So, we were engaged. Yay! I guess now we were supposed to tell people about it?
This was, for some reason, a super awkward thing for me. I am not really sure why. There is something about calling people on the phone for no other reason than to announce “guess what: I’m engaged!” that just made my skin crawl.
The night of the engagement, my fiancé* asked whether we should tell people right away, and I thought we could at least wait until the following day. He agreed that that was reasonable. The following day we headed back home from our weekend away… and I still didn’t really feel like calling people.
So, like the millennial that I (technically) am, I texted my mom, dad, and sister to tell them. I texted my cousin and my two best friends. My fiancé texted his family. There, done. Right?
Well, my dad suggested (via text) that I call other people to tell them. Who, I asked? Can’t you just tell them? He thought it would be better if I told them. He was right, but I still didn’t do it. I still just thought it was so weird to call people, who I rarely or never call otherwise, just to tell them this one thing that was a big deal in some ways, but really wasn’t that huge in my mind. I mean, we’d already bought a house together a year earlier (which I didn’t have to call anyone about), what did people think was going to happen?
Or maybe it was because calling people to tell them was somehow like bragging? Maybe it was because I actually don’t appreciate a lot about the modern wedding complex (yes, says the vow writer, I know)? Maybe because I was just feeling shy and awkward? Like I said, I’m still not entirely sure.
So I didn’t call people. And my parents told people, and it was mostly fine from my perspective. Except for one family member who I’m pretty close to who was pretty obviously offended the next time I spoke with her. Which was… not great. And if she had a text-ready cell phone, I would have definitely texted her along with the rest of my family the day after the engagement. But she wasn’t. So I didn’t. So it was weird.
With a few months of perspective, I’m still not sure where I stand on the issue. I remember receiving a call from a friend of mine from high school about five years ago (which was about 12 years after high school) to announce that she was getting married. And I was like, “ok, cool.” I didn’t know that was customary to call people with such news, and it felt so weird to me. She never called me otherwise—I rarely even saw her—it just seemed so odd to hear from her for this one thing.
In one respect, I understand the concept. It’s big news, and you’re showing people that they are special to you by sharing your big news with them. I guess in my mind, that’s not really how you show people that they are special to you. You show that by consistently being there for them, being their friend all the time, and calling (or texting) not just when something big happens, but even when little things happen. It’s being a part of their lives, and if you’re not that, then it’s ok not to share when big things happen, too.
So maybe that was my big beef. It either comes up in the natural course of your relationship, or it doesn’t. I don’t want to go out of my way to suddenly pretend that I’m close to a bunch of people when I really only talk to them once every couple of years just to tell them the really big stuff. It’s just not my style.
And regarding the one family member who I’m close to but does not share my preferred method or communication? I take responsibility for that one—that was on me. I should have just shown her that I care by picking up the phone.
*I had an equally hard time using the word “fiancé”—I used “boyfriend” as much as possible for the duration of our engagement. What can I say, weddings make people do weird things.