Thursday, April 05, 2007

Deal Breakers

Recently Kusala mentioned a New York Times article entitled "It's Not You, It's Your Apartment." It focused on apartments that ended romantic relationships. Before reading the piece, I expected that it would chart horror stories of unclean bathrooms or Star-Wars sheet sets.

Instead, I was surprised that many of the complaints focused on possessions that the apartment guest found tacky. One guy apparently broke up with his girlfriend because she had Klimt’s The Kiss hanging on her wall. I grant that the image has been overused. You know if you are going to go rummaging through a poster bin, at some point you are gong to find The Kiss. Nor have I ever been a fan – Being a big homo, that image never really spoke to me.

But to break up with somebody over it? Really? That was all that it took, huh? Couldn’t you have just waited until you were deeper in the relationship and, oh, I don’t know, mentioned that you didn’t like it? Unless she had a matching tattoo on her left breast, it hardly seems like your eyes would need to spend much time looking at it all.

It got me to think what would be the things in some guy’s apartment that would send me packing? I could think of the obvious discoveries that would prompt me to run out the door: part of a human torso in the fridge; a collection of Nazi memorabilia; children. Maybe I just have lowered expectations. Really, though, I don’t think that clich├ęd art is my cut off.

Maybe I would have some questions if a guy that I dug had the Farrah Fawcett poster on his wall – Unless he put it up with irony. 'Cuz if he had it up with irony, I would probably marry him.

Then I got to thinking about the things in my own apartment that might be deal breakers. Taking a look around, I realized that there are many potential relationship killers in my apartment:

    My apartment lacks any interior walls (except for the bathroom and closet).

    I have an insane number of dishes and stemware. Right now I have two sets of dishes in my cabinet and enough stemware to open a bar. Seriously, I have a dish problem. I would say I am a dish-queen, but that makes it sound like I want to gossip.

    My apartment has an unusual number of accent pillows.

    I enjoy drinking coffee out of a cup and saucer.

    My DVR currently has 4 episodes of the Daily Show, 3 episodes of Battlestar Galactica (which I have already watched, but might want to see again), and 15 episodes of Star Trek: Voyager.

    To keep me company while watching Voyager, I have all the action figures.

    My NRFB Mego Wonder Woman doll.

    The current contents of my refrigerator: mayonnaise, tortillas, a tube of Pillsbury cookie dough, two oranges, a bag of apples that are older than some child actors, TaB, and two hotdogs.

    My freezer has frozen chicken, pizza, and three different types of vodka. Really I just keep the chicken and pizza in there so people won't think that I am a total alcoholic. Those interventions take up too much of my time. It's also awkward to fix yourself a cocktail in the middle of one.

    My cabinet currently has a can of Pam cooking spray, Ramen noodles, olive oil, bran cereal, rice, and a package of pink marshmallow peeps.

    The only television that I own has a smaller screen than my computer.

    I have an annoying burning bush in the corner of my apartment that keeps nagging me to lead my people to freedom. I should probably repot that or something.

    Books are strewn across the room, all open to somewhere in the middle.

    As I live in an attic apartment, my ceiling slopes, making it impossible to install a sling.

    This is my new favorite shirt for the gym:

    Instead of pens, I have crayons.

    My two well-oiled gladiator servants who do my every bidding.

    A chess set, though I can’t remember the last time I played.

    I hated doing dishes so much that I made sure I had a dishwasher, but I don’t currently own a microwave.

    I keep a New Mexico flag on my desk.

    Then there are my Star-Wars sheet sets. . .

Perhaps my current lack of a long-term boyfriend isn’t all that mysterious after all.


Christopher said...

There's nothing wrong with having lots of dishes and stemware. I think its nice to have options! At any rate, I can't enjoy coffee in my home without a cup AND saucer. Hmmm, I to am single. Cheers!

jeremy said...

Seriously, there were no glaring deal-breakers. I mean, if those books open to the middle are like, John Saul and Stephen King and John Grisham, that might be a deal breaker.
What about the art on your wall? If you've got like Bruce Webber prints, I'm bolting.
Oh, I know something I wanted to ask you. A long time ago you spoke about doing something civically minded/volunteer/non-profity thing. Did you ever do anything like that? Will you be far away from Boston before you do?

Arthur (AmeriNZ) said...

I used to have that Aquaman image on a tall glass that came from a burger chain. It broke (the glass, the chain's still around).

Jeremy's right: Nothing you described sounded much like a deal breaker. That burning bush might cause a problem for an asthmatic, though, and really, smoking inside is so 1990s, anyway.

Roger Green said...

I bought that Farrah picture on the cover of a notebook back in 1980. It WAS to be ironic (REALLY!!), but I have my doubts that it was perceived as such.

tornwordo said...

I had that Farah poster on my wall 30 years ago. At least there's no cigarette stench in your house. That's the first thing you notice at ours. Sigh.

Wiccachicky said...

The only one that would be problematic for me would be the burning bush - you know, fire hazard and all. And maybe the TV. But it's easy to talk people into getting bigger and better TVs, so yeah - just the bush. ;P

Rebekah said...

Hmm... more dishes and stemware than food items. What's that about?

The book thing would impress me. Unless it was a really big book. A big book open in the middle. On the floor. Which I tripped over.

I hate stubbing my toes.

vuboq said...

The only deal-breaker I see (besides that freakish cup/saucer thing) is the vodka in the freezer ... and that depends on the brands -

Belvedere, Ketel One, and Grey Goose? Not a deal-breaker.

Popov, Svedka, and Skyy? You are the weakest link. Good-bye.

Jaclyn said...

I am simply confused that there's a bush of any kind in your apartment. I could see that as being a similar issue to the Farrah poster.

Bigg said...

I'm afraid Vuboq's put his well-manicured finger on the real deal breaker there -- the cup/saucer thing. The rest of it is just cute.

Les said...

The contents of your apartment make me want to date you.

Sometimes I wish I was a gay man.

Huntington said...

Re: the cup-saucer thing...I think you're still hoping to be invited to tea by the Empress Carlota, and want to be ready.

Anonymous said...

I love that Aquaman shirt.

Mike said...

I like having coffee MUGS. I'm especially fond of the ones with antique maps of Hawaii on them.

The cup-and-saucer thing is just too effete for me...sorry, no sex for you.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Nice apartment, the usual "boy in a man" stuff only instead of super gaming Computers and World of Warcraft you have "gay boy in a man with a dollop of 'why did I never get THOSE toys when I was a kid?'"

As for your alcoholism, I recommend moving to wales where things like Dylan Thomas, creativity and drinking enough to kill most people (or eventually you) is seen as a positive cultural trait. The saying in the creative writing department was "I used to have an alcohol problem, but I have lots of money now."

Laura Elizabeth said...

Potential deal breakers? I just don't get it. The things people have or don't have (unless it's dead animals stinking up the place, or naked women dancing around) don't bother me.

"I enjoy drinking coffee out of a cup and saucer."

Lack of manners would send me packing - but only if they were unwilling to try to change a little bit.

How could anyone have too many dishes? It's impossible! And stemware? Well... unless you have no friends, you can never have enough stemware or barware. Ever. I'll skip my usual rant on linens.

"My two well-oiled gladiator servants who do my every bidding."

Do you share?

"Perhaps my current lack of a long-term boyfriend isn’t all that mysterious after all."

It is to me. You need to live in a city where the men have higher standards.

"Then there are my Star-Wars sheet sets. . ."

Oh well... I know where you can get some fantastic 800 thread count sheets for a bargin!

Happy Easter.

GayProf said...

Christopher: Well, if the rest of the comments are any indication, the cup and saucer thing might be the key to our singlehood.

Jeremy: Yeah, I totally suck. Early in the year, I narrowed down my choices for volunteering to two organizations. After that, I didn't do dick. I am a lousy, lazy person. sigh

I will fix that tomorrow. Well, maybe not tomorrow. Tomorrow I want to learn how to make crepes. Sometime soon, though. . .

Arthur: I hear if you break a glass with Aquaman on it dolphins will never be your friend.

ROG: The key to the irony would be in the content of the notebook.

Torn: Yeah, I feel pretty lucky that I never got addicted to cigarettes. Given how easy my personality lends itself to such activities, I am really surprised.

Wicca: For the size of my apartment, I am not sure a bigger t.v. would be a good idea. There is always the future, though...

Rebekah: All my books currently on the floor of my apartment are paperback. I can't afford hardcover! Have you seen those prices lately?

VUBOQ: Currently I have a regular Ketle One and two bottles (vanilla and regular) of Absolute. You didn't specify if the latter was a deal-breaker or not -- or provide a ruling on having a flavored vodka.

Jacyln: Maybe "bush" isn't really the right word. It's more of a burning aloe vera plant.

Bigg: Having a saucer adds much more drama to drinking coffee.

Les: Don't wish it, be it.

Huntington: Poor mad, crazy, sad Carlota. She had cool clothes, though.

JenderJosh: The shirt is yours if you take a journey to your local Target store. Perhaps another deal-breaker is how much I enjoy going to Target.

Mike: You say effete as if that is a bad thing.

Actually, while I do like the cup and saucer thing, most times I really drink coffee out of a mug -- with Wonder Woman's picture on it.

Elizabeth: That is sensible advice! People all through the UK seem to appreciate drinking -- a lot.

Laura Elizabeth: Yeah, the Star Wars sheets aren't exactly Egyptian cotton. I could probably upgrade.

Marcelle Proust said...

I'm with Les. I'd date you if we were compatible, mais ce n'est pas le cas, alas. Love the blog & the appartement, though.

Anonymous said...

the visual i have of a man watching voyager on a couch with the action figures to keep him company - so cute! unless you live in your mother's basement - then not so much cute anymore.

Christopher said...

I have that exact same AquaMan t-shirt. I bought it last week because it reminded me of how I used to touch myself inappropriately in my AquamMan Underroos (Underwear that's fun to wear!) as a pre-teen. Between that and the 20 place settings of Fiestaware I have, I suddenly feel so close to you!

Huntington said...

d"After that, I didn't do dick."

Oh, I'm sure you managed to fit THAT in there somewhere, from time to time. Think of it as giving back to the community,

Antonio said...

Wow I am definitely going to rip off this blog entry. Just off the top of my head, I have:

Simpsons, Serenity (the movie), and Sin City posters
(BTW, Jessica Alba is on the Sin City poster and I'm not being ironic)
My Donkey Kong figurine
My Viewtiful Joe figurines
My DDR pads
My guitar controllers for Guitar Hero
My Donkey Kong bongo drums
Numerous other video game controllers and accessories

Maybe this explains why that cute guy I cuddled with last week isn't returning my calls. *sigh*

Oh and I've never seen "The Kiss" before.

C lbs said...

the current bf and I had a very hard time picking out flatware, so when it came to dishes we decided to buy one dish at a time. Now we can serve 30 with plates and salad plates, and maybe even bowls--but no cups and saucers. We are mug guys.

We have 11 bottles of tequila in the house--only 2 of them are the same kind.

Good luck at MidWestU.

GayProf said...

Marcelle: Maybe in the next reincarnation. . .

Sammuel: Not to worry: My mother and her basement are almost 3,000 miles away.

Christopher: I also had the Aquaman Underoos. I can't remember them specifically prompting me to touch myself -- but it usually didn't take much.

Huntington: Does that count as volunteer work?! If so, I am a saint.

Antonio: Oh, man, you have all the games that I wanted to play: Donkey Kong Bongo, Viewtiful Joe, Guitar Hero... Can I come over?

C lbs: I also like the Tequila. I don't keep it in my freezer with the vodka, though.

Eleven types, eh? Can I come over?

Red7Eric said...

Your apartment sounds perfectly groovy to me. Then again, I have no standards.

Hi, I'm easy.

adjunct whore said...


this is the only deal breaker. cup and saucer, who cares. wierd maybe, mostly just more meticulous than i am, but certainly *not* a deal breaker.

i keep walking in to your posts too late. so i'll just say you are the only person who makes me laugh everytime i read you. this is a gift. thank you.

kusala said...

Woops, after you so kindly riffed on my original post, am I only now getting around to commenting on yours on... April 11?

Anyway... what's wrong with saucers?! I don't use them daily, but saucers, like the English subjunctive, are sorely underrated and underused.

We need to work on your larder situation. Combine my ingredients list with your chinaware, and we would have veritable Remains of the Day–esque dinner parties. Just sayin'.

Professor Zero said...

LOL for the burning bush!