Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Always a Groomsman, Never a Groom

As I was watching Scrubs tonight, it happened to be the episode where Carla agrees to marry Turk.  The end scene so perfectly illustrated exactly how I’ve been feeling over the last six months to a year.

At the beginning of the scene Turk comes running through the park to a bench where Carla was sitting and waiting for him. Turk, as is tradition, gets down on one knee to propose.  As he does, Carla initially says no, as that had been the running gag of the episode, but quickly lets a wry smile come across her face as she says yes.

After she says yes, the two of them embrace as the camera pulls back.  Entering the scene is JD, Turk’s best friend, with sparklers in each hand, running around the joyous couple, living vicariously in the aura of their good fortune.

It’s JD that I find myself most identifying with.  In the past year or so it seems like just about everyone I know is either married, engaged, or pretty damn close to getting engaged.  Heck, one of my friends and coworkers just got engaged himself a couple of weeks ago, much to my surprise.  

Being almost 25, having friends in the same age range and somewhat older, and living in a very conservative area, this is definitely the age at which most people are getting married.  Since I’m not, I’ve felt a lot like JD—surrounded by other’s good fortune and basking in the glow of their joys.

There’s definitely a lot of pressure with just about everyone in my circle of friends being hitched, getting hitched, or being practically hitched, that sometimes I feel like I’m the odd man out.  At times, this is actually the case.

With most of my friends being married, there obviously comes compromises in the scope of those friendships. No longer am I always the first choice to go do things with.  Time spent with “the gang” is less and less as the other half requires more and more of their attention.  I’m not criticizing that at all as I’m sure I’ll be the same way, but sometimes it’s hard to be the one left in the cold, all alone, while your friends are off with their families.

In dealing with these changing priorities in friendships, I have become deeper in touch with myself.  I no longer feel afraid to be by myself, alone with only my company to keep my occupied.  Sure, I still would rather be with people most of the time, but I’m also more comfortable in my own skin.  The only problem with that is I’ve come to the realization that a lot of the time I’d like to trade in this skin for someone else’s.  

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