A Bad Deal for Bachelors?

The New York Times recently wrote of the "decline and fall of the bachelor pad." Specifically, the article noted the economy's effect on single men, and their retreat from pimped-out residents due to a reported average of 7.4 percent unemployment in the 20 to 34-year-old age range.

(Goodbye, flush, flash days of the entertainment-slash-romance bed. You'll be missed forgotten.)

But before these bachelors retreat to their mini-me man caves for a very private crying session, can we take a closer look? Maybe being a bachelor ain't so bad after all.

Maybe there's something to be said for recessionary chic...

Take interviewee Jason Brooks, 36, as an example. As a bachelor he spent $3,500 for a place in the Financial District. Then he got married and spent $5,000 a month for a posh TriBeCa loft in which he devoted not one, but two, walls to displaying his sneaker collection. Apparently his wife used a pair of these and ran from that arrangement; the now-divorced Brooks today pays $1,600 a month for a cramped studio.

Brooks whines that his new place is like an "airplane cabin" - but where was the largess in the $5,000/month loft? He "upgraded" to a wife, but proportionately spent less. If he was spending $3,500/month living alone, doesn't it follow that together they should have paid $7,000 a month?

Of course, the whole point in shared living is reduced costs. We get that. But it does appear that Brooks is chewing a bit of "humble pie" to digest the fact that his current bachelor lifestyle is about a third of former bachelor lifestyle.

Ditto for the other bachelors featured.

So you're spending a third of your former rent? Barring necessities like heat, isn't that a good thing? Says Brooks, "The great thing about a recession is that girls are not going to pass you up," he said, "because every other guy they are meeting isn't doing that great either."

Indeed. Time to shift focus to something more meaningful and entirely free - say, conversation?
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