Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Apartment stories

The memories that have come flooding back to me since being in Provo are not all about the glory days. Since we live in a dump, I've begun to recall that for some reason, it seems to be a rite of passage for young BYU marrieds to live in a terrible apartment for at least a semester while they are students. When I stop to think about it, almost all of our married friends lived in semi-squalor at one time or another during their BYU careers. (Jeremy and I missed out on that experience since we were married undergrads for only about 3 weeks.)

I remember one couple whose apartment was kind of just one room, and to regulate the temperature of the oven you had to crack open its door a certain number of inches, and the apartment was deep, deep inside of a house's basement. Another couple lived in a converted office building and so they had industrial fixtures in their kitchen - I think their sink was more like a bathtub. This is in addition to Jeremy's cousin Allison, who told me that they lived in an old dentist's office so there were faucets coming out of the walls everywhere. A girl I worked with lived in a basement apartment where spiders threatened to overtake her and her husband. Seriously - she would find them in the shower, in the kitchen, and crawling in their bed at night. That same apartment had no cabinets, at all. Anywhere.

Please understand that I firmly believe that living in a dump builds character. I'm just really at a loss to figure out why all these wholesome Mormon newlyweds throw their sense of residential decency to the wind and choose to live somewhere that could probably be declared unfit for children if anyone were to look into it.

Here's a gem I saw while walking to the library today. This is the side of the building, which had TRUMAN written on the front and appears to have once been a (haunted?) warehouse or factory at some point.

Does this house look disconcerting to anyone else?

What are your apartment stories? Laura has one here (it's from Tucson). Is this crappy married housing thing specific to BYU or universal?


JackJen said...

Um, Bridget, 'The Truman' was actually in my ward for a year...I think it was my junior year at BYU. I've been inside, even. (And Joe and I lived just around the corner at 365 N 100 E for three years, too...so we got lots of views of TRUMAN.) =)

Liz Johnson said...

This is why we lived in the rabbit hutches. At least they're clean and maintained!

Anna said...

When Chris and I got married we moved in to a basement apartment just south of campus. It was in a house that slashed into 4 apartments. Here were some of the benefits.

No doors on the bathroom or bedroom.

An open window from the bedroom into the kitchen.

No heat.

No air-conditioning.

A hole about the size of a softball between our apartment and the apartment next to us which allowed us to hear everything going on in the next apartment. This included the time the husband confessed to his friend on the phone that he hated his *$#@%^ wife and marrying her was the worst mistake he ever made. They were in the married student ward.

But I think we only paid 300 dollars a month + phone.

Anna said...

We went straight from that apartment to Jordan. Living as poor students in the Middle East was a step up for us.

Bridget said...

So, Jen, knowing how Provo landlords like to pack them in, how many people live in TRUMAN, do you recall? I bet they could get 30 or 40 in there.

Anna, I am horrified. And Liz, I totally agree with you about BYU-owned apts.

Nancy said...

We lived the high-life. We lived in Orem in a condo that Andrew's parent's own. It is still the nicest apartment we've ever lived in.

Sometimes when I look back at pictures because everything was so nice and clean and now we live here. But I'm making it. :)

Nancy said...

Insert "I almost want to cry" between "pictures" and "because" and that previous comment will probably make a lot more sense.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

We were lucky to live in Wymount Terrace during our 2 married years at BYU. Don & Pam though, lived upstairs in an 1890ish house that had been carved into apartments. No bathroom (it was either down the hall or downstairs), no cabinets or closets, no decent heat, a steep rickety staircase, etc.

Craig paid his dues though as a single student when he lived in the basement of the Mud Hut on 420 North--it's still there. It was the most disgusting place I've seen in my life. Mold was on every surface, part of that due to the lack of cleaning by the male students, but still. The worst part was that occasionally the sewer would back up into the basement & the guys would have to stay on their beds until the 3-4 inches of sewage drained back out.

Britney said...

I think I'd be nervous just ENTERING the Truman, let alone living there.

We never did the newlyweds at BYU thing. My husband graduated the month before we got married, so we avoided/missed out on that experience entirely. This post has made me wonder what it would've been like, though.

Sarah Rose Evans said...

Eddie and I shared a studio apartment in the crack district of Buffalo. One night as I was walking into our place a policeman drew his weapon and started shouting at a guy doing a drug deal (he was sitting in out parking lot). I scurried inside and we watched the arrest through the window.

Jessie said...

We haven't lived in any really terrible apartments, but we've definitely had our fair share of ridiculous neighbors.

The spider story reminded me of my brother-and-sister-in-law's old basement apartment in Rexburg, though. They had spider traps in every nook and cranny, and they were always completely covered with the things. One time there was even a DEAD BAT stuck to one of the traps in their storage room. What?!??!? How does that even happen??


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