Friday, August 19, 2011

Last Holdout (pt. 1)

Who is the Last Holdout?

It's a dirty sentence for me to say, but I'm hurtling headlong into the ripe-old-age of 28. My age doesn't bother me. The numbers can't really compare the the rather interesting life I've lived so far. There's been quite a bit of adventure for me, considering I'm still so young.

However, I'm finding myself pushing deeper into a rather imposing and increasingly desolate territory: happily single. Never married. No kids. Some look at me, tilting their heads slightly to the side, thinking "Aww... how sad, maybe someday..." I find the sentiment vaguely understandable - albeit slightly pretentious. However, the pity is unnecessary. I'm happily single. Unattached does not equal alone; childless does not equal unfulfilled.

While I am not lonely, I do find myself at times alienated to some degree. In my post-teen years, the number of my peer group being single was the majority. Yet after age twenty, the singles' scene began a rapid decrease. Although I was still gathered with many single friends and such, I witnessed several friends - close friends - marry, have children, and begin new lives. Now, we've always heard of the phrase "Begin a new life together", but we didn't realize that there was a whole second half of that sentence. The full sentence that needs to be said is "The two will begin a new life together - without you." Somehow it's never been fully explained to me that single people and married people do not really hang out together. There's some sort of threshold crossed once a couple becomes married.

As time went on, I began to see my circle of friends dwindle. We became a tight pack of close-knit friends, but one by one they would marry or perhaps move away to bigger and better places. I myself, moved, and found myself trying to scratch up a new set of single friends. Awkwardness was evident, as I would be invited to "girls nights" that wound up being nothing more than moms babysitting their own kids while watching movies, or starting to overhear more and more about marriage woes. The most awkward, naturally, is the dreaded questions or "cute" comments pointed in my direction about when I was going to ante-up to the matrimony gods and begin my procreation (anyone else get the "You're next" statement at a wedding?). Or worse - being asked if I was lesbian "because you just don't seem to be interested in dating..."

After a lot of frustration I began to learn the ultimate truth that I was a Last Holdout. What's that, you ask? A Last Holdout is a person who's managed to make it past the age group that most people get married. Simply put, it's the chronically single person in a world that believes it shan't be single. It's a very singular (no pun intended) position in society, one that holds frustrations and certain moments of alienation, yet has equally fantastic opportunities and perks that only us Last Holdouts can reach.

Could I Be a Last Holdout?

Mostly, people hit that feeling of being "the only single person left on the planet" once they reach 26. I don't know why we pair up in only about 6 years or so, but that seems to be a biological clock that just doesn't change (and why would we?). Ergo, if you're only 19 and you think you're a Holdout? You probably just didn't have many friends to begin with. There's plenty of single friends to be had. But if you can relate to the above, you're likely to be a Holdout. A few more symptoms are things such as finding that you make or have more friends outside of your age group, and of course being the only single person on the girls/guys night. I think most people are capable of diagnosing themselves.

It's a great and terrible position to be in, depending on how much you want to be married. I myself enjoy the freedoms of single life, so I'm finding new perks of being a Holdout. However, there's a lot that we all (Holdouts, young singles, and married people) need to learn to properly utilize the lofty - yet precarious - place.

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