Here‘s a N.Y. Times piece that’s a portrait of GenX males getting older and not getting married — marriage levels are down all over — and just shuffling along and scratching their heads. Written by Eduardo Porter and Michelle O’Donnell, the article is called “Facing Middle Age with No Degree, and No Wife.” It basically says that women with jobs and maturity and a firmer sense of responsibility don’t see that much upside in getting married to some 37 year-old dude who’s trying but not pulling down much of a salary. And so the guys whose careers aren’t going great guns are kind of getting pushed aside.
It seems as if a whole new social class is being formed — single middle-aged pudgeballs. (A pudgeball being a guy who was a major bong-head and ESPN-watcher and Frito-muncher in his 20s and early 30s but is now trying to grim up and fly straighter as he approaches the big four-oh.) Imagine hundreds of thousands of these guys amblin’ into their 40s and 50s, nudging the hockey puck along with the toe of their lace-up Converse shoes.
This ties in on some level to that piece I wrote in early July about “a trend in movies about GenX guys in their early to mid 30s who’re having trouble growing up. Guys who can’t seem to get rolling with a career or commit to a serious relationship or even think about becoming productive, semi-responsible adults, and instead are working dead-end jobs, hanging with the guys all the time, watching ESPN 24/7, eating fritos, getting wasted and popping Vicodins.”