Oh, the joyous world of house-hunting! Oh, the merry fun of seeking out non-psychos to live with! Oh, the delights of paying agencies eleventy thousand million pounds just to hand you a piece of paper!
After moving to a temporary secret location (I just put that in to make myself sound like 007, did it work?), I’m now searching for more permanent living quarters. But it’s a murky world out there. So for all you normal, non-stabby, non-mental types out there, here is A Different Daylight’s guide to how not to advertise your room.
All of what you’re about to read is based on real adverts. Yep, the world is so mental that I don’t even need to invent any mentalness. Without further ado, then: Four Reasons I Won’t Live With You.
one Because you want an, er, ‘friend with benefits’, not a housemate.
Probably you don’t even care whether we’ll be friends – you just want the benefits. Your actual words were ‘female companion’. And there’s only one photo, and it’s of you. And how much rent are you charging? Oh, you think we can ‘come to some sort of arrangement regarding the rent’. Yeah..no. Sunshine, as somebody once said, it’s not gonna happen.
two Because when I go to look round the house, the current tenants implore me not to take the room.
Live-in landlords make me slightly wary, but it can be ok. However, not if the landlord is so awful that the poor people who have been duped into living there are now desperate to get out, because he’s so abusive. And they run down the street after me to tell me so. Oh, and did I mention the available room was the sickliest shade of vomit-inducing green? That made everything in the room appear recently dunked in the contents of a stagnant river? Apparently, the landlord tells me, the colour is ‘very fashionable’, and ‘lots of people’ would want the room in that colour.
three Because the advert is terrifyingly misspelled.
I can’t be alone in being afraid of bad spelling. I know I’m a little pedantic (although I try to restrain that side of myself for everyday interactions with the outside world..), but STILL. Spell check, people!
four Because you specify you want a ‘happy’ housemate.
I’ve seen quite a few adverts that contain very specific descriptions of the personality of the housemate they’re looking for. Here is an actual quote, from an actual advert, written by an actual person (presumably):
The person I’d like to come and share with me would be an intelligent professional, very kind, and with a similarly jolly outlook.
Just a moment – let’s break this down.
You’re looking for someone who isn’t stupid. So you’re discriminating based on IQ.
You’re looking for a ‘very kind’ person. Why? Do you have lots of sick and injured kittens wandering around the house, and you need to know I won’t throw them out in the snow?
You’re looking for a ‘jolly’ person. So you don’t want Eeyore, who is, according to splendid Wikipedia:
pessimistic, gloomy,depressed, anhedonic
(I had to look up that last one.) Well, I’m not anhedonic. But neither am I full of cheerful chatter early in the morning. No one in my life has ever, ever described me as bubbly. Or jolly. And you’re discriminating against me because of that. I feel we’re not ideal housemates.
Having said all that, special mention goes to the author of an advert which began:
I know the search for a room can be tedious.
We forget the basics like:
-Does the flat smell.
-Is it located in a forest on the outskirts of London.
-Does the existing flatmate keep the previous tenants in the attic
And which had a photo of the room, captioned ‘The Torture Chamber (accessories not included)’. Amazing.
In other news, if you haven’t seen Skyfall yet, what are you doing with your life?