Walmart, My Saving Grace
Think on this, for the next 3.5 years I am chained to this lovely apartment. It is two bedroom apartment on the first floor. Has a nice little patio that has the most breath-taking view of the parking lot. I am able to sit on the hard plastic chair and allow the gods of wisdom and inspiration to cast lightning bolts of knowledge into my entire being. Why am I imprisoned here? This is not where I am supposed to be!!! I am a professional, 44 year old relatively wealthy man. I have a 401k that will enable me to retire at 54. I play golf, fish or hunt most weekends. I drink Vodka martinis, smoke cigars with my buddies while sipping Drambuie, and wear sports coats when I go out on the town. I now live like I did 24 years ago in college. I am thinking of buying a funnel to drink my beer out of. Maybe buy a pack of Ping-Pong balls for nightly games.
After the split of my wife and I, we sold our beautiful home we had built and she scattered off to a cheaper area of Houston. It was up to me (why?) to stay in the high school attendance zone that my girls attend school. They cannot move due to the state of Texas UIL rule in athletics. If you are on a varsity sports team and move you are required to give up a year of eligibility. B has 3.5 years left of high school. Archaic rule.
Shots from the real estate agent on our old house:
So when I embarked on this rental adventure, I soon discovered there is only one apartment complex in the school attendance zone. I jumped on the first place they had which was a tiny 800 square foot one bedroom apartment and got on the “waiting” list for the next two bedroom. The one bedroom was my home for a couple of months. Very quiet, very small. When the girls came to visit they had to pull out the couch bed.
On December 19, 2014 we moved to the two bedroom and the girls moved in 3-5 nights per week. This place is in the center of the complex. Party central I should say. We went to the mattress store and purchased a couple of single beds for the girls. Great Christmas presents!
Apartment aka, Bachelor Pad and Fred
I have labeled this place the Bachelor Pad. Very original but hell it fits. Adopted dog, Fred, and I are living the dream right here in apartment heaven. I can hear all these 20-somethings fighting in the parking lots, babies crying in the apartment next to me, and the best is the herd of cattle that run above my head in the middle of the night. LOVING IT. I am not sure what is sadder; the fact that two nights ago two guys were actually beating the hell out of each other disturbing my patio view OR the fact I did not react because it was in the middle of my Rockets game.
But I will say, the 55 inch flat screen appears so much larger in the living room of this place.
Now for the kitchen!
When I first arrived to the kitchen I was lost. What am I supposed to heat up my macaroni and cheese in? Off to Walmart I go. I find that you can purchase anything there! I was never much of a shopper. Honestly, I only shop online. But hell I need a pot and pan! AND geez is this shit cheap!!! I remember purchasing a set of cookware for my wife off her Amazon list back a few years ago that was over 400 bucks! She ripped me off! I got this sweet set of red pots and pans for $55!! I also got a badass wooden spoon to stir my vittles for .99 cents!
Each day presents a new problem. I am slowly building up my arsenal for battle so I can defeat these problems.
The other thing that cracks me up is the grocery bill. I had never shopped for groceries before this split up. I am not helpless; I had been to a Kroger or something and walked in for a bottle of wine or a twelve pack of beer. SO I am not a complete imbecile. The budget for the food was always around $600-$800 a month. I paid the bills and noticed T always kept it in that area. I shop now for the girls and I and swear the budget is only about $400 a month. What the hell was T buying??? There are so many more snacks and drinks in the apartment than were ever in the house! I have stockpiles of things. I’m lost as to understand what she spent all the money on. I try and buy healthy stuff. But I noticed the bread she purchased was in the isle for over $3. I buy the wheat bread for $1. What is the difference?
As for toilet paper and paper towels… after a bad experience I understand now why you purchase the top name brand stuff. I bought some cheap toilet paper thinking I was savvy… whooo hooo. Lets just say that my ass is used to soft stuff. I think I am in love with Charmin Ultra rolls. Paper towels that are cheap absolutely suck! They can’t do anything. So Bounty it is.
Kitchen supplies are slowly building. My first experience with a can of vegetables was a nightmare. I realized in the middle of cooking that I don’t own a can opener! I sawed that bad boy off with a buck knife. The next day I grabbed a can opener on the way home from work at Walmart. The little guy that welcomes me at my local Walmart is named Tom. We are buddies. He knows all about my hardships and just shakes his head laughing at me every time he sees me walking in.
“What shit did you stumble in today?” Tom usually asks.
“Tom, being single sucks…” I snort back. “here is a $20, have a Merry Christmas Brother…” I say as I pat him on the back and amble lost into the comfort of what has become my saving grace, Walmart.