Since I’m skipping out on my lease one month early, my landlord suggested that I be the one responsible for finding my replacement. Honestly, I don’t mind at all. For one thing, I like the idea of being in control of who lives in my apartment next. Obviously someone not as cool as me, so other tenants in the building will say,
Neighbor#1: “Have you met the new girl in Apt. 11?”
Neighbor#2: “Yeah, she’s alright. But she’s no Dan.”
Also someone who is clean and won’t ruin all the hard work I’ve put into the place by hanging a “Starry Night” print or having a cat. Or wear fake eyelashes. Or be stupid.
I’ve thought about ways to screen prospective tenants, and the best I’ve come up with so far for the initial elimination is by their responses to the ad I put up on Craigslist. First and foremost, I have segregated the responses into two groups: MEN and WOMEN. Then I took the MEN group and deleted the emails. The way I see it if have to invite strangers into my home, they’re at least going to be strange women. Sounds sexist, I know. But when I was in college and we would go out to bars, and there would be a group of hot girls hanging out with a guy, I would offer to buy all the hot girls a drink but not the guy. And you know what? Always worked out pretty good.
Next I read the replies from the women. Besides “determining gender,” this is the easiest way to separate the winners from the losers. A few people who will not be getting the apartment:
Hi! We are Flavia and Bruna (26 years old), two Italian journlists. We have red your post on Craigslist and it would be gorgeous rent your apt! . . . We would rent the apt for 3 months, because our work ends at the end of september. Let us know if is it possible. We are funny and easy-going, and we aren't noise . . . Contact us if you want to know something else about us. Thank you and greatings from sunny Italy
Flavia & Bruna
While I would really, really love to meet Flavia & Bruna (I imagine their names being said by a circus announcer), this email was clearly written in Italian and plugged into a free online translation service. And my Italian isn’t what it used to be. And it used to suck.
Flavia & Bruna
I was wondering if I could view this studio tomorrow? I can view it at around 6:30 if that is convenient for you! I am a professional female, with a loong day from 8-6.. I am basically the perfect tenant! I am in great standing with previous landlords and could get references if needed. Thanks so much!
I just know she would show up with a Diet Coke in her hand and would use the word “really” in front of every adjective, and she would smell like “Bath and Body Works.” And if she’s attractive, I’ll think “Oh, she’s sweet.” And if she’s not I’ll think “Hmm, annoying.” And I don’t want to put either of us in the middle of that moral dilemma.
Just the situation I was hoping to avoid.
I saw your post on Craigslist and am very interested to see the apartment you have available for rent. I am currently living in Long Island City, but must move because our building has been sold.
To tell you a little about myself: I am a woman in my 30s who makes independent animated films (my last film was recently bought by the NY Public Library). As well I teach animation in the NYC public schools to elementary school children in an afterschool program
To see more information about my work in animation, please visit the New York Foundation for the Arts website: http://www.nyfa.org/nyfa_artists_detail.asp?pid=5295
On a personal level, I am very clean, organized (animation has instilled this in me), quiet, nonsmoker, and extremely respectful of other people's property. The other tenant would be my boyfriend, who worked as a merchant marine and in the Navy in Bulgaria, and is now working long hours for a commercial moving company. He plans to enter a pre-law night school program in the fall. Like me, he is clean, responsible, and takes very good care of our living space.
If we strike you as prospective tenants, please call me on my cell at xxxxxxxx and we could arrange a time to meet and view the space.
Thank you very much and I look forward to hearing from you.
Zzzzzzzzz . . . huh, what happened? The last thing I remember I was reading an email and suddenly it’s morning. And I have a pen sticking out of the back of my hand.
“I just want a friend.”
Hi – how big is it?
I’m not sure which one of my Craigslist ads you are replying to. And it would be really embarrassing if I wrote back 500sf. Or 8 inches. Either way, this probably isn’t going to work out.
Finally, once I narrowed down the 10,000 responses to a manageable group, I set up a group showing for this afternoon where a boyhood dream of mine will be fulfilled and I will be giving a tour of my bathroom to seven strange women. “No, I’m pretty sure it’s a full size shower. You should be able to fit eight people in, that’s how you measure. Girls? Get in here, Sandy wants to see if this is a full size shower . . .”
Also, my friend Matt offered to come over and help: “NEXT” … as I shout from the kitchen making myself a drink. My judgment only based on the looks on your faces.
Should be an interesting process. I’ll be sure to take pictures of the prospective tenants when they aren’t looking. And then when they turn around and say, “Did you just take a picture of me?” I’ll hide the camera behind my back and say, “No.” And when they say, “What do you have behind your back?” I’ll say, “Nothing.” And then I’ll hit them over the head with a telephone. Interesting indeed.