I've mentioned that I'm looking for an apartment because my roommate was moving out of the country. I think I found a place, but... the whole prospect of the way you find space in NYC is just crazy. There aren't really efficiencies/one-person places in most areas which makes sense if you want anything more than a bedroom. Shared 2 BR only require one each of anything else. And I found a place that's --objectively-- exactly what I want. Decent sized bedroom, wonderful kitchen, just one roommate, within walking distance of the train, my general area, slightly cheaper than I'm currently paying but same basic range, generally what seems like a nice quiet building. The guy (and it is a male other roommate) didn't seem to want much in the moving in costs, just my half of the rent. He wants to do month to month (but is interested in it being longterm) until we work out if we get along rather than signing a lease that weds us together for a year.
Which is in a lot of ways exactly what I'm asking for and not much below what I can reasonably afford? He seemed very laid back and amenable and the place seemed somewhere I can be comfortable.
Which leaves me with the basic problem. What I want is apparently absolutely insane. I want to take a man I've exchanged a few texts with, met for a total of twenty minutes, and who didn't turn up in a basic Google search or sex predator search engine and turn his home into my home. I want to trust the man I hardly know at all not only won't be a bother to live with but that will actually be safe with. Because both he and the place seem nice. They do, but as a basic approach to living my life in a way that makes both me and my person safe, this seems absolutely insane.
But it's what we do, in cities. I'd actually rather life with a stranger than a friend because it would make it easier to avoid drama and respect each other's space, and I don't really know anyone looking for a roommate in my circle, certainly no one I'd want to inflict myself on. I don't know that many people well in town, and those few that I do all seem to have gotten married. I'm fairly sure I can't hope for better, and the place itself is quite nice - not perfect, but much better than where I live now.
I'm just having a bit of a wobble over the sheer absurdity of finding apartments this way. I mean, I went into a complete stranger's house today and let him shut the door behind him and absolutely nothing happened untoward, but this was a usual part of renting an apartment. And even that's probably a no-no on the "how not to get raped" lessons I'm pretty sure all single women internalize.
Fellow city-dwellers, am I off-base here? I mean, the guy didn't seem shady and the process didn't seem abnormal except for him not wanting a set commitment, and the idea of not committing to living together for a set term until we know we actually get on well makes sense. I think it's just an absurdly trusting process, the same way getting into some stranger's car and expecting to be delivered safely to your own house (even giving a stranger the address!) strikes me that way - yet it's normal city life. I think he's fine, and I certainly like the place.
** Part of the problem, probably: his name is also a girl's name, and so I was expecting a girl. Common male name too among Caribbean islanders, but I've never roomed with a man. He also is in fashion design, which I knew going in, and that contributed to the impression. Not categorically opposed to rooming with a man but it did catch me a bit off-guard, and it's probably sexist that I wouldn't think twice about rooming with a woman I'd never met, but here we are...
** Also, the Tumblrite in me is insisting I apologize for the ableist, or at least anti-mental illness, language. Don't mean to stigmatize, etc. I know better than most how the slang isn't actually a good description.