This post was actually supposed to be called “5 fun searches on Pinterest that won’t make you feel bad about being single.” Unfortunately, extensive research would prove that the only searches on Pinterest that didn’t make me feel bad about being single made me feel like a serial killer (“antique surgical” and “death mask” are my favorite). Not exactly an upgrade.
In fact, what I realized in my poking around is that not only is Pinterest choked with legitimate brides-to-be pinning the crap out of all things wedding, it is also (perhaps doubly) choked with women who WANT to be brides-to-be pinning the crap out of their IMAGINARY wedding. Seriously, search “dream wedding” next time you’re on Pinterest, and prepare to be taken to the next level of crazy.
There’s an unspoken rule out there, people. But I’m going to go ahead and speak it just so that we’re abundantly clear: It is totally okay to think/daydream about what kind of wedding you might like to have someday. It is totally okay to giggle in bed with your partner or over wine with your friends about what your future wedding might look like IF you ever decided to go there. IT IS NOT OKAY TO START DIGITALLY SCRAPBOOKING/SHOPPING FOR YOUR IMAGINARY WEDDING WHEN YOU ARE NOT YET ENGAGED, AND CERTAINLY NOT WHEN YOU AREN’T EVEN DATING SOMEONE. That’s some creepy Muriel’s Wedding nonsense right there.
So, I wandered back to Facebook for asylum… but there was nowhere to hide. Every weekend for the last two months at least three of my online friends attended/participated in a wedding, and damn if they aren’t going to Instagram it. And, if people aren’t getting married, they’re going on picturesque mountain hikes or quaint seaside picnics where their long-term loves will finally pop the question. Summer in Maine is always sunny with a 50% chance of diamonds. Don’t even get me started on the babies.
It’s not that I’m a bitter old maid (yet). I was married once (if briefly). I totally get it. And I am genuinely excited for my friends who have found somebody awesome and are making it legal. That said, no matter how satisfied I am with my choice of singlehood and however firmly I believe that I will never get married again… There’s just something about a constant stream of glowingly happy couples making lifelong commitments that makes me feel a little bummed out that the only other warm body in my bed is my laptop.
The good news is that I’m still leagues away from calling it quits completely and buying a cat (or cats, as is the tradition). Nor am feeling any strong impulse to nail myself down ’til-death-do-us-part to the next guy who takes me out on a date who doesn’t show up in a murder van (long story), just so I don’t have to die alone. But, sometimes, just sometimes, I want to fritter away my life on the internet without being reminded about the dust that’s collecting on my “date underwear” drawer.
Here are my top 5 wedding-free internet safe havens:
If you really want to get sucked down so deep into the internet that you’ll wake up three days later critically dehydrated and unable to form full sentences, there is no greater pop culture rabbit hole that TVtropes. Trust me, just go and hit the random button and then dive down into every media reference that ever was about everything from bachelor auctions to ocean madness. You may never come back.
Despite the crusty veneer of 13-year-olds pretending to be 35, and 35-year-olds acting like they’re 13, Reddit does actually have a soft spot for love stories. Avoid r/all. Don’t want to accidentally wander into Patrick Stewart facilitating a Comic-Con engagement. But, if you set your front page to non-romantic gems like r/penmanshipporn, r/eatsandwiches, or my current fav, r/shitty_car_mods, you’re guaranteed hours of aimless wandering. No weddings. No babies. Just a love story between you and pictures of things cut in half.
Possibly the only thing more inescapable than the late summer wedding onslaught is Facebook invitations to play Candy Crush. Want an online gaming experience that never sends you push notifications? Take it back to mid-nineties gaming interface with ISC, the Internet Scrabble Club. Despite its somewhat dated appearance, if you’re serious about your anagramming game, this is where you go. Prepare to be destroyed (and to have your shame broadcast throughout the community with a very unforgiving and very public rating system) by the best tournament players in the country. There is a chat function, but the high ratio of bluehairs and awkward word nerds virtually guarantees that things will stay G-rated. Although, the number one player in Maine is actually kind of cute…
When you’ve grown tired of Facebook Fails and Cakewrecks, there’s always good grouchy fun to be had at Passive Aggressive Notes. Maybe it’s just a testament to my own poor attitude, but this website never gets old for me. As a bonus, you can feel good about the fact that you’re not the kind of person who calls your own daughter a godless heathen via Hallmark card.
If pure time wasting isn’t 100% appealing to you, my final recommendation takes goofing off to a slightly more scholarly and personally edifying place. Letters of Note unearths “correspondence deserving of a wider audience.” Rifle through the private messages of renowned authors, businessmen, and murderers alike (they’ve got over 900 in their archive to keep you busy). It’s a little bit like getting advice from the wizened old grandpa that you never had. Also, how else would you learn about Marcel Proust’s chronic masturbation problem?
Truth is, you definitely don’t have to be single to want to climb into the internet bunker for a while and drown out the deafening clamor of the engagement/wedding/baby parade on social media. Some days you’re just cranky and don’t feel like listening to anyone talk about how blissful they are. Some days, if you hear one more person use the phrase “over the moon,” you might just burn the whole internet down with your rage. Or, maybe, you don’t give a crap about weddings at all, and you just want a safe place to wait out the “Miley Cyrus Twerking Scandal of 2013.”
Now you know where I’ll be. Where will you hide?