If you're around my age, or even a few years younger with a couple of naive and dumb friends, you've undoubtedly noticed a growing trend on Facebook lately, Engagement announcements. Scary, right? It was just a couple years ago that we were barhopping around Boston, eating strangers food off a stick outside the Hong Kong, and polishing off boxes of cheese fries from Kelly's because we couldn't just fall asleep at 2 AM because of the clinically dangerous amount of Red Bull Vodkas we put down in a couple hour span. Now we're all worried about diversifying our portfolios, 401k's, yearly doctor visits, and comparison shopping between various supermarkets. Things have really changed, fast.
And in keeping with the changing times, CW took the plunge this weekend, and let me tell you, it is a NERVE WRACKING experience. It doesn't matter if you're 100% sure of the answer, it is all in all one of the most anxiety riddled processes you'll ever experience, starting with the jewelry store.
I'm not sure I've ever felt less comfortable than I did in picking out the hardware, just you and one of the Maccabi tribesman in some small office backroom squinting at stones and discussing the 4 C's, as if a 20 minute lesson is going to bring me up to speed and give me enough knowledge to haggle with this guy who's probably been slinging rocks since he was like 5 and spinning his first dradel. Just sweating in a backroom, while this guy lays out various options, I mean, can I get some background music, I'd even take a heating duct or something, just anything kind of white noise would do.
And then...Picking up the ring, my god. I felt like a CIA foreign asset walking out of that store. I walked out at the same time as some other guy, and legit stopped once I got outside and just loitered to see which way he was going just so I knew he wasn't tailing me. I must have turned and looked back 30 times over a two block span. Getting on the subway was no peach either, I've never gotten mugged, but just my luck that would be the day. Luckily nothing happened, I got to work and locked that thing away in my filing cabinet, and then didn't leave my cube again the rest of the afternoon.
And finally, there's the big day, the day of the proposal. If you're like me, you want it to be a surprise, which is easier said than done when you're dealing with a significant other who likes to plan everything out. Try explaining that you want to go out for the day with no real plan, just dinner later in the evening and a day spent gallivanting around town leading up to it. Let's just say I eventually got us to where I wanted to, but the day was not without a few changes in plans (seriously Frog Pond, there was like 1 million people in line Monday afternoon, 1 million. No exaggeration), and she said yes (!!!), and then we went on a spree of asking strangers to take pictures of us that put just about every tourist in the city to shame that night (and there were ALOT of tourists around for the holidays).
Now, apparently, we have to do this whole planning of the wedding thing, which needless to say, is not my strong suit. I'm a much more, "let's just wing it" kind of guy, which I've been told is not really an option when it comes to weddings. To my shock, just about the first thing everyone asked after we announced it was "so have you set a date?" This really boggled me. Felt like I was inadequately prepared to propose, like I should have had a date, venue and caterer lined up before asking. I've now been introduced to a whole other universe of the internet, the bridal and wedding planning stratosphere, which I guess in terms of popularity is like ESPN meets playboy for guys? Only I didn't even know this whole other side of the Internet existed until yesterday...Wedding bloggers, wedding planners, wedding message boards, its insane. Needless to say this is going to be an interesting experience for us from here on out, especially considering we're trying to plan a day over a year in advance, and I can hardly keep straight what our plans are supposed to be for next weekend.
So yea, that's where I'm at, happily engaged (I swear I'm not a crank in real life, this is just my outlet), and nervously peeking at the road to come.
PS: More people react to engagement news on Facebook than Birthdays, which I found shocking.