The Apartment: Part One

18 Oct

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I’ve grown weary of staring at these blank walls.

It’s been a couple of weeks and I’m still sleeping on an air mattress, living out of suitcases and feeding myself a steady diet of coffee and takeout (no dishes = no homecooked meals.) At night I lie on my little mattress with a sleeping bag for covers and watch streaming television on my laptop, which sits on top of my suitcase. It makes for a nice makeshift entertainment center, but this morning I woke up with neck pain. I wasn’t sure if it was from the air mattress or craning to watch too many crime dramas on the tiny computer screen (I’ve finally given up on James Bond).

In any event, I find these strange new pains to be not-so-conducive to kicking ass. Therefore, I must take action. Today I tackle Item No. 1 on my list of International Woman of Mystery must-haves: Homebase.

Step One: Envision it.

I’ve watched enough spy movies as of late to have some idea of the desired look. The apartment will be sleek. The perfect blend of feminine with a masculine edge. Modern and functional. But cozy enough to hide in when I’m on the lamb. All the gadgetry of the Bat Cave but with sheets so high in thread count that even James Bond would be envious.

Step Two: Prepare.

An International Woman of Mystery is always on the go. I’ve used enough of my down time between missions to peruse the archives at Apartment Therapy, but it’s time to get proactive. Arm the smart phone with the proper implements – Home Décor Space Planner, Pinterest, Mobile Ikea Catalog, various coupon apps. Plus a list of measurements for every window, wall and surface in the apartment.

I clothe myself in what has now become my stock mystery attire (wardrobe to be acquired shortly): hair pulled back, black clothes that breathe and move for the task at hand. I debate the shoes. Flats are easier for maneuvering through the mission impossible maze that is the Ikea showroom but heels will help me stand tall and clip my way through the crowds at Super Target on a Saturday. I settle on both. Heels on my feet, and flats in my oversized handbag. Preparedness is a critical tool of the trade.

Step Three: Acquire.

This is the fun part. I’ve rented a small truck for my haul, but it’s due back to the rental center by 6 p.m. It is now 9:32 a.m. and I am on the road. Weekend shopping is, in itself, a test for even the mightiest. I must utilize my stealth and speed as I navigate the shops. Every stroller blocking the aisles, every long line, every overly chatty salesperson is an obstacle. I don a pair of head phones to keep interruptions minimal. Dodge and weave around the lollygaggers. Use self-check whenever possible.In the end, I am triumphant. I come home with a small arsenal of interior goodies:

*For the Kitchen: Pots, pans, utensils and dishes. A few odd cooking tools – garlic press, egg separator, spiral slicer. I’ve never been very adept in the kitchen but I bargain that an International Woman of Mystery should be able to whip up a good soufflé or a frittata at least. It’s also good training wheels for future endeavors in gadgetry. I may not be able to fly a helicopter (yet) but I will master the salad spinner in the interim.

*For the Living Room: Bookshelves to hold my various operations manuals and biographies of other great women. Small flat screen TV for my continued studies of great spy movies. Bar cart for mixing a mean martini or truth serum. A small loveseat to be draped in luxurious throws and pillows. Mr. Poison always hated throw pillows. He considered them extraneous and “frou frou,” but Jenny G loves pillows. I buy six. I also buy an economic speaker for my iPhone , so I can practice my dance moves and rock out to my International Woman of Mystery theme song. (TBD.)

*For the Bedroom: A double bed frame and mattress. A couple of lamps for enhanced boudoir lighting. Travel posters. A small desk for my laptop and other mystery operations. A night stand with secret drawer where I’ll keep my black book or maybe a journal written in a secret code. A plush, shag rug. Incense burner to transport me to exotic destinations on the colder winter days.

*For the Bathroom: Heavy damask shower curtain. Candles. A tray for fancy foreign perfumes and potions. Lush bathrobe and oversized towels in various jewel tone colors. A jar of bubble bath and an eye mask. Perfect for decompressing after a particularly tough assignment.

*For the Closet: All manner of hangers, storage drawers and shoe racks. My collection of disguises has yet to be obtained, but I’ll get to that soon enough. For now, organization is the name of the game.

*For Mademoiselle: A large iced Americano and a cranberry scone. Must maintain energy to complete mission.

To be continued. Mademoiselle is exhausted.

–Jenny G.

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