Well, it’s fitting that it’s July, and the start of July celebrates Independence Day. Because yes, here I am, very much, once again, independent, and by that I mean the relationship computer did not reboot, and I am once again fully reinstated in my single life.
I follow all these random, relationship-oriented pages on Instagram for entertainment. One relationship “coach” said something to the effect of, don’t call yourself single, rather say, “I’m back to avoiding future human disappointments.” That felt pretty accurate to me in regards to my recent dating history.
And yet, in some inexplicable way I remain hopeful. I mean, it’s way better to be single than to be in a situationship disguised as a relationship, which clearly, I found myself in the last few months. Nevertheless, it hasn’t taken long for me to find my way back to the joy of living in my usual, day-to-day life. It always seems to come down to the most basic joy of all. Waking up in the morning to find I am still alive. Like, that is huge to me. Every day the news is filled with people dying all over the place. Celebrities always steal the headlines when it comes to dying, however, people are dropping like flies all over the place every day, so I count myself very lucky to open my eyes each morning, and for that I feel immense gratitude.
What I don’t feel much gratitude for is the state-of-affairs in NYC in regards to affordable, decent rentable apartments.
I went up to the city a few weeks back trying to help my son find a one-bedroom place he could afford. That was the most insane, anxiety producing weekend I’ve had in a very long time and resulted in an epic meltdown on the streets of Williamsburg where I somehow ended up after getting on the wrong train after being on trains all day long, crisscrossing the city, walking up five flights or more, to look at hell holes priced at $2500 a month that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Wait…I take that back. I probably would wish that on my worst enemy. I get some satisfaction with revengeful thinking sometimes. Wait, do I even have enemies? I sure hope I don’t have enemies. That would actually be disturbing to think I have enemies.
Back to my meltdown. I was standing on some random street screaming into the phone, “I don’t know where I am!!!!” in front of a single family house where a kid with a skateboard was coming out of which was supposed to be an apartment building where I was to meet my son at any minute, as some man in a car passed by and gave me a side eye look that communicated, “Oh, another NYC crazy on the street.”
It was that precise moment that I decided it was time to reach into my emergency fund and use some of my hard earned cash to bribe some realtor into getting a lease signed for my son. I’d reached the end of my rope and I knew it would be a last hope ploy after 4 exhausting days clocking in over 18,000 steps a day and countless tenement buildings with hundreds of people clamoring for a bid on a washer and dryerless, too small apartment, where if you are lucky enough to secure one of these grungy, ten flights up apartments, the renter must make over $100,000 to secure the lease, otherwise they need a guarantor that makes over $250,000. And while that may not seem unreasonable to many people, it certainly is a lot for my 26 year old son, let alone me. Truth is, I have high hopes for Garrett, because he is doing excellent at his new job and I think he is on the trajectory to a very successful career. However, at this point, he still needs a guarantor, which quite honestly is insane considering his salary is higher than mine.
Having grown up renting in NYC since I was literally 17 years old, I remember landlords being more than happy to have you sign a lease with no follow up paperwork or proof of income. Just your name on the document was enough for them to hand over the keys.
Back to the bribery part of the story. So I have Garrett call the realtor who had kept leading him on to an apartment she had shown him that he wanted and tell her I’d give her a a wad of cash to please just let him sign the lease to which she then replied all the parents are doing that and it wouldn’t help because the landlord doesn’t feel Garrett makes enough money to pay the rent, which he absolutely could, but apparently there was a bidding war on for that apartment, making the rent go up by the minute. We were in a nightmare that we couldn’t get out of.
So what’s a Jewish mother to do? I said let’s go grab a cup of coffee and a nosh.
We found our favorite café nearby, sat down, crunched the numbers, including the bribery money which I now decided was best given to Garrett without any kind of bribe attached, except maybe some Jewish Mom guilt trip in regards to letting me come visit anytime I want, and right then and there we called the landlord of the apartment he presently occupies and asked if it was possible to have him resign the lease under his own name, sans roommate. Miracle of miracles, the landlord said yes, and with literally one hour sleep in two days, I flew back to Nashville and joyously kissed the ground in my beautiful condo which I independently own.
And as a newly, once again single woman, in my beautiful single home and my son secured in his first ever NYC apartment minus a roommate, I can truly say, Happy Independents Day to all!