This time around it was going to be different. I’ve had enough dealings with flaky and unreliable people on craigslist in the past, especially when it came to finding people to live with. And, given that I had more than a month to locate the next best roommate, I had every reason to craft the most amazing want ad for a new roommate as possible. After all, I could afford to be picky this time around. With two fabulous roommates like Erin and Megan in my history, I couldn’t not strive to find someone to round out the trio perfectly. I even had three friends proofread the bugger to acheive maximum bang for my verbal buck.
On Wednesday of last week, I posted the following in the rooms/shares section of Portland’s craigslist:
Designer Seeks Successor In Dynasty Of Awesome Roommates
I’ve had two absolutely splendid roommates in the last three years, but their next adventures are leading them around the world and I can’t go with them. Come October I find myself a sole occupant again, and you might just be the one to fill the void.
Let’s start with the digs, shall we? It’s a two-bedroom townhouse-style apartment nestled in a quiet neighborhood in between Hawthorne and Belmont Avenues. There is equidistant access to two major bus lines and if you have a car then you have a reserved parking space. The downstairs and kitchen are most entirely furnished (I’ve lived here for over two and a half years now) though a new sofa wouldn’t go amiss.
Rent is $375 a piece on a month-to-month lease (though I’m not opposed to signing on for six months) with a $250 refundable deposit and a $25 background check. Cable internet and electricity average out to about $50 a month. Coin-op laundry resides on-site and there is a small storage unit in the basement. The complex is pretty small—only eight units in two buildings—and the neighbors are relatively respectful. No smoking in the apartment, and no pets allowed. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some cats, but the landlord won’t have any of it.
If you are chosen to live here, you would have the pleasure of living with one of the most fabulous people of all time. You may think I’m tooting my own horn, and I admit it—you’re absolutely right. But hey, I’ve got to sell myself somehow, right? Who says we can’t afford to be discerning individuals and seek out the best that life has to offer us? Is that cocky? Yeah, sure. Am I okay with that? Absolutely.
My day job is with a big ugly corporation, but in the evenings and on my days off I enjoy being a designer and artist, dabbling in photography, blogging, jewelry-making, and any number of other creative things. You would no doubt be subjected to elaborate gourmet meals on occasions, and you could expect to hear rants from time to time about hideous design and the scourge of hipsters that has invaded the city.
Truth is, I’m a big nerd. From discussing the latest episode of Battlestar Galactica to scouring the latest design journals to shredding on Guitar Hero, there is passion in what I do. My favorite mottos in life are “Pay Attention” and “Give A Shit”. If you can’t type a full sentence without any spelling or grammatical errors, then we might have a problem.
I prefer wine over beer, enjoy sipping whiskey while watching a movie, but don’t smoke or dabble in other forms of drugs. Drugs are bad. I get a kick out of being a host to my relatively close-knit social circle, giggle while playing Apples To Apples, and I will never turn down the opportunity to plan a themed party.
My ridiculously handsome boyfriend makes regular appearances at the apartment, but he’s not around every night and has his own place that I frequent just as often. I hardly ever watch broadcast television, but Netflix and the internet are my friends.
I want to be your friend, not just a co-habitant, but I’ll respect your space, your privacy, and your property. Ultimately, I want us to mesh and create a happy, healthy living environment conducive to creativity. Naturally I expect you to pay your bills on time and keep any drama to a minimum.
But don’t take my word for it, check out this wicked awesome celebrity endorsement and see what one roommate has to say about me!
“Had it not been time for me to live alone, I would still be roommates with Isaac. He is kind and funny. He is clean; he has good hair and may share his stylist with you if you need it. He is a great snarker and friend. Isaac’s morph into dad humor is well on its way. His preferred jokes include bad puns and wordplay. He has good taste in media and design. If Isaac weren’t gay, we’d be married, and he would make me waffles on Sunday mornings (oh wait, he used to do that and I didn’t even have a ring on my finger). One of the only things I regret about leaving Portland is not being roommates with Isaac anymore. You should be so lucky to live with this magnanimous, gracious and sexy man.”
– Erin K., int’l development wonk, East-Coastiest West-Coaster, excellent judge of character
If you think we might hit it off then shoot me an email and in 500 words or less, tell me why I should choose you to be my next roommate. Proper capitalization and punctuation are a must, but MLA style is not necessary. Bonus points if you can differentiate between a hyphen and an em-dash or make me spew coffee all over my computer screen (though I will send you a bill for the cleaning).
My current roommate suggested we hold an elimination-style game show for all candidates, and I’ll be honest, I loved the idea, so prepare yourself for the worst. At a minimum, if I like your response then we’ll meet up for coffee and go from there. Users of Comic Sans and Papyrus need not apply.
Within two hours I had six responses, each composed with more care than I’ve ever seen from anyone on craigslist, and I knew that it had worked. Put a lot of yourself into something and you get a lot back in reciprocation.
Within six hours I had fifteen responses, only one of which was monosyllabic and boring.
And by the next day I had at least ten more in my inbox.
But despite the flood of emails, I pared it down rather quickly to half that were worth considering.
This email is confirmation that your application for consideration as successor to the throne of Isaac’s roommate has been received and is being taken under consideration.
Contestants will be notified of qualification within 3 days, at which point an initial round of interviews will take place to weed out the weak of character.
Thank you for your patience and good luck!
And from there I picked the brain of our Norwegian houseguest and had her weigh the pros and cons behind each candidate to decide if they were worth meeting in real life. Ultimately, four were chosen—two girls, two guys.
Congratulations! You have been selected to move onto the next round of exciting and friendly competition to be my next roommate! Here’s how this will work. We shall set up a time over the next few days to meet up and chat about what makes us tick. You’ll be given a tour of the apartment and be given the opportunity for a general question and answer session.
And then I’ll make my decision. I just might throw a round of Apples To Apples in for the whole group, since you never know—only one will be chosen, but who’s against maybe getting a new friend or two out of the deal?
So polish up those verbal CVs and practice your verb-noun correlations. This is going to be fun!
Jesse, a theater tech from Boston, Massachussetts.
Malia, a Graphic Designer from Bellingham, Washington.
Rei, a History Wonk most recently from Quebec.
Soren, a Ridiculously Traveled Philosophy Major from San Francisco.
The suspense is terrible. I hope it will last…