Unfortunate Things I’ve Written In Roommate Application Emails

by Jenny An

In my grand quest for the perfectly affordable apartment, I’ve spent a lot of time on Craigslist. I thought it’d be easy to impress potential roommates by email with a mix of self-deprecating coolness and un-uptight responsibility. But the response rate of people begging me to check out their newly renovated loft apartments was low. I decided to read through my old emails with fresh eyes to discover if I was doing something wrong. I was.

• “It’s a steady job that pays pretty well, but the “freelance” title means they don’t have to provide benefits.”
(Translation: “I will not pay rent on time.”)

• “I like to stay informed, talk my Adorno, Marx, Hegel, etc. I’ve spent time working with NGOs in Latin America promoting sex education and women’s rights. I’m probably a social democrat.”
(In my defense, I was pandering to live in a $450/month “leftist-activist space” in Bedstuy. But yes, this is absolutely obnoxious.)

• “I have good credit and would be happy to sign a lease. Sadly, I don’t floss very regularly. Please don’t hold it against me.”
(Sub-standard hygiene habits! Also: Dental jokes! I don’t understand why they didn’t respond!)

• “I’ve held multiple leases (without getting kicked out or pissing anyone off)”
(The introduction of the pejorative seems unnecessary.)

• “To prove that I’m not a creep/robot…”
(Not inspiring confidence either.)

• “In my free time, I also like to watch television on my computer, sometimes write about said television on my computer, and cook a nice meal before spending time in front of my computer watching television.”
(While a perhaps accurate depiction of what I do half the week, I would not want to get a beer with this person.)

• “I’ve been living in Prospect Park South (with a horrible dearth of good coffee shops) with a couple friends from college who spend all of every weekend in the apartment with friends over, loudly playing music and Settlers of Catan.”
(And did I mention that I have a cape and am a Dungeon Master with no friends?)

• “As proof of my character, I can submit a dreamcatcher I made in Girl Scouts.”

Jenny An is a writer and fact checker in Brooklyn.

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