Columns, Opinion

SHANFIELD: Facebook on the guest list

I was having a bad day recently and, as per usual, my best friend from home, Janine, was the only one to answer my call. She listened, gave advice and spoon-fed me classic lines like ‘you’re better than him,’ and ‘please don’t set anything on fire.’ A few days later, I got a handmade card in the mail from Janine. It was a beautiful collage of flowers, lace and glittery letters that spelled out my name. The centerpiece was a sticker that read ‘two hearts beat as one.’ I found it very thoughtful, even though the heartbeat thing was a little suspicious. As I was taping it to my wall, I noticed Janine, who had been busy making the ‘save-the-date’ cards for her upcoming wedding, had used bridal magazine scraps and marriage-themed stickers to construct a ‘you-rock-men-suck’ craft for me. At first I thought she was considerate for trying to obstruct the face of a male model in a tux with a metallic flower, but I couldn’t ignore the irony of a sympathy card made from her successes. I’m very happy about Janine’s nuptials, but I can’t help but note the inconvenience it has caused me. First, my ex-boyfriend was the one who broke the news of her engagement to me, which ruined my day. Second, her wedding is two days after my birthday, which is just rude. And third, she’s making us wear brown, which is the same color as death. Janine’s wedding story convinces me that Facebook has confused my generation when it comes to love and marriage. Janine announced her engagement by inviting everyone she knew to a Facebook group titled ‘We’re Getting Married.’ Practical? Yes. But now there are several people who know that the girl they used to sit next to in math is having a white wedding. Is that really how it should be? My senior year has been filled with countless marriage announcements on Facebook. Ryan and Ashley were two people who just liked to hold hands and do it in the bathrooms in middle school. Now they have chosen a venue for their spring wedding. I didn’t need to know this, but now I do, and now I’m thinking about marriage when I’m 21. People also hate to be reminded that they’re single, and Facebook seems to do that every time I log on. A friend from kindergarten sent me a message over the summer that read, ‘I’m getting married New Year’s Eve! There will be lots of handsome single guys there! I suggest bringing a female guest because I’m totally serious about the guys.’ It was like she was cursing me to be ‘single-girl-at-the-wedding’ for the rest of my days. I will always be sitting next to that awkward cousin at the uglies table because I have publicly declared that I don’t understand what the rush to get married is, and will be saying that when I’m 42. I’m not really sure if I believe in marriage. My parents seem to be happily married, but my dad hangs out with a gaggle of divorced tools that sell night-vision goggles and hunt small birds in Mexico. My mom’s friends are divorced women who nickname their boyfriends like they’re in some ‘Sex and the City’ spinoff about old ladies getting laid. It just doesn’t seem possible to find something as good as my parents’ relationship, and the likely end of most marriages is divorce. I don’t have my hopes up. Being alone sounds so fun, too. I will never have to stop buying single servings of Easy Mac and no one will fart on me in bed. I don’t have to worry about childhood obesity or contracting chicken pox. And I will be filthy rich, because how often do you meet an unmarried, unchildren’d bachelorette in her 60s who isn’t driving a Mercedes and dripping in Chanel? Condoleezza Rice comes to mind. And yet, as my senior year goes on, and people are deciding what to do after college, the amount of couples planning to move in together is alarming to me. It’s confusing, because either they’re crazy or I am. I feel immature that I have not reached the point of my life where I can seriously share things with other people, but I also feel lucky that I get to eat this Easy Mac by myself. At first, I was shocked every time I went on Facebook and saw that someone I used to sell pot to was getting hitched. Now it’s starting to normalize. I feel genuinely happy that someone I know gets to be a part of something as exciting as a wedding. Does this mean I’m too old to be shocked at my friends getting married? Am I finally an adult? Either way, I’m not giving up my bed anytime soon. I have the rest of my life to sleep next to a man who is going to fart on me and call it ‘bliss,’ so pass me that Easy Mac, I’m taking advantage.

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