Every year, around the same time that hordes of shoppers flock to Black Friday sales and snowflakes begin to fly across the country (especially this year), thousands across America celebrate (or mourn) the commencement of what can only be known as Engagement Season. Despite theories among young urbanites in cities across the U.S. that cold weather means cold dating, there’s just something about the holidays and the onset of winter that seems to bring out the desire to get engaged and “make it official”. The irony of this is, of course, the rest of us sadly single snowflakes are left bathing in the rays of our friends, co-workers, and families’ engagements. Don’t believe us? Consider these four concrete pieces of evidence that clearly demonstrate, beyond any reasonable doubt, that we are swimming in the midst of Engagement Season:
1. Your inbox is being filled with digital invitations and Facebook notifications about engagement events – Once, when you were an undergraduate, the only Facebook events you were invited to in the winter involved consuming large quantities of alcohol before braving winter conditions to head to your next soiree. However, as many twentysomethings are finding out (or will come to find out) over these weeks, the slew of Evites and digital wedding RSVP forms that fill your inbox today bear little resemblance to those makeout-fests from college. With more and more couples turning to online wedding invites or online wedding RSVP options, no longer is even your Gmail account safe from the onslaught of Engagement Season
2. And speaking of Facebook…. – The social network that everyone loves to bash these days (in many cases, while using the very network they are bashing) has, ever since the invitation of Photos early in its inception, been a breeding ground for news, notifications, and visual reminders about your many friends who are getting engaged. From couples who never seem to do anything without taking a picture together, to constant Facebook Check-ins at wedding-related places around the city, thefacebook can become overwhelming for singles and married folks alike during Engagement Season
3. Checking your account balance online becomes even more depressing than usual – While much respect goes to the couples attempting to finance their own events, a little-known secret discovered by many in their twenties is that friends getting married can be an expensive proposition for anyone slated to be involved. The good news about Engagement Season is that usually most related bridal party expenditures can be put off for a few months (or in some cases, a few years). The bad news is, calculating all those new costs during a time when Christmas shopping is taking a serious toll on your income as well can frighten even the most romantically-inclined bridesmaid or groomsmen.
4. The social burden is on you now, too – Another little-hidden secret about weddings is how much they can come to revolve around the people being invited (or not invited) to take part in the eventual celebration. It has long been known that the holidays are a particularly dreadful time for general mental health and seasonal affect depression, so it seems like a cruel coincidence that the rampant celebrations and announcements of engagements fall simultaneously with this. Navigating the social mores of wedding invitations and seating is an incredibly daunting task for the happy couple, and sometimes the fallout can tracked even on social media. This can be an entertaining or frightening turn of events, depending on the folks involved.
So check your Facebook wall, look in your spam folder, or simply tally up the number of digital wedding invitations piling up in your inbox if you don’t believe us. The holidays are a time that can delight or intimidate any individual, and the coinciding onslaught of Engagement Season can add to the holiday hoopla for many of us. However, while these pieces of evidence are true (for some of us more than others), the other perspective on this phenomenon should be noted as well. For many of us, engagements and the related social events can be a welcome distraction during the lonely holiday season. So wipe the snow off your shoulders, sit down with a cup of hot coffee, and start answering those digital RSVPs. But don’t say we didn’t warn you.