Thursday, March 29, 2007

Department of Why Some of Us Are Still Single

Today's New York Times article about dating-apartment horrors was incredibly entertaining; I also found many of the reader comments quite hilarious. I also think it's pretty cool how at least one same-sex couple was included in the profiles as a matter of course; that kind of thing is actually a big deal if you think about it. I'm not sure they are always as conscious of that kind of inclusivity in the Des Moines Register or the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, though I could be wrong on that.

My own personal litmus test (I'm there, comment #77) would be the absence of books. I am fairly stunned when an individual doesn't own a single book. I don't know that I've ever gone back to the apartment of un amoureux and found it bookless, but I did once have a roommate who didn't seem to own any books (actually, I think he had one, but I'm not sure if that was just a gift or something). I find this creepy.
So, how about you, three faithful readers? What discoveries in a potential mate's apartment would send you sprinting for the door?

12 comments:

karlt said...

A fridge containing a human head and a bottle Riesling. I hate German wine.

The Angry Young Man said...

I would have to concur. Entering the apartment of someone I'm dating only to discover it devoid of books is something I would have a really difficult time digesting. Even worse - they have books but they're all gay oriented self-help books. I dated a guy in law school who was ready to settle down with me on our first date. His bookshelf was full of nothing but books with titles like "How To Have A Successful Gay Male Relationship." It creeped me out completely.

Steven said...

I only have a handful of books. I got rid of them all a few years ago when I lived in a camper for two years and didn't have room. I liked the feeling of not having so much stuff, so, now even though I read about a book a week, I don't keep them. For a while I was buying them and giving them away -- lately it's the library because I'm too broke to buy books.

I guess it's a moot point in this context, since I rarely bring anyone home!

Joe said...

Don't get me wrong: the library and giving away books are awesome! Someone on the NYTimes commented that someone with a "brag wall" of books to prove "how smart they are" is just as annoying. However, someone who doesn't (or wouldn't) even own 2 or 3 of their favorites (much less have favorites, as in, "Oh, I don't read")... that's an issue.

Huntington said...

This is funny...last year, my first comment to a friend while gossiping about a trick was that the trick had "not a book in the house!" That phrase has now become talismanic for us.

Sadly, another truth is that the presence of lots of books brings no guarantees either.

copperred said...

You're right on: no books, no chance. It is scary, made only more frightening by the feared "Oh I don't read."

I don't know if I have a rule, but I do become uncomfortable around anyone who owns more than one self-help book, especially if the book was ever profiled in NYT or Sex and the City.

Having a stuffed baby seal on display is simply beyond the norms of good taste. It makes me think he has abducted children stuffed in crawl spaces.

The Angry Young Man said...

Huntington -

Here's some gos for you - the significant other of a certain midnight movie hostess of my acquaintance just recently read his first book in...SIX YEARS! Unbelievable.

I have a wall of books, though I never thought of it as an attempt at showing how big, giant, and smart my head is. In the back of my mind I consider books and music (CD's) to be a wise investment because you can sell them all if you suddenly find yourself out of a job with extremely dim prospects. It's a residual post-dot com defense mechanism, kind of like how our grand parents squirreled away money in their mattresses after the Great Depression.

Huntington, la segunda vez said...

AYM,

I get that, and did that not too long ago with the majority of my CDs. However, I keep my shelves of books because they're old friends to which I return from time to time. Most of them are so well-worn a this point they wouldn't be worth anything except as kindling.

Your wall of books may not be meant to impress, but you know they did, at least on one occasion.

GayProf said...

I have many books. I am not sayin', I am just sayin'.

BigAssBelle said...

well, i had been dating a guy for a couple of months when i was snooping around in his bathroom and found his glass eye.

aside from prosthetics, which are not in and of themselves turnoffs (and i am thinking of the eye, the leg and the set of teeth i've discovered in my lovers' homes), i'd have to say it's the ring of dried yellow around the toilet with attendant stuck-in-the-nastiness pubic hairs and/or speckles of toothpaste and mineral deposits on the sink faucet.

Mike said...

I can tell you it's unnerving to pick up a hot latino in a leather bar and going back to his place, and when he turns on the lights afterwards you see about eight pairs of pumps neatly arranged below five wigs on stands... well, I'm glad we were already done fooling around.

TigerYogi said...

His mother...