What It's Like To Be A Millennial Living With 2 Roommates In Their 70s

by Abby Read
20th Century Fox

I am a 25-year-old single woman, and I moved to New York City 16 months ago. I like to refer to my time spent here in the same manner as eager parents of newborns because I too feel like a newborn floundering the streets.

Regardless, I should, in theory, be living it up. For the first time, I'm on my own, and it's my first time living in a large, metropolitan city.

I am, however, living with two retired strangers I met on Craigslist. So, that limits my ability to "live it up."

Four months ago, I found myself with about a week to find a new living situation. Please do not get me started on how my original roomie (from Craigslist, of course) led me through piles of paperwork, meeting her mom and making me feel like I was courting her, all to pull to the rug out from under me when the magic words fell down like a hammer: Your guarantor has not been approved.

I started crying in a relator's office. (I told you I am an infant in this city.)

So, that planned failed. It was either move back to California (which was looking more and more attractive) or send a spam-level amount of emails to Craigslist listers. I chose the latter because I am a masochist.

Cue grandpa Ronald and Perry, my two retired roomies. Well, Ronald is a semi-retired professor, so I suppose I am dramatizing it a little. He is also not my grandpa, just to be clear.

I don't know his age, but I would guess he was born in the 1940s, which sounds outrageous. That's only because he would have been alive during World War II, and I grew up during the era of the Tamagotchi. I don't know if he has grandchildren, but I would guess he does, given the (creepy-ish) cat artwork on the refrigerator door.

Perry is fully retired. I don't know what she does with her days, but I hear her sigh, yell (non-threateningly) and speak in languages other than English that I cannot recognize. Bulgarian? Hungarian? It's something Eastern European and tough.

The three of us are like ships in the night. I see them probably about once or twice a week, most often during passing trips to the kitchen.

Sometimes I come home from work — I work nights at a restaurant — and they're cooking. I come home late. I'm talking 2 or 3 am.

The myth that old people do not sleep is true. I wonder what ticks away in their brains to make sleep allusive. Perhaps, they are just bored with sleep. They have, after all, been doing it for a long time.

When I think about whom I live with, how I met them and how little I still know about them, I think, "Only in New York City would this happen." It's weird, but when I tell the majority of people that I live with retired people, they kind of shrug and say it sounds awesome.

I am independent in this apartment. It is never loud.

There are never homies over smoking weed. No one eats my food.

There is never music blasting in the living room. It is quiet.

And quite frankly, that is all I want in a New York City apartment. I want a space where I retreat from the noise, the lights and the people trying to spit in my face (because that has happened).

I love this apartment. My roomies are retired angels who used the portal of Craigslist to contact me. It does not really make sense, but what I've learned from 16 months of living in New York City is that rarely anything does.