Let’s play a game. I am going to say a word, and you say the first thing that that person would say?
OK. Here’s the word…
If you said, “Get outta here,” then you are probably a person who grew up in an urban apartment house, like I did. If you are anything like I was, I bet you were always being chased by the super for being in the bike room, laundry room, cellars or just for hanging around in the front of the apartment.
In these days of niche marketing, there’s probably a whole bunch of people, currently living in their own homes in the suburbs, who grew up in urban apartments. Actually to get the demographics of this group, I started to read a bunch of charts, tables, and graphs. Then I remembered the D I got in college statistics in 1964, (a gift because I was dating a friend of the instructor), and decided to skip the spreadsheet approach.
Anyway, I don’t need statistics. I am a “grew up in an apartment house” profiler. If you answer “Yes” to these questions, chances are you grew up in an apartment house too.
- Do you save quarters in a little jar, just in case you need them for the laundry room?
- Now that you live in your own house, do you do laundry in your house at midnight wearing only your underwear?
- When you are in a building with an elevator, do you assume a pose of vigilance before the door opens, prepared to kick someone where it hurts?
- As a kid, were you able to exit your “building” (an apartment word) by jumping down flights of thirteen steps at a time?
- Do you remember your mother or father throwing down money wrapped in a tissue from your third floor apartment when the ice cream man came?
- As a kid, were you afraid of some weird guy who used to stay in a little smelly room and be in charge of the garbage? Did you hate to bring the garbage down to the garbage room?
- Did you ever steal the wheels off baby carriages in the bike room?
- Did you sit on a bench in the laundry room looking at the suds and lint glopping up the drain in the floor?
- Did any member of your family get in to a fight with another human over taking the other person’s stuff out of the washer?
- Did you ever ring the call bell on the elevator just to make the super crazy?
- Did you have a screen door on your third floor apartment door?
- Was Halloween trick or treating absolutely the best in an apartment house?
Well, did I out you as a former apartment dweller?
If I did, and you are like me, you will compare every house you have ever lived in with Apartment 33, on the third floor of the B Building. And, maybe when you have nothing to do, you might just ride over to your old apartment house, and look at it, longingly.