The place is also dimly lighted, which, once you examine the kitchen nook in daylight, is probably not such a bad thing. The cabinets hold nothing but a six-month supply of powdered milk for Mr. Podell’s cereal, so that he can keep his trips to the supermarket to a minimum; the Formica countertop is peeling; the stove has been disconnected from the gas feed. (Mr. Podell, who usually eats out, sees no reason to waste fuel.)Note: Podell is very rich!
All these things have proved detriments to love, but none so effectively as his sheets. Mr. Podell likes the ones from the ’60s and ’70s that tell a story: sheets with intergalactic battles or pink hippopotami or the Beatles. Since these are no longer available in adult-bed sizes, Mr. Podell’s sheets are now 30 to 40 years old.
Then there is Bob Strauss, 46, who writes dating advice for match.com and has a real stuffed baby seal in his apartment. He didn’t whack the seal on its silky little head, it’s a family piece inherited from a rich aunt and uncle in Miami.Just the fact that he'd say that tells you a lot. Everything you might not like is part of his individuality, and everyone else is bland and generic.
It is displayed along with Mr. Strauss’s South Park and Sonic the Hedgehog figurines and Lego collection.
“It’s provocative,” he adds. “I like going out with tough, smart, aggressive, challenging type people. It’s fine with me if they want to argue about it; I don’t want to blandify my apartment to make myself generically acceptable.”
I think it all depends on how much you like the person. If it's not that much, it probably takes one little thing to seal off the flow of good will, like the guy in the article who rejected a woman because she had a Klimt poster. You're just looking for an out. And if you like them a lot, some of the most ridiculous crap becomes endearing.
As he entered her apartment, a free-flying parrot relieved itself on his head. Then a large rabbit darted out from somewhere and licked his feet. A baby gate separated a second rabbit from the first — there had been a nasty penis-biting episode, his date explained. Also, the kitchen wall was covered with antique egg beaters, which looked to Mr. Heindl like weird tools.Yet, he married her! I think the weirdest part of that is specifying the bitten rabbit part. Why not just say one rabbit bit the other?
Anyway, look around your house right now and take the point of view of someone who's feeling wary about having a relationship with you. You've got some horrifying stuff there now, don't you? I know I do! Every damned room has something in it that would scare off someone who was already in an aversive mode.
Here's my advice -- which can take the place of consulting an expert about making your place relationship ready. Get someone to make a video recording of you as you go through your house or apartment looking at all your things. You take the role someone who's just met you and is trying to decide whether to reject you. Be honest. Be merciless!
ADDED: The comments over at the NYT are full of hilarious descriptions of horrible housekeeping/decorating.
The wall above this guy’s bed looked like the opening montage from the Brady Bunch, except all nine of the pictures were of his face — and, no, he didn’t intend them ironically.And:
I dated this guy whose apartment was always a mess when I visited. However, occasionally it was clean. I finally figured out the pattern. He only cleaned the apartment when he had other woman visiting.And:
There was the guy with a big red and white barber’s chair and a telescope in the center of his living room.... And then there was the guy whose vast loft apartment was filled with cats and dozens of huge statues of mournful angels and bleeding eyeless, handless saints . . . first one of the cats ran over and bit me, and then the guy, after weeks of dating, announced that what he really wanted to do in life was become a Catholic priest.