A lot of my friends have been to a lot of weddings this summer. I say “this summer” like it’s not October now, but I’ve learned that wedding season doesn’t end until you can see your breath in the air. Apparently, 32 is the perfect age to get married, because it seems like everyone I’ve heard of who is tying the knot this year is 32 exactly. As friends tend to correlate by age group, this means a lot of people are getting married ALL OF A SUDDEN like, before they expire.
I’m not good enough friends with anyone who was/is getting married to score an invite (except for one, which I’ll get to), but a lot of folks I know have run a non-stop gauntlet of wedding after wedding after wedding, and it’s not even over yet. A lot of these people have grown unusually anxious about finding a husband. (Surprise: these are exclusively hetero women I’m talking about.) Looking around, I see many of the sane, mature, and intelligent weirdos closest to me feeling feelings straight out of the sexist rom coms they (we) usually mock.
I initially thought this was most likely the result not of the weddings themselves, but some deep-seated confidence issues the weddings were merely serving to bring up. Then I went to a wedding. The wedding of my boyfriend’s brother. His younger brother.
You guys, I felt it. For the first time, I felt it.
Right away, I got super weepy. I’ve met the bride and groom approximately three times, but during their exchange of vows, I wept like a baby. Yes, I am an emotional person, and yes, love is beautiful. And yes, they seem like lovely people who deserve good things. But I’m way too selfish to have purely been crying out of happiness for them. Later on, my dude (who was the best man) was talking to someone who brought up the idea that all three brothers could be another brother’s best man if they planned it right, and he made a joke about how he won’t be ready to get married until 2040. AND THEN I WENT IN THE BATHROOM AND CRIED. Not a lot, but enough to have to fix my makeup. Then I came back and said, “DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW OLD MY EGGS ARE GOING TO BE IN 2040?” and laughed a little too loud at my own joke. (Which was not really a joke.)
Initially, this made me think I should write one of those classic contrarian pieces about how, despite being a budding anarcha-feminist skeptical of all institutions, but especially the ones that used to enshrine women’s status as men’s property, I really do want to get married, because I have ovaries! But that rang hollow. The truth is, once the wedding was over, I went back to normal. (As most of my friends seem to be doing as well.) I talked about it a little with my boyfriend, and my opinion on marriage is the same as it was before: it’s something that might make sense to do down the road, but I view it mainly in the abstract, many-years-from-now future. (His is the same.) I like my life the way it is–nay, I love it–and will continue this way until I find a compelling reason to change things up. In fact, I’m so happy with the way things are that I’m mildly afraid to change anything ever, from my job to my hair color, but I realize that’s a problem I’m lucky to have. And as for my old ass eggs, I definitely don’t want children now, and I don’t know if I ever will. So what gives?
I don’t pretend to know completely, but here’s what I’ve come up with as to why you and me and everyone we know gets wedding fever. (As well as some thoughts on what to do about it.)