When Roommate Hunting

I may or may not have made it clear to everyone I’ve met, emailed, spoken with or texted in the last 2.5 months that I desperately desperately needed to find a second roommate. Now you know, I desperately, desperately needed to find a second roommate.

This started in March. Today is July 7th and I am finally at rest.

Let’s review the panic, shall we? Yes, of course.

Eliz, my old roommate at my old house in Indianapolis started emailing me in February. At the end of March, I agreed to move in with her and whomever else she found to sign the lease. Easy Peasy.

Come April, Eliz was visiting me and we were emailing the girl in America who we THOUGHT would sign with us. Or not.

People, I am learning, world-over are flakes. And, people world-over hate to disappoint. After 3 visits to the house, countless emails and a number of trans-pacific texts in order to “meet” on Skype, this was the first of our disappointments.


I emailed all my single friends in Indy (that’s 3, by the way) inviting them to live with me. No go. Eliz emailed the other person who had said she wanted to live with us. 2nd and 3rd disappointments.

We ask our landlord to let us pay at the end of May not the first, he is a gem and says Yes.

Three cheers!

We post to Facebook. ONE person replies with a serious interest. A half dozen of my friends say they WISH they could live with me – I am well-loved, just not in Indianapolis.

Our add:

WANTED: Fun-loving, young adult to share a three-bedroom duplex south of Broad Ripple, Indianapolis.

Applicants should be responsible, clean, pet-free, child-free, and friendly. Extra excitement for those who love a good thrift and cooking.

In return your roommates will include you in their adventurous mishaps, sharing their wonderful landlord’s generosity (cheap rent!), a small kitchen, washer/dryer, large dining/living rooms, and front porch (with a swing!). Current roommates do not host hangover-inducing parties, but have been known to consume large quantities of Trader Joe’s wine while playing Dutch Blitz. Current roommates are both designers, who usually have a project or two scattered around the house. Future roommate will need to be comfortable with this creative lifestyle.

Facebook friend’s friend comes to visit. Friends’ friend seems wildly interested, and like the perfect fit. But doesn’t commit. Awkward, but we want to be polite. Besides, we all have a lot of mutual friends and acquaintances, we wouldn’t want to cause a scene. First major mistake.

This person didn’t LIE to us, she just acted more interested for longer than she actually was and that resulted in our waiting, and turning away others, and her signing a lease on a side of town where she ACTUALLY wanted to live. Flip.

In the meantime, we’ve posted an ad to craigslist. Sounds risky, but we were desperate.

Here are my favorite responses:

A -“I know you said you wanted a female roommate, and I’m a guy, but if you’d be willing to discuss it, I think this could work.”

B – “I have a medication that must be kept at a certain temperature at all times. Do you have a cupboard that could handle this?”

C – “I am currently living with my parents in Zionsville. This fact alone should give you a general idea of why I want to move.”

D – “I am a full time student at IUPUI. I am middle aged but have the capacity to act extremely immature. I am fun, non-drinker, smoke occasionally but always outside and discreetly. I have no baggage at all.”

E – “I’m very interested. Call me at ….”

F – “I am only 21 yo, but very mature.”

G – “Please send me your address, phone number and bank account number so I can wire you the deposit.”

H – “I don’t keep late nights neither will i have overnight guest around, but i am okay if you do, I love to live with clean people,caring,responsible,neat type,gender is not a problem,i can live with either male or female.Am sure You ‘ll really like the person that i am,I also like sharing my thoughts also.Paying rent on time will not be a problem as i will also be making the rent fee before the month ends. I do not have any pet,i really like dog and cat but have none,so there is no problem about that With all that i  ve said above,I have told you more about me.”

From all THIS loveliness, I emailed or called about 20 people, and we interviewed 7 or 8.

We lost two because we weren’t sure it would be a good fit. Two offered to give us a deposit right away, but then backed out the day they were going to bring it over, another backed out because…well, she didn’t think we liked her enough.

Someone lost her job. Another two people (friends from childhood), were still thinking about it when Elizabeth decided she was going to find someone immediately and be done!

So she did. Boom. It’s done. A perfect stranger, who seems sensible, our age, works very hard, very organized and might be able to handle our creative insanity.

Who knows. This might be wonderful.

Maybe we were too picky. I was ready to break the lease about three times, regretting having ever signed, feeling cheated and used by people who weren’t honest with us.

Maybe we just should have refused to provide thinking time. You-sign-or-someone-else-signs seemed to work.

Maybe we were overwhelming together. Maybe not having living room furniture at first made us seem uninviting. Maybe I talk too much.

Word, I hope this works.



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