|“Hold me, L!”|
August was complete insanity. In the past week and a half alone, I’ve interviewed for, been offered and started a new job, put in notice at my old job, experienced my first earthquake, made poor life choices during a “hurricane,” had EG move in, CS move back to California, and most dramatically, L move out. Let’s just pause on that last point for a moment. I lived with L for six years. SIX YEARS. If our friendship were a child, we’d be starting first grade this week. From college orientation till now, we were never more than a hop, skip and a jump away from each other. We even accidentally studied abroad together! She now lives just 15 minutes away, but it feels like a chasm of infinite depth. I don’t quite know what to do myself. Last night when she was picking up some laundry at our house, I was all “Hold me, L! I’m lost without you!” Needy? Perhaps. but SIX YEARS. I just had a major sad scrolling through our entire friendship on Facebook to find this picture:
|Who will I pose awkwardly with atop ruined castles now?!|
But enough of my moping! If you’re clever with math, you will have noticed that
House – L – CS + EG = still one bedroom empty.
Time to find a new roommate! We used Craigslist to this end once before, but KS led the charge and he 1) put this weird, superfluous clause in the ad about K and I being vegetarians and 2) as far as we can tell, mostly chose to interview hot-sounding girls. But we got CS and it worked out great, until she RUDELY decided to move back to California.
So take two: K wrote up a nice little ad, this time without any strange comments about our eating habits. Now, if we were responsible adults, we would have posted the ad more than a week before we needed a new tenant. But of course we didn’t do that! Luckily, housing in DC is such a complete clusterf**k that we took the post down after receiving 100 responses in less than 24 hours. People of DC: if you are ever feeling sad about yourself, post an ad for your room on Craigslist. Housing here is so impossible to find that you will instantly feel like the most popular person in the universe.
Sorting through those hundred responses was a bitch. We came up with a semi-arbitrary ranking system (how old are you? do you currently have a job? do you sound like a crazy person over email? are you employed in such a fashion as to get me free drinks?). K sent emails to a dozen or so of the chosen ones, inviting them to come over to see the house and endure a grueling interview process. Unfortunately for our prospectives, I’m only semi-joking about the grueling bit, as we scheduled all of the house showings for Saturday afternoon just as “Hurricane” Irene was getting started. When showing your house on Craigslist, it’s best to add an element of danger to weed out the weak ones.
Sadly, I wish this was the point in the post where I would regale you with hilarious anecdotes about how terrible people from Craiglist are. But almost everyone was super awesome and nice and normal. There was only one potential serial killer in the mix, and even he wasn’t that bad–just a touch of the crazy eye and a love affair with banana bread. So as person after person showed up on our doorstep increasingly drenched, K, EG and I felt worse and worse knowing we had to turn all these people down. Many were soon to be homeless, and we briefly toyed with the idea of setting up a collection of lean-tos on our back porch so they could all move in (well, maybe not Banana Bread).
Here’s a Craigslist tip for you: don’t interview the foreigners because you’ll be wracked with guilt when you don’t pick them. We had two Germans, one of whom might actually be Simon from Misfits (though hopefully less likely to accidentally murder someone). When asked about who he knows in the city, he enumerated all of his friends who recently moved away (basically: everyone he knows here). I kind of wanted to adopt him. Worse still was his female counterpart, a bubbly woman who is currently living in a hostel in Dupont and had recently seen someone stabbed in Petworth. I felt like a terrible ambassador to this country for not inviting her to live with us.
In the end, though, there can only be one winner. Because that’s exactly what housing in DC is: a competition. Finding somewhere decent to live here has roughly the same odds as winning the lottery. Because we’ve all been through that agonizing process ourselves, it was that much harder to turn everyone down. We struggled between two front-runners for three days but finally made our decision.
K: Ok. I’m going to email New Roommate and invite him to live with us. What should I say?
EG: ….COME ON DOWN!!!!
Saddest part is, you’d probably be more likely to hear Bob Barker calling your name from his cozy retirement than to find an apartment in DC.