Since I went to a southern university, many of my friends received an engagement ring along with their diploma — at least that’s the way it felt. Below the Mason Dixon line, you go to school for your MRS degree. It’s “Ring by Spring” or suffer the consequences. (The consequences being that you return to your hometown forever single at 22, destined to become a cat lady who is frequently mistaken for a lesbian.)
As a native northerner, where engagements happen closer to 30th birthdays, usually after nagging mothers have gotten involved and girlfriends have simply beaten down their to-be-betrothed, it’s hard to imagine getting hitched so young. It’s not that I’m not happy for you, of course I’m glad, but it’s like — are you reeeeallly sure? But that’s not that the attitude any ex-single lady wants to be met with after her BF put a ring on it. Instead, you’ve gotta suck it up, do the fake squeal, hug it out and promise to be the best bridesmaid that ever did exist, honey.
While my cheeks are growing numb with fake happiness and an ever-present smile, you bet your ass at least one of the following things are running through my head…
1. How do you know he’s the one? This question is especially relevant to anyone who is getting engaged immediately after college. You haven’t even experienced the “real world” yet. You’re going to meet so many men through work and grown-up friendships. What makes you so sure that the frat bro you met over a keg of Bud Light is really your soul mate?
2. This will never last. There’s always the couple who gets engaged when they definitely should be considering a break-up instead. They fight every weekend, have broken up six times and never remember each other’s birthdays. I doubt they’re even friends, so remind me again why any of this spells endless love.
3. That ring cannot be real. Perhaps the worst admission on this list, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve looked at girls’ rings and thought they were fake. There is no way, without family help, that a guy can afford 3 carats when he’s an entry level assistant at some marketing firm no one’s ever heard of.
4. That ring is hideous. Unlike #3, you know the ring is real because it’s just so small and ugly.
5. I liked your old boyfriend better. Sometimes you simply don’t like the guy your BFF has chosen. And yet, this is the man you’ll be seeing every time you visit her house and he’ll be her +1 to every future couple’s outing. Yay.
6. You’re only doing this because you want your life to be Pinterest fabulous. When you’ve already got a wedding board chock-full of “Future Wedding” pins, all it takes is some rando to ask you to marry him — then the dream is complete. Arguably the worst reason to get engaged.
7. I’m jealous. This thought has only crossed my mind once after a friend told me she was engaged. She and her boyfriend are genuinely the nicest, cutest, most perfect couple and I know they truly love each other. Of everything on this list, this is the one feeling that should course through my veins with every new engagement announcement, but sadly it’s the rarest.
[Lead image via gosphotodesign/Shutterstock]