No Job? No Prob!

This week on The Ladies Room (a radio show I do) we heard from a lonely guy who was worried about trying to date when he'd just been laid off from his job. Brooke and Monti (the hosts of the show), as well as myself, have all done our time schtupping the unemployed, and we assured him he should still take a stab at it. Granted, "out-of-work" wasn't a quality that any of us were looking for, but we all dealt with it. It happens—especially these days, when layoffs are epidemic.I decided to take a little poll and ask some other ladies how they felt about dating someone who was down on their luck. Kate, a 33-year-old writer from New York, said, "I like my significant others financially independent, so it would give me pause. But in this economy, unemployment is so common." My old pal Jen reminded me of a significant pet peeve of ours—the "musician" boyfriend! We're not talking about foxy Mark Lanegan types here—we're talking about guys who use their guitars as an excuse not to work on anything more than perfecting their offstage pout. Oh, and picking up girls who aren't you."It's not a dealbreaker, because I've been unemployed a couple times with each of my unemployed boyfriends," Jen said. "However, they did not like me being out of work at all. I was expected to work—no matter how horrendous the job—because they were musicians."(For the five of you who never heard this joke, I give you: What does a stripper do with her asshole before she goes to work? Drops him off at band practice!)My buddy Leah, a naturopathic physician in Portland, asked in response to my query, "Have they been living on unemployment, sitting on the sofa, smoking pot this whole time? Or hittin' the pavement, looking for work?" Good question, and the answer can make a huge difference.The Large Greek went through a brief stint of unemployment a few years back. At first I felt bad for him. After a week of coming home from the office to find him still in his underwear, an empty six-pack by his side, and the apartment filled with cigarette smoke, I started to get angry. Luckily for both of us, he got a job pretty quickly, but I did figure out ways he could've made his unemployment look a whole lot more appealing.For example, if he would've greeted me with candlelight, foot rubs, and a clean-smelling house, I wouldn't have minded the financial hit nearly as much. Hell, he wouldn't have even had to clean that well—as long as he masked the aroma of ball sweat and Marlboro, I would've been happy. And if he'd forgone the online porn in favor of online job searches, that would've gone a long way towards improving my mood. The last thing any woman wants to see when she gets home from a hard day at the office is her partner sitting on the sofa with his dick in his hand and a 40 on the coffee table.But I digress. What this caller was wondering about was dating a new woman. My suggestion was that he be honest about his situation, but also remain motivated in his job search. He should explore new ways to support himself—and no, scratch-off lottery tickets don't count. I have a friend who, while she's looking for full-time employment, is starting a delivery-only bake shop out of her kitchen. Another pal makes doll clothes and sells them on Still another refinishes furniture and sells it on eBay.On the flip side of the coin, ladies, be a little patient if you meet an otherwise great guy who happens to be out of work. Our economy is in the crapper, and when it recovers—and it will—you don't want to have any regrets about ruling someone out because they couldn't afford to wine and dine

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