words for 2013
January 7, 2013

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.

-Mary Oliver, “Wild Geese”

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engagement season
January 7, 2010

One of my new year’s resolutions (in addition to CALM THE FUCK DOWN, a perennial favorite) is to stop talking about all things wedding-related.

And I’m going to get on that, I swear. Starting tomorrow.

Because before the moratorium kicks in, it must be documented that everyone and their mother has gotten engaged over the past four weeks. Like, actually. One of my friend’s mothers just got engaged.

I can’t figure out if this is symptomatic of the holidays, an aberration that we’ll see crop up every December from here on out. Or – the scarier possibility – if this is just the start of the Wave. You know, the Wave of adulthood. Whereby everyone stops getting carded and starts getting married, gives birth, joins the PTA and then gets old and dies. Or at least stops going to happy hour.

This isn’t just about having no free weekends in June, you see. This is serious.

The thought of this string of engagements continuing at the pace that’s been set since Thanksgiving is completely petrifying to me. The announcements are no longer limited to the couple that’s been dating since they were 10 or the couple that refuses to have sex without a ring. I’ve seen ex-hookups, ex-boyfriends, guys who cheated on their now-fiancees with my friends, kids who were my reporters at the college paper, a couple that met on Jdate eight months ago – all go down once the temperature dropped.

I know that I could ignore all the talk, somehow filter out those engagement announcements on my Facebook newsfeed. But the truth is…I love weddings. I’m a little obsessed, actually. Which is where the resolution comes in.

Yes, I’m super-sarcastic and cynical and have been told I have a heart of ice. But I love jewelry. I love dresses (true story: as a child, my parents would punish me by forcing me to wear pants for weeks at a time.) I love parties. I love being the center of attention and spending my parents’ money (just kidding about that last one, Mom!) Oh, and I kind of love my boyfriend too.

It’s a recipe for disaster. Said obsession combined with my expert reporting skills means that I’m basically aware of every engagement in the tri-state area. And some on the West Coast too.

It needs to stop, and not just because Dave has started automatically crossing the street when we pass by the boutique bridal shop in my neighborhood. It’s because as much as I can’t help pointing out every single jewelry store billboard that dots Philly’s diamond district, in actuality, I’m not that girl. I don’t really want to get married super young – at least not for the right reasons – and I don’t really feel the need to have a ring on my finger when I’m already living with the guy who’s probably sticking around forever. As much as my outdoorsy brothers like to think I’m just a ditz with a credit card (cue Cher Horowitz), it’s not true. I have a good head on my shoulders, and I know what’s important in life. It’s just that sometimes the glitz and the gossip distract me. Which is why, unlike all those people swearing to lose twenty pounds in 2010, I’m actually going to follow through with my resolution this year. After all, there are a lot of cute dresses out there, and not all of them are white.