Earlier this month, the Pew Research Institute announced that fewer than half of Americans are currently married, the lowest rate ever recorded. In a frantic effort to save marriage, every single fucking person in the whole world got engaged over Christmas. Newly betrothed, you are all heroes.
No one has worked harder to save the institution of marriage by getting simultaneously engaged over Christmas 2011 than celebrities. Michael Jordan scored a slam dunk for monogamy when he proposed to his engagement to his 32-year-old model girlfriend. Steven Tyler singlehandedly unleased a tidal wave of terrible puns relating to Aerosmith songs and weddings when he popped the question to his ladylove. Wynona Judd has agreed to marry some guy named Cactus. Comedian Jeff Dunham is doing his part to support the wedding-industrial complex by marrying his female companion. American Idol alum Something McWhatshiswhitedude got engaged as well. If something is trendy to the point that Oprah talks about it, you know that American Idol alumni will be all over that shit! Even ol' stubbyarms McConaughey has done his part to boost the marriage rate.
Normals are also getting in on the engagement game, especially if they're on my Facebook friends list. At least half a dozen pictures of hands donning fancy new rings on their left ring fingers have popped up on my newsfeed in the last few days, followed by a barrage of "Congratulations!" and "OMFG!"s. One Vermont man (who is not my Facebook friend, unfortunately) was so caught up in the spirit of the season that he proposed to his beloved with a stolen engagement ring. It's betrothal madness!
The latter half of December has long been ground zero for the ultimate romantic nuclear bomb, and getting engaged while everyone is nearby saves quite a few phone calls. For the family-oriented, a late-in-the-year engagement means close proximity to those you'd like to hug, general getting-alongness, and a premade celebratory atmosphere. Plus, purveyors of engagement jewelry know that the Christmas season is put-a-ring-on-it season as well, and plan their sales accordingly. It's a self-perpetuating, annually renewing cycle, and this year, it's been more important and successful than ever.
At this rate, by late December 2012, 98% of all Americans will be married off. Way to go, team marriage!