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Single and smiling
Miami Herald ^ | 2/14/03 | Ana Veciana-Suarez

Posted on 02/14/2004 11:12:45 AM PST by qam1

Stacy Hoilett is single. So is her younger sister, Aisha. Today, Valentine's Day, the two plan to ignore the barrage of commercials for flowers, chocolates and diamonds and party hearty with their single friends.

''Just because I'm single, it doesn't mean I'm sitting around the house waiting for the phone to ring,'' says Stacy, 30, a kindergarten teacher. 'We're not hanging around saying, `Poor us.' ''

Aisha, 29, a third-grade teacher, agrees: ``It's just another day.''

In this era of reality television courtship shows like Average Joe and The Bachelorette, the acceptance of singledom may seem a bit odd. But for a growing number of men and women, being single provides many benefits, including privacy and the freedom to come and go as they want.

''I always say golfing is my job and fishing is my hobby,'' says Alex Romani, a 27-year-old golf pro in Fort Lauderdale. ``I love it that I have time to do both.''

Eduardo Dieppa, a 30-year-old accountant, puts it this way: ``If I'm going to be single, I'm going to enjoy it and meet a lot of people. Most of my friends are pretty content with it, and we all enjoy each other. We do go out a lot.''

This doesn't mean that, given the right circumstances and the right person, single people wouldn't couple off. In fact, every singleton interviewed, man or woman, Baby Boomer or Generation X, insisted that meeting a soul mate was still important. They have nothing against marriage, either.

''I have money to travel, I own my own place, and I've got my career, so I'm ready,'' says Dieppa, who will also be finishing his law degree this spring. ``But I'm not going to get into a relationship just to be with someone. It has to be the right person.''

That sentiment -- a preference to go it alone instead of being with the wrong person -- was echoed repeatedly. Listen:

• From Norma Agras, a 52-year-old divorced mother of two grown children: 'I'm not closing myself off to the possibility of meeting someone, but I like my life the way it is. My motto is: `My life, my terms.' ''

• From David Porras, 32, of Williams Island: ``This is temporary, but I'm going to take my time. I want it to be right.''

• And from Romani: ``It's nice to have someone to share things with, but what's the hurry?''

Though 9 of 10 Americans will eventually get married, more and more are postponing marriage. The median age at first marriage for women increased by 4.3 years, to 25.1. between 1970 and 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. For men, the increase was by 3.6 years, to 26.8 years.

The percentage of people who have never married is also increasing. For example, 72.8 percent of women between 20 and 24 had never tied the knot in 2000. In 1970, that was 35.8 percent. As you slide up the age scale -- 25 to 29 -- the percentage of never-marrieds actually tripled, from 10.5 percent to 38.9 percent. The same holds true for men: 51.7 percent of 25- to 29-year-old men were still single in 2000 compared with 19.1 percent in 1970.

SINGLE NATION?

Some say we are approaching the day when the United States will be an unmarried majority nation. Already, 49.5 percent of the country's households are headed by unmarried adults, and even if you factor in cohabitation arrangements, the figure remains high. There are now more households with people living alone -- 26 percent -- than households occupied by married couples with children, 25 percent.

''The assumptions of the '50s don't apply to the 21st century,'' says Thomas F. Coleman, executive director of Unmarried America, a California-based group that bills itself as a civil rights organization working against marital status discrimination. ``It's not a revolution but an evolution.''

In Florida alone, according to 2002 Census data, there were more than 5.2 million unmarried adults, making it one of a handful of states with an unmarried majority (51.1 percent). Of those, 1.8 million lived alone. Some cities scored high on the single household numbers, too: Miami (63.4 percent), Miami Beach (72.6 percent), Fort Lauderdale (67.8 percent), and Hollywood (58.5 percent)

''There are many more choices out there now,'' Coleman adds. ``You can't just turn back the clock.''

THE NEW CONTINUUM

Demographers and sociologists say there are many reasons why we are redefining the traditional school-marriage-children continuum: economically self-sufficient women, high divorce rates, the fear of making a mistake and increased commitment to careers.

''My parents got divorced when I was 13,'' Aisha Hoilett says, ``and that affected me. I want to get married one time, and I want to get it right.''

Whatever their reason for going solo, their sheer numbers are changing the way we think of families, even, perhaps, the way we think of Valentine's Day. Sasha Cagen, a San Francisco writer, has just published a book about this phenomenon. Titled Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics, her book has hit the media circuit with a vehemence. She calls today's singles a group that ``resists the tyranny of coupledom in favor of independent self-expression.''

What's more, being single doesn't mean you're alone. Nor does it mean you're a loner. Quirkyalones, she adds, are actually very social and have many friends.

Last year Cagen organized the first Quirkyalone International Day, celebrated in New York, San Francisco, Providence, R.I., and Glasgow, Scotland. This year parties are also planned in more cities. The date: Today, coinciding with Valentine's Day.

''We're going through a major historical transition,'' Cagen says. ``The meaning of the word itself is changing. It's no longer this pitiful worrisome state. Being single isn't horrible. It's really being seen more as a choice and something that can be positive and fulfilling.''

HIP TO BE SINGLE

Not too long ago, she adds, single women over 25 were considered old maids. Now it's hip to be single. Consider the enormous popularity of Sex and the City, of the advent of single servings, and of housewarming and birthday registries for singles at stores like Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn.

Yet, while the idea of spinsterhood is a blast from the past, women still face a muted social stigma. How else to explain why several women, many of whom are actively dating and successful in their careers, refused to be interviewed for this story?

One, a 30-something, said: ``We talk a good game. Reality is, all of us eventually want to meet that perfect someone.''

Reality is, too, that the pressure grows as women get older. Aisha Hoilett says friends and family often ask her why she hasn't coupled off, and the questions are particularly pointed at weddings and bridal showers.

'You end up asking yourself, `Am I too picky?' But then you hear about a split-up, and I think I would rather be safe than sorry.''


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News
KEYWORDS: singles; valentinesday; waiting4perfection
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1 posted on 02/14/2004 11:12:45 AM PST by qam1
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To: sauropod
read later
2 posted on 02/14/2004 11:15:08 AM PST by sauropod (I'm Happy, You're Happy, We're ALL Happy! I'm happier than a pig in excrement. Can't you just tell?)
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To: sauropod
old hags...
3 posted on 02/14/2004 11:17:14 AM PST by dakine
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To: dakine
I do not share these nags sentiments. I'm 30 and single and unlike these deluded women, am a bit sad I don't have a boyfriend. All I read in this article is 'it's all about me' and all that super single crap. When they're old and have no one, then they'll wish they got married and had some babies.
4 posted on 02/14/2004 11:19:53 AM PST by cyborg
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To: qam1
''Just because I'm single, it doesn't mean I'm sitting around the house waiting for the phone to ring,'' says Stacy, 30, a kindergarten teacher. 'We're not hanging around saying, `Poor us.' ''

Uh huh.

5 posted on 02/14/2004 11:20:17 AM PST by martin_fierro (Chat is my milieu)
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To: qam1; ItsOurTimeNow; PresbyRev; tortoise; Fraulein; StoneColdGOP; Clemenza; malakhi; m18436572; ...
Xer Ping

Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social aspects that directly effects Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1982) including all the spending previous generations (i.e. The Baby Boomers) are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.

Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details.  

6 posted on 02/14/2004 11:20:56 AM PST by qam1 (Are Republicans the party of Reagan or the party of Bloomberg and Pataki?)
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To: cyborg
Exactly...I just see things from the other side, I'm 40, been married 20 years, couldn't imagine it any other way...
7 posted on 02/14/2004 11:22:18 AM PST by dakine
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To: qam1
You end up asking yourself, `Am I too picky?' But then you hear about a split-up, and I think I would rather be safe than sorry.

To regurgitate an old cliche: nothing ventured, nothing gained.

8 posted on 02/14/2004 11:25:10 AM PST by FreedomAvatar (If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate)
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To: qam1
Now it's hip to be single.

Except for homosexuals. They are the only ones for whom marriage is not considered an outdated concept.

9 posted on 02/14/2004 11:26:27 AM PST by Paul Atreides (Is it really so difficult to post the entire article?)
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To: Paul Atreides
yep... seems to me that no one takes getting married seriously anymore
10 posted on 02/14/2004 11:28:08 AM PST by cyborg
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To: dakine
When I was 30, I didn't care I was single either. 30 is young. When I hit 35, then I began to rethink my singleness.
11 posted on 02/14/2004 11:29:28 AM PST by Hildy
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To: FreedomAvatar
You end up asking yourself, `Am I too picky?' But then you hear about a split-up, and I think I would rather be safe than sorry.

To regurgitate an old cliche: nothing ventured, nothing gained.

To offer a new cliche: nothing ventured, 50%+ of your income not lost

12 posted on 02/14/2004 11:30:22 AM PST by qam1 (Are Republicans the party of Reagan or the party of Bloomberg and Pataki?)
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To: qam1
Although I am happily married ... being single is certainly not the end of the world! You can be single and happy too!
13 posted on 02/14/2004 11:32:13 AM PST by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: Hildy
I always got a kick out of seeing 50 year old dads at my kid's ball practices, they looked like grandpas to me...
14 posted on 02/14/2004 11:32:43 AM PST by dakine
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To: cyborg
Hey, I'm 55, single, with no prospects either. Of course, finding a female who shares my passion for classical music is pretty much impossible. That's one of the many reasons I took myself off the market a decade ago.

Having come from a dysfunctional family, I'm all too much aware that not everybody is cut out for marriage and family. Being alone isn't all that bad.

15 posted on 02/14/2004 11:34:17 AM PST by Publius (Die Erde ist gewaltig schön, doch sicher ist sie nicht.)
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To: Publius
By the way, this is the obligatory Valentine's Day "single is OK" story you get once a year.
16 posted on 02/14/2004 11:35:57 AM PST by Hildy
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To: qam1
Some say we are approaching the day when the United States will be an unmarried majority nation

No way. Gay marriages will change that statistic for sure. </ sarcasm >

17 posted on 02/14/2004 11:39:50 AM PST by 3catsanadog (When anything goes, everything does.)
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To: qam1
June, 1998:

Grooming Herself to be a Bride without a Groom

OMAHA, Neb- Janet Downes is sparing no effort for her June 27 wedding.

There will be a choir, a wedding gown, the usual wedding cake and flowers -- but no groom. She is getting married to herself.

Downes, who turns 40 that day, decided on the mock wedding as a way of celebrating the fact that she is "happy with herself", regardless of the men in her life.

She'll exchange vows by reciting in front of a mirror, "I, Janet Downes, take myself with all my strengths and faults..." The music program will include the song "My Way" and a ditty Downes penned herself: "We've got to kiss a lot of frogs/Just to find that prince/You know what girls?/I'm not convinced."

More than 200 friends and relatives, including her fiancé of four years, are expected to attend, but there will be no priest. Downes said she might conduct a legal wedding with her fiancé some time in the future.

Let's not think about her honeymoon, shall we.

18 posted on 02/14/2004 11:42:21 AM PST by martin_fierro (Chat is my milieu)
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To: qam1
Women nowadays have umpteen sexual partners and then expect a perfect man.
19 posted on 02/14/2004 11:42:55 AM PST by 3catsanadog (When anything goes, everything does.)
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To: cyborg
I think the sentiments they are expressing are, more than anything, making the best of a situation they don't especially like. I'm 38 and single, and although I make fun of my married friends, I'd like to be a married man some day. But, I'd rather be alone than with the wrong person, just as what was stated above. I have friends going around for their third time already.
20 posted on 02/14/2004 11:43:26 AM PST by SoDak
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To: Hildy
Yeah, I feel much better already by reading it.
21 posted on 02/14/2004 11:44:22 AM PST by SoDak
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To: Publius
If I'm supposed to be married, I will get married eventually. Finding a man with similar interests who is willing to wait a long time for some sex is near impossible in NY. I see myself not getting married till I'm forty.
22 posted on 02/14/2004 11:44:52 AM PST by cyborg
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To: martin_fierro
delusional... she'll get married to a hitachi magic wand
23 posted on 02/14/2004 11:45:32 AM PST by cyborg
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To: SoDak
I hear you. Some people can't bear to be without someone. Some folks are in social circles where being alone is a stigma.
24 posted on 02/14/2004 11:46:23 AM PST by cyborg
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To: martin_fierro
I wonder what her "wedding" invitation looked like?

Please come to my "It's All About Meeeeeee" wedding celebration. I hope she didn't expect the guests to bring gifts.

25 posted on 02/14/2004 11:46:37 AM PST by 3catsanadog (When anything goes, everything does.)
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To: cyborg

She makes me ashamed to be Korean.

26 posted on 02/14/2004 11:51:05 AM PST by martin_fierro (Chat is my milieu)
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To: cyborg
I agree. I am single, and try to live my life to its fullest, but I do not embrace "singledom", and I would like to be married someday.
27 posted on 02/14/2004 11:51:15 AM PST by gawatchman
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To: martin_fierro
I used to watch her show on ABC. I used to think she was funny before she off the deep end!
28 posted on 02/14/2004 11:53:16 AM PST by cyborg
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To: qam1
"Consider the enormous popularity of Sex and the City"

yeah four single sluts living it up in NYC....and we wonder why the percentage of degenerate scum is swelling. the feminist propagandists are at it once again.

29 posted on 02/14/2004 11:53:43 AM PST by Stellar Dendrite
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To: cyborg
I knew guys in college that couldn't fathom the idea of self-reliance, couldn't ever not have a girlfriend. I couldn't understand that. Many women I have dated in the last few years are amazed that I can cook, clean, and take care of my home without outside help.
30 posted on 02/14/2004 11:54:44 AM PST by SoDak
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To: qam1
Relax and enjoy life....

Valentine is just a big CONSPIRACY of the florist, chocolate and diamond business for the average Joe/Jane herd.

BAAAAAH - BAAAAH
31 posted on 02/14/2004 11:55:07 AM PST by traumer (Even paranoids have enemies)
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To: qam1
To offer a new cliche: nothing ventured, 50%+ of your income not lost

I hear you, brother. Had that happen to me. But I'm dating again albeit with it understood there's no way I'm ever getting married again. Once bitten, twice shy.

32 posted on 02/14/2004 11:56:59 AM PST by FreedomAvatar (If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate)
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To: martin_fierro
"Janet Downes is sparing no effort for her June 27 wedding.
There will be a choir, a wedding gown, the usual wedding cake and flowers -- but no groom. She is getting married to herself."

Can anyone post her wedding night video ? :o)



33 posted on 02/14/2004 11:57:36 AM PST by traumer (Even paranoids have enemies)
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To: cyborg
I can see how you would feel that way, but don't settle! I think the desire to be a mother is strong in most women, and it sounds like that weighs heavily on your mind.

I was married 30 years, now divorced almost a year, and have a junior in high school. Now that I'm uncurled from the fetal position I was in when I learned my marriage was over, I am seeing a LOT of advantages to being single. I'm learning how to selfishlessly indulge myself (within the parameters of being a good mother). This is a new and fun thing for me after so many years of always putting myself second. While I have some sadness about the approaching empty nest, I'm also excited about the possibilities that are ahead of me. I'll never say never, but for now a new relationship is not even on my radar. I love my new independence.

34 posted on 02/14/2004 11:58:30 AM PST by McLynnan
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To: Paul Atreides
LOL! Outstanding point - as usual!
35 posted on 02/14/2004 12:04:23 PM PST by Enterprise ("Do you know who I am?")
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To: cyborg
Finding a man with similar interests who is willing to wait a long time for some sex is near impossible in NY

Finding a man who is straight and not a liberal is difficult in New England and the mid-Atlantic states. Check out the South! Men in the south are gentlemen and their politics tend to be conservative. (They all want sex though)

36 posted on 02/14/2004 12:05:02 PM PST by ladyjane
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To: qam1
I was in no hurry to marry, and found the girl of my dreams and was married at age 40. If you had asked me while I was single if I was happy, I would have to say yes because I was. I am also happy now that I am married.

The people I knew who were unhappy single are still unhappy, married or not.

37 posted on 02/14/2004 12:13:08 PM PST by PackerBoy (Just my opinion ....)
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To: dakine
Yikes! That could be me in a few years. Better lay in a supply of Grecian Formula.
38 posted on 02/14/2004 12:14:21 PM PST by PackerBoy (Just my opinion ....)
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To: 3catsanadog
Kinda Like Sex and the City.
39 posted on 02/14/2004 12:16:17 PM PST by PackerBoy (Just my opinion ....)
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To: cyborg
she'll get married to a hitachi magic wand

I don't get it!

Bwahahahahahahaha!!! (now I do)

40 posted on 02/14/2004 12:19:35 PM PST by EGPWS
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To: PackerBoy
The people I knew who were unhappy single are still unhappy, married or not.

And some people are happy being single, then unhappy being married, and then happy again being single! ; )

41 posted on 02/14/2004 12:21:55 PM PST by EGPWS
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To: ladyjane
You just described this Southern gentleman to a T! ;)

Seriously though. I would be willing to forego sex to cultivate a serious relationship, but that seems to me the quickest way to lose a woman's interest. Maybe that's just my perception, and I don't want to start a war of the sexes but it seems to me that most single women are pretty much equally sex crazed, and just don't admit it.
42 posted on 02/14/2004 12:24:17 PM PST by gawatchman
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To: qam1
IOW people are being raised to be cowards and fear. The don't see the potential good only the inherit risks.

A life without offense, a life without any risk, a life without any pain. They want guarantees in life. They must be democrats. (s)they will want a government mandated dating service next.(/s)
43 posted on 02/14/2004 12:24:23 PM PST by longtermmemmory (Vote!)
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To: 3catsanadog
That selfish woman who finds the perfect man will be very disappointed. He will not want her because the perfect man is looking for the perfect woman.
44 posted on 02/14/2004 12:27:52 PM PST by longtermmemmory (Vote!)
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To: qam1
In Florida alone, according to 2002 Census data, there were more than 5.2 million unmarried adults, making it one of a handful of states with an unmarried majority (51.1 percent). Of those, 1.8 million lived alone. Some cities scored high on the single household numbers, too: Miami (63.4 percent), Miami Beach (72.6 percent), Fort Lauderdale (67.8 percent), and Hollywood (58.5 percent)

Of course those areas are high in the number of singles ... they are FULL of retirees that have become widows / widowers. A high rate of singles is not uncommon in that age range. To draw meaningful conclusions about those choosing to delay marriage or be unattached, the author should have limited their analysis to younger demographics.

45 posted on 02/14/2004 12:28:02 PM PST by RedWhiteBlue
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To: Paul Atreides
'Except for homosexuals. They are the only ones for whom marriage is not considered an outdated concept.'

Touché!

E.C.
46 posted on 02/14/2004 12:29:46 PM PST by EvaClement
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To: RedWhiteBlue
(s)Is a big business conspiracy. Single people mean individual apartments and houses. Individuals who have to shop for homes. Where marriged people buy one. Those same unmarried buy two. They have to drive their one car everywhere instead of married people sharring a ride. This salls more gas. More gas means more oil. More oil means more profits for Halburton. Halburton is Bush. GASP! the Bush administration is keeping women single for more OIL PROFITS!(/s)
47 posted on 02/14/2004 12:37:38 PM PST by longtermmemmory (Vote!)
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To: qam1
I don't know. I was married for 12 years and hated it. I was with the wrong guy and always had a crappy Valentine's Day.

Now that I am single my life has been great!
Just today I have I gotten 3 boxes of Godiva, Hello Kitty jammies, CDs, flowers sent, and many various dinner invites!

I just love being single!

But, to each their own. If marriage works for you, that is great, if not then there is a wonderful life of independence as well.
48 posted on 02/14/2004 12:39:50 PM PST by Aeon Flux ("What does not kill us, makes us stranger" ...Trevor Goodchild)
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To: Hildy
When I was 30, I didn't care I was single either. 30 is young. When I hit 35, then I began to rethink my singleness.

...now that I have hit my 50's, singleness has become a curse. The friends I used to hang with fell by the wayside once they got married. The various aquaintences I have met since those years I really have nothing in common with. Team sports I used to participate in eventually evolved to do it on your own sports as those folks drifted away too.

Fortunately for me, athletic activity has always been a passion and has ultimately sustained me for all these years. I shudder to think what kind of an individual I would be had I not taken to sports and had to deal with living alone for so long without them.

I suspect I would have ended up like that guy you see in your favorite bar who is there till closing time night after night.

2 nights ago I received a call from my friend Ron who is also a lifetime single but at least he has a girlfriend of over 10 years. He called to inform me that one of friends of many, many years ago (Ron went to school with the guy) committed suicide this past week. What a blow to hear that! Ron said he had just talked with him a couple weeks ago and Danny was praising his business and how everything was going so well. Obviously not as well as he let on.

Anyway, Ronnie and I were lamenting the fact that neither one of us had married and had kids.

When you consider the life cycle of the family unit, our parents raised us, reveled in the success of knowing that we never ended up in jail or got killed and enjoyed the remaining years they both had together once we got out on our own. They enjoyed our family get togethers but were probably relieved to get home each evening to the peace and quiet of their own house.

As they got older and more infirm, the kids became more involved in now helping them out as much as they could. Eventually Mom and Dad both passed away leaving the kids to carry on the cycle. As for Ron and I, the cycle will stop with us as we never created families of our own.

I have 2 step-sisters who are much older than I and the law of averages predicts they will pass on before I do. When that happens, the true reality of "singleness" will become all too clear.......

Hopefully, before that happens, I will have been able to find someone to spend the remaining years of my life with.

For all of you with families, you don't know how much I envy you and for all of you who wish you were single, be very careful of what you wish for.....

49 posted on 02/14/2004 12:40:31 PM PST by Hot Tabasco (I've dealt with stupid people for over 32 years. Haven't I earned the right to just shoot them?)
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To: Stellar Dendrite
"Consider the enormous popularity of Sex and the City"

yeah four single sluts living it up in NYC....and we wonder why the percentage of degenerate scum is swelling. the feminist propagandists are at it once again.

There was a news article posted as a thread here a few weeks ago, all about young women who moved to NYC purely to live a "Sex and the City" lifestyle. Of course, it turns out that the lifestyle largely doesn't exist, so they're all miserable, empty and alone as a result.

50 posted on 02/14/2004 12:49:34 PM PST by Timesink (Smacky is power.)
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