Recently, my 21-year-old moved to a house share in a small, upscale city where she's in college.
I haven’t seen it yet but am sure it's a great place. She's moved three times and pretty much manages things on her own. The recent relo involved her driving a box truck she told me.
Her father helped her move into the first place she lived two years ago.
I had gone up the week before to see the apartment she and a friend had found on their own through Craigslist.
The rental was a condo in the outskirts of the city but just a mile from school. It is a known sketchy area that one of the girls had read online, “has more ghetto per square mile” than any other place in the U.S.
Unnerved, but for peace of mind and an enjoyable two days, I decided not to investigate.
Instead, I looked for positive reasons to affirm her first major adult decision and bit my tongue bloody.
Day one was a challenge when a neighbor in bra and shorts knocked on the back slider to ask for a light. We went out on the patio and her man stuck his head out the upstairs window and joined the conversation with, "How are you ladies doing today?”
I held back and said nothing. Later, I noticed some stray cats outside, and teenagers standing around in the middle of a school day, smoking near the trash dumpster.
I also signed up for email blasts from the local newspaper and read the blotter then did not recount how much drug activity is prevalent in that area.
I was worried but held back mostly conveying this:
1. This area is diverse and will be a great new experience for you.
2. The condo is big so friends can visit.
3. The rent is a bargain.
4. There's a ton of fast food and cheap places to eat.
5. Gas is cheaper here than downtown.
And when it was time to leave, I said, “This is a great place. But do me a favor. Put a curtain on that slider and don't be too friendly with the neighbors.”