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The Luv Doc

Loser Musician

Loser Musician
LuvDoc,
I have been living with my boyfriend for nearly four years, and in that time he has never had a full-time job. He does work part-time as a bartender, and that brings in some money ... just enough to contribute his half of the rent but not much more. He says he doesn't want a full-time job because he needs time to work on his music (he is in a band), but he doesn't really make money on his music and never has. Is there anything I can do to get him to start pulling his weight, or should I just give upon him entirely?
-Tired of Going Dutch

Dutch: Is there another type of boyfriend in Austin? If so, no one ever complains about them, so I have to assume that they don't exist. OK, so maybe your boyfriend isn't a highly driven overachiever. Maybe he's not ambitious enough to deal pot to his Frisbee golf buddies ...¦ or run a food trailer that only serves breakfast but doesn't open until 10am. That doesn't mean he's a total lost cause. He might be the next Britt Daniel ... or what about those guys in Ghostland Observatory? Tell me they didn't meet on the assembly line at ThunderCloud! They didn't? Oh ... well ... they totally could have.

That said, I could totally see that if your boyfriend's musical "career" hasn't taken off within the space of an entire presidential term, you have cause to be pessimistic. I mean, what kind of loser can't get it done in 4 years? Right? Yes, it's kind of cool shacking up with a musician until you find out he's riddled with insecurities, self doubt, depression, and bitterness ... a bitterness occasionally obscured by moments of euphoric self absorption. As far as a loving, nurturing relationship? You might as well own a cat.

Even still, that doesn't mean musicians lack discipline and aren't trainable. Au contraire! You think Eric Johnson sits around all day watching Duck Dynasty and smoking White Widow? Well, maybe, but if he is, he's also practicing his scales - watching entranced as his fingers run up and down the frets like spider monkeys on speed. Now admittedly, these type of skills may not seem easily transferable to the work-a-day world, but the commitment and discipline needed to develop them are.

So, feel free to encourage your boyfriend to warmly embrace capitalism and your addiction to it, but know that his priorities may not involve creature comforts like housing, food, and basic health care. If those things are really important to you, maybe he isn't.

Need some advice from the Luv Doc? Send your questions to luvdoc@austinchronicle.com, or check out the Luv Doc Archive.

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