The word makes me uncomfortable. I have not done anything in my life worthy of a congratulations.

I have never climbed Mt. Everest. I have never written a Nobel Prize book. And I haven’t found a cure for cancer.

I understand the concept – congratulations is a “well wish.” People want the best for you.

“Congratulations on your Bachelors degree from K-State! We’re so proud of you!”

Thank you. But all I did was stay sober enough for 4 nights out of the week. And actually I’m still drunk from the night before because of this thing called Thursday night 99 cent jack and cokes. Did I just slur that?

“Congratulations on your wedding!”

Thanks! We found love and signed a paper. My parents paid for your free meal and dress, the flowers, the DJ…I tripped up the aisle after I said “I do.” You’re welcome for the laughs.

“Your newborn daughter is beautiful! Congratulations, mom and dad!”

Um, thank you. We had unprotected sex. I survived childbirth. And he still just had sex.

“Congratulations on your new house!”

Oh, you don’t need to congratulate, just come over anytime.

Ah, the house is tricky. Congratulations on the biggest investment you will ever make. Some people can’t afford a house. Some people live in one house their entire adult life. Scott and I are going from a nice house to a nicer house. The thought of congratulations makes me uncomfortable. It’s a social status congratulations.

Our house is under construction. We’re living in an two-bedroom apartment.

Apartment life. People do it all the time, look at New York. The lawn care is taken care of. There’s a handyman on-call. It’s cheaper than owning. Four months of living in an apartment with kids cannot be that bad.

I am google searching congratulations balloons to be delivered to us in July. And one of those giant welcome home signs across the garage. I might throw my own block party with a DJ instead of unpacking.

I don’t know what happened. It all went downhill.

Day 1.

Me: This is nice, Scott. A lot of space and the kids love sharing a room. I feel like we’re on a vacation with all these restaurants and good places to shop. I could live here. We don’t need some huge house. We’d save so much money. We could travel the world.

Scott: Yeah, once we get out of here, this will probably feel like home.

Day 3.

Scott: Some cat peed in the back of my truck, all over my hunting blinds.

Me: Speaking of cat pee, why does the girls’ room smell like cat pee? Maybe the previous owner had a cat and they didn’t get the smell out? Or maybe the cat that peed in your truck, peed by the window outside?

Scott: It does stink like something.

Me: Or you think the people above us has a litter box? Can that smell down here?

Day 4.

Me: Scott, I think the guy above us beats his kid.

Scott: What?

Me: I hate it when you’re out of town. I almost called the cops. The little boy sounded school-age. Screaming and his dad was yelling at him. Emma heard it too and got scared for the boy. Screaming like he was being murdered, Scott.

Scott: I’ll tell the apartment when I get in tomorrow.

Day 5.

Scott: The apartment said the dead beat dad is moving out in a week. That settles that.

Me: But the kid!

Scott: Fine. If it happens again, I’ll go up there.

Day 10.

Me: I’ve been awake since 6 am because the dude above us decided to take a pee.

Scott: What?

Me: I can hear dead beat dad’s loud pee stream.

Scott: That’s disgusting. Just a couple more months.

Day 20.


Scott: What now?

Me: Well, when I brought our trash to the dumpster, I could see through someone else’s trash.

Scott: What was it?!


Scott: No way!

Me: Who drinks a case of that? What kind of adults are we living with? I haven’t had one of those since…since…beginning of college? Maybe?

Day 23.

Scott: Damnit, call the apartment people tomorrow. The girls flooded the bathroom with the toilet. Damn toilet just leaks water constantly. We don’t have enough towels, I had to use bedsheets.

Me: WHAT?! I can’t call them out tomorrow. We have Belle and we didn’t pay the $500 pet deposit. Remember? She’s in stealth mode. I’d have to find a pet sitter.

Scott: I’ll fix it. Fine.

Day 30.

Me: Who just knocked on the door? Huh? I think I just saw some school-age boys run off?

Scott: Let me answer the door if they do it again.

Me: Shhhh…here they come. Here comes the knock…

Scott: (opens door) ROARRRRRR!

Me: (laughing) I think they know the girls live here.

Scott: Yeah, that’ll teach ’em.

Day 44.

Me: Do you know how lucky you are to travel so much? You don’t have to live in cat pee.

Scott: Few more months.

Day 46.

Scott: I’ve been up since 7 am because the people next to us like to have morning sex.

Me: What? She was just reading her daughter a book last night.

Scott: Yeah, well, she likes to get freaky in the morning. Banging her head on the wall.

Me: I didn’t hear it.

Scott: Moaning too.

Day 50.

Me: Why haven’t you answered your phone?

Scott: I’m entertaining my clients on Bourbon Street. What happened?

Me: I found the cat pee smell. I just sent you a picture of it.

Scott: I haven’t got it yet. What is it?

Me: MOLD. There’s BLACK MOLD on Kate’s side of the room. It’s all along the trim and going up the wall. It’s under her mattress. The carpet is saturated.

Scott: Are you kidding me? That’s a bunch of bullshit.

Me: This explains Emma’s increase in asthma attacks and my daily headaches. I never get headaches! I thought it was from stress but now I realize it’s from MOLD.

Scott: Get Emma out of that apartment. I don’t want you breathing that. Go to your mom and dad’s tonight then I’ll be home in the morning. Save all those pictures. I’m not paying a dime until they clean this shit up.

Day 64.

The mold has been removed. There is a chunk of soggy drywall cut out. The carpet has been ripped up. There is a dehumidifier running in the room. The source of the leak has been discovered but not fixed.

The girls have been sleeping in our room for two weeks like a damn frat house. We won’t let the girls sleep in that room until the leak is fixed. Emma’s asthma has gotten better since the mold removal. My headaches are gone.

The new people upstairs like to vacuum at 1 am. The people next to us still like morning sex. And I’m on the lookout for what kind of human drinks Smirnoff.

50 more days. Congratulations to us.


  • Heather

    Wow, my apartment experience was a lot more pleasant than yours. I would be complaining 24/7. Not too long until you have your own home.

    • Julie Burton

      We never had problems living in an apt before. I forgot how “loud” they are. Maybe because we weren’t far removed from college? At this point we are trying to get out of apt as much as we can until our new home is ready. Getting close!

  • donofalltrades

    Congrats on graduating from KSU!! LOL, yeah, your response was about what I was thinking, only kinder. 😉

    We stayed with my parents while the house was being built. We had an ant issue once, which was pretty funny, but otherwise, it was smooth sailing. Apartment people are something else for sure. When you leave that apartment, I would totally call on that dad. You can anonymously call the hotline. Or do it now, if he’s leaving soon. Better safe than sorry. Also, what does your husband sell/do? I could use to be entertained on Bourbon Street.

  • snoozing on the sofa

    On the other hand, when you get out of there, you’ll have to rely on a boring, traditional alarm clock to wake you up at 7 a.m. I bet the lady next door will wake you on time even when the power goes out. You’re not going to get that kind of reliability with a digital readout attached to it.