A while ago, I dated a G-U-Y with no J-O-B. He was completely against type for me in appearance but his personality was so much that I ignored my love of chocolate men and shacked up with him like a tethered ball. We did everything together, obviously, since he had no formal employment. We'd see movies in the middle of the day or have lunch or go on walks. It was actually really simple to not spend money. In many ways, you can still have tons of fun and we did. But haters are always lurking and I had some friends who found it lame that I was aligned with someone on the unemployment line.
Look, we all fall on hard times and I firmly believe that everyone is just a lay off away from poverty and while I think what you do for a living is a large part of who you are, I don't think your job makes you who you are. The fact that he had no job didn't matter...well, much. I'll be honest, there were days when I didn't want to go dutch at the movies. There were times when it annoyed me that we had to count coins, but then he'd blow an incoming check on taking me out, making me have the kind of date night he wanted to give me with the funds he didn't usually have and I'd feel stupid. Ridiculous for ignoring all the qualities I liked about him and succumbing to the narrowed opinions. To them it didn't matter that we had more fun than all of their relationships combined-with far less money in our pockets. To them, personality meant less than the overall resume and possibility of a perfectly wrapped future. Nevermind that we were rich in other ways.
When things didn't work out and I was bummed, I was told that I shouldn't lose sleep over a dude without a job. That it was lame. And I moved on, not because he was a dude without a job, but because that's how things work. I've never been one to follow the crowd's appeal. I usually do what I want to do. Blessing. Curse. Sometimes I should listen, sometimes I shouldn't.
But what's funny is that this particular guy's star is on a serious rise now. Months after our demise, he became gainfully employed and all of his hard efforts began to seriously pay off. And, I'll be honest, it's exciting (and sometimes bittersweet) to watch someone talented, hard-working, and deserving get his due. It's even better to see those same people who told me to fall back, so diligently support him. Because while they praise him publicly, I smirk privately, on the sidelines, more or less as supportive as I was before the "fame." He was popular to me long before he was that guy to everyone else. And when he contacted me recently to show gratitude for my being there back when his chips were down (and he was a bit of a mess-his words, not mine), I knew he knew what I knew before they knew it and somewhere, somehow that counts for something. After all, it's a recession, and people should use it as an excuse to date someone for who they are versus what they do for a living. You just might find something worth more than a few dollars in the bank.
Blackie Collins is a Manhattan turned LA girl with a big heart and a closet full of girly things like skirts and heels. She loves laying on the beach, dogs with people names like Linda, hoop earrings, and sky-high platform heels. When she isn't writing, she can be found scouring blogs, brunching with friends, or enjoying happy hour at any hour of the day. Her true passion is boys. It is perhaps the reason she can't get anything done. She lives in a great, rent controlled apartment with a great, uncontrolled dog. She has quite a few parking tickets, and dreams of the day DVF or YSL decide to slum it with a line in Target. Get it in with her at http://thatbitchstolemyline.com, email her at email@example.com, or follow her on Twitter @blackiecollins.