So if your only knowledge of me is from this blog, you would probably surmise that there must be some terrible trauma that causes me to have a fixation with relentless landlords and crazy roommates. Or, likely as not, deep down inside you are thinking “That’s impossible. That kind of stuff doesn’t happen to nice people. There must be something wrong with her. She probably has a strange habit like being obsessed with mothballs and tying them to her hands so she can inhale every few minutes… or she secretly slips poison into the dog’s bowl because she hates his shedding… Or she sleepwalks naked every night. There must be something that she just doesn’t admit to which makes people throw her out of apartments and accuse her of breaking the couch through her orgies.” (true story)
To which I answer -there are plenty of weird landlords and creepy roommates out there in the world, and I have encountered probably EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. I have also been blessed (a few times) with roommates of the best variety. But not enough to cancel out the trauma.
Even my friends to whom I have recounted my rental highs and lows (the latter, mostly) have stopped giving me well-meaning advice and attempting to soothe me. “Well, ” they used to say. “That can’t really be so bad, can it? I mean, I’m sure you’ll find something soon. It’s impossible that one single person can have had such bad luck renting in their life. It’s just not probable.”
Now, when I call them, they just laugh and tell me I should write a book. I probably will, someday, and it will be a bestseller and allow me to buy my very own house by the sea and then I will write to the Landlords From The Netherworld (don’t want to use the other word) and tell them that I owe my literary career to them and by the way, once again, I really did not steal salt and olive oil from their kitchen.
But until that time, I will most likely be living with people in the foreseeable future. So let me try to explain to you that no, there is no secret catch. I am normal and nice. I pay rent on time (or before). I don’t blast loud rock music, I don’t loudly fight and loudly reunite with my love interest at 3 AM every day, I take my hair out of the shower, and the only slightly annoying thing about my presence in the kitchen is that I use a lot of garlic. But that doesn’t seem to bother the other roommates when I offer them homemade pasta sauce or wash up when I see their dishes in the kitchen sink. I’m also not uptight and have been known to share a good drink in the hallway at 4 AM.
So you know what the secret catch is? I don’t think it is bad luck anymore. No, I’m past that. I’ve done some deep soul-searching, spoken to many people about my room-search struggles, and have realized that my problem is very simple:
I’m the ideal roommate.
I’m just too gosh darn nice. Landlords and roommates pick up on that pretty quickly, and then it all just goes downhill.
Anyway, it’s been a nice break from craigslist. Stay tuned to hear more about my French Landlord from the Netherworld saga. It’s bone-chilling.