The search is over, I have a new flatmate! It was a long and arduous journey. Actually, it was neither of those things. It was a bunch of exchanged messages, meeting in person and discussing likes, dislikes, gauging personalities for potential matches and what we each had to offer, then rapid onset disappointment when they inevitably left. So it was basically online dating. Seeing as my flatmate was moving out into his own place, he was pretty helpful at giving his input into who seemed like a good fit.
After posting a write-up of substantial length, lazier applicants couldn’t be bothered applying. I also didn’t get many applicants. A few people messaged, then didn’t reply when I offered them the opportunity to view. Others posted short blurbs about themselves, which didn’t seem remotely appealing. Okay, so I might’ve been slightly picky. It’s the place I call home, if not inviting the vampires in keeps me safe, it’s worth being a little selective. I did have a few who slipped through the cracks though:
- The behavioural therapist for kids with autism, who described himself as a Big Gay Nerd.
- The IT dude from Montreal looking for a place. He was also fluent in 5 languages.
- The heteronormative girl who worked for a charity. Described herself as easy going, a pubs not clubs kind of gal.
- The pop-culturally obsessed lesbian folk musician.
So I had some choice and decided to invite them all over in one night. I scheduled them each about 40 minutes so I could get a good gauge of who they actually were. The first guy seemed nice enough, but gave little hints he might be a bit particular about some things. He mentioned how much he loved going to live music and mentioned a band London Grammar. After he left, my flatmate gave the thumbs down. We listened to London Grammar. “You guys could listen to Florence + The Machine together. That’s all you’d do. It’s all you’d have in common.” He was right.
The second guy seemed on the level, but thought it was for a March occupancy. Bummer, missed opportunity.
The first girl had sounded a mite boring in her email, but was actually really great. We talked for about an hour and a half. She did seem easy going like she’d mentioned, she was interested in following her passions in health sciences and was realistic about what she had to do to get there. Actually had a late stage interview for a job the next day, which would complicate her choice to move in or not if she got it. The new place was further away than her ideal commute. She liked a bunch of decent TV dramas and good stand up comics. I did a total 180° on her and held her up as a strong candidate. She got the flatmate’s sign of approval.
The last visitor of the night got off work and came over around 11pm. She was a pop-cultural savant and seemed to be one of the only other people who’d seen You’re The Worst. She also spotted my girlfriend in a picture from the work Christmas party. She pointed “Is she… I think I went to school with her.” She was enthusiastic and conversational. She was keen to practice her music relatively often. After having a previous flatmate who practiced her music all the time, the lack of decent soundproofing in my house gave me pause. She was looking for a place ’cause she’d lived with an ex-girlfriend and the relationship deteriorated. I thought we’d probably get on quite well, but that’d be a lot of energy to deal with on a regular basis. My flatmate advised me to go for the first gal.
So I had a choice, but it was pretty clear. I sent a message to the first girl and said to take a few days, get back to me after she’d thought about it and knew how the interview went. Then I got another email.
Friendly girl, quick wit. She described herself as “friendly” and “neighbourhood” in that order. I gave her a chance to look, just in case this first offer didn’t work out. As a callback to her initial message, she came to the viewing wearing a Spider Man tee under her shirt. Good sign. She was easy going, but had her priorities in order. She didn’t drink, but had no problem hanging out with people who did. She played hockey and roller derby plus had a cool job as a Research Technician at the hospital. Conversation flowed well, she described herself primarily an introvert that knew how to be social. I pictured her as a flatmate; quiet but amicable, low maintenance but clean. In short, perfect. I asked why she was looking, she mentioned that she and her girlfriend broke up, which led to moving out. I thought back over some things she’d said and put a couple of pieces together. I went for it. “This is gonna potentially sound creepy, but your ex-girlfriend’s name happen to be [pop-culturally obsessed lesbian folk musician]?”
She seemed cool about it and talked openly and honestly. She said that my place was great, but if her ex had come to look at it, it was good for the ex’s price range and she thought the ex and I would get on famously. She said to give it to the ex, she needed it more. Which, of course, is one of the most endearing things I’ve heard. It may have just been amazing reverse psychology, but it worked. I kind of wanted her in lieu of the girl I’d offered it to. Bummer.
But then the girl I’d offered it to passed it up in favour of a place closer to her new work. She got the job? Good for her.
So I offered it to the Friendly Neighbourhood Flatmate. She said she’d looked at a bunch of places and found somewhere super close to her work. She said she’d love it as a back-up, but understood if I needed someone sooner than that.
So I offered it to her ex-girlfriend, who didn’t reply that night.
The next day, Friendly Neighbourhood Flatmate sent me a text saying she hadn’t gotten the place. “May I be the Robin to your Batman?” She asked.
I told her my predicament, that I’d offered it to her ex, but while I didn’t want to put her in an awkward position, she was the flatmate I wanted rather than the ex.
She said they’d been talking and decided she should take the place. I emailed her ex explaining that the room had been taken and she replied that she’d found somewhere better for her price range.
So everything wrapped up neatly with a little bow. Do I ever have reason to think I don’t live in a sitcom?