The first real job D had was in Florida. At the time, we were 24 and living in Indiana with baby Patrick. We were so excited about this opportunity!! D flew ahead to Florida while I packed up house and made arrangements.
I arrived in Florida to find that D had already picked out an apartment in F--'s Landing. He had signed a LEASE on an apartment he had never seen, after seeing the model. (I know, I know...) It turns out that this apartment had *quite* the roach problem. Thankfully our stuff had not arrived yet on the moving van. It is much more difficult to get rid of roaches, I reasoned, with a place choc-a-bloc full of stuff than it is with just a few blankets on the floor, a couple suitcases and a Pack-n-Play.
We really wanted to give the apartment managers a chance to clear the problem. Donald was taking classes at his new job and if he didn't pass them, he'd have no job and we'd be stranded in this new state with no contacts and no money!! So, we really didn't have time to look around at other places, we reasoned.
But the roaches were really bad. In my subsequent reading, I have identified German roaches and Japanese roaches, as well as seeing small roaches (babies, maybe?), striped roaches, grey roaches... you name it. Oh, and of course the four-inch long Palmetto bug. It's a roach, but it flies and does not eat your food and does not WANT to live in your house if it can help it. Nonetheless a rather large specimen belly-up on our floor.
This is *just* what I want with a tiny baby in the house. I talked with the apartment manager about the severe problem... I should NOT see tens of roaches out at a time in the middle of the floor in the daytime. That means the problem is intense beyond belief. If you know roaches, they like to hide in corners and come out only at night. Even the kitchen drawer runners were clogged with roach legs. Really! It was that bad!
Oh, well, the apartment manager about drove me NUTS with her little Southern Miss Scarlett O'Hara routine. Why, you Yankees just don't know about those lil' ol' Palmetto bugs. We don't have roaches...
Um, I was very insensed and insisted she accompany me so I could show her for myself. I was able to identify only FOUR kinds of roaches, but seven total, on her two-minute visit. Oh, she says, well, maybe they are roaches. We'll bug bomb.
So we have to leave the apartment for several hours. That didn't work. They super-bombed the whole place and let us sleep in an apartment upstairs that was vacant for the day. That ALSO didn't work.
I just can't tell you how disgusting it is, feeling so absolutely hungry and having no choice but to prepare food in an area with ROACHES crawling on your countertops. I kind of got turned off mushroom bagel pizza that way. I was so nervous about roaches I was afraid of eating one thinking it was a roach instead of a mushroom...
We eventually broke the lease and just lost a lot of money because the landlords claimed we left the apartment a mess and caused damages. We had no STUFF to make a mess WITH (and we were only there a couple weeks!) and of course we did not cause the damages. But it was just a learning lesson, I suppose. When we were about to leave we took a bunch of black bags for trash, and ALL our clothes. We washed everything and shook everything else out. We just stayed at the laundromat until the very last thing we had was washed, packed up the car and moved on to the next place.
The next place we stayed at was EXTREMELY expensive and we really couldn't afford it. It was a gated community apartment full of very rich people in the process of building their dream homes nearby. Really. But I saw very few roaches there. Yes, I did see two or three, but bearing in mind Florida climate and the fact that this is an apartment building, it was liveable.
I have read later that there is no shame in HAVING roaches, just in KEEPING them. I think that's an apt saying. Many blessings to you today!