It’s a tale as old as Thom, that handsome new guy you’ve been seeing with the surprisingly flexible schedule. He seems perfect, but with more than 60,000 Angelinos lacking a stable, permanent residence, you have to ask yourself: Could your new man be homeless?
Here are four questions to ask yourself before deciding whether to take him back to your place for the night for a hot meal and a place to sleep.
- Are his tattered clothes high fashion?
Differences between the homeless and ultra-rich have blurred in recent years. Not economic differences, wealth inequity has reached record highs, but certainly when it comes to how they dress. Today’s richest and poorest bachelors all wear the same 90s street clothes, the only difference being some get their clothes from a thrift store while others get clothes that only look like it came from a thrift store.
While it can be hard to tell whether your new man is dressed in a couture oversized gray T-shirt with fashion holes (HOT!) or a gross oversized gray T-Shirt filled with poverty holes (EW!), a simple trick is to compliment his sneakers. If he says anything other than “thanks” or “huh?” then he is loaded! Poor people don’t have time to memorize shoe names.
2. How often does he hit the gym?
We all want a man with six-pack abs, and your new guy has some to spare. He always seems to be coming from the gym when he meets you for your dates, but is he spending all his time working out because he wants to look his best or because the gym is a place where someone can shower and take a long poo without being bothered?
Homelessness affects more than just that crazy guy screaming on the corner. In fact, most of L.A.’s homeless have jobs but still can’t afford the ever-increasing costs of living in Los Angeles even though they work hard and enjoy less expensive necessities like gym memberships and weed.
Quick Tip: If he has a membership to a 24-hour Fitness then he probably is homeless. If he has an Equinox membership then he’s rich but probably uncomfortably into BDSM.
3. Is he trying to make it in Hollywood?
Lots of people come to Los Angeles to make it in the entertainment industry, and many of those people end up homeless.
A quick rule of thumb, which may seem counterintuitive at first, is if your new guy has a low or no-paying internship then he is probably not secretly homeless and has loads of family money. Low paying assistant jobs in Hollywood are damn near impossible to get if you don’t already have high-level connections to the industry and only the ultra-rich can afford to take a job that pays in experience.
If your man isn’t at the bottom-most rung of the Hollywood machine, you may need to consider the type of art he is pursuing. Here are some quick tips:
Actors: The better looking he is the more likely he is homeless. Great looking guys from Missouri come to Los Angeles every day without having had to develop the life skills that average and below-average looking men need to obtain for basic survival. Just make sure that your new guy isn’t actually the handsome son of a famous Hollywood actor. The last thing you want is to repeat my mistake by assuming your new boyfriend is homeless when it turns out he is actually Kurt Russell’s son.
Musicians: They are notoriously difficult to categorize, but you should assume that if he plays guitar in a band that could have been popular in the late 80s and early 90s, then he is either homeless or will be at some point.
Screenwriters: As a rule of thumb, all aspiring screenwriters are homeless.
4. Is he way out of your league?
It’s your typical meet-cute: You’re passing by the dumpster of a Whole Foods when you hear a rustling come from inside it. You assume its a raccoon or opossum, but then you hear someone start to hum a Phish song in between rants about corruption in the agricultural industry. You stop to listen for a moment when suddenly he emerges, and oh my god is he gorg.
His name is Thom and when you ask if he is one of those “Freegans” you have always heard about but were pretty sure didn’t really exist he says “let’s not talk about me, tell me about yourself.” You start hearing wedding bells, but it turns out to just be an alarm from the CVS down the street where Thom’s friend “Mayo” went to liberate a box of Sudafed. “Don’t worry about Mayo, he’s harmless,” Thom tells you as Mayo hyperventilates his way through the alley screaming “we got to go!”
You and Thom agree to meet that evening at “The Overpass”, a place you assumed was a trendy bar but turns out is an actual freeway overpass where Thom likes to hang out. As you spend the evening listening to Thom’s opinions on Maoist China, you find yourself too distracted by his perfect cheekbones and muscular arms to track his arguments. You don’t even mind his dredlocks which on other men would be problematic but on Thom make sense.
“Could this really be happening?” you ask yourself as Thom leans in, a bit smelly, and asks if you wanted to go back…to your place? Your heart races, he’s not like the other boys you dated. He’s so interesting and handsome and, oh god dammit he’s homeless and needs a place to sleep for the night, isn’t he?
Testing the waters, you tell him you can’t take him back to your apartment but that maybe they could go back to his place. He tells you that he can’t. You press him and after a few minutes of needling, he admits that he is embarrassed about where he lives. Poor thing, so handsome. So you tell him that he doesn’t have to be embarrassed about living under a North Hollywood overpass.
He looks at you like you are crazy. “I don’t live here. Do you think I’m homeless?” he asks.
You struggle to answer. “I, I, I assumed because of how you are dressed.”
He laughs. “How I’m dressed? This is a $600 couture oversized gray T-shirt with fashion holes!” You ask him about hanging out in the dumpster, which he chalks up to his Freegan lifestyle. It turns out that Mayo is actually very homeless though.
You feel like you’ve blown it with Thom, who it turns out is an aspiring actor and is the middle son of Kurt Russel and Goldie Hawn. You ask him what Kate Hudson is like and he tells you that they aren’t close.
As you and Thom Russel sit under the overpass in a moment of awkward silence you turn to him. “I actually think we maybe should go back to my place.”
He laughs to himself. “Now that you found out I am rich I can come back home with you?” You just smile, not knowing how to respond to being so transparently caught.
“I was hoping you were different. This could have been nice,” he says as he stands up and walks toward his Audi parked on the curb.
As you contemplate what could have been Mayo comes up to you. “I’ll still go back to your place.” You politely decline. “Well, fuck you, bitch!” he says, before adding, “spare any change?” You give Mayo a few bucks and head back toward your own car, frustrated you didn’t ask why Thom and Kate Hudson aren’t on speaking terms.