It’s finally happened! After 3.5 years of Alex living in a hotel (3 months for me, though to be fair 7 of those weeks were traveling outside Ukraine), we have an apartment. My husband no longer feels homeless, I no longer feel disconnected (entirely), and there’s food in our fridge. It’s a minor miracle!
After waiting seven long months for the apartment, suddenly moving in and shopping for all apartment-related needs in a single day was a shock. For any ordinary couple, shopping for bedding, towels, cleaning supplies, dishes, pots, organizing items, and groceries in a single day, plus moving assorted luggage and bags, would be a lot. Add to this the Starr Factor. What is that, you say? I’m so glad you asked.
Starr Factor (stär fktr), noun: an element that makes any process more complicated and time-consuming than it needs to be. Often involves drawn-out thought processes and weeks of internet research before committing to a decision. Example: Alex wanted to purchase some cleaning rags, but the Starr Factor delayed him a week for rigorous consumer research and product testing.
Understand that when we originally registered for our wedding gifts, each item was an agonizing decision for me. I’ve only gotten worse; I now spend months looking up various kinds of black cardigans online, sometimes trying on a few in stores, before selecting one for my birthday wishlist. It’s a trait that my career in librarianship and my time as a PhD student has only enhanced.
This is the person that went out this past Saturday with less than 10 hours to shop for all the items needed to set up a two-bedroom apartment. There wasn’t time to window shop, to even check out linens at a few stores before committing. It was targeted hunt-and-gather. Look: there are some dish sets. Does Alex like it? Does Starr? Okay, let’s glance quickly at the price, grab it, and look for the next item on the list. I think the most time I spent on a decision was ten minutes trying pillows at the first store (we ended up getting more than we needed anyway, figuring the pillows we don’t like can go on the guest bed).
The end result has been mixed, but overall good. The bedspread and pillows are great, the sheets okay, the towels rather meh (but to be fair, there wasn’t much to choose from). The dishes and utensils are good, and the pots have been fantastic. The main problems I’ve had setting up the apartment the past two days have been a lack of enough cleaning supplies (why didn’t I buy a broom and mop?) and not nearly enough containers for things (i’m currently using the boxes the utensils came in as a medicine cabinet).
We’re still waiting on our desks and chairs to be delivered, and we’ve yet to pick a dining table and chairs, so the main living areas look rather bare. But I’ll be posting photos as I finish putting things away. Hooray for a home sweet home!