Steal This Idea (I Did)

Yesterday, my friend MsP wrote a post she called “Copycat!” because it was modeled after the one I wrote the other day for my blogiversary (In response to the fact that I get more clicks from her site than any other, she commented “It’s because I’m all linky, no thinky. You post clever things, I copy them.”)

I’m as fond of being called clever as the next girl, but in reality, I think I swipe just as much from her — and probably more. Take this post of hers from a couple of months back. I read it and thought, “wow, that’s a great idea for a post” and sat down and made a draft of my own then and there. Given that I move with nearly as often as she does, I thought I’d steal the entire idea and save it for the next time I get a new place, but I’m sharing it now just to prove that she gives as many good ideas as she gets.


It’s really quite amazing (to me, at least) to look back on all the places that I’ve lived over the years. Since graduating from college in 1993, I’ve lived

  1. at home with my parent, from May until the beginning of 1994,
  2. when I moved back to the Albany area, and settled in my first all-mine place, in the Valley View apartment complex. Even at some ridiculously cheap amount of rent ($450 a month, I think) it proved too expensive,
  3. so I moved in with Wendy and Marlene in a ramshackle three-bedroom apartment in Troy, across the street from a crack park. (Fun!) After a year or so, Wendy left to move in with her then-fiance (now ex-husband)
  4. and Marlene and I found a new place in Troy, in an apartment complex so nondescript that I can’t remember what it was called, but it was a much better neighborhood. Eventually, Marlene left to move in with her fiance (and still-husband) and Shannon moved in. We decided we needed more space
  5. so we moved to the Country Gardens apartments, still in South Troy. They were neither in the country nor garden-like, for the record. We stayed there until 1998,
  6. when I ran away from home and moved in with my sister in Fredericksburg, Va. I found a job in DC fairly quickly, and since she was working there too,
  7. we headed north fairly quickly, and rented a a gigantic, two-story apartment in a complex called Foxchase of Alexandria. After about a year, we were thoroughly convinced that adult siblings should never live together,
  8. and we went our separate ways. I ended up in Northeast DC, near Union Station, living in a tiny place with my then-boyfriend (now somebody else’s husband). After he left for grad school, I would have kept the apartment, but it was overpriced and the landlord thought a barely-functioning furnace was a-ok,
  9. so I moved to the other side of Capitol Hill, to a place in an alley now known as Freedom Way. When I lived there, my address was the much-less-quaint “Pennsylvania Ave SE – Rear,” and was nigh-on impossible to find. I was settling into a somewhat hermit-like lifestyle
  10. when my friend Heidi found herself in need of a roommate, so we rented a great place a block from the Barracks Row Main Street. The house was so old that it was frame and fully-detached and had built-in bookcases and heart pine floors. It was easily the nicest place I’ve had in my adult life. Heidi, alas, moved away for grad school
  11. and I couldn’t afford to stay there on my own nor bear the idea if breaking in a new roommate, so I moved 10 blocks up and two blocks over, back into northeast. This place was fine, though entirely unremarkable. I’d probably live there still,
  12. had not my friend Megan been apartment hunting, and found a place with two units available, where the rent was lower, the neighborhood more convenient, and the apartments nicer. And there I remain.

At one point a few years back, I realized that I had lived in nine places in eight years, so clearly, I’ve been cutting back on the moving and am now down to a nearly normal-seeming 12 places in 15 years. I’d love to buy a house and settle down for good, but, well… I don’t have the half-million dollars that a fixer-upper in my neighborhood requires. Sigh.

9 thoughts on “Steal This Idea (I Did)

  1. Mom April 3, 2008 / 6:37 pm

    Funny, it comes to me now how MANY places you and your sibs rented and how many leases Dad and I co-signed (along with credit accounts, etc.) over the years. A credit report a couple of years ago when I bought my “new” car listed PAGES of addresses — and alas I’ve been in the same place over 40 years! Go figure…..And, I actually remember the places & lots of the moves but could not tell you addresses if you put a gun to my head 🙂

  2. Shannon April 3, 2008 / 7:15 pm

    I’ve actually stayed in of your apartments. How funny is that?

    I agree…the Barracks Row house was my favorite too.

    That Penn Ave-Rear place was so effin small. But I think that it’s the only place where you lived there long enough that I actually stayed there on two separate occasions. Once when I was 5mos pregnant in 2000 and then April of 2002 with Wendy. I have NO idea how the three of managed to sleep there for a weekend!

  3. sprite April 3, 2008 / 8:19 pm

    I’ve mentioned to you before that I’m a creature of habit. In the last 12 years, I’ve lived in four places:

    1) My folks house for six months after I graduated from college
    2) My apartment on Washington Street (next to a Catholic Church) for 3.5 years
    3) My apartment on College Street (two blocks from the previous place and next to a Christian Scientist church, but across from the best pizza in town) with Rudi where we lived for 3.5 years
    4) The Burrow (a block from a Quaker church) where we’ve lived for five years now (and which we rented because the landlord offered us a three-month lease).

  4. wendalicious April 3, 2008 / 11:02 pm

    This was interesting for me to think about…I’ve lived quite a few places myself since college:
    -That crappy third-floor walkup with you and Marlene in Troy
    -Hampshire House in Schenectady with Mike (the ex) – two different apartments in the same complex. Lived there 5 years.
    -A large apartment over a beauty salon in the Bellevue neighborhood in Schenectady (1 year, trying to save money because I quit my job and went back to school)
    -The house we bought together in Schenectady (the house he grew up in, then I had to sell because he left and I couldn’t afford to buy him out due to extreme poverty). I really liked that house, but looking back it’s probably best that I sold it, considering its history.
    -My three-bedroom apartment in Schenectady, with a fantastic landlord and a thermostat set permanently at 62 degrees. It was my transition place, and the first and only time I ever lived alone. EVER. God, I hated that place after a while. It would have been cool if I’d had the time or ambition to fix it up – built in 1900, original hardwood moulding and floors, bay window, lots of character. But, then I met Bob, we got married, and now I live in
    -My current residence, a 3-bedroom townhouse which my now-husband bought himself 6 years ago, and I’ve converted from a bachelor pad into a home.

    So, 7 places in 14 years. Not too bad, I guess. Sometimes I wish I still lived alone, though… 🙂

    I have not stayed at evey one of your apartments – I completely missed #11. I never saw it. I’m sorry…

  5. Snapdragon April 4, 2008 / 12:24 am

    1. The town house at Belle Haven in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Dad found this place for me (from his chair in Binghamton) when I was looking for off-campus housing for senior year. I lived there with Jess, Tanya and Faith; after graduation it was Tanya and some dude I can’t remember his name; then Sarah moved in, then Sarah and I

    2. moved north to Foxchase of Alexandria…and yeah, it took a while for us to be friends again (and now we are). After Sarah moved out, I moved to

    3. Rosslyn, Virginia into what had to be the crappy little apartment ever (was an efficiency converted into a one bedroom by adding a crappy fake wall)…it was here that I met my porch dwelling neighbors from Georgia who overstayed their student visas and looked for American girls//wives…it was alas all I could afford. After fifteen long months, I moved to

    4. an English basement apartment on Capitol Hill, five blocks away from Sweetpea…there I stayed until I got married…in spite of being robbed at knife point/car jacked six months in…it was a tiny little place, but a great neighborhood and an easy walk to Eastern Market…

    5. Next stop was Twin Ridge apartments just north of Baltimore – the most spacious apartment I/we ever had (2 bed / 2 bath), though nondescript…it worked while I was in grad school…when I graduated and Chris started Georgetown we moved to

    6. Gramax Tower in Silver Spring, Maryland…by far the coolest and most cosmopolitan apartment I’ve ever had…it was on the 14th floor overlooking Rock Creek Park. From here the voyage takes a sharp turn

    7. south to Conroe, Texas to live with the in-laws (for what was supposed to be 4 to 6 weeks which turned in to five + months during which my husband / their son traveled). He was home for a week when we

    8. found a one bedroom apartment at the Marquis at Bellaire, which is where we have lived in Houston until we

    9. bought our HOUSE in February 🙂

    I’m so done moving!!! (unless its back to DC/NoVa)

    So that’s 9 places in 13 years…not bad…not counting my house #6 was my favorite in all aspects, followed by #4 for location only.

    Thanks, Sweetpea, for the trip down memory lane.

  6. MsP April 4, 2008 / 10:02 am

    For one – we need to come up with a good flower name for Mom! 🙂

    For two – your post was hilarious, and I suspect my mother could write it exactly. Although she didn’t cosign on so many of my apartments as help me move in/out of them. As I’m in my mid-30s I thought I’d outgrown that phase, but oh no, she was back in town in January helping me pack for this most recent move. I couldn’t have been more grateful – with MrP’s work schedule and the baby, I don’t know how I’d have done it.

  7. Mom April 4, 2008 / 10:02 am

    WOW, ladies, and I’ve lived in only THREE places in almost 65 years — I feel DEPRIVED !!

  8. Shannon April 4, 2008 / 10:18 am

    Uh Wendy, you did stay at #11.

    You were in a coma of sorts thanks to said ex-husband and you probably blocked out the whole ordeal.

    This was the one time that we rented a car and drove ourselves to Sweetpea’s from BWI…..we had a little shower for Joanne….um, does that jog your memory?

  9. Kate April 6, 2008 / 4:44 pm

    …fortunately, I’ve lived in the same place now for 5 whole years (a record since leaving home!!!):

    1. after leaving home, apartment in Pensacola, with college buddy Rusty (still remember his cheese whiz dip he cooked in one of my pots and NEVER cleaned – sat in the sink for 3 days and then I couldn’t take it)
    2. Tanglewood apartment in P-cola w/ Jen
    3. Apartment in P-cola…FINALLY on my own!
    4. Chase Arbor 1 bedroom apartment in VA (actually, it was just a large closet)
    5. gorgeous house w/ 2 roommates in Oak Harbor, WA
    6. do any of the aircraft carriers / deployments count as a living space? if so, add the Lincoln and Vinson
    7. little red house in P-cola (my absolute favorite place – tin roof, my own beach, sunset windsurfing cruises), until it was destroyed by Hurricane Georges
    8. neighbor’s house while I was homeless (their vacation spot was on stilts & was next to the little red house, thus surviving the flood…I got to stay for free)
    9. Cacica St duplex
    10. Mauna Kea Court – did not officially move in until after marriage, and we had one roommate, very nice on the canal and we bought an inflatable raft from Walmart to take evening cruises through the canals to the bay (looking back that was so crazy!)
    11. Rochester, NY (this was a dream house – floor plan, a ridiculous amount of space, close to home)
    12. Vicksburg corporate apartment in Plymouth
    13. CHAMPLIN!!!!!

    So from 1991 – 2002, that’s 14 places?, if you count the 2 deployments…just proves home is where the heart is.

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