Monday, August 09, 2004

Apartment Hunting...from the couch, in front of the TV, with a Diet Coke

So, right this minute I am supposed to be out apartment hunting...only instead, I'm hanging at my friends' apartment drinking massive quantities of Diet Coke and watching TV. See, here's the problem...I am the kind of person that basically makes up my mind about something and then I might dabble a little bit into alternative ideas just for show, but really, I am just going to do what I want anyway in the end. And, the apartment that I already know I like (a friend of ours from school lives there) I am going to see today all I have to do is go walk around a little bit so people think I made an informed choice...and then go get the one I really want tomorrow.

I'm not sure when this behavior started. I used to actually consider alterntive courses of action, not just pretend to. But in the past couple of years I think I have achieved a level of clarity about what I am and am not willing to live with that allows me to make pretty quick decisions about most things that aren't life or death. The apartment that I like is north of campus in a suburban kind of door to not one, but TWO grocery stores (important when you don't have a car), near a Blockbuster, has a really awesome gym, a pool and a cool barbeque area. These are things that are important to me. I HAVE to have an apartment where I can feel at home, especially in light of the fact that I used to be a homeowner and I've never really gotten back into apartment living. Second to the hominess factor is the "no-roommate" factor. One of my roommates from last year is awesome, and I am staying with her and her boyfriend this week. But I am almost 30 years old. I just don't think that I should have to have a roommate anymore. It seems wrong. So, the "good" apartment is a place I can afford alone...HOORAY!

I've been told a couple of times recently that I should live more in the city because it has "character"...and it does. And the neighborhood I'm staying in right now is great...I really like it. But, I think sometimes in a place like TVPNM people want you to feel guilty for liking anything mainstream, and that's unfortunate because in many ways, I am a mainstream girl. I shop at Target and eat at chain restaurants and support corporate America in more ways than I can count...and damnit, I like apartments in the suburbs. This is probably one of the main factors underlying why I'm not entirely happy here Texas I felt a little more at home with people who just seemed a bit more grounded and sort of in touch with what it's like to just be a "normal" person. I know it goes back to my childhood, which was of course spent mainly on military bases overseas and in suburban neighborhoods in the States, but deep down inside I consider myself a "typical American."

It's difficult to think about living in a neighborhood, no matter how much character and charm it has, where EVERY SINGLE PERSON considers themselves to be artsy (pseudo-intellectuals abound in TVPNM), politically astute (but of course, only in whatever direction they lean), culturally adept and informed...etc. Where are the people who just sit on their porch and have a beer and listen to Jimmy Buffett and talk about life? And I mean a good beer...and an informed, interesting, intelligent, entertaining discussion. Down to earth people...who have good jobs and enjoy nice things but aren't obsessed with money, or with being the most alternative of all their friends. People who haven't chosen a personality just for show. People who are wickedly funny and straightforward but who aren't ashamed to admit that sometimes homemade margaritas and a game of Trivial Pursuit are where it's at? Where are they? Those are my people...the Lost Tribe of Educated, Funny, Normal, Decent People.

Don't get me wrong, I love the West Coast and like TVPNM quite a bit, but it's odd how I thought by the time I was 30 I would have all this crap figured out...and instead, I'm apartment hunting on a student financial aid budget and trying to fit the lifestyle that I want (or figured I would have by now) with what is actually possible. On that happy note, time to go get lunch...I've got apartments to look at people.
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