You’ve been dating the same guy for the past four weeks. Over this last month, the two of you have ventured across the city together; Friday night dinners downtown, Sunday afternoon brunches uptown, mid-week happy hours at the newly opened, VIP bar, and Saturday shopping excursions at the central mall. Every time you’ve seen him, whether planned or on a whim, he is always dressed in a trendy shirt, designer jeans and a brand new pair of shoes. Whenever he has picked you up in his 2013, Acura RL, the graphite luster of its metallic exterior has always gleamed beneath the skyline. Not only does this guy drive you around in a high power, luxury vehicle, but he also spares no expense when it comes to paying for your meals, top shelf drinks and the speciality desert of the evening. You find yourself physically drawn to this man. He’s mannerly, but not dry. His body is fit, though not muscular. You’ve never noticed so much as a hair out of place along his mustache or chin. It’s also obvious that he has either had his teeth chemically whitened or has been blessed by the ivory dental fairy. Over the past few days, he has been texting you and complaining about his sore throat. You’ve offered to bring him soup and over the counter meds, but he insists that he doesn’t want you to catch his cold. As you wake up on Monday morning, he calls and asks if you could please stop by Rite Aid on your way to work and buy him a bag of Honey-Lemon Halls. He apologizes for the inconvenience, but says he is having chills and feels too sick to leave the house. You of course oblige his request. This guy has treated you like royalty. Calling your supervisor to inform her that you’ll be late arriving to work, you’re zooming down the parkway in route to buy your guy halls, orange juice, cans of Campbell Soup and a box of Extra Strength Tylenol Cold.
You arrive to his place for the very first time. You told him to expect you around 8:30am, but it’s now a little after 9. Somehow, you thought your GPS was leading you into the wrong section of Vincent Lane. As a result, you tried to reroute the final destination. Pulling up to a shabby, three story apartment building that sits on the south end of a littered parking lot, you check his text message again to make sure that the address is correct. As you slowly park your car beside a rusted, white dump truck, you pull out your phone to call your guy. He answers in a raspy tone and tells you to come to the second floor, back hallway; Apartment 272B.
The first thing you notice when you walk into his apartment is the huge, LG Cinema 3D television that plasters his living room wall. He has four crates positioned in the corner; one piled on top of the other. Sitting on the top crate is a small desk lamp that is plugged into an extension cord. The cord drapes across the middle of his brown, stained carpet. As you force a smile and pass him the plastic, Rite Aid bag, he invites you to follow him into the bedroom. Positioned in the center of the room is a full-size, blow up bed. The air mattress is barely covered by a twin size sheet, a throw that you would place across the back of a couch, and a bare pillow. In your mind, you are a bit taken aback by this man’s living conditions. You ask, ‘Oh…did you just move in here?’ He replies in his muffled tone, ‘Nah…I just renewed my lease.’ As you make special efforts to erase all signs of surprise from your face, he plops down on his air mattress and covers himself. His shoes are polished and pristine as they line three of the four walls in his room. All of his watches and expensive colognes are laid across another two crates that are aligned beside the closet. You then look up to see another 84 inch, LG, Class Cinema television hanging between both of his blanket covered windows. He looks up at you with his lazy, blood shot eyes and says, ‘Thank you so much for coming with the stuff. I feel like shit.’ After hugging him and assuring that you’d call later to check and see how he’s feeling, you make your way out of the front door. Your walk back to the car is riddled by thoughts of why this guy lives in such poor conditions, but owns every luxury item that has been newly released on the consumer market.
In the past seven years, Ive noticed that a lot of guys invest more of their money into polishing their public image, than they do in creating a decent home for themselves. I have never understood how people can have racks of clothes and accessories but a linen closet aligned with only two towels, one wash cloth and a dust pan. Then, the bathroom and kitchen are so filthy that you barely feel comfortable drinking a glass of water or later standing over their toilet to urinate. Some people don’t understand that the ways in which one keeps their home is a direct reflection of who they are and what in life they value. A physical house, apartment, condo or shack doesn’t have to be fully furnished to indicate someone’s priorities. However, when that someone is driving around in a $50,000 car and can’t offer their company a seat inside of their home, it’s an indication that their priorities are not in order.
I suppose that the ways in which a guy was raised in his parents home contributes a great deal to how he will build and establish his own. If he grew up watching his mother buy new dresses before purchasing curtains to hang in the windows, it becomes clear how he would assume that having ‘new’ takes precedence over meeting ‘needs’. However, I would rather date a man who wears a white tee shirt and cargo shorts every day, than to be involved with someone who requires that I bring my own towel and wash cloth if I plan to spend the night at his place.
If a grown man has luxury vehicles, expensive clothes, Apple this and MacBook that, he certainly should own a decent bed and other basic, household products.
It bothers me to walk into someone’s home and see that they do not invest as much time or money into their living space as they do in how they ‘look’ to people on the outside. Standing in line to spend hundreds of dollars on new Jordan’s, but refusing to buy a shower curtain to cover the plastic liner in the bathroom is absolutely ridiculous!
Despite the fact that contemporary society has trained us to value the latest technology, it is not attractive when your clothes cost more than your couch. As one matures and moves into their own place, that living space should reflect one’s taste and values. Your home should always take priority over purchasing tickets to Rihanna’s ‘Diamonds’ tour or pre-ordering the new iPhone 5.