Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Deja Vu, or "The Cinderblock Prison"

I live in the dorms. Only temporarily, thank goodness, but when I left these halls in the winter of 2005, I thought never to cross their threshold again. Yet through a series of terribly unfortunate events, I find myself and three suitcases worth of stuff moved into "on-campus housing."

A time-line

Friday afternoon: "Geez, why is our house so cold?! Is someone's window open? Stupid old house with its temperamental heating."

Friday evening: Notice from managers that heat won't be fixed until next week. "Wait--'fixed'? You mean it's BROKEN?! Do you KNOW how cold Rexburg is right now?!"

Friday night: Text from Annie reading "Managers brought down space heaters, but don't turn on any lights when you get home because we keep blowing fuses."

Friday night through Saturday night: After much trial and error, we memorize the complex system of wiring in our house ("This outlet is connected to the fridge, the lights in the kitchen, and the downstairs bathroom..."), and we run the space heaters with strategic use of outlets to avoid blowing fuses, but we keep having to go flip the breakers anyway.

Sunday morning: "Do you guys have electricity in your room? We don't either. Hey, do you guys have lights downstairs? What? There's no electricity ANYWHERE in the building?!"

Sunday afternoon: Notice from managers that they're not sure what's going on with the power and to find someplace to sleep that night. I stay with the Chapman family.

Monday afternoon: Power AND heat still out. Breath is visible while sitting in the living room. Meeting called to update tenants on the situation.

Monday night: Meeting held, where we're notified that the furnace will be fixed by that night, but the electrical wiring for the house is completely shot, which is understandable because the wiring is from the 1940's or so. It will need to be re-done. Entirely. Which entails sawing holes in walls and ceilings, and which will put us out of house and home for at least 2 weeks. We are told that there are empty dorm rooms available that we will be moved into (rent-free), and to please remove everything from the walls, pack your valuables, and cover anything you don't want to risk having damaged. We go to the dorms to "check in" and I sleep at the Chapmans' again.

Tuesday morning: I go to the house and pack up a suitcase, my bedding, a backpack, a laundry basket, and a cardboard box of stuff and, with the help of Jacob, haul it up to the dorms. I unpack, but keep thinking of things I left behind on accident.

And after several more trips back to the house for things I forgot, I am officially moved in to the dorms, for the next few weeks, or until the wiring in my house is repaired.


It's kind of like moving into a cheap hotel for an undetermined period of time, but with no decor, no housekeeping service, and a lot of freshmen. There are a few pro's though. To go with the cons.

CON: Most of our dishes are still at home, and our fare is eaten mostly from paper plates. And we don't have dishsoap.

PRO: A shorter walk to the Ricks/MC/Kimball.
CON: A longer walk to the Snow building.

PRO: The shower actually drains, and the bathroom actually has ventilation.
CON: Um. Actually, there are no cons to go with this.

In all honesty, it's really not that bad. It could be so much worse. It's nice not having to walk uphill as long to get places--living on campus means you're closer to everything. We could have had to move out permanently. We could have had to move in with already established apartments. We could have had a flood or a fire or some other disaster that destroyed all of our belongings. We really are blessed. There are so many other people in the world who would be SOOO grateful for even the dorms--shelter and heat and a bed, etc. And I had some good times when I was in the dorms. It's just that those days are past, and it's (unfortunately) human nature to make gratitude relative. And Annie and I are now the 24-year-old girls living in the dorms. So that's awkward.

There is this fun advantage, too...Jacob walked me to the door last night, and we pretended that we were both 18-year-old freshmen, on our third date, and that it was our first kiss. ("Girls, you owe me ice cream!") So that was fun. We think we're going to continue the charade for as long as I'm staying there.


Lauren said...

Oh liz, I loved reading this post! What a crazy story and to think we were complaining about a new roof, sheesh 131 is going to be sweet come summer! I love that you pretend to be 18 and on your third date together, what a riot!

JenLee said...

Yeah, you are way overdue on that ice cream bargain.

I totally live in dorms right now. Yes, they are in Washington D.C. and everyone who lives here are 20-something highly motivated professionals, but dorms nonetheless. Just ending College where I started, I guess :)

Brandilyn said...

EEEEEWWwwww you stayed at your BOYFRIEND'S house OVERNIGHT?!?!?! and you KISS him?? grooss!!!

i hope you enjoy your adventure! and i hope they fix the wiring soon!!