My mother is a part-owner of the apartment building I reside in. And no, this does not mean I live there for free because she is not the type of woman to give handouts. When I was in sixth grade and I desperately wanted a double-cassette "stereo" with a digital radio and high-speed dub, I had to earn that $140 all by myself, which I did by rolling quarters from her buildings' laundry machines. In hindsight, I should have asked to be paid by the hour, not the roll, but that's the kind of thing you learn when your parent puts you to work.
When I finally had all of the money I needed and only a few blisters on my hands (not really), my mother took me to Macy's to buy my new stereo. I think the fact that I picked my stereo out at MACY'S says something about me, but I don't like what that thing is, so I'm going to move on. I then took it home, plugged it in, and ohmygod you guys: Bon Jovi has never sounded so magical. It also lasted me until my junior year of college, in case you were thinking that shopping for stereo at equipment at Macy's means I'm spoiled.
(Aside: it just occurred to me that considering I bought that thing with my own "hard-earned" cash, it was totally unfair that my mother routinely took it away as a punishment. You know, after grounding me and revoking my phone privileges. Do you know what it's like to be 12 years old without a phone OR Skid Row? I was tormented as a child, to say the least.)
Wow. All I was trying to do there was tell you that my mother is a part-owner of the apartment building I live in. But look at all that extra baggage you got as a free bonus? Yay, I can't afford therapy!
Moving right along: In addition to my mother being a part-owner of the building, my oldest brother is also the manager of the building. He lives on the ground floor; I live on the fourth. This is just enough distance to keep us from ever running into each other's one night stands (RIP: mine), but also means that I can shout to him from my window when pigeons invade my apartment (shudder) and give him my leftovers since I sometimes fear he subsides on beer and beer alone.
They say "no one reads anymore," so I'll make this easy for you. All you need to take away from the above five paragraphs is:
1. My mother is a part-owner of my apartment building and
2. My brother also lives in my building.
3. I no longer have one-night stands. Just kidding. I never had one-night stands. Not because I didn't try but because, seriously, guys are so much needier and more pathetic than they pretend to be. No I don't want to cudddle and then have brunch and see you next week for dinner. GO HOME ALREADY! And did you seriously already request to be my friend on Facebook? You haven't even left the bed for fuck's sake!
ANYHOO. My other brother, Ross, who does not live in or own my apartment building, sent an email out to the family a few months ago outlining a very detailed earthquake plan. If you don't have one, you totally should, but wow, they're super complicated and include things like: designated out of state contacts, primary and secondary meeting places, cards you're supposed to print out and fold up and put in your wallet (oopsie), removing anything hanging above your bed, putting a pair of shoes beneath your bed (broken glass, bitches), flashlights, and, well, you get the point. (Something to think about: It's good to keep about $500 cash in your apartment because if the city loses power, you're not going to be able to get cash and you're going to want some when you start your new life in Nevada which will now have amazing coastal views!)
How did this post start with my first boom box, linger awkwardly over one night stands, and finally land on earthquake safety? Is this what happens when I am left to my own devices and get hopped up on meth? KIDDING: Large black iced tea. I'm SO responsible.
So Ross sends this earthquake plan and designates his apartment in Potrero Hill as our primary meeting spot and the Home Depot in Colma as our secondary spot if, for whatever reason, we can't get to Potrero. His reasoning makes total sense: Potrero will be somewhat easy to get to for everyone and we don't need to cross any (now sinking in the water) bridges to get to Colma. He's so smart. And the Home Depot is OUR meeting spot; get your own. Unless you're bringing wine. Then come! We'll party!
I'm not going to bore you (TOO LATE, DAISY) with the details of Ross' email to the family, but it was very thoughtful and well planned out. All we had to do was nod and say, "Wow, thanks Ross!" and then wonder behind his back if he'd joined a cult.
But guess which member of the family JUST COULD NOT DO THAT? GUESS.
My mother responded to the email asking if perhaps we could relocate the meeting spot to somewhere else. Somewhere like... HER home!
I mean. Of course she did.
Later that week, over lunch, I tried to explain to my mother why she should just let it go and leave Ross' apartmen as the meeting spot.
"But my home is just so much NICER. And I have enough beds. And it's really more convienient," she quibbled.
"Well, if that's the argument, then we should all meet at my building. Todd and I both live there and it's the most centrally located," I retorted.
"Oh," she scoffed as though I'd suggested the most inane thing ever. "There's no way your building will survive an earthquake that big."
If only there were someone to do something about that...