Ladies and gentleman, wedding season is upon us.
With flowers replacing those pesky showers, June officially marks Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson’s favorite time of the year. According to the Greeting Card Association, June and August mark the most popular months for weddings.
A wedding is one of the best excuses to party, especially with the apocalyptic post-college world rapidly approaching, and a fair share of the receptions have seen my “patented” dance moves. (Let’s just say I definitely kick it with “Kool & the Gang.”)
Even if the actual ceremony makes drying concrete exciting, the receptions are can’t-miss social events filled with good company, fantastic food and memorable music – the essential lubricants for my “moves.”
But this summer, my wedding guest career enters a whole new stage of murkiness. All the previous nuptials I have witnessed have been of family or friends of family.
For the first time, I will be going to the wedding of a good friend from high school. And while I am definitely happy for the couple and wish them nothing but happiness and congratulations, the ramifications of their decision are beginning to dawn on me.
According to Divorce Magazine (it’s true, there is a magazine for everything) the average American male gets married at the age of 26.9 compared to 25.3 for females. So it’s not that I feel my prime is passing me by.
In fact, I have never been the biggest advocate of commitment or long-term relationships and fully expect to be on the backside of that average.
I mean, I’d eventually like to find the one and settle down, but I have been putting off accomplishing things for so long that I owe it to any future spouse(s) to try and make something out of myself.
My concern is not for the current state of marriages either, the National Center for Health Statistics reports that the urban legends of 50 percent divorce rates are skewed and do not paint the real picture. For instance, the divorce rate is now at its lowest since 1970, and only 24 percent of couples who get married for the first time after the age of 25 will get divorced.
The apprehension I feel is rooted in the transition from single culture to the realm of relationships. It is only a matter of time until my brothers-in-arms begin going down harder than a San Diego State fraternity.
Already, when I venture out of our isolated college environment, I take notice of shiny diamonds on ring fingers.
Believe me, this is not an adjustment I welcomed but for the sake of my self-confidence, it’s adapt or wallow in self-pity. The individual who is committed to staying free must deal with a variety of changing circumstances.
Have you ever noticed how your friends in relationships are always trying to hook you up with one of their friends? Is it that uncomfortable to hang out with a lone ranger or is it so hard to believe that the world won’t end if you don’t have that special someone?
If I ever resort to the world of awkward blind dates, then I will know that things have gone terribly wrong. Granted, it is too early to rule out the ever expanding world of online dating. (Code-red last resort: C’mon, eHarmony.)
Eventually, and sometimes sooner rather than later, relatives get in on the act. Mothers, aunts and grandparents wonder when you are going to bring a nice girl around instead of showing up to family functions with bed head and a wrinkled shirt.
Once you have proven yourself incompatible for a relationship (i.e., in the workplace among acquaintances), expect to be serenaded with complaints of how undesirable available suitors are.
In severe prolonged situations, don’t be surprised to be segregated from events and trips as you are slowly relegated to the singles section. After all, who wants the kids around the smelly bachelor that teaches little Joey all the naughty tips to “Grand Theft Auto 4”?
Maintaining your availability becomes an increasingly daunting task in the face of mounting pressures from every angle. Societal norms portray single life as lonely and depressing, but most would agree the opposite is true.
Without attachments, we are free to pursue other interests without being responsible to another individual, leading to unpredictability and excitement.
In the end, we should focus more on enjoying the ride along the way and be less preoccupied with finding Mr. or Mrs. Right. Let’s sit back and not rush things; when it happens, there will be plenty of time for everything else.
But if you do happen to find that perfect someone, don’t push your happiness on me. I’m perfectly content struggling to take care of myself. And until you find your other half, let’s just take Kool’s advice and, “Celebrate good times, COME ON! Let’s CELEBRATE!”
Kory Harbeck is a journalism senior and a reporter for the Mustang Daily.