The Chronicles of a Fashion Girl: Chapter 3

Meeting the Roommates: Are You Compatible?

I learned this pretty quick and dirty--one of the most important things you need to ask yourself when moving to a big city is roommates: are you compatible?  (And I'm sorry, but if you're under the age of 25 and you're moving to a big city into a nice apartment all by your lonesome, I hate you).

Maybe you want to go to the city so badly that you don't even consider the roommate.  You're thinking, Hey, I'll live with anything and anyone as long as I get to be in New York!  Wrong.  You're wrong.  This is the mentality I went into it with.  Luckily, I am blessed with the two most amazing roommates I could possibly have asked for.  However, I did little to no research going into this.  I could have really come out with some psychopaths.

In this post, I'm going to stray away from the narrative theme for a spell to teach you what things to look out for when deciding who your ideal roommate is.  But first, allow me to brag about how truly lucky I got:

It's 10:46 p.m. in New York City.  I've just traveled through about five different modes of transportation to get here: on the front stoop of my new roommate's apartment building, exhaustedly leaning against my gigantic suitcase with a yoga mat slung over my shoulder (which I now realize is a ridiculous thing to bring with you on an airplane) and a thirty pound tote bag threatening to rip my shoulder right out of its socket.

I somehow find a free hand to reach into my jacket pocket and go back over my recent texts:
Bella: I'm just at my friend's house. About a two minute walk. Be there shortly!

I look at the time.  It's been three minutes.  I begin to panic.  What if this is all a cruel joke?  What if she isn't really with AirBnb?  What if she's some sick sociopath and I've spent all my money on seven weeks' rent and I've got nowhere to stay?  What if she can see me? What if she's across the street recording my horror and laughing?

Then: What if she's an amazing person but she's been mugged on her way here?  In fact, what if she's the most perfectly ideal roommate I could ever ask for but she's been beaten to a pulp, shot and left for dead in the cold, smelly gutters?  Should I call the police?  Should I go looking for her?  Should I call her parents?  How do I get her parents' number?

I whip around with my heart thumping in my chest, relieved to be faced with the living embodiment of Bella, the AirBnb fashion designer that up until now, I've only seen pictures of via Facebook and Instagram.  "Bella!" I exclaim, so happy I could cry.  Calm down, I hurriedly scold myself.  This is New York; you hug her, she'll probably punch you in the throat.  "Hey," I say nonchalantly, like, Whatever babe.
"You found the place okay?" she asked excitedly, her eyes light and friendly.  She approaches the stoop, aiming to help me with my impossible piece of luggage.  I take the opportunity to drink her in; she's about my height with a thin, muscular body and thick, curly dark hair.  She's got a smile that makes anyone feel welcome, which I immediately do.
"I did," I sigh with relief, grateful she's yet to shove me into the wall or yell at me for standing on the stoop for too long.
"Great!" she beams, unlocking the front door and pushing it open with her hip.  "Come on in!"
She ushers me over to the elevator, filling me in on all the basic knowledge of the building.  I nod along and take it all in, forcing myself to focus on what she's saying.  All I can think about is how much I've walked, how little I've eaten, and how much my arms are killing me.
"My roommate's asleep," she whispers as we walk through the front door of the apartment.  Another mini-panic shoots up my spine.  I remember her mentioning that she has a roommate, but I didn't put much more thought into the fact.  Possibilities race through my head: kleptomaniac? Chain smoker? Or, quite simply and elegantly: bitch?
What if Bella is the nice one? What if her roommate is a nightmare, completely opposed to anyone staying in her place from Airbnb?  What if she bullies me?  Throws my stuff out the window while I'm at work? Eats all of my food?  Sticks gum in my hair when I'm sleeping?
I decide to worry about it in the morning, tossing my body across the futon Bella has proffered to me and settling into a deep, well-deserved sleep.

The next morning I wake up early, determined to get out as soon as possible so I can explore the city and get oriented with my new surroundings.  My body is buzzing with a nervous excitement as I quickly whip something up in the kitchen, ready to shove it in my mouth and run out the door.  
I curiously stare at the other door piquing my interest--the mysterious one the roommate is behind.  I fixate on it, wondering what she's doing, who she is, what she looks like.  The anticipation is almost killing me.
I'm about ready to hit the pavement when I hear a knob turning.  I slowly turn around, facing a beautiful girl with olive skin, covetable eyebrows, and thick, black curls.  
"Hi!" she calls out, beaming at me and tying her hair up in a large bun.  "You must be Taylor; I'm Ana!"  She approaches me, reaching out to give me a warm handshake.  I feel like the final weight has been lifted.  "How are you liking it here so far?!" she gushes, seeming genuinely interested in my answer.

Long story short, I lucked out.  My roommates are awesome and the three of us couldn't be more compatible.  We all eat clean and organically, we clean up after ourselves (and even one another) in the kitchen, we have similar schedules but never get in each other's way, and they've both helped me figure out this huge new city and have been my biggest supports when I come home after a long day at work.  Bella and Ana are truly amazing women--if you're reading, I love you both! 

However--I'm aware that not everyone is faced with such luck when finding a new roommate.  So, here are some things you definitely need to ask yourself when deciding who to move in with for any length of time:

1. Do you have similar sleeping schedules?

Let's say your roommate works graveyard and you have to be up bright and early for the 9 to 5.  In New York City's cramped apartments, it's difficult not to wake someone up.  You're bound to both be interrupted from your sleeps every night, resulting in unfulfilling workdays and overall crankiness and resentment.

2. Is your roommate a negative person?

You may think this is easy to ignore, but imagine coming home every single day and all they have to say is "The subway was held up and my coworkers annoyed me and I stepped in dog shit and I want to die."  That's not the way you want to come home from work, is it?

3. Is he/she a clean person?  

Trust me, you don't want to live in squalor.  Unless, of course, YOU are the messy roommate.  In which case, your roommate probably doesn't want to live with you and you should shape up or get the hell out.

These are the big 3, in my opinion.  Can you think of any other essential things you should ask yourself when picking a roommate? If so, comment below!

Stay tuned for next Chapter!


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