Everybody's getting married, and they can't wait to tell us all about it on the internet.
When it comes to my friends and family, I’m genuinely happy for them when they utter, “’til death do us part.” My mom, dad, and sister all got married within three years of each other (literally—winter 2008, summer 2009, and spring 2010 respectively). It’s not that weddings bug me – I’m just tired of hearing about, reading about, and living and breathing the marriages of people I don’t care about. Maybe it’s my own damn fault for being a Facebook addict and having so many individuals on my friends list whom I don’t actually talk to in real life, but having it constantly thrown in my face is getting really old. (If I still watched TV, it would be even worse; Real Housewives, Say Yes to the Dress, and Bridalplasty? No thanks.)
Dozens of my old classmates have gotten married within the last few years, and their wedding albums, honeymoon albums, changed names, and self-congratulatory status messages litter my news feed every day. Okay, so you threw an expensive-ass party, bought a couple of shiny things, signed some papers, and perhaps got around to popping out some offspring. Now you can actually be honest with your parents about living together and enjoying your newly Jesus-approved sex. Whoopee. You don’t need to end every status message, wall post, etc. with *love my [cutesy name for spouse]* because of it. And if you feel I’m a sourpuss for thinking your posts obnoxious, we’ll see how much you like it when I start ending all my posts with *love my freedom, autonomy, and empty uterus*.
Again, I’m glad for those who are genuinely happy with their marriages and children. I’m just irritated by certain people who feel the need to mention it at regular intervals; the more efforts you make toward plastering your matrimonial bliss everywhere—forcing it, insisting on it—the more suspicious I become that you’re overcompensating for its shortcomings.
Plus, these obstinately asserted declarations of happiness reinforce bullshit cultural myths which state that marriage is something everybody (especially women) should want; that it is the finish line that we all must cross, and the end-all, be-all road to happiness. Nearly every movie, TV show, and book marketed to women deals either with women who are in relationships or women who aren’t and are bitter about it; fictional characters spend entire movies and novels trying to get men, grumbling that their friends all got married before they did, thereby sending a warning to the rest of us: Don’t be like her! Find a man now! (Not surprisingly, the resolution of most such movies and books is that the woman does, indeed, find a man, before fading to black—because what else could a happy ending possibly entail?)
So when I read “I ♥ my hubby!!!!!!” ten times a day, I don’t feel bitter about it, but I do feel annoyed at the implication that I’m supposed to. After all, what is the real purpose of celebrating one’s happiness but to rejoice in one’s lack of misery? To differentiate oneself from other people who might not themselves be fulfilled? To say, “I’m glad that I feel happy, but even more so that I can display it proudly for all to see?” Once happiness ceases to be a private emotion, it often also ceases to be true and genuine.
By all means, get married. Show me your ring so I can say “ooh” and “ahh” at the designated moments. Let me marvel at your honeymoon pictures, and coo at how adorable your puffy infant is. But don’t expect it more than once, because the rest of the world and I will get over it pretty quickly.