Until lease doth us part

Finding a roommate is like online dating. Except that you bypass the whole email flirtation or lunch date and decide – after just a few minutes parlay – to move in together. You pledge to share a cable bill and remote, sit on the same toilet seat, sleep uncomfortably close to, and keep your hands off the groceries of someone who may be the next Jeffrey Dahmer disguised as a gentle Redeemer.com-posting evangelical Christian. And you pledge until lease doth you part.

I began with high hopes: Someone fun, friendly, classy, cultured, close to my age, same size so I could wear all her clothes, very rich so she wouldn’t need to wear mine. My standards went rapidly downhill. How about someone employed and not freakish?

I fibbed to smooth everything over. “It’s not that you sound paranoid, anal-retentive, anti-social and cranky. It’s that I need to find a place not so far from Manhattan.” It’s not you, it’s me. “I think I’d rather have my own room than a living room turned into a bedroom with Japanese screens.” I just need some space right now.

There are the embittered, cynical types — the ones who have had their hearts trampled by roommates who won’t do the dishes. This type demands deposits, security, references, background checks, three months worth of paycheck stubs, a solemn vow against smoking or drinking or cats, along with a legal contract ceding your firstborn child if you’re two days late with the rent.

Then there are the desperate types. (This would be me.) I write warm, friendly emails posing as a responsible, fastidiously tidy, excruciatingly normal, sweet-tempered adult — friendly but not intrusive, unboring but not dramatic — while praying no potential roommate googles my name and discovers this blog.

Until it’s too late, that is, and we’re inextricably bound to each other. For better or for worse (after all I barely know you), in sickness and in health (but if you get me sick I’ll kill you), for richer or for poorer (but you’d really, really better make the rent).


~ by stultiloquence on April 6, 2008.

One Response to “Until lease doth us part”

  1. *shrug* I have no new superlatives to describe your writing. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: