The walls are way too thick.

I can’t hear when my neighbors are crying or having sex, and I certainly can’t smell the exact spice blend they’re using to cook their Friday fajitas. If I can’t rely on sensory details alone to form judgments and character assassinations about my neighbors, then how am I supposed to get to know them? Wave and say hello to them out in the yard? Have a chat over the hydrangea bushes? I find this level of intimacy really unsettling.

When something is broken it gets fixed right away.

I’m skeptical about how fast things around here get fixed. I know for a fact that it takes a long time to diagnose and repair a leaky faucet. According to every single landlord I’ve ever had, “it’s going to be somewhere between four to seven weeks” and then a follow-up every two months to complete the job. But after that, it always mostly works! It’s like they always say, if you don’t ask for something repeatedly, over the course of a full calendar year, how much do you even want it?

There is only one doorbell and it’s mine.

This level of efficiency is problematic. When my doorbell rings, I want there to be a 50% chance of it being for me, 4B, and a 50% chance of it being for my neighbor, 4D. To maintain optimism in the face of near-constant false alarms from Amazon, UPS, and FedEx delivery drivers, makes you a stronger person. And to be honest, I question how anyone can even feel “alive” if they’re not routinely leaping out of bed at 6 AM to the sound of a buzzer chiseling through their apartment and triggering a series of mild heart attacks in the process.

I receive 100% of my mail.

I’m spiraling. Now that I’m receiving my mail with regularity, I feel like a bad person. I no longer have an excuse not to respond to wedding invites, baby announcements, or my 4th-grade pen pal who keeps finding my address no matter how many times I move. It’s overwhelming to know so many people care enough to keep in touch with me, and honestly, I wish they wouldn’t. I want to go back to a time when I was willfully ignorant of their intentions, and I never had to confront what a terrible friend I am.

I have a functioning front door lock.

Help! I am trapped in a prison and the security is stifling! I can’t fall asleep at night with the knowledge that zero people or animals are getting in. I miss having one thin, rusted deadbolt be the only thing that separates me from my neighbor, their cat, and the rat that narrowly escaped that cat. Now that I own a home, I never see anyone, and no one sees me. Let me out!

I have complete freedom to permanently
alter the structure of the property.

Personally, I think it’s pretty presumptuous to assume you know what’s best for a house. As a renter, I like that I can’t define my interior style without risking losing my security deposit. That threat keeps me in line! And sure, maybe I’ve just convinced myself that renting makes sense because my generation is “crippled with student debt,” and I will “never be able to afford a house,” or whatever. But also, I trust the person who lived in this house 50 years ago. If wall-to-toilet carpeting was good enough for them in 1972 then who am I to protest now? You want me to knock down a wall because the kitchen is too narrow? No, sorry, I refuse to play God.

A feral cat colony has not taken over the backyard.

I’m looking out across this pristine, landscaped backyard and feeling really exposed. Say what you will about the smell, terror and environmental hazard of a feral cat colony living in your backyard, but at least they’ll never try to chat with you over the hydrangeas!