"FYI," I typed. "Everyone is getting married."
I sent this text message to a few couples I third-wheeled so often that an invitation to join the inevitable wedding party was an expectation.
The responses varied, but not by much; some couples disregarded the text by casually changing the subject, while others sent me a private message ("where are you going with that text?").
“I’m making sure you are focusing on your future,” I typed back to such perplexed texts. My goal was to start the conversation and plant the idea in their minds. This was for selfish reasons, not an appreciation of and respect for love's most symbolic event. I am always on the chase for reasons to celebrate: I’m the friend who remembers every birthday and is the biggest proponent of commemorating every milestone, from getting a job to quitting a job, from leaving for a trip abroad to coming back from a trip abroad, from celebrating the end of a bad relationship to successfully flirting with the unattractive boy at work who is weirdly attractive sometimes. I’d like to believe I would celebrate a friend’s wedding just as enthusiastically as the bride and groom.
I found out that everybody is getting married through Facebook. It’s the season of love, and I can’t log on without finding a new person – like the boy I dated for one-and-a-half weeks in the fifth grade – sharing the good news. The celebratory post is subtle, yet distinct in the sea of food pictures; a mere upgrade of a relationship status to "engaged" or the standard ring shot. My favorite posts, however, are the videos secretly filming the proposal. I'll watch those over and over again, even if they’re of strangers.
Like most hopeless romantics with an affinity for elaborate partying, I don’t know what I want for lunch tomorrow but I know what I want in a proposal. It's something I've considered over the years of watching and hearing about people's perfect and unique special moments. Whether staging a lip-dub proposal, serving your significant other an epic prank proposal, or spontaneously taking a kneel at dinner, not one execution seems more beautiful than the others. Maybe that’s the cheeseball in me.
My 22-year old cousin recently got engaged and her only preference was that her family be there. Her boyfriend worked with her parents to plan for both sides of her family and his family to be at their annual Christmas party. It was this past Christmas that I, with a tummy full of homemade grape leaves and pita chips, watched my younger cousin promise to spend the rest of her life with "the young boy who put ketchup on his peanut butter sandwiches" in her first grade class.
The moment was lovely and I was grateful that they shared it with the family and me. Although, my happiness for her was slightly spoiled after her engagement led to an aroused interest in my romantic life by my extended family. “When are you going to get married and give your father a break?” one uncle sighed, concerned for me. “I don’t know,” I told him. “But I’ll be sure to post pictures and a video when it happens.”
In the meantime, here’s one of my favorite proposals (and no, I don’t know the couple):
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