#AtoZChallenge: ‘A’ is for Apartment

Just a reminder — for the April A to Z Challenge, my theme is “Blast to the Past.” I’ll be writing about things that have happened either with myself or someone in my family. Hopefully most of them will be at least somewhat amusing. For these posts, the past could go back as far as a week or 20 years. You’ll have to check in each day to find out.

For my first post, I’m going to go back about 13 years…

When I was 21, my then fiance and I got an apartment together. It was my senior year of college, and we planned to get married the following May because who doesn’t love the stress of a teaching internship, college classes, and planning a wedding, amirite?

That apartment complex was…not ideal. The apartment itself, which we viewed during the daytime (never, ever do this…always come back in the evening or on the weekend, if the office is open), seemed fine, plus it was very close to my school. It was pretty basic, but appeared clean and was pretty cheap. Some of the residents of the apartment complex, however, were not fine, as we quickly found out. I never really feared for my safety — and that may be because I totally lack awareness in that area — but some shady shit happened.

The Motorcycle

It can be fun to have a fire going in the fire pit, right? If the weather is nice and cool, then it is relaxing to hang out around a fire with your friends. (As long you don’t have bad asthma and allergies, anyway, sigh.)

One evening we came home after dinner to see some people gathered around a fire, but it wasn’t the kind we were used to:

Yep, that is a motorcycle. These guys were hanging around watching it burn. I don’t know how it caught on fire or if someone set it on fire intentionally, but it was burning nonetheless. The guys nodded at us as we passed by, like it was a completely normal thing to be happening.

The Car

The burning of the motorcycle wasn’t the only time we saw some people gathered around a burning vehicle. On a different evening, we came home to see this:

See? Burning vehicles really weren’t out of the ordinary there. In the past 12 years since we moved, we haven’t seen anyone gathered around a burning vehicle again.

The Broomsticks

The common area, which was a cement pad in the middle of the complex, was a place for people to gather if they wanted to, I guess. There weren’t any picnic tables, basketball goals, or anything else one might expect to find in a common area, but it was there all the same. We saw people standing around on the pad quite often, but never hung out there ourselves.

One evening, I heard some noise outside and looked out to see the common area being used. Someone had a radio blasting and several young teens were practicing their dancing skills with broomsticks.

There were more than this, but three is what you’re getting.

Just…why? Were the broomsticks substitutes for males? Were they supposed to be stripper poles? I had no idea, but quickly shut my door on that.

The Treadmill

Shortly after moving into the apartment, we had a visit from angry neighbor. Apparently someone had thrown a treadmill over their balcony and it landed in their bit of backyard. We thought he was full of crap until we checked our balcony and saw that someone had indeed thrown out a treadmill.

(Drawing a treadmill is beyond what someone with my limited abilities can do, so use your imagination on this one.)

It wasn’t us (we were on the third and top floor), so it had to be the people on the second floor. Can you imagine that…hearing a crash in your backyard to see that someone had thrown a freaking piece of exercise equipment over? I couldn’t even then, and I can’t even now.

We laugh about these things now, but some of them were pretty off-putting at the time. At any rate, we learned a thing or two about apartment hunting for future reference. Also, we didn’t finish out our lease there and bought a house very soon after I graduated college.

Thanks for joining me on the first day of the April A to Z Challenge! If you’re participating, please leave a link in the comments section so I can check out your post.

Want to connect on social media? You can find me on FacebookTwitter, and Bloglovin.

Author: Erika

I’m a SAHM to two kids. When I’m not doing all the typical mom things (diapers, soccer, etc.), I like writing, reading, and playing games. Clearly I live the life of a rock star.

33 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge: ‘A’ is for Apartment”

  1. Nicely done Erika. I do remember searching for and getting my first apartment as well. I had my older sister with me and she had some standards that had to be met before her little sister could live somewhere on her own. She wasn’t able to check out the neighbors though and didn’t know about the guy living upstairs (who turned into my first husband), but the apartment was great!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love the A to Z challenge! Can’t wait to see them all!
    The burning vehicles… wth?? I could understand maybe in an inner city, after a football game win (oh, j/k, that’s only in Philly … too soon?!).
    My first apartment was in college, and it backed up to a huge cemetery. Creepy, right? Actually I kinda like it. Quiet neighbors!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We just moved out of an apartment – ugghh.
    Wish I’d had you advice before moving in. Amazing the things thrown off balconies. I looked out my window and saw a full size couch land in the common area. Not a tornado. Way to many fights in the wee small hours.

    Happy A to Z

    Liked by 2 people

  4. While I’ve never lived in a shady place, I have seen my share of them while apartment hunting in university and again when I moved to VA to start my teaching career. Glad to hear you didn’t doodle any violence or B&E.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooh, I could’ve doodled about one of the apartment people stealing my engagement ring, but that wasn’t very funny. They came in for maintenance one day and my diamond ring was gone (I often didn’t wear it out). I knew exactly where I left it. We called to complain, they swore nothing happened, and two days later, that ring is back where it was supposed to be.


  5. I lived in a duplex apartment one summer during college. I came home from work one day be questioned by the police and then find my roommates locked in the house with a couple LDS missionaries. Apparently the neighbors, who were a little weird but nice to us, had a pot forest growing in their basement.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My hubby and I were married when I was still in college so we were in university married housing for awhile. Your post brought back a lot of memories. I should probably write about some of them – they would be amusing – although not quite as interesting as your “bonfires”.

    Liked by 1 person

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