Cont'd from The Suite Life...
We said 'see ya later' to life in Suite 349 and packed up our personal belongings. I neatly placed all of our clothes, toys and squished Nutrigrain bars into our perfectly-coordinated family luggage (aka beat up suitcases and falling-apart laundry baskets) and dreamed of a life where kids didn't scream and fight constantly, actually fell asleep before the 11:00 news, and where vacationers didn't throw daggers with their beady little eyes at my sweet youngin's making a little too much noise running to the elevator.
We arrived at our apartent (not a typo... just the adorable way Brady says it) -- a three bedroom/two bath that would've impressed me in my younger days. The floors (a funky stained concrete) now made me shudder when thinking of the emergency room visit (complete with stitches) that could be in our not-so-distant future... the appliances (beautiful stainless steel) that I knew with every ounce of my being would be covered in finger prints the second our kids demanded their first of many snacks... and the balcony (a first floor outdoor retreat) that made me worry about break-ins and fear a 2-year-old monkey would see it as a challenge. It's funny how the features that were once selling points are now the very things that keep my mom radar up and one eye open, even as I sleep.
As I lounge (aka hide) outside by the pool on a chilly California night -- the only place I can get internet service these days -- I watch a gaggle of young 20-somethings sit by the community fireplace, sipping wine and laughing heartily over things that aren't all that funny. If I look past them, I see the gym -- complete with top-of-the-line equipment -- filled with people getting fierce on elliptical machines, while shorter-than-average men grunt as they lift weights that rival a small woman, all attention glued to the Lakers game. And don't forget the piece de resistance, the coolguys who cruise the gym checking out the ladies, never breaking a sweat. Because even in an apartment fitness center, there are those who just show up for the scene -- and to be seen.
Earlier in the evening, we took the kids out to walk our dogs. (Did you even know we have dogs? That's another post altogether). If I didn't know any better, I'd expect Barry White to start blasting out of the faux sidewalk rock speakers and neighbors to begin weeknight canoodling. Where did all of these attractive people come from and who really dresses like they just got off a soap opera set? Had I gotten that old in the past seven years of my life? I hadn't a clue that in my suburban minivan-driving, chain-restaurant-eatin' kind of town, a secret society of pretty people was in full swing, only four short miles from our house on the cul-de-sac.
Only 24 hours in and life already felt like we were dropped in the middle of an episode of Melrose Place. If, of course, there was room for an exhausted 30-something character with three kids and two dogs in need of a good eyebrow wax. Because if it was up to the young good-looking guy at the mailboxes who avoided eye contact as I dragged my kids, dogs and eight bags of perishable groceries into the building yesterday, there is no vacancy for an middle-age frump like myself.
To be continued...