Thursday, October 14, 2010
And the door revolves again . . .
After last week's break for a little rumination, reflection, and revelry (albeit abbreviated as a result of whatever illness I caught from the germy little monsters I teach), we're picking up where we left off with Dirty Artie and Brandon the Bartender. If you hadn't already figured it out, I far preferred Brandon to Artie as far as roommates went, but Brandon, unfortunately for me, would be the next one to move on to bigger and better things. He got signed on by a band and they went on tour and he was gone. He left a check for the December rent and his parents came to pick up his stuff and fully move him out. Artie and I were just left to find ourselves a new roommate.
While I was living in SoHo I found new roommates twice through craigslist. I'd also by now found two apartments of my own through craigslist and was becoming a bit of a connoisseur. Artie offered to take care of the craigslist ad since he still had one from the time he'd found me and it would be easy to edit for the new open room. I was overloaded with teaching and graduate school and more than happy to pass the buck on this one. Clearly, I had not learned the most important lesson from the cable bill scenario -- Artie does not think like the rest of us.
In passing one day, Artie asked if I was free on Wednesday evening to meet people interested in the apartment. I was totally fine with it, and Artie said he'd start scheduling appointments. By the time Wednesday rolled around, I hadn't heard anything from Artie, and with our completely different schedules, we rarely saw eachother around the apartment. After running around all day teaching and attending an early class, I flew in the door to our apartment and ran to check my e-mail to see if Artie had sent any messages about who was coming when. Nope. Nothing.
I started to relax, slipping on my slippers and ripping off my sweater to accommodate our typically overheated New York apartment, when the doorbell rang. I answered, and a nice, blond girl about my age put out her hand with a smile and said "Hi. I'm Jennifer." I looked at her a little quizzically and she added, "I'm here to look at the room . . . " Ahh.
It turned out that Artie had made appointments with prospective roommates, he just hadn't bothered to tell me about them, nor had he bothered to get home from work before they started happening. So there I stood, by myself, in my work pants and a camisole, showing off our third room, a converted room made out of half of the living room (a fact that Artie neglected to mention in the ad), to more than twenty people between the hours of 6:00 and 9:00. At some point in the middle, Artie got home from work. He was more of a hazard than a help, though, not picking up on social cues that people were ready to leave, and most famously sitting with his arms behind his head on the couch and announcing after I complained about the heat, "Well I never get hot in here," with large-scale, full-on sweat-stains in both armpits on full display.
Finally at 9:00, in a lull that was unfortunately not the end of the stream of people, I told Artie that I couldn't do it anymore and I had work to do. I had a project due the next day, and I was going to go in my room to work on it. If any of the last five people seemed really great and really interested, he could knock on my door and I would meet them. He did. Five times. He seemed to struggle with determining importance . . .
At 10:30, when the last person finally cycled through, Artie wanted to debrief. I was pushed to my limit and, as it frequently happened with Artie, lost my cool. I couldn't discuss which people we liked at that moment because I had a project to work on, and had wasted half my night meeting people who I would have preferred to never have met (like smokers, free-lancers, and 19 year old NYU students), and others who, given all the facts (like that the open room had no real window and was made of plywood) never would have come out in the first place. I was done. We could talk about it the next day or through e-mail, but I had no more time to give this particular endeavor. Artie, for his part, seemed somewhat mystified that I might not enjoy meeting twenty-five strangers in my living room.
Eventually, we settled on Andrea, who turned out to be my ally in combating Artie's insanity and happily moved into this little room until we were free of Artie and his garbage and she rotated into his room. Andrea is my longest lasting roommate relationship: December 2006 - August 2008, which, considering the crazies I seem to attract, is saying a lot about Andrea and her general awesomeness (even if she seemed physically incapable of emptying the dishwasher . . .hey, nobody's perfect).
Everyone's favorite part of the room, the window into the living room!