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There Are Trade-Offs to Apartment Living

April 20, 2011

"Three C s"

My fiancee and I have lived in the same apartment for about two years now. Before that, I lived in two other apartments for over four years. Suffice it to say that after six long years of living in various apartments, I have learned that there are some definite pros and cons to apartment living. Tonight I will focus on a negative.

You may be tempted to think that some paper-thin drywall sheets hastily nailed to a few warped 2×4’s scrounged from an abandoned construction site would actually be able to keep out the pungent smells emanating from your next-door neighbor’s apartment but you would be wrong. Because apparently back in the 1500’s (which I’m pretty sure was when my former apartment complex was built), things like insulation and fiberglass were undiscovered technologies. This is the only reason that would explain why I was always able to know when it was “Indian Cuisine Night” over at the Pennington’s.

Now I must disclose that I am a smoker. However, I don’t smoke in my current apartment and I try not to smoke in my car. That being said, there are times that I am sure that I can almost see a visible haze of smoke in my apartment (kind of like dreary Seattle or L.A. on a smoggy day.) This leaves me with two options: either my fiancee has somehow succeeded in starting another electrical fire OR my neighbor is apparently chain-smoking Black and Mild’s again.

Almost invariably, it is the latter (although there was the time when my fiancee actually ran over a mop with the vacuum cleaner and the apartment reeked of burnt rubber for days.) But do you have any idea how bad a place needs to REEK of smoke before a current smoker would even notice? Some days it is as if my neighbors have rigged their bathroom ventilation fan to discharge straight into my bedroom. At this rate, I would not be surprised if my great-grandchildren have Asthma.

The most disconcerting strong odors that emanate from my neighbors’ apartments, however, are the ones that I can’t readily identify. Although upon reflection, decaying roadkill soaked in Pine-sol or a bottle of Odour de Dead Hooker would probably be some of my first guesses. So while my neighbors seem like very nice people, I still can’t get over the sneaking suspicion that maybe, just maybe, there’s a dead body in their basement.

In conclusion, if you live in an apartment there will come a time when some noxious odor will seep through a wall that you share with your neighbor. How you choose to react to this situation will be a good indicator of whether you should continue to live in an apartment. As for me, I’m buying a F&@#ING house…

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