Wanted: Ball and Chain?

I’ve been doing some thinking about my life. Like, the fact that when it all goes to shit, there’s no Plan B. I mean, really, when the savings run out and the job offers don’t come through, who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters ain’t gonna pick up, yo.

I’ve also been doing a lot of reading about this generation of men. The Atlantic has a (loooooong) great article on The End of Men. And, really, would my life be any different if the species went extinct? *looks around* Nope, not really.

A lesser article, but with more sound bites, was in Slate last week: Sex is Cheap: Why young men have the upper hand in bed, even when they’re failing in life.

The subtitle of the article reeled me in, as one of those girls who never really had much in the way of standards. Of course, back in the day, I could at least fool myself that the guy without a job but who managed to somehow fund his pot habit was going to find his way and be a powerful, highly paid executive someday.

In some cases, it was probably true. Shit, I found out that one of the biggest man-whores alive has now settled in with his wife and two daughters in Japan. Him! With daughters! He used to say he was bi, and I said it was more like “first available” — whoever strolled into the restaurant was seated (and humped) immediately!

In other cases, not so much. (I love Facebook.) If I had met Mr. First Available (as he was then) today, I wouldn’t be thinking about how awesome he was going to turn out. I’d probably have a heart attack from how far and fast I’d be running to get away from him. Much harder to find the potential at this age. It was way easier to dream back then. Everyone has become who they were supposed to be. Including us girls. Reality is way harder to overcome at this stage.

Ahem. Back to the article.

There was a line in there from a college senior who referred to men as “the new ball and chain.”


Going back to the sex part, I admit those of us in the female set who might be referred to as a “catch” at some point have settled for far less than we deserve. I remember when foreplay was fun. And when it existed. Shit, these days, not only is a man buying his own dinner the only foreplay I’ll get, but that’s on a GOOD night. If he buys mine too, fuck, I’ll get off right at the damn table. Lord knows men over 30 (or 40 … or 50 …) don’t last like they used to!

TMI? Well, isn’t it better than me whining about the workforce? 😉

What I found most interesting from the article in The Atlantic was that cougars are no longer being looked at as preying upon younger men. Instead, they (and, soon, “we” — *sob*) are actually super-desirable by the younger men who are, say, less-eligible than gals their own age would like.

What a change, and a good one at that. Funny how we go from dating older guys to find people on our maturity level, to dating younger guys to take advantage of dual sexual peaks that never before had the opportunity to overlap.

I overheard a guy the other day outside of Starbucks bragging that his girlfriend is 25. I whipped around to see him sitting on a moped (not a Harley or any of those snazzy Japanese imports), with a black ballcap covering his white hair. He wasn’t even cute. No sparkle or anything remotely “Ah, I get the attraction!” about him.

I felt sorry for him. For middle-aged white men in general, actually. That he had to announce his girlfriend’s age to the entirety of Thornton Park. That he had to announce having a girlfriend because no one would think he had one otherwise. I mean, if women really do have the pick of the litter, his girl had to be missing a frontal lobe or close-up vision.

In any case, I think I’ve always acted like a man around men because that’s how I was “brought up,” so to speak. I’ve always had guy friends and I know what they want. But you know what? Not only have I not been overly happy, but they settle down with the girls who are clear that they are the marrying type.

Don’t get me wrong — I really haven’t wanted to get married to anyone I’ve known. So I’m OK with the arrangements that I’ve been a part of. But if I put it out into the universe that I’m looking for marriage material, I wonder how different the men who come into my life will be from their predecessors.

Of course, I’d have to put it out there that I would now want to BE marriage material myself. And that’s a whole ‘nother article that ain’t been written yet.

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