Apartment Hunting with T-Diddy

The only thing more entertaining than hanging out with T-Diddy is traveling with T-Diddy. For the Fourth of July weekend Carissa, T-Diddy and I took a trip out to San Diego in order to tie up some loose ends before our move out there (tie up loose ends= find Carissa a place to live). Since there were only about three weeks until we arrived there for good, the pressure was on to find an apartment and roommates in a very short period of time.

Although we wanted T-Diddy there for her wisdom and guidance, I think Carissa and I would both agree that we more wanted her there for the entertainment. Somehow, some of my funniest moments have been the three of us in a car apartment hunting. Our last epic hunt was in Philly, years ago, and we still crack up talking about some of the events of that weekend.

T-Diddy did not disappoint.

We arrived in California with high hopes and about zero apartment leads. Carissa had emailed several people in advance, with very few responses, and based on the fact that I have used Craigslist to find roommates and apartments way more than is humanly imaginable (and the fact that I’m a control freak), I decided to take over the online search. Between two iPhones, an iPad, a MacBook and two portable MiFi’s, we were able to navigate and apartment search non-stop. Our first stop out of the airport was the rental car place, where they had run out of the kind of economy cars that we had ordered, so they directed us to a metallic blue two-door Mustang. I think Carissa and I high-fived and jumped up and down a little… because it was sooooo cute…. but after about 30 seconds and 16 bruises trying to shove all of our luggage and our asses in the car all at the same time, we were over it VERY quickly. “THIS is when you need a man around!” and “Ugh this car is DISGUSTING.” and “This backseat depresses me.” and “We should have gotten a minivan.”

We went from apartment to apartment… meeting weirdo after weirdo. When I realized it pushed Carissa’s buttons every time I burst out into Taylor Swift’s, “We are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” I made it our theme song, and applied it to every appropriate situation, such as running out of a strange apartment and away from said weirdos.

We met Liz, a girl who was sprawled on her couch mid-day with a blanket wrapped around her legs and no interest in introducing herself to potential new roommates, Tammy, a redhead who shared a room with her 36-year-old boyfriend, detailed us on her financial aid problems for 10 minutes and exclaimed “A CLEAN HOME IS A HAPPY HOME!”, an Indian couple who had a shrine in the corner and did not believe in having TV in the living room because they didn’t like the energy to be focused towards a wall… and then there’s Michael.

Michael is worth mentioning for oh so many reasons. First of all he was about 55. Carissa spoke to him on the phone on our way over to see his place. “He’s middle-aged.”

“How do you know??”

“Believe me.”

We went anyway. He was middle-aged. He was a millionaire in the construction industry who lived in a modest-sized home, but with an extremely eclectic design, and attention to every detail. When we first entered his home my initial thought was “what a weirdo… what grown man with money is looking for a roommate??” I obviously assumed he was a sex-offender of some sort.

But as we got the grand tour of his home, the fountains outside, his over the top miniature models of multi-million dollar projects in the works, his cigarette boat in the backyard with a $20k paint job of skulls and naked women, and his beloved Porsche in the garage, I realized he wasn’t a weirdo sex-0ffender. He was just a harmless lonely gay man looking for someone to “keep the dogs off the front lawn” when he traveled.

T-Diddy had a soft spot for Michael. She found him interesting. She found his plants and trees even more interesting. After he gave us a 5 minute report on exactly how he measured out his front garden, T-Diddy had fallen head over heels in love with one of his trees which he informed her was called a “Bird of Paradise.” She was determined to have one. She was going to find one and bring it home with her.

“Mom, you can’t bring a tree on a plane.”

“Yes I can. I’ll get a small one.”

“You’re going to bring a TREE through security?!!!”


Well then that settled it. We left Michael’s with no intentions on Carissa living there, but on a mission to find a Bird of Paradise. The next morning we woke up in our hotel to a note from T-Diddy, saying she had gone out shopping for a Bird of Paradise. Sure enough, after two Home Depots, she found what she wanted, and in she walked with her beloved tree… which she immediately named “Aunt Bertha.”

Aunt Bertha spent her morning on the balcony getting pampered by T-Diddy. She then joined us in the mustang, on the floor in the back behind the passenger’s seat.

“Can you move your seat up?? You’re squishing Aunt Bertha!”

“Mom, you want me to crunch my legs into the dashboard so that your TREE has more room in the backseat?!”


Aunt Bertha came everywhere with us. She ate with us, drank with us and slept next to us. I’m not sure why T-Diddy didn’t want to wait until our last day to find this tree… but in any case, she became part of our family.

Time was ticking, it was almost time to head back home and Carissa still hadn’t found an apartment. We had a couple more on the agenda, so we were REALLY hoping to like one of them. We pulled up in front of the house where we had an appointment for 11am. It was cute. We were optimistic. We rang the bell, no answer. Rang again, no answer. Emailed the guy “we’re here.” No answer.

We obviously thought the bell must have just been broken… and since the bars on the door didn’t allow for knocking, Carissa decided to climb through the bushes and knock on the front windows. We weren’t opposed. She was getting desperate at this point. Still… no answer.

I’m not sure why, but we figured if we walked around the side of the house and yelled “hello” into THOSE open windows, maybe someone would hear us. No response. So we headed into the backyard… maybe they were back there.

Nope, no people, but there was a cornhole set with bean bags, so Carissa and I decided to play while we waited to see if someone would come out to yell at us (because then they’d obviously want to live with her). Nothing. T-Diddy comes around back during our game and spots a tree. “OHHHH A LEMON TREE!!!!”

She gets right in there and plucks a lemon from the branches, talking to herself, “This is such a nice souvenir!”

“Mom that’s not a souvenir! That’s somebody’s lemon tree!”

She doesn’t care. She’s busy sniffing her lemon. We were busy peeing in our pants. We decided that now that something had been stolen, it was time to go.

“Well that’s what he gets for not answering the door.”

FAIL. But at least we walked out of there with a fresh lemon.

The trip was filled with lots of laughs, a few bruises and some blood (that disgusting car), and finally an apartment and a roommate for Carissa. We even purchased quality mattresses from a random man in a warehouse after T-Diddy called a number she saw on a handwritten sign on the side of the road reading “MATTRESSES $150.” Who ever responds to those signs, you ask??? My mother does. We paid, and they haven’t been delivered yet, so the verdict on that man is still up in the air. Fingers crossed; it’s all we can do. Because obviously buying a mattress from an actual store would be logical, and therefore out of the question.

Onward ho…. road trip west begins in 12 days.














4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. tiff
    Jul 16, 2013 @ 17:35:41

    You neglected to use that semi colon where it was called for in the last paragraph.
    Good blog, but you neglected to describe your new, great roommates, house, and Carissa’s new aeronotics engineer roomie.



  2. melvis
    Jul 17, 2013 @ 08:44:46

    your name is skye? i love a good tree.



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