Meeting Adrian last Saturday was like a scene from a corny, yet enjoyable movie.
I was taking the bus across 14th street after a trip to Trader Joes. I didn’t pay much attention to the guy who got on at Union Square and sat in front of me until a few minutes later when he turned around, offered me a stick of gum and introduced himself. Adrian was easy to talk to and when we stood up to get off of the bus at 7th avenue, I was happy to see that he was taller than me. He carried my shopping bags into the train station and by the time we parted I had given him my phone number and we had tentative plans to grab drinks.
Sunday evening I was curled up on the couch recovering from Easter brunch when Adrian called me to “say hello”. The conversation was moving along nicely, he was obviously very smart and although I could hear his room mates in the background watching the game, he kept me engaged in our conversation and there were very few awkward pauses. Somehow our conversation shifted to different neighborhoods in Manhattan and Adrian mentioned where he lived.
That’s when we had our first awkward pause.
“…Actually,” he said. “I’m living in a shelter right now, so that I can save money.”
I didn’t know what to say! So… when I assumed the young, educated, employed man I was on the phone with was sitting watching the game with his “room mates” he was actually sitting with fellow shelter dwellers?!
I couldn’t help but feel like this was some sort of challenge because I had just finished having a Twitter conversation with “@MoxieInTheCity” and “@LoveInTheDumps” about dating and living situations. We were tweeting about Moxie’s recent post asking if dating with room mates cramps your style. My concise opinion was this.
I’m pretty forgiving when it comes to New York living arrangements, because I understand what it takes to “make it” here in the city. On one hand there’s the old adage of “if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere” but when it comes to the living situations of the people we date, I think we all have a point where we might draw the line….
With my parents living in California, I’ve always had my own apartment but I’ve never thought differently of New York guys who still lived at home. My friend Kenzie had a boyfriend who slept on a loft bed. She was cool with it, but the idea of needing a ladder to get in and out of bed simply does not appeal to me. When I was 19 I lived in room so narrow that any guy over 6 feet could stretch out and touch one wall with his feet and the other with his hands. Now that I’ve entered my 20’s that’s just not acceptable.
When it comes to New York living, how far is too far?
For me, a working man who lives in a Shelter is definitely “too far”.
Its kind of like the guy with the missing teeth. Perhaps Adrian should focus on getting his living situation together before he runs around this city passing out sticks of gum and inviting girls out for drinks.
P.S. Has anyone else dated a guy with a weird living situation? Where do you draw the line?