot tub that I love, but the shower contraption hanging over the tub is a sight to be seen. It’s a series of pipes pulling out of the wall and held together with duct tape. Oh, I SO wish I were kidding. The “shower” is clearly going through a rebellious phase. What should be a downward spray is more of a free-spirited celebration of water dispersion. We tried to replace the showerhead, but that sucker is caulked on with some sort of super adhesive. It won’t budge. Our cart at Lowe’s was so packed with supplies and replacement parts that the store associate said, “You two need to find a new place to live.” You think?

Now, the good part is this is a rental. So while it’s totally my problem, it’s ultimately not going to be my money. And I am on the verge of just cutting my losses, hiring a moving company, and finding a new place that’s less of a project. I took a risk on potential. Who knew this place was the dwelling equivalent of the rowdy kid that gets taped to his chair? There’s just so much you can see when someone’s stuff is in the space. Apparently, I missed a lot.

But we’ll see what the landlord says. Hopefully, he cares enough about the property to make some changes that will pay off in the long run. I’m a great tenant, if I do say so myself, so he’s guaranteed the place will be taken care of once it’s rehabilitated.

Until then, I will sit on the floor in my couchless living room, think about how showering is entirely overrated, and pray the fridge doesn’t come crashing through the entryway ceiling in the next 48 hours.

Fingers crossed.

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