I got engaged on Sunday.
(cue dramatic gasps & “OMGGGGG” squealing)
There is a dark side to engagement that I feel like nobody ever voices. Kind of like the dark side of child birth. People dream of that moment for so long in their lives – why spoil it with realistic minute by minute recounts of the event which changes your dream family size from 7 to 3?
First, the high notes, because I think they should be expressed first.
1. I love my boyfriend, and I’m so happy he asked me (I obvs said yes)
2. I love my ring more than my fave pair of shoes, or even jellybeans (thats a lot)
3. I am aware everyone around us means the best with how they have reacted, but seriously – wtf
As soon as I had the ring on my finger, I rang my mother. She was excited. TOO EXCITED. Almost as though I had told her the sky was pink tonight – and it was something she always dreamed of, but never actually thought she would see.
“Can I tell everyone? Is it a secret?!”
I value my friends in the same regard as my family, and would never want them to find out about me getting engaged via Facebook or the paper (literally, my mum still puts announcements in the paper) so this forces my hand at also letting my friends know now too.
You know – on the day we got engaged while we have just checked into our beautiful private suite…… but to be honest that’s the least of my concerns.
PROBLEM ONE – THE SINGLE FRIENDS
Now. My friends are awesome, and yes they would always be happy for me. However, I have a fair few single friends, who for some reason had their lives implode on the same weekend I got engaged. I knew they were going through a hard time, and yet had to send them a message saying I was getting married. I was gone from the dancefloor of life. Being in their position before, I know they would have instantly considered me mildly dead – soon be delivering spawn & not drinking to either fit into a wedding dress or because I was pregnant. I was dead to them until they too, got engaged.
Like opening birthday presents from aunties that are staring at you, waiting for you to see what gift they got you, and opening it to find an item you have never seen before – the awkward squaling was deafening. And so fake. And just made me feel bad.
PROBLEM TWO – THE WORK FRIEND DESPERATELY WANTING TO GET ENGAGED
This wouldn’t be a problem if she didn’t sit next to me, and tell me every day how badly she wanted to get engaged.
But she does, and she has been doing exactly that for months now.
It also didn’t help that our big boss sent a whatsapp (group chat) message announcing it, and then everyone kept sending messages to me (joking) along the lines of “AW yay! Nolonger only the bridesmaid, finally the bride!” – if I find that mildly offensive, I can only imagine her position on it.
Oh, and she sent the post to her boyfriend with the caption, “WHERE IS MINE?” and then told me all day about how happy she was for me, while in tears. Grand.
PROBLEM THREE – PARENTS ARE NIGHTMARES
This morning I woke up to a Facebook post by my boyfriends mother, claiming to be so left out & upset that she wasn’t included in our plans to get married.
Rewind – what plans? It had been 36 hours since he proposed! What plans were we meant to have?
& just as we are putting out one fire, another starts. My mother calls.
“Have you decided on a date yet?”
“Where were you thinking?”
“You know.. I’ve always wanted to go to Spain” (no one in my family is close to being Spanish, nor my boyfriends family)
“You could always just fly *Parnters Name* family over to Australia for the wedding? How many are there? 18? That’s not too many!” (clear indication she has no intention of paying for this wedding, or wants any of his friends to come)
“Oh no! You can’t wait 18 months! You might get pregnant by then! THEN what would you do?!” (Rott in hell? Couldn’t be worse than this.. )
…..I literally ended up hanging up on her.
PROBLEM FOUR – STEALING THE LIMELIGHT
My brother is getting married in 6 weeks time. SIX WEEKS. My brother is awesome, we get along well, I love his fiance & my brother and my partner are basically best friends.
He is against all forms of attention, and even getting him to HAVE a wedding is a challenge in itself.
And then we bop along and announce we, too, are getting married. Right before their big event.
An event, mind you, that was all organised for the family, my the family. All of my aunts, uncles, cousins (i have 40 odd first cousins) and friends are invited for the show of a lifetime, when he wanted 50 guests TOPS.
My brother expressed personally to me how happy he was for us, but also at how jealous he was that we could take off next year and get married by Elvis with two witnesses for all the family cared, as he would have already taken care of the first sibling to get married in our family’s responsibility for a big show for my mother.
And while I am well aware that he would not give two shits that we have done this now, I am very conscious of the fact that my extended family (80 people large) would be making a fuss about his older sister FINALLY being taken off the shelf, and will be bringing it up at HIS wedding. That he didn’t even want to have. Not cool.
It’s awkward. Especially considering I’m also the bridesmaid.
PROBLEM FIVE – THE ALREADY MARRIED FRIENDS
I’ll be honest, they were the most excited. Probably because the days of me ripping up a dancefloor all over their social media while they were at home breastfeeding at 2am, would soon come to an end. I was, in their mind, merging over their side of the fence, and they could soon feel relieved that I was no happier than them.
Plus, a wedding (and hens party, etc) was a great excuse to ditch their babies and their husband and have a semi controlled girls night, which their partners cant say no to this.
However, with this, comes judgement.
Most of my married girlfriends, did so many years ago. That, or they are in partnerships with their baby daddy, who never popped the question (admist them actually wanting this to happen – again, awkward), & with this comes a wave of judgements through comments, over how the wow things were too over the top, and everything else somehow wasnt good enough.
& when there is nothing else to say? “Dont worry, next will be the qustion about babies, and then when the second baby is coming, and THEN you can whinge to me!”
& this was just in reply to our message letting them know he asked me to marry him…
PROBLEM SIX – I DIDNT EVEN WANT A WEDDING
Two months ago, my idea of getting engaged meant sparkle on my finger, a court date & a wild week overseas to celebrate. No actual ceremony. No spending $100k on getting everyone else drunk. No videographers. No “cheap” $1,000 invitations. No wedding announcements in the paper. No deciding on dates. NONE OF IT. I hate the idea of all of it. And now I’m looking at wedding venues on the Amalfi Coast in Italy because it’s convenient for both of our families to go there and our photos would look pretty? WHAT?!
Everyone always says, your wedding is not for you. Its for your family.
Is it rude of me to want it our (Me & Boyfi) way?
Is guilt normal?
Does everyone else get so turned off the whole thing this early, simply by all of these unnecessary pressures?
Or am I just being selfish & somehow missing something here?
PLEASE LET ME KNOW.