Is a lot like dating… There are the friend of friend setups and the online dating sites (craigslist and roommates.com**). But overall, it’s like going on a whole bunch of awkward blind dates, with zero chemistry. But once in a while you strike gold. You know you’ve met the one… the perfect roommate. In my case, I’m looking for #5. After 4 amicable breakups in the last 6+ years.
About a month ago, my fabulous roommate of over two years told me she was moving out. Moving in with her boyfriend. This was a very sad news for me. After two plus years it had become an easy routine. We knew each other’s quirks. Knew when the other one needed space. And she knew that until my first cup of coffee in the morning I was not the nicest person to talk to. I knew that once in a while she would admit that things bothered her but most of the time she let things go.
And about a month ago, as I turned on the coffee maker and started walking towards my bedroom to take a shower, my fab roomie gave me the news. Don’t like getting this type of news before my morning coffee. Especially when I haven’t had coffee AND I’m not wearing my contact lenses. Then it’s really disorienting. But I took the news rather well. I do love Shannon and I knew it was the best decision for her (and I’m giving myself extra credit points for considering her best interest, not just mine). And right after we had this chat, I went straight to my computer and posted an ad on Craigslist. Well, Craigslist just isn’t what it used to be two years ago.
Sometime between October 2006 and February 2009, Craigslist was invaded by “pediatric nurses,” and other professionals “moving” to LA from far out places like Australia, Spain, Nigeria, etc. And they ALL wanted to move into the spare bedroom without even meeting me or seeing the place. But first, they wanted to send a deposit to “hold” the place. Umm, sure… let me also give you my social security number and my mother’s maiden name. Good one.
For the more legit interested parties, I did some online background check. Between Google, Linkedin, Facebook and Myspace, I could pretty much get the scoop on most potential roommates. And since I’m an expert on search, one of my brilliant search phrases led me to a LinkedIn profile. I found out that the person I was about to meet to show the apartment worked at the same company as one of my very close friends. About five minutes before her arrival I text my friend and ask her if she knows this person. I get a response within 30 seconds. “Yes. Don’t do anything until we talk.” She’s kind of a mental case my friend tells me. At this point, I was already annoyed with Little Miss Mental Case because she was late for our appointment and I had missed my Sunday morning spinning class to accommodate her schedule. Despite her pretty smile and bright blue eyes, this just wasn’t going to work out.
Then it was off to the comic/actor/waiter. Then the fabulous gay academic (which is how he described himself in his email), who rejected me for a studio apartment. And for the record, I was the one who rejected the comic/actor/waiter. He just wasn’t my type. For a roommate I mean. Not just because he wasn’t that cute. Something about his energy just bothered me. But I’ll be honest… I also want an attractive roommate. Male or female doesn’t matter. Gay or straight? I could care less. Race? Not an issue. But I do want someone pleasant looking to wake up to. That’s what I got used to during the past 6 years of roommates. Liz, Danny,*Melissa and Shannon are ALL very attractive. And they’re also good human beings.
Then there was the hot actor dude who emailed me asking about the apartment. He mentioned that he also lives in my neighborhood (right where I go to run the stairs). After googling him and checking out his images — and checking his IMDB profile — I was ready to hand him the keys to the apartment. He looked so handsome in those pictures. A perfect 10. Then I met him in person. He was more like an 8. But he smelled dirty. So I subtracted 2 points. But he was Australian with a hot Aussie accent so I gave him 1. But it still made him only a 7. And we both decided it wasn’t the right fit and moved on.
Then came the German dude. Age 34. Capricorn. Cinematographer. We both went to college together but didn’t know each other. We talked. We laughed. No awkward silences. He said he loved my place. That he could see us being happy together. But… he wanted to take a look at one more place the next morning before making up his mind. But it felt right he said. And then I got the breakup email. He wanted Venice. He knew he probably couldn’t find someone as great as Hollywood, but his heart was leading him to Venice. I wanted to slap him for making me wait the whole weekend for his response. But I couldn’t.
So I moved on. Quickly. Updated the ads on Craigslist and scheduled 4 more dates. I mean interviews. Male or female doesn’t matter. But chemistry is a must!
* Side note to Mom: Dear Mommy, I meant to tell you this in 2004. I had a boy roommate for a year and half, between Liz and Melissa. I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want you to freak out or think I was living in sin with a guy. And I didn’t want my brother (your son), turning all Armo on him and asking Danny when he was going to marry me. Danny was just a roommate. No other benefits other than financial. Actually, I lied. He also was very handy around the apartment. He fixed things, assembled IKEA furniture and had really good looking group of friends. More eye candy for me :). So I guess there were some fringe benefits, just not those kind of benefits.
** Another side note for anyone looking for roommates: Roommates.com is horrible. I’ve had far more scam artists contact me from Roommates.com than from Craigslist. And I had to PAY $20 for Roommates.com. So don’t waste your money.