I am beginning to wonder how my friends became so cliched.
It certainly couldn't be by simple virtue of the diamond rings displayed on their ring fingers. It is not as though they are the first of my friends to get married, many of whom who have managed the transition from girlfriend to wife with relative ease.
This week, six of us sat at my kitchen table, empty plates before us from our weekly meet-up. As I began collecting the plates, the regular dose of matrimonial talk began. You see, three of the six are getting married, one this spring, one this summer, one next summer. While I don't mind talk of the larger themes, such as bachelorette plans, dresses, caterers, or of their general excitement about an admittedly huge day in their lives, lately it has progressed to the downright banal. This time, they began chattering about their three's trip to the mall to pick out wedding bands, which began with an anecdote of how the jewelry store worker made a joking remark about the big rings on each of their fingers, and ended with a detailed dissection of which shape of wedding band best complemented their fingers.
I counted floorboards.
I also wondered when they had all gotten so oblivious. Not just oblivious to the fact that I was counting floorboards, but also to the fact that J is single and not necessarily thrilled about it, or that M has been with her boyfriend for longer than some of them have been with their fiances, and is still barely able to get him to utter the word "commitment". Oblivious to the fact that their constant talk might not just bore some people, but may actually be a tinge hurtful.
While they may be unaware of how their words may sting, they also are also painfully incognizant of the fact that not everyone is necessarily wanting their lives right now. As it has now become obvious that M and her boyfriend are not getting engaged anytime soon, attention has turned to me as the next on the list. My non-committal or general responses to "do you think he's going to propose soon?" or "do you know what kind of ring you want?" fall over deaf ears. It seems that "I'm sure it will happen, but not anytime soon" is not satisfying enough, so they keep on pressing.
That same night, as I excitedly tell them that the Duke and I are finally booking our sunshine holiday, S coos "Oh, I bet he has something in store for you there", and winks condescendingly. And even though I know it is only because she wants for me what she thinks I want for myself, I can't help but get annoyed. Why isn't it good enough that we are having our first big holiday together? Why does it need to be that I am providing him with a cliched scenario to ask for my hand in marriage? Why does everyone act like I am just suppressing my frantic need for a wedding, rather than accepting that him and I are just happy in the moments we're in now?
I guess it is just starting to depress me that these women I know are genuinely ambitious, driven, feisty, independent present themselves like something out of a bad sitcom, when all we talk about are calories and relationships. As I walked home today, I realized that I knew reams more about their theme colours, the necklines of their bridesmaid's dresses and their fiances' idiosyncracies than they did about my dissertation or my job. And it made me feel a little lonely.