This is Your Brain on Engagement Season

By the end of every December, there are a few things that become utterly inescapable: "All I Want for Christmas Is You" playing on a loop in public spaces; the belief that "nog" is an acceptable food group; and social media posts about how all of your friends got engaged over Christmas. Not that I'm trying to make light of your friends and their very sincere pledges of eternal loving devotion; but with 19% of wedding proposals happening over the holidays, Facebook posts showing off enormous diamond engagement rings are as much of a holiday tradition as those Lifetime movies where a spunky dog helps a struggling single mom save Christmas (possibly by helping her get engaged).

And handling "engagement season" on social media can be kind of overwhelming, even if you're not looking to get engaged yourself. All that bling! All those congratulatory emails to send! All those weird, lonely hours in the middle of the night that you'll have to spend peering into your soul, wondering if something is wrong with you, and maybe you're just one of those people who's destined to always be alone, and maybe you should just roll with it, and work with orphans in Central America or something! And all those bridesmaid outfits you're going to have to buy! It's a lot to have on your plate (a plate already full of nog).

Luckily, no matter what reaction you're having to engagement season, you're not alone — and whether you're desperate to tie the knot, or genuinely don't get what the big deal is about, you have probably had some of the 15 thoughts below while scrolling through the thousandth "She said YES!!!!" post in your Instagram feed.

1. Oh, My Old College Roommate Got Engaged!

That is just so great. They have been together forever, and they're, like, the best couple I know. I'm so happy for her! I'm going to go send them a congratulatory Edible Arrangement. That's a mature thing to do, right?

2. Oh, My Friend Whose Boyfriend I Always Felt Lukewarm About Also Got Engaged?

Um, uh, good for them, too. I guess now I have the next sixty years to try to figure out how to have a conversation with this dude.

3. Wait, They Got Engaged, Too?

They've only been dating for, like, six months! And they broke up three times in those six months! I mean, not to be judge-y. I'm not judging. I'm not. But wasn't she doing body shots off a 22-year-old bartender, like, two weeks ago?

4. My Intern at Work Got Engaged??

What is she, nine? How the hell is that even legal??

5. Ugh, And Look at All These Photos of All Their Families Beaming At Them

My family never beams at me. They just ask me how I'm going to finish paying off my student loans if I "refuse to get a real job." They certainly never take photos where they pose around me as if I am a Disney princess.

6. It's Not That I'm Jealous...

I mean, I am NOT jealous. I don't even know if I want to get married. But I do know that I'd like all the support that these people are getting. And some engagement gifts. I would not mind some nice gifts for once, instead of just getting more "funny" Christmas socks and some janky off-brand perfume my Uncle Wayne got at CVS.

7. And I Am Going to Get Interrogated My First Day Back at the Office

By my one older co-worker who thinks she's "motherly," even though the only interactions we ever have are her asking me if I'm engaged yet. OK, that is actually a little like my relationship with my own mother.

8. Oh My God, I Have to Keep My Mom From Seeing These Pictures!

If she finds out that my college roommate got engaged, she is going to send me a box of humiliating dating guides with titles like Are Standards Necessary? and You're Not Getting Any Younger, Bitch.

9. It's Not Even That I Feel Bad About Not Being Engaged

But is something wrong with me? For not being engaged? For maybe not even caring about being engaged? Am I immature? Do I need to change? Do your cats actually eat your face if you die alone with them, or is that an urban myth? UGH WHAT AM I EVEN SAYING? WHY ARE ALL THESE ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS MESSING WITH MY HEAD?

10. Maybe I Should Go Look Up An Ex on Social Media, See What He's Up To

Oh my god, that bastard got engaged over Christmas, too! And look at the size of that rock! Where was all that money when I was "lending" you $500 to go on our vacation to Aruba, Jimmy???

11. God, Maybe I Am a Loser?

Is everyone just genuinely happier than me?

12. No, I Am Not a Loser! It's Just Social Media Making Me Feel Bad About Myself!

These cutesy engagement photos don't have anything to do with the reality of marriage, or even the reality of engagement or love. They're just an easy way to let everyone know you're getting married. They're not a referendum on my life and happiness, or on the lives and happiness of the people I know. They're just freaking pictures, and they don't mean that I've missed life milestones, or anything else.

13. And I Am Totally Awesome

How did I lose track of everything completely amazing about my life, just from looking at these dumb engagement photos? My life is full of fantastic friends, a cool job, and maybe even a partner I love but just am not engaged to. It is beyond ridiculous for me to forget about all of that, just because of all these close-up shots of wedding rings. I gotta get off the internet, man. It fries your brain. Maybe I'll go watch Scrooged.

14. I Love My Friends and Am Genuinely Happy For Them About Their Engagements

Love is beautiful, not a competition. And anyone who thinks love is a competition and is going to spend the next six months posting all sorts of mean girl garbage about her wedding is getting blockety-block-blocked from all my accounts.

15. And At Least I'll Get to Have a Fun Time at All of These Weddings This Summer

Because if I am going to have to buy this many wedding presents, you best believe I am going to be fully availing myself of the open bar at every single one of these weddings.

Images: Giphy (16)