We all know it’s true. Even if no one wants to admit it.—There is always a busted kid—the kid that is just the slightest bit sloppier and more awkward than the rest. 

Extreme “busted kid” situations are truly unfortunate. The child’s bustedness is ever-present; it’s the elephant in the room that everyone seems to notice except for that particular child, and of course, that particular child’s parents. 

My friends and I often have conversations during which we daydream and describe our hypothetical futures. Presumptively, we foretell our ascent up the corporate latter from the data-entry assistant positions which we presently hold, and our long-term plans with our most recent men (whom we have dated for no more than two weeks and will undeniably lose interest in by the third). 

However, despite our naïve notions of instant professional success and impetuous fairy tale romance, when it comes to our putative children, we are not so blind. We recognize the unavoidable reality of the busted elephant, and we confidently predict that if the elephant were in fact our child, unlike the parents of other busted kids, we would know it. 

I have been recently tested on this theory—on a much smaller scale, of course, as I do not have any children nor do I plan to in any perspective of the near future. I have, however, recently moved into a new apartment—an immediate misnomer seeing that upon signing the lease, nothing about this space was new. 

While some improvements have been made (paint is no longer chipping from the walls and window sills, and the cracked 30-year-old faux tile bedroom floors have been replaced by hardwood) the apartment still leaves much to be desired. Going to the bathroom is an acrobatic feat, as one needs to stand inside the tub in order to allow enough floor space for the foot-wide door to swing open and shut. The kitchen, where the faux tiles remain, also falls short, the color of the floor reminds that my roommate and I are cooking dinner while standing on decades of New York City dirt.

Last Saturday night, Molly and I traveled to the Upper East Side for the apartment-warming party of two fellow Dickinson alumni. At the party, she and I separated to mingle with the other guests. While recapping our night on the subway home, we realized that we had both independently spent the entire party telling anyone who would listen about our amazing Brooklyn apartment. Not only do we live in Brooklyn, the overlooked, and yet clearly superior alternative to Manhattan, but we also have the best apartment that Brooklyn had to offer. 

Living together, Molly and I have fallen into the routine of returning home after work each night, and cooking dinner in our dingy, yet cook-in-sized kitchen (big enough with counter space to cook, but no room for a table, hence “eat-in-size”). Then we eat at our wooden dining room table, rescued by my parents from the South Jersey dump, and bask in the glory of our apartment—“the Gem,” we call it, as it truly is a diamond in the rough. 

One night last week, during our usual hour-long girly, giggly, “we love our apartment” extravaganza, we had a revelation. We were sitting in our common room—we do not have a couch, so I sat on our 80’s upholstered swivel chair (also a South Jersey trash find) that constantly swiveled whether you wanted it to or not, and Molly on an unfinished IKEA wooden chair, her feet resting on the swivel chair’s ottoman, so offensively ugly that we needed to cover it with a slightly less ugly sheet just to make it easier on the eyes. We were flipping through the basic cable channels on our 1999 twelve-inch screen television set, when the busted elephant in the room suddenly became overwhelmingly obvious.

This was the best apartment in all of Brooklyn?! Like the parents of the busted kid, Molly and I had been blinded by our love and excitement for our new home, we were completely oblivious to its not-so-subtle bustedness. 

The best thing, however, about being the busted kid is just that—the title has an unofficial expiration date, as no one remains a kid forever. Eventually, braces come off, contacts go in, skin clears up, and bustedness evolves into a personal style. 

The busted state of our apartment also has an unofficial expiration date. Our lease reads that in December 2007 the space will be renovated—the bathroom will be redesigned, ensuring enough space to open and close the door, and the kitchen will be refurbished, the faux tiles gutted and new cabinets and drawers installed. 

Although Molly and I have recognized that we do, in fact, have a busted apartment, like the parents that stick by their busted kids, I will not allow this to deter my love. Eventually, the renovations will be done, the walls will be painted, we will buy a couch and television from the twenty-first century, and our perfect Brooklyn apartment’s bustedness will be a just thing of the past.

Originally from the east coast, Cha Cha lives in southern California with her fiance (he’s a plumber) and their bob-tailed cat, Copper Soup.

As a woman, Cha Cha spends her time writing, reading (though not as much as she wishes she did), watching Project Runway (way more than she wished she did—especially since the show ended in 2019), trying to exercise for at least 20 minutes a day (otherwise, she won’t leave the house because she works from home), learning how to manage her money, and talking to herself out loud.

Blog Beat

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Back Beat

A memoir-ique experience composed of flashbacks, tributes, stories, and essays.