Everything I know about apartment hunting I learned from my roommate. She is like a killer shark that can walk on land and eats all the most beautiful and quirky apartments for breakfast.
We are going different paths at the end of October but I have learned so much from her. About more than just apartment hunting. She has an amazing and distinct style that inspires me to find my own, she has amazing work ethic, and she has inspired dance moves in me that should never be witnessed.
And yes, I am bringing all those qualities to my new place.
For apartment hunting, she taught me to check all the apartment ads every 30 seconds. We had a conversation once for hours where we never looked up but just kept refreshing craigslist and drinking tea.
She showed me that first impressions with landlords are key and it's worth biking all the way home to bike back in insane heels and an adorable dress to land the apartment of your dreams.
She's always polite, always smiling, gorgeous and freckly and adorable in her vintage clothes and romance-novel hair. I don't have the hair or the freckles, and I am rather too tall to be adorable so I tried to rock the plan my own way.
I've been to more than 15 places in the last 10 days. I canceled every plan I had, abandoned almost every blog post, haunted craigslist and viewit.com, carried every single piece of information you would need to steal my identity around in my bag and voluntarily gave it to dozens of strangers.
I stopped sleeping and started having vivid daydreams on the bus about where my couch would fit in all the different living rooms.
I didn't even yell at that one landlord who poked me in the stomach while rudely asking if I were pregnant. Instead of ripping out chunks of her hair, I just muttered that it's a flowy shirt and asked for an application.
In short, I lost all self-respect.
Mom and Brenna started sending me postings all day. Then two days ago, Brenna spotted one and sent it to me with a message that said "CALL THIS ONE RIGHT NOW. RIGHT NOW. DO IT."
This is where I should add that sometimes in my 500-Days-Of-Summer-Tainted-Mind, I imagine that I will show up at an apartment and, like Summer, magically not only get it straight away because I am beautiful and a nice person, but actually get reduced rent as well. And free internet.
That didn't happen. Obviously.
I called, got a harried explanation that there had been hundreds of calls already, and was told the open house was that night and there would only be one chance.
So I went to Brenna's new apartment after work and then running across the city seeing a few other places. She was cleaning in yoga pants and a t-shirt.
Me: Are you ready to go or what?
Brenna: Yep. *puts on her shoes*
Me: You aren't going LIKE THAT are you?
Brenna: I was... going to.
Me: WE HAVE TO DRESS UP.
Me: Go. Dress. Heels. Big Smile. GO GO GO.
We showed up at the house. I've drawn us dressed up (See? Bows!) and carrying an oyster from the deepest part of the ocean and cheese from the moon. Because that is pretty much what I felt I would give to get an apartment after ten days of being absolutely sure that I would be homeless in a month.
The apartment was lovely. A private deck that overlooks chimneys and church spires, renovated this week, new oven range, bathtub I would actually lie in, running water, 30 other people -- 30 OTHER PEOPLE?!?!?!
Brenna pulled out all the stops. She smiled, she laughed at every joke, she raved about how I don't even own a tv and spend all my time reading. She was charming and perfect! I smiled a lot, asked intelligent-sounding questions, and tried to force dimples into my non-dimpling cheeks.
Two days of confirming every aspect of my entire life later, I just signed the lease, beating out ten other people through a combination of pleas, fabulous outfits, and the ability to provide my own credit check.
I'm not going to be homeless, people!!!
Now it's just how to get all that stuff up to the third floor...
Thanks to everyone who helped me this week by covering for my scatter-brain, sending apartment listings, volunteering to help me move, giving me free legal advice, not killing me for cancelling on everything, and supplying me with apples. YOU ARE ALL AMAZING!
Door background by Bryn Pinzgauer