Interesting NYT piece about four college buddies approaching 40 who have been living together in NYC for most of their adult lives. Excerpts:
Mr. Dempsey at one point took a job as a data analyst at Pfizer that gave him health insurance and a paid vacation for the first time in his life. But he felt stifled by full-time office culture, preferring to work part time for a Web design company and pursue a career in the fitness industry while phasing out his acting career. “To my friends who were married and had kids, what I did was incomprehensible,” he said. “I knew that if I’d stayed, I’d probably be making tons of money, but I would have been unhappy.”
Soon he was completely eschewing Off-Off Broadway to become a personal trainer, and this fall he is to begin pursuing a degree in physical therapy. He said he felt insecure about his choices sometimes, but the benefits of his alternative, Fortress Astoria-based lifestyle have outweighed the losses.
“The freedom this has allowed me to have — to figure out my own quirks and foibles — has been much more important than investing in things that might have tied me down to something that would have kept me from figuring those other things out,” he said.
Splashed across the men’s refrigerator are wedding and birth announcements — “the people who are growing up around us,” as Mr. Theerakulstit puts it.
“None of us has invested in a career, or property, or family. And I think about this, obviously,” Mr. Crane said, adding that, in the past, he had had two serious girlfriends who wanted him to move in with them. Both times he chose to stay put.
But he is all right with that choice. Many of his friends, Mr. Crane said, got married in their 20s and early 30s, and now many of them are unhappy and divorcing. He said he was confident that he and his roommates had avoided “that first unhappy marriage.”
“I think the secret to our success is that we don’t think too much about the future,” Mr. Crane said.
Somehow, these boys and their game bring to mind a passage from Richard Weaver:
His life is practice without theory. As problems crowded upon him, he deepens confusion by meeting them with ad hoc policies. Secretly he hungers for truth but consoles himself with the thought that life should be experimental. He sees his institutions crumbling and rationalizes with talk of emancipation.