“]Searching for a roommate is a lot like dating. And when it’s in NYC, it somehow accelerates as fast as the taxis racing down Broadway. While I have almost once been stood up for a date (he was 20 minutes late to a concert we were seeing. I almost walked out, but somehow stupidly stayed), I have actually been stood up as I searched for apartment.
I had been chatting with a friend of a friend (that’s always how these stories begin). She seemed nice, had a job, and a similar price range – minimum requirements for apartment bliss. So I trekked across town to meet her for the first time and look at a few apartment buildings. We also shared the desire to skip the broker fee so decided to begin with places we could negotiate with directly.
I arrived early, and decided to wander around the neighborhood. I wound up in the local grocery store to grab a snack. I had not eaten dinner, half thinking my potential future roommate and I might eat together if we hit it off. Again, a lot like dating, waiting for the invitation after you finish a drink to get a bite to eat.
My almost roommate and I were scheduled to meet at 6pm. I waited until 6:05pm to text her that I was nearby. I didn’t want to seem too anxious, but still punctuality was key. No response for a few minutes. I nervously checked my phone. Perhaps I had missed her text? Sometimes my phone did that – the text went straight through without registering. At 6:10pm, I thought, maybe she doesn’t text, I will call her. No answer. I left a message. At 6:17pm, I got frustrated. Should I call or text again? I wondered did something happen on the subway – were their massive delays that I was unaware of?
At 6:35pm, I gave up. I knew I had waited way too long. I kept hoping she would show up running down the street, apologetic. I hoped on the bus, and headed home. Just as I was about to hit send on the text letting her know I was leaving the neighborhood (why I had drafted such a message was silly considering she had not responded to any of my outreach), I received a text from her. It was some pathetic excuse – sorry got stuck at work, on my way.
I contemplated getting off the bus, but somehow (I think subconsciously) stayed glued in my seat, unable to move fast enough to exit before the bus doors shut. As the bus turned sharply towards Central Park, it was too late. That was the last stop. I debated whether to even text her back. I eventually did write: “I waited for 30 min, headed home.”
So I took the advice of that now famous book turned movie, “He Is Just Not That Into You,” and applied it to my almost roommate, and I moved on as quickly as I could. There would be others; I just needed to keep looking.