Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Condo Lyfe - Part Two

I think I made a horrible, terrible, very bad mistake. 

I was not created for condo life. Nothing about this feels natural or right. 

Monday morning - my first day back at work after using up all my vacation time getting ready for The Move, moving, and then dealing with aftermath of The World's Ugliest Move. 

There was 383 emails waiting for me, as well as a few challenges. Looked like the French Christmas mailing went out in envelopes that weren't windowed, and therefore not addressed. And the Focus Magazine printing was two weeks late due to labor and materials shortages. 

I set up a temporary work space at my table, using a Rubbermaid as an extra desktop surface. (I'd done a practice run with my mom re: leaving our apartment, walking to the elevator, going to P1, showing her how to fold her walker into her trunk, how to get back upstairs again... but she seemed a lil shakey. So I'll work from home until she's confident.) (Also, the second elevator in Building D has not been functioning since I got my keys last Tuesday, which isn't a big deal unless someone is moving in. Then they 'get' the elevator and lock it on their floor. The rest of us owners use the stairs then, but my mom has been 'trapped' in the parking garage when the elevator is locked on a higher floor). 

ANYWAYS, I worked from home, handled all the crisis's, (French mailing is going to be fine. Sample carriers were non-windowed, but the actual ones were. Nothing I can do about labor and paper shortages regarding the magazines. No one died, no one lost an eye. Mags will be late, shrugs shoulders...) then went grocery shopping. 

While I was out, my brain was zapping, which is my body's way of telling me it's had enough stress for now, thank you very much. (This is a helpful side effect of the cancer drugs I'm on. The tamoxifen blocks hormones, causing epic hot flashes. When I mentioned to my oncologist that it was interesting (to me) that most of the hot flashes were NOT random, but the result of feeling an emotion (any emotion; happy, sad, scared, angry, worried, joy etc, and therefore igniting me 20 - 30 times a day) she suggested Effexor to reduce the fire-y furnace within. 

I'm on a super low dose (18mgs) every other day, and it's worked like a charm. Except sometimes, my body 'uses' up all the Effexor (because of emotions/stress) before I take my next dose. I take the pills at midnight, so sometimes in the evening, my brain zaps and I know my Effexor tank is low. 

And this was happening on Monday night while I was doing my groceries. Zap. Zap. Zap. I had two more stops; Shopper's and the bank (drive through), and I knew that when I got back to my place, I was going to be done for the evening. No more unpacking, unloading, deciding, moving boxes, worrying about All The Rubbermaids on the deck. My early warning system was letting me know my capacity for handling things was low. 

Just as I pulled into my parking spot, I realized Red was still upstairs; I'm still new to this and had forgotten to bring my wagon down with me. So I got into the elevator, walked down my l o n g hall and saw Red propping my condo's door open.

I walked in and was assaulted by the smell of death. 

"What happened? Who died?"

"Your microwave overheated my magic bag. The rice inside got burnt. I put it outside in a paper bag..."

Zap. Zap. Zap. 

"I've got to go get our groceries. I'll be back in abit."

Red and I made our way back down to the parking garage, then back up to my condo. These trips take about 10 minutes. Just me and my little red wagon, just puttin on the miles and goin no where. 

I put away the groceries. Haha. I should take a pic of my pantry. I have SHOVED food in, willy nilly.  No rhyme. No reason. Just get it off the counter, out of Red. I'll sort the insides of the cupboards next week. Or the week after. 

I'm gagging from the dead rice smell, making dinner for myself (it's about 8:30 pm) and finally sit down to eat around 9. I turn on my computer and go through my emails. I see one from the Strata Management Company, so I open it. 



Please be advised that it has been reported that a resident other than the rightful owner has stored items within storage locker P2 – 3 #31 without authorization.

Whomever is storing items within this locker must have these items all removed immediately. Failure to do so may result in the lock being cut and the contents removed at the discretion of the rightful owner.

Neither the strata corporation, nor AWM-Alliance or any site staff will be involved in the removal or handling of any items within storage lockers. This responsibility falls to the rightful assignee / owner. 


Blah blah blah. 

It was signed by, let's call him, Anthony. 


Well that's me. 

I'm the resident who has her stuff (ALOT OF STUFF) in locker 31.

IN MY DEFENCE, (and yes, I was googling lawyers to plead my case before I was officially charged with BREAKING AND ENTERING AND LEAVING A DESK AND A DOUBLE MATTRESS AND A DOZEN RUBBERMAIDS. I'm not sure what the penalty is for such a crime, but I had a feeling Anthony would request they throw the book at me), it wasn't my fault. I'm innocent I tell you. INNOCENT. I was probably framed. Or is was someone else's fault. 

Zap. Zap. Zap.

I say a string of very very bad words (but not the Lord's name in vain, because THAT is the sin). Usually no one is around to hear them, but with my mom right there (18" away) she gets to hear her potty-mouthed daughter lose it. 

I take Red and my fobs and stomp down the hallway, get back into my private room that descends two stories below the ground and enter Storage Room 3. There are 32 lockers in here. On moving day, (one week ago), I asked the on-site property manager (24 hours into the job for her) where my locker was as I had things I wanted my hired muscle to place there. 

"I'm sorry. I don't know which locker is yours. None of them are numbered yet. And they don't have doors. Why don't you just choose one?"

So I did. I chose one near the front of room, for easy access. The movers filled that space top to bottom, front to back. No other locker was being used (I was the second owner to move into the building), so I wasn't worried about anyone popping down to P2 to steal my shit. 

The next day I spoke again with the property manager and wondered about doors and locks. She said she'd buy a lock for me on her way to work, and she'd request a door be installed. 

By Friday, the door still wasn't in place, but no one else was using the storage room, just me and my load of crap, so again, I didn't give it another thought. 


Anthony was SERIOUS. There was no 'hi! Sorry about not having things ready for you when you moved in, but we've finally got those lockers numbered and secure. You have been assigned #19, but we've noticed your things are in #31. You're going to have to move tehm in the next couple days, as the rightful owner of that locker is moving in next weekend. Totally understand this is inconvenient for you, so let us know if we can help in any way.'


He assumed I intentionally took that locker because I am a horrible person taking things that don't belong to me. And I resented that. 


I really had my panties in a bunch when I saw Locker #19.

It was half the size, and in the furthest darkest corner of the storage room. IT WAS THE LAST ONE. Way in the back, around the corner. I had me a conversation with my God about this let me tell you, while I dragged that mattress across the dusty, dirty floor and carried that desk with super human strength telling God I better not be injuring my back even worse and what the heck couldn't He have supplied me SOMEONE to do this for me? How hard would that've been for Him?

Zap. Zap. Zap.

Down to the end, turn a left, then turn a left again. Incredibly inconvenient. And not even on the same floor as my parking spot. WHINE. WHINE. WHINE. 

This (below) is all the stuff that didn't fit in Locker #19:

(Which is No Big Deal if you live in a house. You just put it in the garage. Or the shed. Or the entry way. Or somewhere.) But if you live in a condo, all your stuff comes with you, into your living room. 

I couldn't add ALL OF THAT ^, to this:

So I decided to just get rid of it. 

Throw it away. I didn't need it. 

I loaded up Red, rode the elevator up one floor to Parking Level One, walked half a mile to the Garbage and Recycling Room and realized this was not an option. By Monday night, there were 6 owners/tenants in the building D. I'd been here a week and the bins had not been emptied. SIX households created this. I CANNOT IMAGINE what it will be like when 122 of us use these bins. 

So I packed up Mitzi and drove back to my parking spot. Then sat there, it was now 11 pm, and cried. 

I tried to text my sister, but there's no reception in the parking garage, so I drove up to the construction site and sat on the side of the access road feeling like a loser who'd made a terrible life decision by buying a condo. Jule didn't answer so I knew she'd gone to bed. I posted a whiney sobby message to the family chat thread and waited for Danica to say nice things and Clint to solve everything. 

By midnight I was back in my stinky apartment, composing a tactful, helpful, yet slightly sarcastic response to Anthony, suggesting his communication style could use a little work as he was unnecessarily harsh. 

Zap. Zap. Zap.

I had a bath, fully opened my bedroom window to air out the dead-rice odor, put every blanket I could find onto my bed (it was 1 degree last night), and fell asleep around 3.


I figure I've hit rock bottom as far as transitioning from house-living to condo-living goes. Monday was just a slap upside the head and a reality check re: dealing with a strata manager, strata rules and regulations, sharing garbage space with other families, accepting just how big 1000 square feet actually is, recognizing that just because there are two elevators - it's unreasonable to assume they'll always (or ever) be working and finally, not relying on 'a storage locker' to be a substitute shed. 

Today was Tuesday.

New day. New outlook. No zaps. 

I had a marathon dental appointment this afternoon, (where my strong tongue and deep molar roots were discussed again, and I was told by Dr. Lee that they loved me*) and I realized, on the drive over there, that Mitzi was dangerously overloaded. I couldn't see out my rear window or passenger side window. Texted Heather after 3 hours of drilling and wondered if she wanted two empty rubbermaids? I figured with those gone, I'd rearrange things so I could see properly, and I'd head out to Cultus to drop everything off there. (And then drive home again, because I have appointments on Wednesday.) 

But when I got to Mark and Heather's, they offered to store ALL the items in my car in their garage. I told them I'd be back on Thursday to deal with it. She told me to come for dinner. He said, "is there anything I can do at your new place that would help you?" and I started to cry. 

And Pip told me he loved me too by showering me with cat hair and scratching my thighs:

As I drove away, Sandra called. Wondered how I was doing, offered to come help me. Then Maxine texted me, asking if I was OK - said she'd be over to keep me company. 


So this evening, instead of driving back and forth to Cultus in the rain, and carrying 12 boxes up two flights of stairs, feeling sorry for myself, and yacking to God about it, I picked up these:

AREN'T THEY FREAKING AWESOME?  I ordered them awhile ago, (Thank you, Susan!!) with the intention of putting one of these cookies, a Christmas card and a little note into a small handled kraft bag and hang one on the door of each of my neighbours on the 5th floor. I'm the first one here, so it'll be my way of welcoming them to the building. Accck. SO fun. 

Also, when I got back to my place I saw that my sister left me a baggie of leftover turkey gravy. #Bestdayever

And based on the advice I received regarding smelly microwaves, I bought a dozen lemons and cooked them in my microwave all evening.

And I burned the scented candle I'd bought Clint for Christmas:

After my mom went to bed,  I did my first load in the dishwasher and NEW APPLIANCES ARE SO QUIET. 

Feeling domestic, I also did a load of laundry. 

And I guess things are going to be OK. 

Three things I'm thankful for:

1. Friends

2. Gravy

3. People who bake and decorate cookies exactly the way you imagined them in your head

4. We only have two parking levels. When I got home tonight, my mom's car was not parked in the spot beside me. So I asked her, when I got upstairs, for her keys; I'd move her car off the street (where I assumed it was). 

"I parked it in my spot."

"I was JUST there. The spot beside me is empty."

"Then someone moved it."

"Where are your keys, I'll go look for it."

"It's right where it's supposed to be. I parked exactly in the spot beside the elevator. And I left lots of room for you."

I found it on the second level. 

Transitioning to this lifestyle has been challenging for both of us; who knew the learning curve would be so steep?

*JUST TO BE CLEAR, when he told me they loved me it wasn't in response to the comments about my tongue and teeth. I was telling them that according to my Facebook memories, it was exactly nine years ago that I was in to see him about my front tooth that had snapped off at the gumline, leaving nerves and roots exposed. At the time they'd all asked why I waited for an appointment - I should've called the emergency line and they would've opened the office at night for me. And that's when he said, "we love Jane".

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