The roommate search from Hell

(Originally posted on my MySpace blog Feb. 23, 2007) 

This process should NOT be this difficult.

I live in a great apartment in Hoboken. My roommate is moving out by April 1, heading for greener pastures, marriage, children and the like. I have no desire to move, nor do I really have the extra money it would require. So I’ve been looking for a roommate.

Yes, there are a couple of pitfalls. The rent is a little high for Hoboken standards, but the apartment is huge. You’re really getting what you pay for, otherwise I’d have never moved into the place when I did. The bedrooms are incredibly spacious, the living room’s sizable, each bedroom has its own private bathroom, and it’s got a great kitchen, a small terrace, an electric fireplace, and a decent-sized washer and dryer – not one of the tiny ones you typically find in apartments, which fit about four pairs of underwear – right in the apartment.

And I do have two cats, but that’s mentioned in the ad, and they’re not going anywhere. Anyone who knows me knows how I feel about pets and animals. One of the cats came from a shelter, and one was found in the hallway of an apartment building in Jersey City. I’m very attached to both of them, and vice versa, so giving them up is NOT an option. They’ve been through enough.

So, why has this been so difficult?

I’ve had the experience I think just about everyone trying to rent an apartment, or sell furniture, or anything along those lines has had: One person made an appointment to come see the place, then he never showed up. He was the first, but I’m sure he won’t be the last.

I’ve had a few people whom I’ve exchanged multiple e-mails with, who have bailed out at some point along the process. That’s fine and expected, as well, and one person was considerate enough to send me one last e-mail telling me he had found another place, which I appreciated.

I had one person go really far along in the process, exchanging all the details, setting up a meeting, only to have him ask in an e-mail, “So, do I get a discount because I’m only staying four months?” It’s a one-year lease, and there was nothing in my ad about accepting someone month-to-month. Going through this process once is irritating enough. Do I really want to do this again in four months? I don’t think so. Homey don’t play that.

Thanks to putting my ad on craigslist, I’ve had a bunch of people try to pull one of the oldest Internet schemes in existence. No fewer than five people have e-mailed back, saying that they were very interested in the apartment, and that they were moving here from a foreign country, or coming here for a long-term program. Naturally, after a few e-mails, I’ve been told that all I need to do is reply with my banking information, and they’ll promptly wire the necessary funds right into my account. Right. Here’s my banking information: My account number is F_U_C_K_Y_O_U. I may have been born at night, but it wasn’t last night. Find another pigeon.

And this past week, since running my ads for a second time, I’ve begun to deal with a new trend: People who think my apartment is a youth hostel.

First, I got an e-mail from one guy who wanted to know if it was OK to take the room with his twin brother.

Then, mere hours after digesting that concept, a younger female and I started exchanging e-mails (about the APARTMENT – get your mind out of the gutter!). After the second back-and-forth, she asked if it would be OK if she, her boyfriend AND her three cats moved in.

Three people and five cats in a two-bedroom apartment? Sure! Fabulous! Hey, why not adopt a couple of children and have them move in, too? And while we’re at it, how about getting two of every animal and re-creating Noah’s fucking Ark?

All I want is one relatively normal person who: understands the concept of a lease; isn’t after the $63.93 I have in my bank account or my credit-card number; and doesn’t want to turn my apartment into a combination of Ellis Island and Old MacDonald’s Farm.

Do I really ask for that much?

(9’s edit on 1/26/08: I finally did get a roommate a couple of weeks after posting this blog, and all is well, but I still thought it was a fun read.)

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2 comments on “The roommate search from Hell

  1. […] Apartment-hunting in Hoboken: Learn the true meaning of phrases including: deluxe, spacious, airy, close to transportation, charming and quaint. Also learn that just because a room is called a bedroom, that doesn’t necessarily mean a bed will be able to fit inside of it. […]

  2. […] is moving in tomorrow. I’m very excited, but I also know it will be a big adjustment. I’ve had roommates, but I’ve never lived with anyone before. We did sort of have a trial run by sharing a room in […]

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