Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

But You’re A Cashier

There’s this episode where Jerry gets dumped by his  after she goes to see his act and doesn’t think he’s funny.  She tells him that she can’t date anyone who’s work she doesn’t respect.  His response is, “but you’re a cashier”.  I think the funniest line in the episode is his reply, “but you’re a cashier.”

I live and date in , which means that I come across a lot of single guys who work or dabble in one artistic pursuit or the other.  And yes, whether or not I respect what they do is an issue.  One that comes up quite a bit.

Not too long ago I was emailing back and forth with a guy I met online.  He seemed like a .  And he made his living as an artist.  A pretty decent living from what I could tell, in fact.  After a handful of emails he sent me a link to his website, so that I could see his work.  And well, that was it.  I lost complete interest in him.  His work was so, um, bad.

Yeah, artistic taste is subjective.  There are plenty of works of art hanging in museums that I don’t like.  And his work was selling, so someone liked it.  But I didn’t.

A similar thing happened a few months earlier with a musician/songwriter/real-estate broker.  He offered me the link to his myspace page so that I could hear his songs and yuck.  I suddenly found myself not wanting to meet him.

I called one of my male single friends and checked in with him about this (he happens to work in the arts and so I thought his opinion would be particularly useful).  He said he felt the same way.  He couldn’t date a musician who’s music he hated or an actor who couldn’t act, etc.

Which leads me to these two things:

1)  I’ve had men I dated ask to read my “serious writing”.  And I’ve had them then not comment on it.  One of them went so far as to make a big show of buying a new printer so that he could print things out to read them.  Maybe he hated my work but couldn’t bring himself to tell me.  And maybe it affected the way he felt about me.

2)  There is a man I am currently emailing with online.  He makes his living in the arts.  Maybe I shouldn’t go check out his website?  Maybe the whole concept of having to respect someone’s work is just absolutely ridiculous?  Or maybe I should rush there right now before we meet so that I don’t waste any more time with him?


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9 to “But You’re A Cashier”


  1. Teifion says:

    If it’s a possibly serious turn-off for you then I think you should enquire about it now. If it’s going to go bad at some time or another then the sooner the better (in my opinion). Many men find larger ladies completely unattractive, it’s considered completely normal and acceptable. I don’t see how this is any different, minus of course you being a lady and not a guy ;)

  2. Singlegal says:

    You’re right to feel how you feel. Ex was an artist whose work I occasionally liked, but often didn’t. What it lead to was kind of this constant game of how I could placate him while supporting him, and I have to tell you, it’s very one-sided. It probably won’t work unless it is something you truly can relate too – and if you don’t save yourself both the time and energy.
    Good luck!

  3. The Wise Retired One says:

    I have been reading your blog for some time, but never registered before to leave comments. But, decided to start.

    I don’t think it is a good idea to “screen” potential dates/people by looking too soon at their music or art before getting to know them. Because then you are judging them too much on just one aspect of their personality.
    Think of yourself. Would you want a potential partner judging you on just ONE aspect of your personality?
    I think you are therefore eliminating some very good prospects…..not at their loss..but yours.
    Be more open and not so fast to make black and white decisions based on only one thing about someone.
    And for those that say: “Your time is too important to waste on someone that doesn’t interest you”???
    Well, like Dr. Phil says that makes sense (whether you like him or not): “How is that working for you?”?????????

  4. iamalejandra says:

    I don’t think it matters. If I meet a guy who has a desk job I don’t go into his office and evaluate his performance or how neat his desk is or how he writes reports. Why should I do the same about somebody who’s an artist?
    (BTW, I totally don’t know if I am successfully conveying what I have in my head LOL).

  5. SINgleGIRL says:

    -Teifion
    It has been, in the past, a serious turn off. But I’m rethinking whether or not it should be, just like I’m rethinking so many of the other things I used to think were important (whether or not there was chemistry with a guy right away is another biggie).
    -Singlegal
    Thank you so much for commenting, as you have real experience with this. When you first met Ex, and you saw his work, did you get negative or positive or mixed vibes from it? I’ve dated guys who’s artistic work I got very mixed vibes from (in one case I really hated some of what he did and I didn’t really try to pretend otherwise – I just said it wasn’t my thing). Like you said, when you care about someone you need to support their artistic work. Ugh.
    -The Wise Retired One,
    Welcome. I’m glad you decided to comment. And I don’t think you’re wrong. I fear I might have eliminated men who were decent guys for shallow reasons in the past. And no, what I’ve been doing hasn’t been working for me (damn that Dr. Phil), which I why I drive myself crazy rethinking everything.
    -iamalejandra ,
    What you wrote makes sense. Why am I holding men in the arts to different standards? That’s really why the punchline of the Seinfeld episode is, “but you’re a cashier”. His level of talent as a comedian mattered, but her level of talent as a cashier? If I dated an accountant would it matter to me if he were a brilliant accountant? I don’t know. I just know that, in the past, this was kind of a big dealbreaker for me and when a guy would send me a link to his website I would click on it with fear.

  6. Mhlia says:

    Interesting post today! This made me think about how someone you might now know very well is someone that you might not find attractive. However, once you get to know that person, like them, etc, suddenly he becomes so much more attractive. Could this happen to you with their art? Once you understand the person or understand the techniques involved you might appreciate it more? In which case, maybe best to hold off. Personally, I can’t say. I always stayed as far away from the artists (or at least the serious artists) as possible! They always seemed to have too many issues for me! :)

  7. SpikeTheLobster says:

    I don’t think I could or would stay with someone whose work I disliked. Art in particular may be very subjective, but I believe that’s the important thing: if I *HATE* what they’re producing (or at least dislike it a lot), then surely that’s an external representation of something inside them that they’re expressing in their art… which I hate. No way. I’d rather spend time with someone I appreciate, thank you. Or a cashier.

  8. derek7272 says:

    Personally, I don’t think I’d care that much. Of course you want a S.O. that you can be proud of and respect, but people are more their art.

  9. SINgleGIRL says:

    -Mhalia,
    What an interesting way to look at it. Hmmm. There are just so many guys in the arts in NYC and so many of them are really interesting men. Yes, some of them come with extra issues, but everyone’s got their own baggage :-)
    -SpikeTheLobster,
    Yep. I hear you. That is exactly what I used to think. This rethinking all your preconceived notions is a hassle. Because I want to disagree with my old self. But I really don’t.
    -derek7272
    Yes, people are more than their art. But if you’ve never spent a lot of time with a working artist you know that their art is very must a part of them. Dating a songwriter whose songs you found insipid and mundane would mean either a) lying to that person or b) risk hurting the person’s feelings. Ugh.