Finding myself in the Middle East

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Brave New World

When we first came to look at this apartment, we realized a couple of things about it. One, the rent was really cheep, which was the reason we were looking at the apartment in the first place. Two, it had two bedrooms, one more than what we had until then. And three, that we could make this place into a home with a bit (okay, a lot) of scrubbing and a bunch of love.

So, we did. Scrubbed it and loved in it and hung up a few paintings. It's in a good location, we have good neighbors, a comfy leather couch, and all was well. Until this year, when we realized that we were outgrowing it and needed a third bedroom. We found a new apartment, and even though it was in the middle of our contract, we figured it was a good time of year for moving, and we would have no problem finding someone to take our current apartment off our hands.

That's when we realized, for the first time, the fourth thing about our apartment.

It's gross.

No, really. The walls are peeling and the plumbing is external and the bathtub is gray. The sink backs up and the floors are uneven and the cabinets are crumbling from the inside out.

We know this now from the expressions on the prospective couple's faces when they walk in to view our home.

And honestly, I just don't get it.

Because when we came in 4 years ago, we saw a kitchen to bake and cook in and a dining room to eat in. We saw a place for our washer and dryer, a place for our couch, a place for our beds and a place for our shelves. No we are not blind, and we did notice that it was not renovated and was actually kind of old. But we also saw walls to contain our shabbas meals, walls to contain our spontaneous dancing in the living room, walls to contain our growing family and the laughing and loving and joy.

Where we saw a bathtub and room for a bottle of cherry bubble bath, they only see mold. Where I cooked for endless shabbas guests, they see peeling cabinets and faded countertops. Where Outdoorsman learned and roughhoused with the kids, they see ancient tiles.

It's been a week, and we have not found someone to take over our lease, though a dozen people have trouped through my door, searching.

Searching for what?

Either I need new glasses...or they do.

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