The suburbs are easy to spot: they have all the open parking spaces

  • Number of wardrobe malfunctions: 3
  • Number of beneficial wardrobe malfunctions: 1
  • Number of apartments lined up for viewing: 5
  • Number of apartments actually seen: 4
  • Number of apartments walked out on immediately: 1
  • Number of apartment managers late for their own open house: 2
  • Number of apartments just driven by because we saw the neighborhood and thought “Oh hell no:” 1.


A lovely, purple fitted cotton shirt purchased in June already has a mysterious stain on it that evidently dish soap got to too late. It wasn’t bad enough to change out and most of my clothing is in storage – I put myself on a very limited wardrobe – so I decided to just deal with it.

Then I noticed that the one pair of jeans I brought with were pulling out at the zipper seam. I had no time to fix it in the morning so I had to walk around pulling my shirt down a little to cover it until I could unearth my mini sewing kit from the bathroom disaster.

One of these reflexive pull-downs resulted in the top button of my shirt coming undone. Mike did not say anything, but boy were the male property managers friendly.

So, the first property in outer Richmond … no. Just no.

The next one, in Daly City, was cool for its community design but the interior was designed terribly. Also, no bathtubs and shit for storage. The person that showed us gave us references to other apartment communities that fit what we described, but advised us that the closets all kind of suck. Mike had not eaten at all, and I was just tired.

Omen: three dogs appeared as we left, all exhibiting warning off behaviors. Most dogs like me. So when this appeared, I took it to mean that even though I’m leaning towards Daly City it’s not where the universe wants me to go.

The third one in Sherwood Forest was cute as a button and had the storage we needed but is too far from the stuff I want to access – and if I have a bad sciatica day or an allergy that makes me not able to walk day, just getting to a bus stop might kill me.  The problem? It looks like it has a daycare on the first floor. I work from home. If I wanted the pitter patter of little feet en masse I’d have become a teacher. Instead, I developed a will to live. So a daycare plus shared laundry running around daily beneath my beleaguered immune system now? No, just NO. The smog index, BTW, is not kidding around. I had a massive headache all day on top of the cold I already have. I’m starting to feel rushed to get a permanent apartment just so I can get my ass back into allergy treatments.

Omen: The mail carrier was driving through the neighborhood. He got a good look at us when we went past him and parked. As we waited for the late landlord, the mail carrier turned back and looked toward me again, and waved. Mercury saying hello? Signalling approval? The landlord, when he finally got there, seemed wholly inclined towards Mike and I.

The fourth one, in Russian Hill, smelled like fish. Also, when the group of prospects got on the elevator, they all got worried about the elevator’s weight – and of course, as people helpfully identified what they weighed, they all came to stare at me, the largest person on the elevator. Since at that point I still had reason to play nice I just said “It’s fine,” instead of “You guys be just as uncomfortable as you’re trying to make me.”

I think it said enough when Mike and I did one walkthrough and just walked the hell out, to the apartment manager’s discomfiture. The place on the inside seemed way too much like Franklin Coop – on its worst days.

We then drove through Visitacion, and while looking for a place to park decided to just drive the hell out.

So that was our first day of apartment hunting. I need to talk Mike out of the open houses – while we are looking at a relatively low competition level (it’s us versus groups of five roommates, which landlords hate) it is still pretty damned high stress, since the really nice apartments start at $6K and we are looking around at $4K. That, and I get a sense that I am supposed to live as close to the ocean as I can manage. And I already went through my shitty apartment salad days with my ex AND with Mike and I am really unhappy about having to go through all that again.

Also, a few observations/interactions:

In the evening, after a Target run that cost way too much money and some rest, we walked around the complex finally. It’s cool, very high-end startup culture. I’m a little worried about sexual/body harassment in the workout room, but I am going to try to spend about two hours a day there anyway. Looks like I’ll be trying Google shop out in the next day or so to get myself a few things I will need to work out, since evidently my workout T-shirt never made into my stuff.