Let it be known I am NOT a fan of the holiday season. I don’t necessarily enjoy spending time with my family because they tend to remind me of my ever-present shortcomings and failures. I don’t like the crowds at the mall of people buying gifts for loved ones when I’m just trying to drown my sorrows with a $400 M.A.C. bender (I have a problem, whatever, we all have our vices). I don’t like the copious amounts of carb-laden food being forced onto my plate when I’m trying to stay thin without ever actually going to the gym (more on that at another time). Most of all, I don’t like the dramatic increase of happy couples getting engaged and spreading their perfectly
disgusting wonderful love life and news thereof all over social media.
There’s never a good time to get engaged if you’re anywhere near my age (at least while I’m still painfully single), but it’s actually just fucking rude to decide to load onto the misery of the holiday season by throwing an engagement in everyone’s face.
The older I get, the more plentiful the annoying “ENGAGED” Facebook relationship status changes seem to be. In past years, I used to wager which of my older friends would be getting engaged, and would actually welcome the delightful news when it appeared on my newsfeed that a ring of betrothal was accepted. Now, I live in fear of logging into the good old FB and seeing yet ANOTHER announcement plastered everywhere.
Holiday engagements are even worse than regular engagements if you’re single because they.all.happen.at.fucking.once. I’m not kidding. Somehow, within the time frame from Thanksgiving (who the hell gets engaged on THANKSGIVING by the way. Sick) to New Years, if you’re over the age of 24, it’s almost as if you can EXPECT a minimum of four engagements to occur – and that’s four too many.
Most people in their twenties get through the holiday season by the skin of their teeth, considering we’re all broke, and dreading going home and dealing with family, and living in fear of letting our family and friends know how broke and dreadful we are, so we wind up spending money we don’t have (listen, Capital One, YOU’LL GET IT WHEN YOU GET IT, OKAY), in an attempt to look as if we have our lives together by buying semi-decent gifts. In reality, most of us can barely afford to give our family members a new toothbrush, never mind pitch in to buy Mom a new Keurig, which pray tell, we’ll never figure out why she needs a NEW one, since the old one still works. Throwing an emotional tornado at people by getting engaged over the holidays is just too much for most to bear.
Being older than 24 somehow opens up a window to your life where people allow themselves to peek their heads in and ask you terrible, intrusive questions, such as, “are you dating anyone?” and “can you see yourself settling down anytime soon?” and “will you please put some pants on, we have company over?” The worst. In prior years, it was easy to dodge any questions about your love life, or lack thereof, because you were obviously too young and too engrossed in your studies (I almost got through that without laughing to myself) to be serious about dating anyone. After you’ve been out of school for a few years, people assume you’re at a point in your life where finding a nice boy and settling down seems to be the next logical step, even though, realistically, you’re more likely to tell people, “no, I’m actually just at a point where I’m finally comfortable admitting I buy boxes of wine instead of bottles.”
Try as you might convince your grandmother that being 26 and single does not make you a spinster, there’s always a few assholes the same age as you blowing up your spot by getting engaged and flaunting their happiness to the world.
If there were a way to block all Facebook posts containing the words, “I SAID YES!” and “WE’RE ENGAGED” from the months of November until the New Year, I would sign up for that feature. It’s not that I’m not happy for people who have figured out how to trick a boy into buying them a diamond (that’s a lie, I’m not), it’s just that the holiday season gives me an overwhelming sense of how incredibly alone I am.
Statistically speaking, if the rate of engagements only increases as the years go on, there are only a limited number of years before I’m THE ONLY PERSON I KNOW who isn’t holding a glass of egg nog with a diamond ring adorned left hand. That’s not even me being pessimistic, that’s math.
After a while, every engagement announcement seems to look the same. You can only see so many girls flashing a diamond in front of a camera with the caption “I SAID YES” (of course you fucking did, by the way. Do you think you said no and he let you try on the ring just for fun?) before you have a hard time differentiating between your former sorority sister and that weird girl from middle school. Also, if you’re unfortunate enough to be close to the people getting engaged, you have to calm your nerves and brace yourself for the upcoming costs incurred by participating in someone’s wedding. You suddenly start to panic and think you shouldn’t have asked for clothes this year, and should have just asked for a few sensible sets of stemware you could easily re-gift as a shower present. You let your New Year’s Eve plans be over shadowed by needing to congratulate someone on succeeding at something you’ve failed miserably at.
Don’t even get me STARTED on being PART of someone’s grand proposal scheme. All you wanted to do was spike the punch and give Aunt Ethel a few too many glasses of white zin, not be part of some elaborate romantic gesture at the family get-together because your cousin is an over zealous prick who is SO IN LOVE with his girlfriend he has to ruin everyone else’s good time by showing it. Fuck that.
Holiday engagements are the WORST. If you’re in a stable and loving relationship, PLEASE, I BEG OF YOU, propose at any time of year BUT the holidays. All you’re doing is tainting the holiday season and shifting the focus from what it should really be about:
binge drinking in front of the tree while drunk dialing your ex, friends, family, togetherness, whatever, and onto you.
Also, if everyone keeps getting engaged at the same time, they’re really not allowing me to judge people’s rings/wedding planning process at miscellaneous intervals.