What Potential Roommate Interview Questions Really Mean

What Potential Roommate Interview Questions Really Mean

1. How do you feel about personal space?

[Option 1] You’re entitled to your personal space, so long as it doesn’t conflict with my need for social gratification. If I’m sad, I may need you to tell me that just because nobody favorited any of my tweets today, it doesn’t mean I’m not still a funny person. If I’m feeling happy, I may need you to sit quietly while I explain how awesome my jaunt around the block with the dog was because I saw not one but TWO squirrels sit up on their back haunches, and that always looks so funny. If I’m anxious, I may need you to suggest I stop reading so heavily into the fact that when I said “I feel like my face looks weird today,” to the guy I’m seeing, his response was “okay.” In other words, you’ll get your personal space when I’m good and ready to give it to you.

[Option 2] You will literally never see me. I’ll be like a ninja roommate: silent, invisible, undetectable…in fact, the only difference between me and a potentially lethal carbon monoxide leak is that potentially lethal carbon monoxide leaks won’t knock before entering your room (whereas I will. Most of the time. Unless I forget.) Living with me will be exactly like living alone, except that the toilet paper will disappear twice as fast. So I hope you didn’t expect to acquire a new friend in this arrangement, because you’re going to be alone. So, so alone.

2. Do you drink?

[Option 1] I drink, and if you don’t I will feel start to feel judged, no matter how chill you are about it. So you should probably just keep an old Karkov bottle filled with water in the cupboard and occasionally take pulls from it to give me the impression that you, too, sometimes need “courage shots” in order to do things like send texts, go on dates, or start a dissertation chapter. If you do drink, we’re going to very quickly become the very best of bestest friends that ever did live in this world, because we’ll be able to get drunk with company and neither of us will have to worry about getting home. You’ll learn my deepest secrets, I’ll learn yours, and the burgeoning mutual respect growing between us will probably evolve into a neat creative project. Maybe an art installment. Or a one-act play.

[Option 2] I don’t drink, and while I don’t mind at all if you do, you would do well to remember that whenever you come sliding through the kitchen, beverage in hand, and sling a sloppy arm over my shoulder while telling me how fucking awesome it is that I found such a chill-ass roommate, dude. Seriously, like, I didn’t even want to fucking have a roommate but here we are! And it’s great! And I feel like sharing space like this is just so com-*hic*-munal, and natural, and cool. You hungry? You wanna run to Taco Bell for me? Just please remember that I’m stone cold sober for all of that.

3. Are you a tidy person?

[Option 1] You’re lucky we live in Minnesota, because if this was a less passive-aggressive state I would have no qualms about smashing over your head any dirty plates you leave unattended on the coffee table for longer than an hour. Our refrigerator will be covered in brightly-colored sticky notes that all subtly remind you of what a disgusting stanky slob you are.

[Option 2]  I don’t really understand this whole “picking up” your “things” and “putting them away” in a place where they supposedly “belong.” I take a very laissez-faire attitude toward messes, in that I tend to just leave them alone and let them just sort of work it out amongst themselves. The free market will ultimately insure fair competition between all the gross stuff that I leave caked in the bathroom sink (what doesn’t get washed down the drain was obviously the stronger substance; that’s called “trickle-down effect”). If you try to confront me about it, I’ll stomp loudly, cross my arms in a huff, and yell “I LEARNED IT FROM WATCHING YOU, AMERICA!” as I sprint to my bedroom and slam the door.

4. Do you have a car?

[Option 1] That garage spot is mine, asshole. MINE. I haven’t had a garage to park in since I lived at home in high school. I deserve that garage spot. Oh, what’s that? Your car is newer than mine? And nicer, too? Well we’ll see how nice it is when I break your back window with a crow bar, crawl in, and pee on your back seat the first time I see it parked in my garage spot. SO HELP ME I WILL PEE IN YOUR CAR IF YOU PARK IN MY GARAGE SPOT.

[Option 2] Sweet! Live-in designated driver, on call 24 hours! High five, new roomie!

Katie Sisneros