So I thought I would take a break from serious stuff and complaining to tell a couple stories from my life that I think are somewhat entertaining. I will try to sum it up without to much unnecessary details.
If you know me, you know I am from Michigan. So, How did I get to Virginia? Well, I royally screwed up my first years of independence. I partied, created debt and basically had nothing to offer the world. I was given an escape route from my demise and a life living in the backwoods of Michigan. My Aunt was a nanny in VA and she somehow persuaded the family she worked for as a live-in nanny to give me a fresh start. Why? I have no clue. That’s not the funny part. That’s Luck! So I took them up on the offer because I literally had nothing to lose. I moved to Virginia and started to rebuild my life and pay debts. My aunt had my back in a big way. During this time I met Dave and worked at Starbucks and everything was improving for me.
After a couple years of rebuilding the family told me it was time to spread my wings and move on. My Aunt, who was also my only real network in VA was moving on to a new job in Ohio. I had no idea what I would do. I had not achieved complete successful independence as of yet. But given the situation, I began looking for places to stay. I was a single young woman in a fairly new state with no family and few connections. I made little money, $30,000 as an Assistant Manager at Starbucks, (chump change in VA) so the best bet was the only house of horrors in Great Falls VA…(a particularly wealthy part of Virginia). I know this because I served coffee to the pompous Starbuck clientele. Still, HOPE! There was ONE house of horrors off the beaten path that I could rent for $400/month with a month to month contract. Hey, it was the best I could do.
It was an old dilapidated plantation style house (reminiscent of an old horror movie backdrop) turned into several apartments. Fabulous, so I responded with interest to the ad in the paper and went to see the apartment. It was no dream, but I could make it work. Optimism. The shower had layers of bath mats serving as a floor. I eventually covered the entire shower with the paper you line cupboards with. bright paper that hid it all..Ha! There was a mattress filling a large space in the wall in my BEDROOM…No clue what was behind. What was I thinking? Weird & creepy in hindsight. There were many holes in the walls and undeniable evidence of mice…( traps) Still, this was the best I could do on my own. I actually felt proud. Dave was a downer and did not like that I lived with several male strangers with no lock on my door. Whatever! I, on the other hand, thought it would be fine. I could handle this independence thing.
I actually loved it! I lived alone and really enjoyed having my own weird space. Yes, creepy but it was my own. The first irritation I encountered in my humble abode was waking up, almost dead, choking on smoke. The guy below me had caught his TV on fire and put it out himself. There was literally ash on the toilet in my apartment above. Could have been the holes in the walls letting smoke in. No biggie!
Then,big disturbing irritation #2. I came home from work one day and my apartment was turned upside down. Mattresses flipped, yes the hole in the wall mattress too. Everything I owned had been searched. I immediately went to the lovely strangers I lived with to find out what happened. Certainly the strangers wouldn’t enter my unlocked apartment. Well they didn’t….actually! The burned TV guy informed me my apartment was searched by the FBI because the other stranger living behind the kitchen robbed a bank. Turns out he robbed the bank in the same strip mall I was working at in the neighboring town, McLean, VA a few days earlier.
Despite, these radical adventures, everything worked out because I had recently found out I was pregnant with Luke out of wedlock. BONUS! That certainly minimized the experiences. Dave said, We are moving you out NOW! & that’s how our life together really moved forward. A fire, a robbery and an unplanned pregnancy.. I guess sometimes it takes tough weird stuff to change your situation! Life is funny the way it twists and turns. These messed up experiences brought me to my current life, which I love!
I recently watched an entertaining 80’s movie, for the first time the other night. Moonstruck-Cher & Nick Cage. A particular quote from it makes me laugh and remember our beginnings…I definitely prefer the intense adventure to this day, just a little less because I’m getting old. But still I LOVE this line from the movie.
Ronny Cammareri: Loretta, I love you. Not like they told you love is, and I didn’t know this either, but love don’t make things nice – it ruins everything. It breaks your heart. It makes things a mess. We aren’t here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. Not us! We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and *die*. The storybooks are *bullshit*. Now I want you to come upstairs with me and *get* in my bed!