This $26,000 Mistake Cost This Man His Fiancé

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This $26,000 Mistake Cost This Man His Fiancé
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By Lisa Fogarty

The idea that a guy needs a "man cave" has become something of a joke. It's not that it's such a bad thing to yearn for a place where you can escape the pressures of life, or just hide away from the wife and kids. 

But can't this be done in the bedroom or the office? Must a man's private lair contain a pool table and a beer mini fridge or, in Chris Kooluris' case, a $32,000 old-school arcade?

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In 2014, Kooluris, who was a whole grown man of 37 at the time, got so fed up with not feeling like the New York City apartment he shared with his fiancée reflected his style sensibility, that he shelled out big bucks to transform his old bedroom into the 80s arcade of his childhood dreams, complete with Pac-Man and Donkey Kong machines, and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles bedspread.

Considering how no grown woman in the history of ever has dreamt of sharing a Ninja Turtle bed with her husband, it's no wonder this guy's renovation made his fiancé say, "see ya" and break up with him.

This whole mess started when Kooluris decided to sell his apartment and move into his fiancée's place. Blame the bad housing market: his apartment didn't sell quickly and he began feeling "claustrophobic" at his girlfriend's abode.

At the same time, he was apparently reading a sci-fi novel called Ready Player One that made him pine for the video games that he had played as a child.

So, rather than buy an Xbox and a bunch of old games he could play in his spare time, he figured it would make more sense to redo his old bedroom, move back to his old apartment, and chalk it up to being the "extreme reaction of someone who isn't surrounded by his own stuff."

I'll say! Now, I bet I know what you're thinking. This guy must be a real winner. But whatever you're picturing in your mind is wrong.

Kooluris is cute. He has a job — a very good job, actually, as the vice president at a major public relations firm. So, I'm guessing he had the money to spare to make his bedroom look like a geek's paradise, and it's not like he mooched off his girlfriend or anything.

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With all that being said, I can't blame her for kicking him to the curb, and my bet is that video games were the last straw and not the first.

Why the heck couldn't he just talk to her like a normal person and ask to be able to make some part of their apartment his own? If that couldn't work, how about selling both apartments and moving into a brand new (neutral) one together?

And even though the $32K might have been money that Kooluris earned, when you agree to spend the rest of your life together, you also agree to make financial decisions as a team.

I'm not sure if he ran this expense by his fiancée, but, oh boy, if he didn't, I definitely wouldn't have wanted to be around when he dropped that bombshell. If I didn't know better, I'd say Kooluris was actually trying to make his girlfriend leave him. Nah, can't be, right?!

Everything worked out for Kooluris in the end, however, as he took his fifteen minutes of fame and ran with it. He started renting out the room for parties and other events.

You know, in case your idea of a great party is to invite all your friends over to some grown dude's bedroom that was converted into the equivalent of an arcade that teenagers go to hang out at after school. Yeah, I'm pretty sure that you wouldn't even have any friends after suggesting something like that.

And in the most surprising twist of all, Kooluris claimed that his new girlfriend didn't mind his man cave one bit, saying, "She's fine. She doesn't have a problem staying in the arcade."

I'm more shocked by the fact that this guy actually managed to get another girlfriend more than I am that she's fine with his Transformers action figures staring at her every night. 

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Lisa Fogarty is a former newspaper journalist and blogger.

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Editor's Note: This article was originally posted in June 2014 and was updated with the latest information.

This article was originally published at The Stir. Reprinted with permission from the author.