Is My Apartment Too Intimidating For Guys
Dear E. Jean: I think my house is intimidating the guys I meet. I bought it when I was 24. Frugal habits, along with a well-paying job, hard work, and a small inheritance, helped me pull it off. It’s not a mansion. I acquired a strong sense of design from my mother, and I’ve put a lot of time into making it stylish and welcoming. Yet intuition tells me that it’s putting guys off. They look around agape! They say things like: “Do you rent your furniture?”
I’d have thought men would be overjoyed to find a woman with homemaking skills, whose career is advanced enough that she can buy and decorate a house. But no. The men I date are in their late twenties (I’m 27 now), and I never get invited to their place after they see my house. Should I stop having them pick me up here?
Miss Home, My Heliotrope: Do not stop inviting chaps to pick you up. Shall I tell you why? Long, long ago, my cattle dog and I lived beneath a family of fortune-tellers in a basement apartment on West 26th Street in New York. The place had no bathroom, no kitchen. I bathed in the sink and cooked on a Coleman camp stove. The floors were dirt. I hung my gun on the wall, made my sofa out of sawhorses, used a miner’s sled as a table. and sat on chairs I built out of bales of hay and fabric I’d hauled with me from Montana. No Manhattan bachelor ever dipped so much as a toe inside this pleasure garden without shaking in his boots.
Then one day, at a film premiere, I met the Irish actor Richard Harris. I know, I know, you’re too young to know Richard Harris, except possibly as Albus Dumbledore from the Harry Potter movies but, girl, this man…back in the day! A rogue! A poet! A swashbuckler! Thirteen years my senior, and he’d hung out with Jane Birkin, for gawd sakes.
Thus Harris, nominated for a slew of Oscars, Golden Globes, and Grammys, knocked on my door the first night to pick me up for dinner. Down, down, down, down, down, down the Man Called Horse descended toward the dirt floor, kicking up dust. For several minutes, he looked around—paralyzed—moving only his eyeballs. Then, with the dog hurling herself against him, he rose on his toes and said, in that famous voice that sounded like a viola strung with razor wire, “Who is your decorator?”
He loved the place!
The lesson here is that when you meet a chap who matches you in mettle, spirit, sangfroid, and soul, he won’t think any house half as handsome as your house. Also, it probably wouldn’t hurt to date fellas who are a tad older. Chaps herd like wildebeests till they turn 30.
This letter is from the Ask E. Jean Archive, 1993-2017. Send questions to E. Jean at E.Jean@AskEJean.com.