We’re in the throes of “engagement season,” and I’m yet again grappling with the weirdness of millennial wedding culture.
From Thanksgiving through Valentine’s Day, our social media feeds are littered with happily engaged couples. I love seeing people happily in love, so I’m here for it! It’s just my own engagement status that leaves some less than satisfied.
I myself am happily not engaged — or rather, not unhappy about my lack of engagement. I’ve been with my boyfriend for about five years. Both of us are in our late 20s, and while getting married is on our eventual to-do list, it’s just not the priority right now.
While I don’t generally feel the need to broadcast that fact, I also don’t mind explaining when someone asks.
Oh, and do they ask! I, a regular and unremarkable person, have had to denounce rumors of my supposed impending engagement. I’ve gotten reassurances that it’ll happen soon from people who don’t believe that I’m fine with the way things are. When I tell eager friends it’s not happening now (or now, or when you ask again in a week or two), they reply with a “You never know.”
When Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced their engagement, I was excited. I’m a lifelong fan of the royal family, and the more over-the-top a wedding is, the better. It was in the excitement about this wedding that I first heard of the so-called “engagement chicken.” When Meghan recalled the story of how Harry proposed during their engagement interview with BBC, she explained: “We were roasting chicken. It was just an amazing surprise. It was so sweet and natural and very romantic. He got down on one knee.”
The history of the engagement chicken goes back further than the now Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The story actually begins with Glamour magazine, where an editor passed her assistant the recipe for a buttery, lemony roast chicken in the mid-1980s. The assistant made the chicken for her boyfriend, who proposed a month later. The recipe was then passed along to three other staffers, who all reportedly got engaged shortly after making the chicken for their respective significant others. I don’t personally believe in the power of the chicken, but I do reverently believe in eating delicious chicken, so I decided to give it a go.