Even as business-sections of newspapers start to sound more optimistic, the negativity surrounding the economy continues to seep into other sections, like the Style section of the NYT.
The paper ran a story this weekend about Michael Blattman of New Rochelle, who was once a high-paid executive in the student loan industry. But then he got a divorce. And then he lost his job. And it’s a horrible time to be a 58-year old unemployed former executive in the student loan industry.
Being single, he wants to be in New York City, but lives in a studio apartment in this middle-class suburb, because rents are cheaper. He let his online dating membership lapse because, he says, once women figured out he was unemployed, it killed things. He can walk to shopping, but often drives his secondhand S.U.V. to a grocery store two towns away just to have someplace to go. “If I walk to the store, I’m back in 10 minutes, and then what?” Last Monday, asked what he had planned for the week, he said, “As of now, I have zero planned, not a thing.”
He has enough to live on for two to three years and knows he’s luckier than many. Still, he wakes in the night, scared. “If I don’t find work by then,” he says, “I don’t know what I’ll do.”
In the meantime, he’s written one novel, and has plans to write a second.