As poor people, experiencing different seasons in apartment living is a lot like childbirth. It's like we have a hormone that helps us forget how miserable we once were. During winter in my old apartment, I forgot about the pools of sweat and sleeping under damp towels of summer once I was cozy warm due to all the heat I wanted at no additional cost. Yesterday I was shivering and typing with numb fingers as my resilient will to not use the heat crumbled and I turned the thermostat to 63 degrees. It reminded me of the last house I lived in before I got married. It was old, and I had a private room in the back with wood floors and 6 windows. SIX windows that had one job--creating uninsulated avenues of cold. As winter approached along with a roommate's unflagging will to keep the house at 55, I began changing my sleeping habits. My attire started with a base of normal sleep wear, a t-shirt and shorts. Then I added socks. And a hooded sweatshirt. And a fleece adult onesie. Then I took the fetal position under my jersey sheets with a Norwegian comforter and three additional blankets, and created a breathing hole, tying the drawstrings tight on my hood. Coincidentally my roommate next door had a room that was in a constant sauna-like state. She melted at night while I hunkered down in my own Everest base camp.
Marriage forced me to sell my contract early. In December, I would crank up the heat for prospective buyers. I walked barefoot through the apartment. "Look here, we have a dishwasher! Oh, and here is the room. The desk is included, it has wood floors (so hot right now) and a vintage dresser, lots of closet space. And the most amazing part... it has SIX windows. So great. I love this room."
A few weeks and a $200 signing bonus later, I sold my contract. Little did she know I had sentenced her to 4 months in her own private icebox hell. I should have felt bad, but I didn't. I had $1200 on the line and my new apartment to move into. And it was nice and warm, with utilities all included...
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Posted by Malorie at 8:53 AM