We're back. Sort of. Maybe.
Look, we all know how this works. Going on extended hiatus is a tradition here at Infinite Et Cetera and it's one that we intend to continue throughout the years. Loyal IEC observer Mario inspired (threatened) me to update this place with some new content so for the next 500 words I'll offer the top 5 things I've learned about apartment life over the past two months.
- People are Loud & Obnoxious: Open your windows and doors to let that summer breeze in and be treated to the sounds of a mother yelling at her children because she doesn't have the corn dogs they've been begging for. They eventually decided on pizza, but the worse part about living in an apartment complex is being so closely packed in with people who can't speak at a normal decibel level. Every cell phone conversation is held just outside of each tenant's door for that extra signal bar. God help you if there's a pool on the premises when school's not in session.
- Avoiding Small Talk Is A Challenge: Coming face to face with the people mentioned above can be a tricky thing. You don't want to be a dick but most of these people use the complex as a public forum for their private life and frankly you've heard enough. In short: you need to keep your cell phone handy and hope you got mail. Nothing beats a fake cell phone conversation about a car repair or surprise BBQ for your cousin. Be careful though because you'll need to switch it up if people get wise to you. I've found that shuffling through the PennySaver as you walk towards your apartment gives the impression that you're occupied and can get by with a simple "Hey" or "How are you".
- Everyone Has A Learner's Permit: There are two white lines that help guide you into each parking space. These lines do not represent a suggestion. They are painted evenly for each car and each car is meant to fit within each set of lines. When you sign the renter's agreement you are signing for parking space number 1, not number 1 and a half. Get your shit together.
- Poorly Installed Car Alarms Are The Devil: If you drive down our street and go above 30mph, you will set off car alarms. If you sneeze without warning or drop a fork on the floor, you will set off car alarms. If a bird chirps, you inhale, or a strand of grass sprouts from the ground, you will set off car alarms on our block.
- Carrying Groceries Up A Flight Of Stairs Hurts My Back: It really does.
- Hazard Light Abuse: When we were moving in we tried our best to do it discreetly. At non-peek hours of a weekday we brought in a couch, bed, table, and some cabinets. Little by little, box by box, we brought in all our stuff without trying to inconvenience anyone for too long. Sure, we parked in front of the complex with our hazards on for up to maybe 10 or 15 minutes. But we were moving in. I understand that when you live on a street with multiple complexes that this may occur more often than usual but we need to draw the line some place. People moving in, you are allowed to hazard it up for a reasonable amount of time. People picking up your kids, bringing in groceries, chatting it up with your drug dealer, or waiting for a friend do not have my blessing.
- Beware of Landlords: In our search for shelter we met some great characters along the way but none ended up being as scatterbrained as our current landlady, Sandra. Sandra seemed overly nice at first, comforting us with her promises of no bugs and not allowing loitering on the front lawn. While she means well most of the time she is incredibly inconsistent and forgetful. Someone spray painted the front of the complex and she removed it within hours, but when I reminded her that our sink was leaking and made an appointment for the repairmen to come over she spaced out and lied about not having her phone to receive my inquiries. She can be the cheerful grandmother or the meth addict waiting for her next fix, it really is a toss up.