Wednesday, May 25, 2011

East Side Girl? West Side Girl?

My blog entry this morning was despairing - a despair partially borne of exhaustion.  The day grew worse for awhile, then better.

This afternoon was a low point for me.  Dr. Perfect's nurse, Patty, phoned this afternoon to discuss a procedure that Dr. Perfect wants me to have in late July.  She started giving me details about the surgical center the doctor wanted me to use, etc...  I told her that I was soon to be changing insurance and asked if Dr. Perfect is on my my new carrier's list.  No, unfortunately. She said that, if we needed to get the surgery done before I had to switch insurance, it could be moved up?  Maybe to June?  Would that help?  Huh?  Yeah.  Sure; but I had become hung up an the fact that, surgery aside, Dr. Perfect is not going to be my cancer doc any more. 

It's not fair!  He's such a hottie!  Yeah, OK; and also because he has taken care of me since I was first diagnosed; and because he is a surgeon, not an oncologist.  The oncologists all wanted to shoot me with radiation or put me on drugs.  Long-time blog-readers know that Dr. Perfect is an important character in my narrative.  He is an important person in my life.  I went into the girls' room and shut myself in a stall. Put my head between my knees and cried. I mean REALLY cried, like I haven't done for weeks and weeks.  I had to stuff my fist in my mouth so no one would hear. Then the embarrassment of returning to my office with red eyes and having the staff cry, "WHAT'S WRONG?"  Mel guided me to the chocolate, though, which helped!

In other news, I am handling the housing stuff a little better, because I have a short list of two, and any new properties have to exceed these other ones in order to be considered.  The problem is that the two rentals are SO DIFFERENT. 

Here in SLC, there is "east-side" and "west-side" and the side you live on conjures up hundreds of stereotypes. I have been in the interesting position of having lived on the east side and worked on the west side all these years.  My suburb isn't the fanciest zip code in town, but it is one of the better ones.  The zip code at Guadalupe is acknowledged to be one of the roughest.  For years I have told people that Glendale gets a bad rap!  That it is improving all the time!  That is has character and diversity.  I decided to put my money where my mouth is today, so I went to look at a three-bedroom Housing Authority townhouse.  After visiting it, something in my heart shouted, "YES!  YES!" These people are my own students! My favorite people! It would be a year of living a very different life to the one that I had, and one I already know I would like.  If it were just me?  I would be a pig in shit.  But I have to think about Sara and Nate.  I called a family conference when I got home tonight, despite the late hour, and went over the pros and cons with them.  Here they are:

Apartment in Cottonwood Heights.  $819/month  2 BR

1.  Close to kids' current home, friends and school.  5 minute drive from this house. And my home-grown tomatoes.
2.  Contemporary, attractive floor plan.  You walk in and say, "Oh! Pretty!"
3.  Plenty of lawn and trees and a brook between the buildings.  Room to play outside.
4. Adjacent park with soccer fields!! (Nate's exclamation points)
5.  Small, but cute, attractive kitchen with nice cupboards and appliances.
6.  Balcony
7.  Pool! (Nate again)
8.  We'd still shop at our regular store, I'd still use the same rec center.
9.  Good light and ventilation (essential for me)
10.Very quiet.

1.  Small!  It will feel crowded.  Hard to have more than four people over for dinner.  How will I manage the make-your-own-taco party I want to throw?
2.  Two bedrooms and they are both small. The kids would have to share.
3.  Grill not allowed.
4.  Not particularly walkable or good biking for the kids:  very hilly.
5.  No coat closet or place to leave mittens and muddy boots.
6.  See #8 above.  If C. chooses not to return to my life, I will want very much to move to a different part of the valley and avoid all possibility of seeing him, his car, etc... I may feel the need to get outta Dodge.

Townhouse in Glendale.  $839 / month  3 bedroom


1.  Much larger than the other property.  Possible to have six people for dinner. Maybe more!
2.  Housing Authority management is a constant presence (the guy who showed me around knows all of the tenants well and spends a lot of time there.) Special program that encourages police officers to live in complex and park squad cars in front of their homes.  No tagging on any of the buildings.
3. Walking distance to Guadalupe and my friend Diane's house.
4.  Flat for kids to bicycle.
5.  Right near Jordan River Parkway for running, walking, biking, etc...
6.  Very diverse. Primarily Latino, Pacific Islander.  I saw a lot of African kids out playing as well.
7.  The unit was clean (No sticky, yucky cupboard fronts; no stains on the carpet.)
8.  Playground and soccer field across street.
9.  Little patch of yard on which you could put a grill.
10.  Picnic tables
11. Front and back door, windows on both sides of house for better light and air.

1.  Some freeway noise.
2.  Far from Cottonwood, making it very difficult to have kids over to play, to use my rec center membership, to get kids to activities, etc...
3.  Kitchen not as nice as other property.  No pantry storage.
4.  House is about 30 years old, with unattractive floor plan.  No one will come in and say, "Pretty!"
5.  Tough area of town.  Nate and Sara will have problems getting the parents of their friends to bring kids there to play.
6.  Concerns about whether my kids will fit in with neighborhood kids.  On the occasions when Sara has tried to participate in Guadalupe activities, she finds that the kids won't play with her because she "looks and talks funny".

Results of my summit conference with the kids?  Tears all around!  Sara is crying about sharing a room with Nate, and I don't blame her.  They need a space where they can each be alone.  Sara doesn't want to have to undress in front of Nate anymore.  She will bring friends to the apt. in Cottonwood and there won't be a proper place to "hang out".  She views the Glendale property as an interesting new experience.  Go, Sara!

Tears from Nate at the idea of having to make new friends. He positively sobbed.  I don't blame him, either.  The last thing he wants, when faced with his parents splitting up, is "different" or "new".  He wants a setting that he understands. His life is in turmoil and he wants everything to hold still.

How the hell am I supposed to decide?  I only have a day or two to make a choice.  I am going to visit a house tomorrow, in downtown.  2BR....  Any chance it will be "the one" and I will forget about  the others? 

BRAINWAVE!  (Yeah, I have moments once in a while.)  In the apartment, there is a walk-through between the two bedrooms and bathrooms, where the W/D hookups are.  I won't have a W/D, unfortunately.  Could a little nook be created in there?  A private place where either kid could get away from the other?  With a reading lamp and a little sofa?  Then, when they need private space,  it could be a little haven? I would make it fort-like...

Could that work?  When I don't have the kids, could I hang out in the fort?

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