Dear Silicon Valley

This is an incredibly expensive place to live. When you take on permanent or temporary help, you need to make sure they are compensated to account for living arrangements.

My husband has been out there for six months and I’m across the country trying to find us a place to live. It’s twice the price for half the value. No-one will do a short-term rental because of layoffs and non-payment of rent due to, well, non-payment on a day-to-day work schedule by huge employers.

One high-end place told me any moving truck would have to find a space somewhere on the street blocks away and they won’t reserve an elevator. That means a 3-hour move-in takes 24 and guess the pockets that money comes from? Ours.

Today I was told that our little Aussie mix needed to have a DNA test to check the mix. I was told she was a German Shepherd and as such, on the breed ban list. I went over their heads from a central booking facility that didn’t even know where the property was on a map, to HQ and sent them a photo of our dog. Covering for central, HQ offered to help and said that after consulting their pet criteria it looked as if our dog may be welcome. Well, golly gee whiz. A 35 lb. Aussie mix who is a darling with kids and elderly folks and nearly a mascot here might be allowed in. Now we just have to see what they think of us.

I’ve only been south of SFO to change planes so don’t know the area. My husband knows it but hasn’t found a place to live in 14 years, since he met me. Back then he lived in man caves. Cheap, dark, built one of the first dual-brained computers and had the individual wrappers from string cheese going from frig to computer. Oh, and one Dr. Pepper 72 oz. “big gulp” in the frig. Yes, I had to pay a maid to clean the place three weeks after we met, when he left town after being downsized. Great term. He returned two weeks later during dot-bomb, with a new job. Said he came back for me. Awww, so sweet.

My father sent me to a place he got years ago and told me I had to drive three hours from my home to visit and give my mother a description. All the shades were drawn. The walls were charcoal grey, ceilings black, closets different shades of jewel-toned velvet wallpaper. There were bullet holes. There was no light. The owner was in prison for drugs. His brother said we had to pay him $400 per month to not do landscaping.

Then I opened the shades and saw a grand patio and tennis court. That’s why Dad got it. I drove home thinking about what I would tell my mother. “Well, it needs some paint.” They turned on the A/C one day and it cost $2K. Yes, I visited to re-paint and helped mow the lawn. Still, we remember the bullet holes and porn the inmate owner wrote and kept in the attic as screenplays.

Are you really going to ask me why I want to choose a place to live? I cook, clean, take care of the place and the dog and my husband. My desk is there. I live there and do not eat string cheese, even introduced him to sharp cheddar when Monterey Jack was as crazy as he got. He just eats breakfast and dinner, watches a movie and sleeps there. I don’t need much square footage, but do not want to live in a man cave or inmate’s bullet-ridden home. Hoping things turn out for all my fellow cooks, Dee

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