Hypothetically Speaking . . .

. . . . . . . . Because Humor Matters

Unsigned, Unsealed, And Rejected

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Apr• 04•10

Due to my starting the new job in DC back in February, I’ve been searching high and low for a new apartment so that I can cut down on the commute from Baltimore. So far, I’ve seen almost every vacant apartment in the DC area. I’ve seen short ones. Tall ones. Big ones. And small ones. Ones with fireplaces. And ones with no closet spaces. Ones with washers and dryers. And ones with dangerous electrical wires. The list goes on and on. Usually, I’m good at scoping out a new location, signing the lease, and getting all settled in. However, this time I can’t seem to make up my mind. Of course, the higher cost of living is a factor. For what I pay in rent for my current one-bedroom apartment in Baltimore, I’d be able to get an awesome broom closet with a view in DC. On the plus side, cleaning supplies would always be easily accessible. However, I don’t know how I’d feel about the constant mop smell I’d have to endure, or whether I’d be happy with having to stand up all the time. And it would probably be a little weird to have 350 cable channels and high-speed internet if you live in a room that has less than one square foot of space. Hmm.

In addition, I think I can blame my reluctance to choose a place on Connie Chung, Diane Sawyer, and all those other news anchors for their enlightening coverage of all things bad. Thanks to them, I’ve been analyzing crime reports weekly for the areas I may end up moving to. I’ve also been in contact with the local police department more times than I’d like. It’s gotten so bad that they actually know me by voice. They say, “No, Mr. Rochelle, there hasn’t been any petty thefts or aggravated assaults with a deadly loaf of bread since you called five minutes ago.” Never before have I been so concerned about 5-year-olds stealing M&Ms from the grocery store. Now, I’m using that information to do pie charts and diagrams showing why I shouldn’t live within twenty-five miles of those little heathens. We all know that criminals start out small. Today it’s just candy, but tomorrow those toddlers will be lifting my flat-screen TV right off the wall and taking my lunch money.

My failure to commit to a place has gotten so bad that I’ve enlisted my parents’ help in the process. For some reason, my mother has always been good at seeing what lies beneath the surface. Me, I’ll see an elderly woman in a wheel chair knitting a scarf while waiting at the bus stop. My mom will see that same old lady and somehow her instincts will let her know that Granny is really an ex-con waiting on the bus so that she can go crack some skulls, collect on past-due debts, and participate in gang initiations. My mother is so good at this sort of thing that she can look at a stain on the carpet and tell you exactly what it is, an approximate date and time it was done, who or what did it, and whether it will come out or not with lemon juice and a shot of tequila. Surprisingly, she can do all of that without even doing a taste test. I’ve never been sure why she hasn’t thought about working in forensics or for the FBI.

After looking at no less than 25 apartments and condominiums, I narrowed my choices down to three. Out of those three, I was really in love with one of them. When I saw the pictures for it online, I immediately called my mom and dad and told them I’d finally found my soul mate. They were just as excited as I was. I went so far as to get a ring, a preacher and set a date. But when I had a chance to see it in person, I wondered how it was possible that no one else had snatched it off the market. It just didn’t seem right that such an immaculate place would be empty. I imagined myself waking up every morning and doing my debilitated version of the moonwalk toward the shower. I pictured cartoon birds, rabbits and squirrels helping me brush my teeth and get dressed before I slid down the banister and had the gerbils make me pancakes for breakfast. However, that vision died the moment I let my parents take a look at it.

When we arrived, it was as if someone was playing a sick practical joke on me. It was kind of like a marriage, where every flaw and detail is hidden until you’ve said your I do’s and signed on the dotted line. Immediately, my parents noticed that part of the rain gutter had fallen off the building and landed near the front door. We had to step over it to get inside. We then noticed a beer can and a potato-chip bag that had to have been there since Y2K resting happily on the lawn. I tried to let in a breeze, but three of the five windows wouldn’t open. Next, my mom identified and labeled at least 10 stains on the carpet while my dad pointed out that the kitchen light fixture was being held together by masking tape. Imagine my horror. It was like I was thirteen and trying to explain to my parents that I was capable of making good decisions while all the evidence proved otherwise.

If all of that wasn’t embarrassing enough, it was right about then that my mom asked me to meet her by the stove. Reluctantly, I held my head down and did so. I hadn’t even thought to open the oven and look inside. Who does that? However, when she did, she found that the previous tenants had left a whole Thanksgiving ham in there for our enjoyment—the reason I know it was from Thanksgiving is because it was dated. The microwave was no better, and the refrigerator had rust—or what we prayed was rust—on the icemaker and water dispenser. But the icing on the cake came when my mom asked if my living room set would match the dead body sprawled out in the corner. Needless to say, with the few bits of pride and dignity I had left, I grabbed my parents and got out of there as fast as I could.

One of the worst things about a new apartment is that you don’t really get the full picture of what it would be like to live there until after you’ve signed your life away for at least a year and moved in. You don’t get a chance to take the apartment out on a couple dates to see what the two of you have in common. And it’s not until you’ve moved in that you’ll find out that your upstairs neighbor has two kids, Stomp and Stompette. Before you sign the lease, you have no way of knowing that the tenant on the right likes rock music at two in the morning while the tenants on the left earn their income by hosting a fish fry out of their apartment every night, which will leave you and your clothes smelling less than desirable.

Like I always say, your house or apartment is only as good as your neighbors. What really sucks about the whole process is that the leasing agents may know a ton of horrible things about your apartment and the area in general, but it would be “illegal” for them to tell you negative things about the community. As opposed to them being able to warn you to get a bullet proof vest and run for your lives, lawfully, they have to tell you the place is wonderful and that you’d really enjoy it—even if they know there are scheduled shootouts held in your new bedroom every second and fourth Wednesday of each month. Ironically, it is not illegal for them to pull your credit, background, and employment history so that they can find out any negative information about you before they allow you to sign a lease. Now that’s what I call fair!

Lastly, I need to apologize for the not-as-frequent-as-I’d-like blog entries. As all three of you readers know, these past few months have been very hectic for me. From finishing school in January, to starting the new job in February, and apartment hunting since the beginning of the year, I haven’t had as much time to write as I’d like. However, the lack of entries doesn’t mean that I don’t think about the three of you often. And it doesn’t mean that I don’t feel like a complete failure when I stumble across my blog and see that I haven’t made an entry for a whole month. Oh the humanity! Well, I’d like to think that my blog is more focused on quality as opposed to quantity. I could do a quickie blog every day that says how many paper clips I used or what I ate for lunch, or I can live a little bit and wait until I can give you something of substance—my version of substance, that is. So, I do apologize for the delay in entries. Just bear with me for the next few weeks and I promise to do better once life settles down a little bit, or when someone offers to pay me a couple million to quit my day job so that I can do updates more frequently. Any takers?

Michael Rochelle

Access my full humor blog:http://www.justmichael.net/blog
Access my website: http://www.justmichael.net

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2 Comments

  1. Adonis Seldon says:

    Very funny Michael…I really like this blog. But dont worry about not writing enough on these blogs I’m sure I can relate to as how things become so overwhelmed with life stuff and fluff.

    As far as those Diane Sawyers and Connie Chungs out there, its like TMI. News is only good for one thing…Reporting. Thats it…I should know since I had ESPN reporter as professor Sal Paolantonio. Things like statistics and probabilities when it comes to moving, housing markets, the economy, etc…dont ever listen to them on that b/c that is not what they are supposed to REPORT. They are only supposed to REPORT the NEWS…and they can barely do that…Good luck with everything though and I’m sure you’ll find a place w/o the help of crappy news reporters! take care, Adonis…

  2. Jeanette says:

    Hilarious! Good luck on finding your soulmate. Keeping looking, don’t give up the battle (haven’t they taught you that at your new job)!

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