4 Questions You Need To Ask Yourself Before Living With A Craigslist Roommate


The problem with looking for a roommate is that you never know what you’re going to end up with. You need to find a roommate, though, because rent ain’t paying itself, your friends are already in binding leases (or they don’t want to live with you for a variety of reasons that you’re trying not to worry about), and you can’t find even a vague acquaintance who is looking for a new room to rent. What do you do?

You get on Craigslist.

The problem with Craigslist is that, unlike all of my matches on Tinder, people withhold the weird shit about themselves. And if I’m being honest, this includes me. I mean, I want to sound like the perfect roommate with the perfect room for rent, and because finding a roommate is nonnegotiable if I want to eat this month, I withhold certain personal information. So while I’ve been perusing the “rooms wanted” ads, I have started playing out different scenarios in my head based on the information that I think the other person may be withholding in his or her Craigslist postings (I’d like to thank an excessive amount of television and being raised on The Muppets for my imagination). I just have to ask myself the big “What if?” questions about someone I could potentially share a bathroom with.

1. What if this person doesn’t mention or seem to be aware he or she smells?
You know what I’m talking about — the kind of person who is two aisles over in the grocery store and you can still smell him or her clear as day. Perhaps this person forgot to shower or do laundry and then rolled around in moldy cheese, or maybe he or she carries that odor always. Will I start to smell that way? (This question often leads to me questioning my own body odor, but so far so good according to the friends I’ve asked to smell me.)

2. What if this person doesn’t tell me he or she doesn’t drink?
Before you get all assuming about what my drinking habits must be if I’m worried about this, think about living with a really judgmental sober person. A “my body is a temple” person probably shouldn’t live with a “I was drunk for three days and then I ate six bagels and four donuts because my body is a trashcan” kind of person.

3. What if this person is mean?
I generally consider myself to be nice and easy to get along with, and one of my life’s mottos is, “I don’t have to like you but you have to like me.” But what if, for whatever reason, this person is mean and hates me with a visceral passion. If he or she goes after me physically, I am screwed because my arms are more comparable to soft-serve vanilla ice cream than guns. And if this person tries to verbally spar with me, I will probably end up spouting off nonsensical insults such as “twat nose” or “pig licker.”

4. What if this person wants to kill me?
He or she pays the first month’s rent and then you’re found in an alleyway with a crotch full of pennies or some weird shit and your grandmother is wailing about how “she told you so” at your closed casket funeral because she didn’t want you to live with a stranger.

I know that these are far-fetched but if television has taught me anything, it’s that this could happen. Someone is a perfect candidate on paper or even for the first few weeks. Then his or her true colors start to make an appearance and by the time you realize your mistake, this person’s name is on the lease and you’re stuck living with a smelly, sober bitch who hates you.

Anyone need a roommate?

Image via Gil C /

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