The Joys of Apartment Living

Okay, after selling my house and acre of land to make my ex-wife happy, would someone please explain to me the legal term “equalization” and why it does not appear anywhere near equal to me!  If you have never been through this, let me try to explain it to you through the eyes of the law.

When divorcing, the legal system says that both partners must evenly split everything they own.  On the day of separation all property, bank accounts and any other thing of value was taken into account.  Because the ex’s car was a ‘gift’ from her mother and several antique pieces of furniture were ‘gifts’ from her grandmother…well splitting the furniture was relatively easy.  The worst of it all was that half of my pension (including Canada Pension) is now my ex’s, and to top it all off I had to pay half of her massive credit line and cards.  Ok, she is driving a new car, owns a new condominium, is collecting CP benefits and is still working.

Ok, that’s water under the proverbial bridge and I’m over it.

Living in an apartment is not all that bad.  Paying rent, car payment and phone/internet bills are not so bad now that I don’t have to pay heat, hydro, home upkeep and property taxes and know where and how much of my income is spent!

Apartment living is not so bad most of the time.  Living on the second floor (of seven) I have a very nice balcony and in the summer months I adorn it with about 25 planters of various plants and flowers.  As I am a bit of an introvert, most of the people in the building don’t know me by name and I have come to be known by most as “the flower guy”.

The best feature of the place is the intercom from the lobby that requires visitors to buzz you on the phone to gain entrance to the building.  This great feature does not allow those pesky salespersons from knocking on your door trying to sell you some unwanted service or goods.  This does not however stop the phone from ringing and some idiot trying to sell you a duct cleaning service (even though I have hot water heat); how about new windows and doors? (I don’t own the building!)  How about new roofing or driveway paving?  I guess I really should get call display.

Yes there are some drawbacks to my building.  The laundry room only has four washers and four driers of only maybe two are operational at any given time!  Most buildings with sixty units would have this many on each of the seven floors.

The old geezer above me is a pain in the you-know-what!  Rumor has it that he was medically handicapped by a stroke years ago.  When seen walking in public, he has a noticeable limp and appears to drag his feet.  What I hear from my apartment is a constant ‘thump, thump, thump’ and I swear that he jogs and dances and skips around that place several times a day!  Many times I have thought about taking a baseball bat up there and breaking a leg…that is really a dumb idea.  One broken leg would only result in a ‘walking cast’ and would generate even more thumping!  Yes, I would have to break both legs thus putting him in a wheel chair with little or no noise then.

Having a niece and nephew move into the building a couple of years ago wasn’t too bad.  We don’t bother each other very often and it does have some advantages.  As my nephew was an avid outdoorsman I used to get samples of venison, turkey or home- made sausage once in a while and my niece is a pretty good cook!

Last year another nephew and his lady friend moved in.  To say that they are annoying would be like saying that Hades is cold!  These two would have to be a landlord’s worst nightmare.  Although they both could be considered somewhat handicapped, I don’t think either has ever held a job or owned a car.  I suspect they chose this particular building because Uncle Ranger and two cousins lived here.  The first day here they asked how much I would charge them to drive them to the grocery store, liquor and beer store not necessarily in that order of necessity!

The problem here was that they had only lived thirty miles away, I have seen them only once in forty years in that time and that was at my sister’s funeral a few years ago.  I’m too old and independent to adopt a fully grown family now!

By the second week of the month they are broke and start canvassing relatives (read me!) for the loan of a few bucks for cigarettes and beer.  It usually starts with a phone call from them…saved by the bell (no pun intended) I tell them I have to hang up, someone’s knocking at my door!  No, it’s them at my door with a cell ringing in their hands!  Anyone that eager to get to me, does not!

Okay, so maybe I’m becoming a grouchy old man, but I guess I will be here for a few years yet.



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