With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, distinguished media outlets everywhere are proffering lists and tips to help steadfast singles, the newly single, Cosmo girls, rich couples, married couples, and parents make the most of what is probably the most divisive and dangerous holiday of the year.
As I’ve written before, there are many reasons to dislike Valentine’s Day. It’s commercialized, hetero-normative, and reductive. And, in all too many ways, it’s a referendum on your love life.
Long story short, a lot of people get sad or jealous on or around February 14.
A lot of people also get sad or jealous when they spend too much time on Facebook, psychologists tell us. The site has an uncanny ability to make it seem like pretty much everyone else but you is going on fantastic vacations, landing big promotions, popping out perfect children, and of course, tying the knot.
Seriously guys, has the whole world just become a slideshow of perfectly styled rustic-chic wedding bliss?
But you know, with friends strewn across disparate time zones and enveloped in various stages of pre- mid- and post-nuptial bliss, I sometimes have a hard time knowing exactly how sad I should be feeling about my friends’ happiness. I need to know specifically what their life decisions mean about mine.
Enter TIME Magazine, bastion of keen journalistic aptitude and chronicler of the American psyche.
The publication has stepped in this year to tell us all the exact days we should be getting married, non-romantic life plans be damned.
The magazine’s interactive graphics editor Chris Wilson wrote Monday,
“Given that envy and loneliness are Valentine’s Day’s two chief exports, TIME presents an app that analyzes your Facebook feed to see exactly when your friends are tying the knot—and when it might be time for you to take the plunge.”
OK, so I’m really hoping this was all meant as tongue-in-cheek. But even so, Wilson’s methodology is seriously flawed.
Let’s take a look at my results:
First of all: Looks like I totally jumped the gun on my wedding. Oops. I should probably talk to my husband about that.
Secondly: TIME tells me that “half of [my] friends were married” by the time they turned 27.4.
But if you look closely — or not that closely, I guess, since it’s pretty fucking obvious — you’ll see that the majority of my friends are not yet married at all. Most of them are currently 26 or 27, and since I don’t think they’re planning any mass nuptials in the next year, it looks like that median age is going to increase dramatically as I age.
Lastly: wtf ,TIME. There are plenty of perfectly fine reasons to get hitched — love, kids, tax benefits, performance art — but avoiding the inevitable (sic) envy and sadness that comes with reaching the median age of your married friends is just not one of them.
What do you think? Is this the most insulting wedding tool since the engagement-ring-cost-calculator or am I just upset I wasted 1 year 4 months and 4 days of perfectly good single time?