Monday, July 13, 2009

The mysteries of a sublet

We're subletting this house from a girl who is gone on a summer internship in New York City. It worked out really well for us since all the utilities, internet, cable, etc. are all set up and we don't have to change anything to our names, or pay any startup fees. Yes, there were some disappointments when we first moved in, but the place has really grown on us and it's not so bad after all. Sure, it's not my favorite thing to have all four of us sleeping in what is essentially one big room (two rooms with an open doorway between them) for AC reasons, but hey - at least we have AC, right? We've even learned how to walk on the stairs (placing our feet sideways as close to the wedge of the stair as possible) and which stairs to skip (the first one and the second-to-last one) so as to avoid having them squeak so loud at night.

Another fun thing is figuring out all the mysteries of subleasing a house. I've never met the girl who lives here - we arranged the sublease entirely via email. She was gone before we got here. And yet I find there are many things you can discover about a person just from living in their house for a few months.

For example, I'm pretty sure the girl who lives here is some kind of an art student. She has prints like this hanging all over the house (though not all of them feature beer), and a shelf full of art concept books upstairs.

Not to generalize about art students or anything, but her passion for form has perhaps eclipsed her need for function. The shelves in this house are filled with cute little vases, overly styled food containers, and other esssentially useless knickknacks. Meanwhile, all the things that you actually need to access on a daily basis are relegated to out-of-the-way cabinets or stashed on high, obscure shelves. I'm not saying it's the wrong way to do something. I'm just saying it's not my style.

Case in point: this calendar is stuck on June 2008. Since this post is all about the educated guesses I'm making about the house's usual resident, I'm conjecturing that she keeps the calendar on this page because the picture is beautiful.

Combined with this clock, however, I am really tempted to draw a more sinister conclusion. This clock is forever stuck at 11:38 pm on Wednesday the 11th. It ticks, but never advances closer to midnight. The weird thing is that there was a Wednesday the 11th in June 2008. I just noticed that today. Did she stop the clock at that time? If so, why? What happened at 11:38 pm on June 11, 2008???

Let's see, what else...

She has an aversion to smoke alarms since they were all detatched from their bases and stashed in the pantry when we arrived.

She likes IKEA (now that's something I can understand). There are quite a few IKEA pieces in the house.

She is from Mexico and speaks Spanish and is married to someone who also speaks Spanish, and is possibly also from Mexico. Hanging in the kitchen on their bulletin board is what appears to be a list of family goals, all written in Spanish. Every day at lunchtime I look at it and try to use my 7th-grade Spanish to figure out what it says. I think I've deciphered quite a few, and it's a nice little challenge to take my mind off cutting up food for the little ones.

One thing Jeremy and I can't figure out, though is what the heck this is doing in the house:

It was on top of the fridge when we moved in and it is so realistic-looking that Jeremy has taken to placing it in hidden corners around the house to startle me when I run into it unexpectedly. Every time that happens, I forget that it's fake. There must be some story behind it, but I don't know what it is.

I have to believe it's a good one, though.

8 comments:

The Ensign's said...

This is great. I'm wondering what kind of strange things you would have written about my parents house if you had stayed there.

Bridget said...

Just remember that I am an equal opportunity offender. I can find weird stuff ANYWHERE. And I kind of want to hear from the Johnsons what weird stuff they found at our house when they sublet it a couple summers ago.

Katie said...

someone gave me some small roosters for my kitchen for my wedding. I guess having a rooster in your kitchen is supposedly good luck. I'm glad your house is an adventure!

Suzanne Bubnash said...

That rooster reminds me of a set of roosters (or hen & rooster?) that my Grandma had. My brother inherited the set & displays it proudly wherever he lives. But why my Grandma would pick poultry in the first place is beyond me. Maybe a 1923 wedding gift gone wrong.

Shannan said...

you totally entertain me. Tomorrow I'm going to walk around my house and see what it says about me. or rather "If Bridget walked around my house, what would she say"?

Probably that I'm a tired mom of three boys.

sarah P. said...

haha watch out for that rooster! i used to do that with my roommate's teddy bear. but the rooster would be considerably more frightening

shabba shabba said...

Wouldn't it be cool if she stumbled into this post? And got a shiner? Ouch.

If you send the Spanish to Shannon, she'll translate it for you. But only in return for a few bottles of the magic time potion you use to lengthen your days so you can blog more.

Kristen said...

Poor girl has no idea you're making fun of her precious belongings for the world to see. HA.

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