#5 Expectations (the Blueprint for disappointment)

When I moved to Miami, I expected that my then romantic partner would soon join me here. Then, during a visit from Boston, he drunkenly passed me his cell phone so that I could get an Uber ride for us, and a series of lurid sext messages suddenly popped up on his cell phone, which prompted me to uninvite him from moving from Boston to Miami. (The sexting wasn’t between us…)

Then, there was the brief encounter with the Cuban Republican. Even though we were ideologically opposites, he was so smart and so…together?! He owns a home in Coral Gables (a swanky Cuban American enclave of Miami) with excellent insights in food and spirits (both the kind one drinks and the kind one sees wandering the hallways late at night!). I expected that we could make a go of it – a reverse Carville and Matalin – but he only wanted to see me once every three weeks or so, so that was the end of that.

And now, there is El Guapito, the baby of his family and my baby, too. I often cook meals for him and make him coffee, stroke his ego while he rubs my feet. Mercifully, he can salsa dance, which in my book covers for a myriad of sins. However, I had expected that we would move in together, and now we are six weeks out and his tenant is still in the apartment his family owns, nursing his elderly mother and trying to make ends meet in this crazy Miami housing market. It appears unlikely that we will be able to move in to the apartment when my lease is up here. This leaves me with some choices: stay with a friend temporarily, put my stuff in storage and get an AirBnB for at least a month, or move into another apartment solo…

This leads me back to my primary preoccupation these days: the need for affordable, storm-resistant, low carbon footprint housing in Miami. Apparently, a person earning minimum wage in the city would have to work 94.5 hours per week to afford a one bedroom apartment. In fact, 60% of Miami renters are considered “cost-burdened” (i.e. spend more than 30% of income on renting), more than renters in Los Angeles, Chicago, Brooklyn, or New York. While home prices skyrocket, wages in Miami lag behind. Miami ranks second in the nation for economic inequality, and even as the housing market booms for foreign investors, local Miamians are displaced. Should I expect to find decent housing? Should the city do something to make more affordable housing available and to raise wages? Should we all expect the housing market to crash after the next big hurricane? I smell disappointment…

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