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Another reason to worry about your doomed life as a stylish single lady.

At dinner two nights ago, I was seated next to a newly single guy. He divorced six months ago, and at 41 he's dating again. He told me about a great date he'd been on, and that she invited him back to her place.

"Her place was beautiful. Really stylish. Impeccably decorated. And you know what? It was the strangest thing, but this feeling came over me that there was no room for me there, in that life."

No second date for her. Why? Her house was too awesome.

Just another reason to ditch the bar cart. And maybe you should keep the ratty old Ikea couch after all. If your prince charming is waiting for you, it sounds like he wants to help pick out the sofa.


court. said...

you've GOT to be kidding me. #decoratorproblems

Emily said...

If that isn't depressing, I don't know what is....

Jules said...

Unlike Bachelor41, I'm pretty sure that Ryan Gosling would NEVER opt out of date #2 because a lady had her life together. Confident men like confident women.

ps love your blog!

srw said...

I'm not sure how to feel about this as a single woman in her mid-thirties who is obsessed with decorating (and redecorating) her home. On one hand, I'd hate to think that all of my efforts to surround myself with things I love will result in me dying old, bitter and alone. On the other hand, I remember that I'm a terrible shrew, which is the real reason I'm likely to die old, bitter and alone.

Also, I actually do often look around my house thinking that there's really not much room for anyone else and contemplating the practicalities of maintaining separate residences even after marriage. I've said to friends on multiple occasions that if I ever do marry or co-habitate, it will have to be with a man who has zero opinions regarding his surroundings or design. Because a wagon-wheel coffee table will enter my home over my cold, dead body. Like I said, I'm a terrible shrew.

Anonymous said...

she could not be luckier, he is a dud

Niche said...

Maybe that's why he's divorced? Sounds like a very insecure man. You don't want to marry someone like that.

Jessica said...

That doesn't sound like it's her problem.

amvance said...

I wouldn't worry about this guy. Like someone else said, this is HIS problem, not hers. There is someone out there who will appreciate her as she is.

Also, someone who is just divorced is going to be pretty good at coming up with reasons to not get involved. It sounds like he was really grasping for a reason!

Feisty said...

I've been in homes that gave me similar feelings (I'm a woman).

The home I was in was completely decorated in a very knick-knack heavy, antique/retro vibe. Every surface, wall or table, was covered in collections, art, etc, all perfectly arranged and clean, so it didn't cross into crazy granny territory.

I guess overall, the feeling I had was there wasn't a lot of humor in the decor, and that level of perfectionism is daunting. There really wasn't room for a different viewpoint in the house because it was such a specific, feminine, look.

And that level of perfection creeps me out and makes me think she's a nutter (not far off on her I think).

Guys like someone who has their stuff together, but not so perfect that there's no room for anything else.

Quatorze said...

A newly free guy will latch onto ANY excuse in order to justify keeping his freedom. I will say that, judging by our fathers in retirement communities who have women coming out of their hair and are outnumbered by at least three women to one guy, I see little incentive for many men to get re-hitched...

Peggy and Fritz said...

He's likely divorced because his ex wouldn't let him keep the lazy boy in the house. Totally insecure. Nothing is sexier than a secure and confident man and any confident guy is going to love that a woman has a nicely decorated place. Lucky her she didn't get asked out on a second date. She doesn't have to worry about a lazy boy in her future.

objectsofwhimsy said...

the saddest parts are:
1. Hes a guy
2. he noticed
3. he cared

what is the world coming to?

Anonymous said...

This is why I never date the same (I'm a guy who works in home decor) always date someone who either has no clue or can make it better with $$...its simple...although I have to find the right one!

proud fancy sofa owner said...

Sounds like she dodged a bullet, actually. Girls, decorate your homes to the 9's, the right guy will not be threatened by your fancy sofa, or your trendy bar cart. Please!

Anonymous said...

This discussion is beneath you (and us).

Laura said...

Shit. I guess I should just go get a cat and be done with it.

Anonymous said...

Re: Feisty's comment
I was raised in a household like that, and she probably IS a nutter. No one liked to vist that insanely over-clean house.
I rember as a 7-year-old having to dust the slats under the bed as a chore and getting hit if they were not done perfectly.
Clean-crazy people are exactly that.

Anonymous said...

My decor always attracted dudes, never scared them off.

I had too many boys wanting to move in after the first slumber party --

But I'm not crazy, my taste isn't too girly, and I never put a floral print in the bedroom.

Agree w/ Jules -- confident ladies get confident guys.

Kevin said...

Well... I think it depends on how you read the situation.

Her home could be a perfect expression of her taste and personality, and he could have astutely realized upon seeing it that their personalities do not mesh.

Or she could be overzealous and nuts, with a repulsive bar cart or pleated lampshades, and this makes men flee?

Or he could be a too- recent divorcee and basically should be encouraged to run amok among the neighborhood skanks until he gets past the divorce trauma.

Or some combination?

Lavender said...

To Anonymous posting at May 19, 2012 10:12 AM...if this discussion is beneath you, why contribute to the discussion by posting? Conflicted?

Habitually Chic said...

Oh good Lord! I guess I should get a cat like Laura and forget about trying to find a husband. But I do think a secure man who has his shit together would appreciate a woman who can take care of a house. Too bad there aren't that many secure men left in the world.

Although, I did read some dumb article about feng shui and relationships. It said yuo should leave room in your life and home for another person. That means not packing the closet but leaving some space for another person and having two nightstands. My joke was that I hope the guy is leaving room in his place for me because nothing else is fitting in this apartment!

Anonymous said...

OK! Here goes!
My husband of 35 years (or almost) came to my house in Pasadena Ca.... on our second date....(I had been a decorator for 5 years)...
(I hope I am not bragging......but you seem to need another source of information) 37 years ago!

He walked into the front door......"Holy cow! The wood floor was hand-painted with sprigs of flowers......there was a trompe l'oeil rug inside the front door with a corner turned over); (house built in 1904 ', floor could not be sanded again).....had to deal with existing!)

I am sick I have no pictures...maybe I can find some!

I was recently separated with a five year old daughter; and he says (to this day: "I fell in love with you first......and then your house was so comfortable and cosy and beautiful!!"

He loved what he, to this day, calls: "your ability to make a "nest"!"

Talk about insecure......??? My husband sold his "poultry business" his grandfather 50; and took over running my business.....and (actually made it a business)

" I asked......."Should I change the name?" It was my former husband's last name!

"NO! Never change the name of a successful business!!"

So his card has in the middle "McCormick Interiors"
In the upper left hand corner....Adam Bianchi II.

In my opinion......that is a secure man!

He says that when he came into my house......he decided to "marry me"!

And when prospective clients come to see it......he comes right out; and when someone says...they love it, he says....."I was so smart! I just married the decorator!!"

This girl dodged a bullet! Just my opinion! That guy has all his values twisted! She doesn't need "him" to decorate?

Yikes! Just my opinion!


ps our house of OFF the market.....funny story I will write you. Temporary insanity.

Anonymous said...

I love the woman who calls herself a "shrew" and is proud of it! (srw) , (however, if refusing a 'wagon wheel table' is being a "shrew" OOPS!! Not a shrew!
There are men who appreciate good design and know they can't do it themselves!!!

Anonymous said...

whatever would we do without "Habitually Chic"???


Anonymous said...

Did he notice this before of after they had relations?

Anonymous said...

whatever would we do without "Habitually Chic"???

There would be less laughter in our lives, certainly.

Kristin said...

Not that this has EVER happened to me, but if I went on a date with a guy and his place was insanely perfect and masculine in its decor, I would feel like there was no place for me because all the places had already been filled. As I'm married and live in a shithole, I'm not worried about bringing home some guy to be turned off by my perfection, but I understand why a man could feel uncomfortable by his date's perfection.

Anonymous said...

i've read the post a couple of times and find it kind of fascinating.

-woman invests her time and talents in creating a home she feels good about. guessing she's somewhere in her 30s or early 40s like your tablemate. at a point, you want to vent that expression, give it release. there are no assurances that she will find someone to share this with, so she goes with it, and creates something good.

-guy is dating 6 mos after a divorce. dicey, even if the split was desired/mutual. he does have the right to select a mate he feels good about, so his response can be summed up as "to each his own"

-perhaps it was her spoken/his perceived *relationship* to those things? could be.

-and he wanted these assurances after one date? for real?

-he was used to being in an environment where he had a preordained place. perhaps he needs to give himself time and give this poor girl a break.

the dating situation is pretty dire where i live, and just go with me on that, don't question me about it, just trust. so when i think of someone being spurned because they have their decorating shit together, i'm kinda stumped.

one of the things that i love about my home, humble though it is, is that most things have a story. some items i made. some i found on trips abroad. i have gifts of art from friends. there, for me to enjoy, and for you to discover, is my life.

i'd like to think that that's what this woman was saying. and barring any true weirdness on her part that we're just not privy to, i hope she continues to do so.

Anonymous said...

Too bad there aren't that many secure men left in the world.

Right; that's why you're single: too many insecure men.

Anonymous said...

well, yeah - i get it; he's thinking she's a freak perfectionist, so uptight that she'd rather die than have her prop pillows not be perfectly karate-chopped or whatever.

...and he imagines what someone like that is likely to be in bed...

Jenny said...

Great, so my house has got to be OK but not too great...

Check out this - it's sad, his wife died, OK, but when he started dating and visited the houses of his dates... you guessed it, they weren't up to his deceased wife's standards.

And I'm sick of people casting aspersions on cats and how this is an indicator of a woman's Not Quite Rightness. I have cats. Should I wait until I am in a relationship to ask for permission, and if one never comes, never have cats. FFS. Now I'm really cross.

Jenny said...

OOps, did I leave out the link to NYT Modern Love column in second para of my comment?

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