Sure, they say they're happy and they're in love, but they have to be thinking more thoughts than that.
To be fair, I've never really asked any of my friends what it's like to be engaged. After they would make the announcement that their boyfriend proposed the first thing I thought to do was some fast math to make sure the singles were still the majority in my group of girlfriends.
Maybe if I pioneer my way through some of the thoughts no one talks about, others will feel compelled to admit these things when they happen to them.
The first thing no one mentions about being newly engaged is that moment when you say to yourself "Holy crap. What the hell did I just agree to?!"
I mean, you know you love him, you know he's the right guy, and you know marriage is in your plan, but holy crap, what the hell did I just agree to?
That moment happened for me an hour into our engagement.
After proposing, Chris and I went to eat dinner. I was admiring the ring and listening to him talk about how he had worked so hard the week before to keep everything a surprise. He finished by saying "...that brings us to here and now we're engaged!"
I'm sorry? We're what?
No one told me how strange it would sound to hear myself referred to as "engaged."
My mind lost what little grip on sanity it was struggling to maintain and floated off into a sea of "Is this right? Can I do this? Did I think this out enough?"
I'm not a psychologist, and I've never heard any of my newly engaged friends mention this phenomenon, but I have to think it's normal.
I would like to think my anxiety demonstrated a mark of maturity. That I knew that marriage was serious business and not to be taken lightly. Who wouldn't feel a little uncertain about something as momentous as agreeing to share the rest of your life with one other person?
Once we started telling people of our engagement, I was surprised at the number of people who didn't ask to see the ring. I thought that's what people did.
"Ah, let's see the ring!"
Are we not doing this anymore?
I feel so superficial.
It also surprised me the number of people who didn't ask to hear the proposal story. It's like they'd already watched it on the 6 o'clock news and therefore didn't need to hear anymore details.
Or maybe just one person didn't ask to see the ring and one person didn't ask to hear the story and that felt like 100 people.
No one told me that our first disagreement as an engaged couple would be over what gifts to register for. Chris was excited about the registry process until I began to discourage his non-domestic additions.
"We're supposed to register for things to help us set up our new house. Plates and towels and stuff."
"But we already have plates and towels and stuff. What we don't have is a go-cart or a sword."
No one mentions you're going to be happy. It's like telling water "you're going to be wet."
What should be mentioned is that you're going to be so happy your face hurts.
I did so much smiling and laughing in the weeks that followed getting engaged, I kind of wish I would have stretched first.
No one tells you how you hope everyday that there's still someone you haven't announced your engagement to. Someone you can call and share squeals of excitement with.
The more I think about it, the more I can't recall anyone telling me much of anything about getting engaged.
Getting married, sure.
But engagements seem to pass by all the time with little questioning or inquiries.
I'm open to talking about what really happens.
It will at least help explain why you'll find us registered for a go-cart and some medieval weaponry.
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