Monday, 13 August 2012

signing day

A big week for the Scrimger clan. My daughter and I both sign leases, readying ourselves for an exciting year in downtown TO. I like her place maybe more than mine, but I can't afford to live there. (Thea has her first real job, and a pension plan and benefits. Landlords love these things. My royalty cheques cause them to look at me askance: can't a middle-aged man do better?)

Which apartment girl did I end up with? Of course it was the nice girl, with the undivorced parents and library card and bicycle clips and the no visible tattoos. My mom can't wait to meet her. Here's her picture.

Nice eh? She has a cute tile kitchen and an open-concept living area with blonde wood and exposed brick.

The easy part for me was the actual signing. I have a cheque book and a pen. Thea had a tougher time. She does her banking online and buys everything on credit or debit. She has never held a cheque with her name on it.

What'll I do Daddy? she asked, an overtone of panic vibrating at the top of her register. Thea has always been a good panicker. Fortunately, I am able to calm her down with practical fatherly advice.

Does your landlord own a fleet of tanker trucks? I asked.

What does that have to do with anything?

You could convince your landlord to enter the barter economy, I suggested. He will let you live on his property and in return you will manage his fleet of tanker trucks, keeping them clean and full and on schedule. Eh?

I thought this was pretty good -- specific, you know, and fair value for money. Thea is a sort of office manager. I don't really know what she does, but if I had a fleet of tanker trucks, I'd pay someone like her to manage them.

I'm going to have to open a chequing account! she said.

Yes, that might solve your problem too.

I'll be late for the signing and he'll be upset. Want to drive me to the bank? she asked. That would save time and we could have lunch afterwords.

Sorry, I have to earn another couple of dimes for my next royalty cheque, I said. My landlord doesn't trust me either.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

easy virtue

Ah, the slutty apartment. This one is cheap and available and a good size. The neighborhood is a little bit skeezy (maybe not as skeezy as the picture here), but I like that. It caters to my sense of myself as a devil of a fellow. And the hood is clearly changing -- there's a new library and a very trendy bar in the next block. I've already met a super friendly -- almost too friendly -- neighbor.

So why not take the place? A few reasons. There's the build-up of years of dirt on the stairs. And the windows that look out onto a blank wall two feet away. And the kitchen. Let me think how to describe the kitchen. How about this?

It's not much of an exaggeration. Would my mom be happy to meet this girl? I was afraid to touch any of the surfaces.

I viewed the place with a trio of art students -- two girls and a guy, early to mid 20s. Cute kids with big smiles and ripped jeans and, yes, lots of tattoos. While I tried to look away from the grime and the mousetraps, and wondered how much time I would have to spend cooking, these kids were over the moon about the place. There's so much space! they said. It's so funky! they said. I looked at them, and I looked at me, and I thought: This is their apartment. They should live here. Maybe they'll be late with the rent and leave their dishes in a pile and attract even more vermin, but they belong here and I don't. So I shook hands with my cheap and easy date, and left her.

Now the only apartment left on my list is the nice one -- polite, clean, open, attractive enough, in an unsurprising part of town. I think I'll give the landlord a nudge. Time to settle in with the right girl. My mom will be so happy!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Continuing in my no doubt dubious analogy between apartments I have known and girls I have dated, last night I heard from the hot chick. 

This one is a beauty, eh?  Cool funky neighborhood, tons of curb appeal, show-stopping main floor with  high ceilings, big windows (you know how some guys are about big windows), sexy mouldings and countertops. This apartment smiles at you when you walk in, and you melt.  But, like so many hot chicks, there is a potential for trouble.  This may be a high-maintenance apartment, with emotional baggage in her lower floor.  There's a whiff -- just a whiff -- of mildew.  A sense that maybe all is not right with the plumbing or weeping tiles (you know how some guys are about weeping). 

There were a bunch of offers on this place, and I crossed my fingers, at the same time wondering about long term issues.  This is a year lease.  And when I heard last night that I was NOT going to be going out with her, I sighed partly in sorrow and partly in relief.  And I booked an appointment to see the easy slutty girl again....