The Joys of Apartment Living

Every once in a while, one of my friends or family asks just why we are still living in an apartment. “Why not buy, do the right thing?” they ask, when I then have to remind them that we don’t plan on staying in this palatial California community forever. I don’t want to the run the risk of being stuck. Beyond that, we actually like apartment living to a certain degree. Every time something goes wrong, it’s as easy and free as a maintenance request. There isn’t that notion of being stuck; and if we want to up and leave, we have the luxury of doing so with little hassle.

But then there are the downsides.

Sunday we came home to see that notices had been tacked on the doors, giving a final warning about people that had things stored in their carport spaces (which is forbidden by terms of the lease). This has been going on for some time, which is why I call it a “final warning.” And to be clear, I have no problem with this rule. They outlined it quite clearly in the lease; I’m happy to oblige.

What I take a little offense to, though, is the fact that they go on and on about how much “pride” they take in “the appearance and cleanliness of our community.” You don’t say.

After getting the notice, we went out to do some errands. Grocery store. Toys R Us. Stuff like that. When we got back, I got a few immediate reminders that the appearance and cleanliness of our community isn’t actually something the apartment complex takes pride in. This carport storage thing seems to just be about proving a point.

Exhibit A: Sexy Time at the Toyota truck in carport B. What the hell is this nonsense all over this guy’s car? I get a simple practical joke, but this guy’s car has been like this for ages. Every day, children ride up and down this driveway on their bikes and scooters to see this message of sexy time and dick licking at the Toyota truck in carport B.

“Family friendly community” indeed! In the last few months, this place has become less family friendly and more cesspool quality, with hillbilly brawls, beer cans all over the place, and parties going until 4 o’clock in the morning.

Exhibit B: The un-policing of neighbor infiltrations. Some time ago, I saw that the large gate between our apartment complex and the one next to us had been halfway torn down. To begin with that, it’s an eyesore – much more offensive than people storing things in front of their cars in the carports.

Then one day I was in the laundry room and some people from the unit next to us (they were talking about how nice it is to have a complex close by with more machines, since their complex only had a few) – they took up all the washing machines and dryers, leaving us actual residents to have to do our laundry another time. When I told the complex about it, they said it was not their problem.

Not your problem? Well those neighbor infiltrators have trashed the laundry facility, as well as the swimming pool – to the point that many of us don’t use either anymore.

Exhibit C: Cats and dogs. So I would really love to have a dog. For those of you faithful blog followers that are relatively new, I used to have a dog – his name was Watson. He was only about one when he died; it has been a year and a half since and I’m still not over it.

The apartment complex we live in now does not allow dogs; although, they do allow cats. Almost every unit has a small dog anyway and the complex does absolutely nothing about it. Worse, they do nothing to police the fact that these cats are supposed to be indoor cats for safety, healthy, and sanitary reasons, and yet they allow the cats to roam, constantly with no notices or threats, such as in the case of the carport storage. Being allergic, I take serious offense to other people’s cats hanging out on my porch. They also use our jasmine plant as a jumping toy and shit on our ledge frequently.

Exhibit D: The Carolina Trees. I think Carolina trees are beautiful if – and only if – you keep up with their mess. For two months this summer, the Carolina trees in the apartment complex parking lot were shedding their flowers. Everywhere. Fucking everywhere. And for two months, the maintenance and gardening staff (that work seven days a week – working hard, driving around in their golf carts, talking on the phone, and taking smoke breaks) didn’t do a damn thing.

This meant that every single time someone walked into our apartment during those two months, they were traipsing those flowers in with them. The flowers are sticky and turn black and gross in a matter of minutes. We usually remove our shoes when we come home, but I think it’s sort of rude to ask a guest to take off their shoes all the time. Now that the mess has finally been cleared, it’s time to clean the carpets, which are awful as a result of the Carolina trees.

So you see, there are definitely downfalls to living in an apartment. The noise of other units is a definite drawback as well; although, I still consider these petty annoyances to be minor compared to being permanently stuck as a homeowner in California. And anyway, I’m snarky enough to just take things into my own hands, which I’ve done by responding to their little notice, dropping it into the rent box just this morning:

What joys of apartment living do you encounter, faithful blog followers?


  1. rich

    when i lived in an apartment, we had washing machines and dryers that worked on a swipe card that needed credit placed on it at the apartment office. that might keep the neighboring complex people out if your machines. maybe.

    i wish i could rent right now because i know i’ll be moving in about four years. it’s not good to buy now unless you’re going to be there at least 7.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      I totally agree with you about the “unless you’re going to be there at least seven” thing … ugh, such a hassle.


    I LOVE THAT NOTE! That is all. 😀

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      Hahaha! Thanks!!

  3. lostnchina

    Ugh! You’ve dredged up all of MY apartment memories. Really glad I’m in a dilapidated house now. It’s drafty, it smells kinda funny, but it’s my precioussss….

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      Hahaha! I’d rather have dilapidated house than this place at this point!

  4. The Confluent Kitchen

    Sounds like a real classy place there.. At my current place, there’s a guy that likes to sit out on his stoop (right next door) that likes to smoke weed. Our windows are kind of old, so they don’t seal well. Periodically I just get this faint smell in my apartment and think.. oh sweet. thanks.

    It makes me glad I don’t have kids.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      We had one of those at our old place … classy indeed.

  5. Connie

    I hope they take the hint from your note. The truck would be a major issue for me; I have a son blooming into puberty, and it’s hard enough dealing with his budding sexual awareness without things like that in our faces. Apartment living is definitely an up when you don’t plan on staying somewhere forever. And being a military family, it doesn’t make much sense for us to buy a house, only to move in a few years and then have to sell or rent. Our current rental agency is rather a pain in the butt, but thankfully our neighbors are fantastic. No parties or roaming cats or more pets than the lease allows. Although I could stand for the dogs in the house next door to bark a little less than they do…..

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      That truck has since been washed!! Yay!!

  6. Kim

    Love your note!!

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      Haha – thanks!!

  7. haileyjw

    I agree that there is just about nothing more horrifying than being trapped as a permanent homeowner in a city you despise. Re: Windsor Ontario. Apartments are certainly the way to go. 🙂 Excellent post. I hope they take the hint about your note too!

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt


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