Wednesday, June 29, 2011


When the landlords told us that they were hoping to sell their house, I cried. Not right there on the street in front of them, because that would have been mortifying, but quietly, sitting on the couch in front of the television when we got home. Because that's not embarrassing at all. Then I had a cup of tea and reactivated my Daft account.

Daft makes looking for a new home easy in the same way that makes finding your soulmate and getting married and buying a house and having babies easy. You could get lucky, I suppose. Or you could go on a series of disappointing dates and learn that looking for love is about managing your expectations and paying for your own drinks.

For the last few weeks I've spent hours and hours browsing dowdy and typo-ridden profiles, the photos blurry and careless, full of the trappings of small, rented lives. I can't imagine living in them. Or worse, I can, and I can't imagine being happy.

There are some lookers out there. I fall for the ones whose profile photos were taken in soft light, circa 2008, with a fisheye camera. I imagine how my pictures will look on their lovely cream walls and I mentally rearrange the furniture, like a dog turning circles in his bed. And when I have myself convinced that I (we) will be happy there (and nowhere else) I click Email Advertiser and send them an email full of hope and promise, signed with a shortened version of my name to make it easier for them to pronounce, to prove that I am considerate.

When they reply, I am effusive. When Andrew and I visit for viewings, we dress like we're going on a date. We wear perfume. I bring my chequebook. I show up expecting each and every one to be The One.

So far, none of them have borne the weight of my expectations. Most are smaller than they looked in their pictures, grubbier, lacking the charm and GSOH their misspelled blurbs claimed for them. A "culterially authentic" two-bed in the Coombe has stains on the carpets and grease smears on the walls. "Just painted" says Colin The Agent in his brown pinstripe suit, his tongue piercing clacking off his pointy little teeth. I used to have one of those. I'm glad I took it out.

"I'll call you" I say to Carol, another agent, a groomed and mannerly mother-of-two who shows us around an empty two-room flat on Heytesbury Street. I don't, though. I don't call David either, the landlord who spends his weeknights in the flat above the one he showed us around on Lennox Street. "Would you be willing to negotiate on the rent?" I asked him. "No" he said. He looked like the kind of man who might riffle through your knicker drawer if you told him you'd be away for a week. It was easier to pretend that we couldn't afford it than to explain to him that he gave me the creeps.

We're in no hurry, but the uncertainty is making me queasy. I want it done, I want us moved out and moved on. I'm just worried that my headlong rush to settle will see us settling in the wrong place. "They're like boys" says my colleague "if you don't fancy them, don't kiss them." I laughed, thinking of the fishy kisses I've suffered for the sake of seeming polite. It's patience and confidence I need, not perfume and chequebooks.


Voodoolady said...

We are also on the househunt and it is not pretty. Having lived in Dublin for 6 years now I thought I had seen it all, it turns out I haven't. Some pile of kips of rent!

Driscoldy said...

Oh poor you. I hate moving and getting a nice rental flat in Dublin is in the parlance of wankers 'a big ask' but anyway- I'm sending you all the luck I have, as we're in a nice place and were in a nice place before this so.. they are out there! Good luck, D

Catherine said...

Agents are twerps. Especially ones called Colin. And Daft is more addictive than chocolate. Keeping everything crossed you get sorted soon x

AC said...

I'm one of those weirdos who looks on daft for fun.

Here are some yummers (though you've probably seen 'em):

Kitty Cat said...

I agree with Catherine on the agents thing. I've been hurt by agents in the past and wouldn't trust them as far as I could throw the spineless fuckers. Hoping a dream date is on it's way to you soon! Good luck you two.

Karen said...

I was one of the ones who got lucky!

I met my husband on Maybefriends.

That has nothing to do with you getting a flat, just thought I'd share.

Rosie said...


and i'm very excited about it. it's a three-bed house (which Annie says will be like living in a hotel, but i have plans to turn one of the bedrooms into what i will grandly call "the library") in Stoneybatter, close to friends and Andrew's brother. it even has a spiral staircase and a wall made of glass bricks, making it officially the house of my childhood dreams.

now, anyone got a van?

Karen, i was indded thinking of you when i wrote that. did you have many horrible dates before you met him that you can tell us about now that you're happily married?

Karen said...

Oh my God! A spiral staircase and a glass wall and a library? I'm so jealous! Suddenly my three-bed semi with room for a pony isn't looking so hot.

I went on many, many bad dates. I used to write a newspaper column about them. Monosyllabic guy. Money grabbing guy. Guy that had a girlfriend and BABY in Australia....I could go on.

Annie said...

I love this post, how did I miss it? Damn you google reader, it's back to the clicky click.

Prenderghast said...

That's great news, Rosie. Our place is going on the market next week but it's for sale rather than rental and involves a 45-minute daily commute to Dublin on the Arrow. We're moving back to the big city, so maybe we'll be neighbours! :-)

Rosie said...

are the articles online, Karen?

put the kettle on, Annie.

move to Stoneybatter, Prenderghast. everyone should move there. i hear it's the next big thing.

Annie said...

All aboard the Stoneybatter Express to Funville

Annie said...

Oh god I just said "All aboard the Stoneybatter Express to Funville' in public