No, not the semi-underground sport roommate hunting. I’m referring to the kind of roommate hunt that involves posting an open room in your apartment on Craigslist and seeing what kind of scaries come out to ingratiate themselves and borrow into your living quarters. Here are some thoughts should any of you decide to embark on a similar journey.
1. Craigslist trollers have their responses down to a science. Within 24 hours of posting my ad, I had over 100 well-crafted life stories packed into my inbox. Many of them extolled my ad-writing skills, saying that I had awakened them from the dreary haze of reading apartment listings. Let me assure you that my ad was neither amusing nor outstanding. It may differ only in the lack of spelling errors. Either way, nearly all of the responses were identical because apparently every young woman in New York is exactly the same. I suppose I knew that already.
2. Might I suggest inviting an extremely judgemental friend to supervise your interactions with potential roommates and then offer scathing criticism when they leave? Because it’s very helpful. Thanks, johnbaptisedme.
3. Young women apartment seachers in New York can tend towards the overzealous. Maybe don’t pick the one who called you five times within 12 hours of meeting her. Because she’s crazy.
4. No one will tell you to your face that they are not interested in the apartment. One girl (who showed up a half hour late for her appointment with nary a phone call or apology) walked through the apartment, asked one question and then said, “well, I’m going to head out.” I asked her if she was interested in the place at all – she most certainly wasn’t – and if I should call her when I’ve made a decision. She said I should. Um, why not just say you’re not interested, weird girl with a Blackberry in one hand and a Razr in the other? Your existence annoys me.
5. If at all possible, don’t wait until the end of the month to look for a roommate. Because everyone who is looking to move immediately is coming from a crisis situation. And anyone who finds themselves in a residence-related crisis is probably not going to be an ideal roommate.
6. Myspace and Facebook are your friends. Don’t feel bad about doing a little surreptitious background check on your candidates. They say a picture is worth a thousand words…especially if that picture is your potential roommate soul-kissing a bottle of Rolling Rock and grinding with her sorority sisters in a mid-western sports bar. And they’re all wearing WWJD bracelets and hotpants.