As I was desperately navigating through craigslist and a few other apartment search websites, I noted a pattern in the posts, common words: “clean, no couples, drama free, no boyfriend/girlfriend sleepover, no visitors”. I was pretty intrigued as I imagined people in NYC to be more laid back regarding those details. Anyway, I didn’t have much family or friends in the city so I wasn’t worried.
Then I ran across a post that put me in a state of bewilderment beyond what I had ever experienced. I so wished I had taken a screenshot so I could add it to this post. I don’t remember the exact wording but it went along these lines:
“Young male in one bedroom looking for a roommate male or female who is ok with no string attached intercourse. I believe sex is not a big deal so we can help each other from time to time.”
I swear someone wrote that on craigslist. Off course I wasn’t going to contact that person but just reading the ad was shocking. I was deeply concerned about what was out there. Now, if you think there is nothing wrong with the ad, I sincerely apologize and sweetly recommend you consult a specialist.
Tired of too many dead ends, I decide to make my own ad. Exposing what I want, need and expect. A lovely lady replies and sends me pictures of a nice room in Queens. We agree to meet up the following Sunday for a visit. I am really excited, the room is perfect; I am thinking God has finally answered my prayers.
Sunday comes, I find the neighborhood peaceful and safe. A small lady opens the door. Early fifties, she was about 5’3 and 70 pounds at most. She compliments me on my looks right away. “Are you a model?” I replied no, overly happy that I looked like a model to her. The house is lovely and the room is as perfect as the picture. This is the one. We chat a little more and I can tell that she likes me. Well, I was playing in my awesome registrar, I made her like me. She tells me there is another applicant but she was leaning toward me. Two days later she calls to announce that I could move in whenever I wanted. Yaay!
The first couple days are fine. Then we start having a couple more rules added to the menu as the days go by.
Strike 1: Food in the house
Summer (my landlord) does not allow me to eat in my room because “we” should avoid unwanted bugs. Therefore I must eat all my meals in the dining room. Now summer is self-employed (or so she claimed, I never found out what she actually did). She “worked” from home, her office settled in the dining room. Therefore I was to have all my meals in her company.
Strike 2: My visitors
I am not allowed any visitors (especially no boys). She wouldn’t tolerate me sinning in her house. According to Summer, if that was to happen, she would be sinning to. My sister was planning to attend my graduation and stay over at my place during that weekend. Summer warned me that my sister would have to pay a fee for the 3 days she would be staying over (you know, to cover the electricity and water expenses).
Strike 3: Her stories
Summer claimed she went to elementary school with President Obama. She even remembered him being bullied from time to time. Summer also claimed that she was a famous model. I failed to find her on the internet. But what did I know? This was NYC after all. She even showed me swimsuit pictures (errr, let’s just say I was intrigued!).
She explained her work involved organizing “fancy” parties for doctors, accountants and lawyers. Twice a week, Saturday nights, Summer geared up with her butt and boob pads, her clip-on ponytail bought at the Chinese beauty store down the block. Her night club outfit was accentuated by a very bright red lipstick worn a little over and a little under the lips. “Makes your lips look fuller babe” she tried to explain once even though I didn’t ask.
Strike 4: Complaints
Summer was annoyed that I didn’t communicate my whereabouts more frequently. She bluntly asked for my schedule once. She precisely wanted to know where I was going and when I would be back home (seriously what was the point of leaving my parent’s home?). I slept over at my cousin house one night without telling her (intentionally). She kept calling around midnight and I just refused to pick up. When I got back home the following day, she made me promise to never do that again. The situation was too funny and ridiculous at the same time. I smiled and walked away.
Strike 5: Paranoia
Every night, Summer would walk around the house checking that doors and windows were properly closed. She first opened the already closed door/window and reclosed it, holding the latch for about 5 seconds while repeating “lock, lock, lock”. Now if that was her kind of crazy, fine! I didn’t mind. Except, she made me follow her around the house to complete this task. Sometimes, we would go back to a door we already checked because “she had to make sure”. The task would take at least 20 minutes. There were times I acted busy, on the phone or in my books. She would still ask me to break away from my conversation or my books to follow her on the tour. She didn’t trust touring the house by herself and she didn’t trust me doing it alone either. We had to do it together.
I was beyond relieved to move out of summer’s house. There is plenty more I could add to this list. But it is past midnight and I need to go tour my house just for the fun of it.