Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Des Moines or Death? Six Weeks Will Tell!

So my landlady tells me she’ll be putting the house (her house, that is, under which I have hidden for nearly eight years) on the dreaded market at the end of this month—but (she assures me) for only six weeks.

If it sells for the price she is asking by then, I will have a new landperson, one who will surely evict me, if not actually stab me for briefly blighting his new festive landscape. And if it does not, I can stay where I am.

I know I should banish all thoughts of moving until I know for sure what my fate is to be.  But in fact I cannot because: (1) I’m scared and obsessive (2) legions of men are outside my door racing to finish new stairways and decks, and, most importantly: (3) my fourth Pretend Husband just barfed in (and not merely on) our nicely appointed marital bed.

It was this copious mountain of Friskie-filled barf that made me aware of a Horrible Truth: I can't move.  I can't because however imperfect (or, let's face it, inadequate) this place may be, it gives me what no other place I can afford to rent will: my very own washer/dryer.

Into which I can hurl, without having to schlep them, barfed upon sheets as soon as I find them.

And this, to me, is the apex of luxury. Never mind that both washer and dryer live inside one machine, which, like shampoo and conditioner that live in one bottle, pretty much means that neither one works.  What do I care if a napkin takes six years to get dry? And not even dry so much as less wet? Whatever keeps me out of the laundromat works well enough. 

Only now there’s a problem: I can’t give it up. My new place, if I do have to find one, has to come with its own washer/dryer because if it doesn’t, I’m going to die.

Which brings me to yet another Horrible Truth: I have to move to a non-seedy neighborhood.  Eight years of living with well-tended greenery and mostly mute neighbors have left me so spoiled that anything less looks like Crystal Meth Drive.  And if I have to schlep my poor barfy sheets to the Crystal Meth Laundromat, I’m really but really going to die.

If I were even partially sane, I'd switch my focus from what I might lose in a move to the happier prospect of what I might gain.   Like a real kitchen with an oven and stove instead of a one burner hot plate that even a character from some Jean Rhys novel would probably find too depressing to use. 

Or a bedroom bigger than Michelle Bachman's brain.  

Or maybe a bath tub in which I can, at last, soak, and later on cower when my next door neighbor, Crystal Meth Joe, finally decides to march in and kill me.

The real problem is that now that I'm a hundred years old, and still waiting for the Cowboy to realize he loves me, which he will not because he does not, I am no longer willing to live in a place that doesn't give me the things (things, mind you, not a Non-Pretend Husband) that I want.  That's right: I am no longer willing.  I'm an aging diva, a cadaverous brat, a fed up thrower of odious tantrums. 

Of course, the most horrible of the Horrible Truths (that the mere prospect of moving makes me confront) is: I can't afford to get what I want.

Except, wait a minute, maybe I can!  

Yes! I can either: (1) move to Des Moines or (2) go through what's left of my dwindling funds as a grasshopper would instead of an ant.  That is to say, I can rent an entire house if I like, a house that comes with a washer and (separate) dryer, a guest room in case I ever have guests, and, if I should need it, a sordid jacuzzi. 

My accountant says I can live there (without eating too much) for 2.5 years (after which I can't live at all) but truly, you know, it's a thing to consider.


  1. Haha, I have that same laundry machine! In case no one has pointed it out to you (and why should they- I didn't notice for three years), you need to drain it regularly. If it's the same thing, and how many of these could be out there, there's a small panel in the front that you pop out with a quarter. Then you drain the tiny hose into a small pie dish, over and over again, spilling as you go, until it stops flowing and you can unscrew and pull out the lint trap piece. Of course if you don't do this on a regular basis, you get the infamous Outlet Error.
    It helps with the dampness, but doesn't help at all with the wrinkles, which are permanently imbedded into any article of clothing that enters the laundry machine...
    Probably you have something entirely different, but that is the story with mine. That and it takes a minimum of 4 hours to do 1 load of laundry... and the timer LIES! 6 minutes can take 45.

  2. Oh, I'm about there, too. Since I cannot have what I really want in life, I MUST have an AMAZING place to live. With THINGS.

    Meanwhile, the lady who was supposed to show us two apartments today called in sick. And packing continues apace...

  3. Just write the "must haves" down on your list and magically, all that you need will appear. I for one, don't have my own washer or dryer, but I do have two washers and two dryers, immediately out my back door. Two steps. Just two. And no one else is ever in the laundry room. So I'd put real stove and bathtub on my list for sure, but sharing a washer/dryer can be doable and not horrifying.

  4. Dear Ms. Gonick, please do not move to Des Moines, no matter how cheap the housing. It's cheap in Detroit, too, and they're doing marvelous things there with the blight, like tearing it out and making urban farms, but the weather!! I just do not see you as an Iowa gal in the winter, all that ice driving ... much worse than a trip to the laundromat (there are some good ones, I know from experience since I do not have in-home laundry, more's the pity), trust me. Plus, would you be so depressed you wouldn't be able to blog, thereby spreading the depression like a plague? I beg you, don't move to Des Moines.