1. Round 1: Did you hear?
You’re just sitting around in your yoga pants, slipper socks, and lettered off-the-shoulder shirt watching a Real Housewives marathon, when suddenly you get a text from one of your pledge sisters. With absolutely no intention of softening the blow, she sent you a screen shot of Jennifer’s Instagram photo of her
ugly darling new engagement ring with the caption “WHAT.” You let the initial shock set in and then text each of your pledge sisters individually to discuss the news as if you’d discovered it yourself. “OMG, I was JUST about to text you. Like…what? How? I don’t even…is it definitely official though? Like it was just a ring, and she didn’t tweet it, which I feel as though is weird for Jen, right? Or like…what?” After about twenty minutes you will text the girl to congratulate her, pretending you don’t think this is the most bizarre news ever, she will respond with a simple “THANKS!!!!” because she’s busy having the same conversation with everyone else, and you will contemplate suicide continue to gossip with your best friends (the conversations with the remainder of your PC will taper off).
2: Round 2: How did SHE get a ring?
There is the rare occasion that you’re actually all happy for the person (ONLY if the girl is in your core group are you totally elated), but mostly this is a time to discuss this girl’s indiscretions and flaws. “I’m sorry, but I really thought she’d never settle down, and I just don’t get it.” “I mean, who IS this guy anyway? Does anyone even know him?” “But most importantly, can we just discuss her hair for a minute? Her hair will never be wedding material even if she somehow tricked someone into thinking she was marriage material.” After you’ve talked adequate shit, and thoroughly decided that the couple isn’t ready for marriage, because you know so much about the inner-workings of their relationship, you’ll realize your single friends have a totally different reasoning behind their thoughts than your friends who are in a relationship do. You are just blatantly jealous, and they are realizing that this event means they should start thinking about their own relationships and the future. I don’t know what their conversations consist of after this point, but single girls continue to be miserable about it.
3. Round 3: It will never be me
You finally talk yourself in circles long enough to get to the root of the issue: she is getting married (read: successful) and you are not (read: unsuccessful). You joke about how you have to fry your hair out completely in order for someone to love you, and then you and your single friends discuss how unfair your love lives are. You rehash the details of failed romances, and one of you offers up the obligatory “let’s just move to Vermont together and get a cat.” You will all argue about who will be the last one to the altar, pretending to be convinced it will be you, but secretly hoping someone’s life is more tragic than yours. You then conclude the mass convos with an unconvincing “Whatever, I don’t want to be married yet anyway.”
4. Round 4: Wedding gossip
Now that you’ve gotten your emotions out of the way, you keep the conversation going with just your very best friend and start discussing the important things, like the details of the wedding, all of which is speculation of course, as gossip usually is. “Do you think it will be big?” “Do you think Katie will be invited after that fight they had? I don’t know if they ever resolved things but it would be SO weird if she isn’t there. I already talked to her about it, she knows it’s happening but was super awkward about it.” “I wonder who will be in her bridal party.” And most importantly, “What are you wearing?!” Even though invitations haven’t even gone out yet, you decide this is going to be the event of the year. She’s the first one in your PC to be engaged, so she’s setting a precedent and you need to look amazing. You and your bestie decide to do a just-for-funsies shopping spree to get an idea about what you want to wear in 12-24 months from now. Her wedding will probably be a shitshow, because there will probably be a ton of undergrads there, but whatever. That’s the payback you get for being so annoying and all “engaged.”
Round 5: The Perfect Plus None
After you realize you’ve grown bored of this wedding talk, you will resume your Real Housewives marathon with some lingering thoughts of your own. Namely, are you going to bring someone? This wedding is literally in at least a year from now, they JUST got engaged an hour ago, and you have no idea what your love life will look like by then, and this thought is absolutely terrifying. It’s like formal all over again, except this time you probably need to have met the guy once sober if you decide to invite him as your date. You become frantic and tell yourself repeatedly that you might meet someone by then, but the future you’re anticipating is dim and lonely. You end with the only thought that is comforting to you. “I hope Nick has hot friends. Maybe I’ll meet someone there.” After that you think no more about it until you get your save-the-date in a few weeks and go through the entire process again.