I return to Athens to find my roommate -- whom I've known, lived with and shared sorority sisterhood for at least two years -- engaged.
Now our apartment is filled with Modern Bride magazine and the reflective brilliance of her shiny new rock.
And I know mine isn't the only residence in Athens experiencing pre-marital bliss.
Apparently once you exceed age 20, wedding bells start ringing and never stop. My friend is only one of a growing list of girls I know who are set to tie the knot -- or already have!
(There’s a whole different list, of course, for the ones who have been “lavaleered” – an inane ritual that I won’t pretend to understand. I figure if the guy’s got plans to marry you, he should go ahead and pop the question already. There’s no need to propose his intention to propose.)
I guess I’ll get used to it eventually. My mailbox will receive a steady stream of fancy invitations…or perhaps Facebook will add another new application: the wedding invitation. That would save daddy some money – grade A paper isn’t cheap.
Maybe they could even get a multiple-store registry going on there. Then the spouses-to-be could elicit presents, not just from close friends and family, but all the hundreds of vague and distant acquaintances they’ve befriended electronically over the years.
It’s how we keep up with everyone’s love lives these days anyway.
If not for Facebook, we wouldn’t care that a high school friend we worked with when we were 15 just got engaged to her high school sweetheart.
Or maybe nobody else cares. Maybe I’m the only one that feels a little shocked and bitter when I see yet another girl I know sporting a ring.
I’m not sure why, because I love being single. There are way too many men out there (cute ones!) to settle down in my prime.
It’s like walking into a grocery store filled with all different kinds of good food and then walking out with the first thing to fall into your basket. You could at least pick up a few samples!
It could be that I feel like, because I’m not ready, no one else my age is either.
“You’re so young!” I want to cry out. “Don’t do it! Go forth into the world and kiss many men! Date often and receive many free meals and drinks while you’re still smoking hot and desirable!”
But everyone is different. There was a time when even I -- yes, I in my young naiveté -- believed I was ready to settle down. Perhaps deep down, my discomfort with the idea of my girlfriends becoming wives is a denial of my own desire to do the same, even though I know I don’t want it right now.
Like I told my best friend – who will utterly betray me if she gets married anytime in the next eight years – a few days ago:
“Perhaps guys are picking them up and putting them in their shopping carts, but we’re not just sittin’ on the shelves – we’re dancing in the aisles, baby!”
(Preferably Publix aisles. They’re cleaner than Kroger and have better bread.)
So, when all is said and done, I sincerely hope that all the fiancés out there find happiness in their selections, and eventually, sometime in the distant future, I’ll dance right into a shopping cart of my own and check the hell out of here!