Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Open Letter to My Small Apartment.


For the past five years, I’ve lived in a small apartment in the North End of Boston.  For those who don’t know the area, it’s basically Boston's "Little Italy" with its cafés and restaurants and Italian grandparents mixed in with students who couldn’t get dorms and a few yuppies with babies and adorable dogs. 

Lately, I feel as though I have been outgrowing the place.  All the things I found charming and comfortable about it when I first moved in, I’m starting to find incredibly frustrating.  I read through Apartment Therapy and Pinterest  and see all these adorable apartments and homes with huge living spaces!  Living rooms with cozy blankets and non-working fireplaces!  Kitchen tables and wonderful ovens that work!  Beautifully tiled bathrooms with BATH TUBS and room for more than one bottle of shampoo and conditioner (what can I say, I’m a lady who enjoys a good hair product or five.)

So now, I bring you an Open Letter to My Small Apartment:

Dear Apartment,

Let’s start at the beginning.  Your door, which barely locks, is annoying to open, and doesn’t leave a whole lot of space for opening and getting things inside.  Like laundry.  Or groceries. Or one full person.   Then we hit the stairs.  Ah, the stairs.  I haven’t counted them lately (I’m sure they’re always changing in number) but there are five flights.  I have mastered them and can even make it all the way up without panting, aching or wanting to smash my head against the wall… but why?  Why do you have to get more narrow as I climb?  Why do your walls make it nearly impossible to fit shopping bags, laundry bags and nevermind my mattress when I moved in.  I am certainly not looking forward to the day when I have to move out. 

I don’t want to make you feel self-conscious, but your shape could use some improvement.  You’re a horseshoe.  Nobody strives to be a horseshoe shape!  It’s convenient that the bathroom is right in the middle and the two bedrooms are on opposite sides of the apartment, that’s for sure.  But what doesn’t help is your lack of doors.  The only doors in the whole apartment are the bathroom, the entrance and the albums I have on my computer.  Just kidding.  I don’t have any albums from The Doors, but it was a good joke. (Just kidding.  No it wasn’t.)

I don’t want to make you feel even more self-conscious, but your size is nothing to brag about.  I could do a single cartwheel and make it from one end of the apartment to the other.  That’s saying something.  I am only 5’5” so my cartwheels are not very lengthy to begin with.  My entire room fits one bed… and one side table that is big enough to hold my record player and that’s about it.  Thank goodness for your built-in shelves, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to own any possessions.  But now that we’re on the topic, you have made it possible that I could pack up and move and fill half a car with stuff.  That’s probably a good thing, but mostly, it annoys me.  I’m the type of gal who enjoys doing yoga at home – but you make it so difficult with your limited floor space that moves have to be adjusted to fit the space.  That’s right!  Yoga moves take up as much as a small mat and you are still too confined a space for me to spread my arms and legs as wide as they need to be spread.  That sounds gross.  It wasn’t my intention.   I’m sorry about that.

It doesn’t help that I managed to make someone fall in love with me this year.  I managed to find someone who wants to spend time with me and sleep next to me while also keeping their posessions close by.  So now one half of my floor space is entirely off limits because where else would he keep his clothes and FEW posessions?  The closet?  Some other space outside of my room?  NO.  Because my closet is tiny and is bursting with my own things and as far as other space, there simply is none.

I spend a lot of time in my apartment nowadays, since I don’t have a full-time day job.  I’d love to have a desk to do some work on my computer and not just stay in bed all day long, hurting my back and feeling like a lazy loser.  I’d love to be able to bake things without being terrified of the oven.  I’d love to have heat that traveled beyond the kitchen, since it comes from the stove.  I’d love to shower without everything in the shower falling on my toes.  I’d love to cozy up in the living room on a COUCH (not a futon) with a television and cable that I could afford and internet that worked consistently.

I have big apartment dreams.  I’d like to have people over and give them places to sit and be comfortable and not squeeze into a tiny kitchen that was seemingly built for tiny Italian elves.  I’d like to host cocktail parties or dinner parties, or just have a place to go after shows when the bars are closed and let the good times roll!  Are people still saying that?  No?  Whatever.

You’ve served your purpose and you’ve been a great friend during some troubling times and wonderful times. I still appreciate you and your tiny charms.  I’ve had amazing times within your walls.  I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve made mistakes.  I grew up inside of you.  (That was also a gross thing to say, however this time it was intentional.)

I’m like a genie in a bottle… and you rub me the wrong way.  (Final bad joke.)  

Thanks for listening.  I’m so sorry for offending you.  Especially since I'm not even leaving you any time that soon.  Have a good day.  I love you.

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