Friday, July 31, 2009

Last 524 Rent Check

That's right friends, today I paid the last rent check on my Birmingham apartment. So exciting! It's not that we won't ever pay rent again (though hopefully we won't pay TWO rents ever again), or that we won't pay rent in Birmingham ever again (though I'd rather pay a mortgage!). Rather it's that we won't pay rent for my apartment ever again.

Don't get me wrong, it's a great apartment. I'm 7 minutes from work, which is amazing, and have plenty of space, which is great. It's more that I inherited the apartment from my big brother (again, no biggie). So we've been in it for 7 years. With no carpet cleaning or paint. And a rent total that I don't even want to think about. I'll just say that when I first figured it out for my own sick pleasure, I had the decimal one too far to the left and I STILL was aghast at what we were paying. Imagine my shock when I refigured those numbers.

So that's that. It's somewhat poetic (and humbling and bittersweet...) to hand over my 30-days notice and my final rent check. The apartment has great memories: Fauxgiving with friends, Thanksgiving in 2 hours or less, bagged-salad dinner-in-a-bowl roomie nights, and the great wasp invasion of 2008. It's where I lived when B and I got engaged, where I found out that my dog died, and where I have very real memories of my parents, namely Mom yelling out from the bathroom "I'm just going to clean your shower! I'm already in here!" and Dad, at least during Todd's tenure, dutifully vacuuming the carpet every time he came to visit.

I lived here as an intern and celebrated here when I landed by first job. It's where I poured over bridal magazines and airfares to go visit B in faraway minor league ball parks. I've hosted friends, family, and friends of roommates. Speaking of roommates-- I've had three, all of whom rotated in and out in the course of three months.

524 is where I learned to make a layer cake with only one 8-inch round pan, first tried my hand at Mom's recipes like pot roast and meatloaf, and spent way too many sunny Sundays watching America's Next Top Model.

It's where I painted a picture of my first niece, tried my hand at Indian cooking, and dipped approximately 700 pretzel sticks for wedding favors (B: "what are you up to?" "STILL DIPPING PRETZELS!!").

The apartment has, at times, been covered in resumes, clips, red wine (ooph, poor carpet), confectioner's sugar, wedding magazines, bills, moving boxes, and clothes, drying on every doorknob and inch of molding around the doors.

I've loved this apartment. It's where I dreamed about marrying B, talked to Dad about finances, and addressed wedding invitations long-distance with Mom. Thank God it isn't smaller-or portable-or I might just try to fit it in my scrap book.

We're ready to move on. To let someone else come in and experience the slightly dingy magic of 524. But it is nice, when looking forward, to pause and look back. Even better that I can look back and know that my three-and-a-half years there have been happy, joy-filled years, in spite of the little setbacks, growing pains, and heartbreaks that befell the path along my journey.

While I've given 30 days notice, we're actually moving in about 22. Bring on the good times of 103! Just let me hold on to the warm fuzzies of 524 for a while longer.

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