Average Jane

Ring Around the Snarky Jane

“The more I look at engagement rings, the more I’d rather have a house,” I lamented to my most recent ex. I didn’t intend for it to come out so crassly, but then again, I didn’t stop to make it sound any less so.This post is a confession. It is an apology – an admission of guilt. It is an open letter to my friends, because I guess I’m just a coward sometimes.

My coworker got engaged on Valentine’s Day. It was the day she met her fiance two years ago. Her wedding will be on Valentine’s Day next year. I was happy for her. But in her shoes, I can only imagine it didn’t seem that way.

She popped her head around the corner of my office door, “So, did you hear?” she asked. “No, but I guessed.” Out comes the hand, right at me. As though she had to prove to me the inevitable. She was engaged.

“So, is it the one you wanted?” They had gone ring shopping a few weeks before. “Yeah,” she said, taking off her ring and pushing it in my direction.

Let me step back and tell you a short story. I don’t know if I’ve told you this one before, so stop me if you’ve heard it:

When Laundro and his wife had the darling little angel baby, I went over to meet her just a few days after she was born. I came over and plunked myself down on the couch. Mama and baby sat down next to me. Baby didn’t do much. I assume she was pooping and peeing, but aside from that she was just lying there, looking perfectly angelic. We talked about things baby and non-baby related for about an hour when Mama asked, “Do you want to hold her?”

“Um, no. I’m good.”

“I’m good”? Really? But that was all I could come up with. I didn’t want to hold the baby. But it wasn’t the actual child I was averse to. I think I was more confused about the entire baby construct and holding her would bring all of my fears and insecurities home to roost.

And so here I was in my office with my coworker’s ring flying at me at what seemed like 100 miles an hour. My reaction? “Um… I don’t need to hold it.” She was shocked. “Oh, ok. Yeah. That’s fine.”

I reeled, apologizing. “I’m just not really good at this whole excitement thing. I mean, I’m real happy for you. I’m just not great at showing it.” What is wrong with me?! I should be so happy! What’s my hang up?

Of course, I went right to the most appropriate source of comfort and insight, my most recent ex. (We’re talking and good. It’s fine. I swear.) I explained my reaction and he was fascinated. “If you were engaged, you’d want people to be excited for you.”

I think he hit the nose on the head. Or something.

Just like the baby, maybe I don’t think it’ll ever happen for me. Maybe that’s why I have such a hard time being that for my girlfriends. I really want to be all giggly and girlie. I want to dive right for their rings. I want to connect with them over the little details of their wedding plans. And yet, like everything else in my life, I see only the facts. I see everything in black and white.

This phenomenon extends further than just marriage and babies, though. It happens with my friends’ relationships, too. Breakups and reunions. New crushes and old flames.

Get a new job? I’ll take you to drinks! Sell your house? Let’s go party down! Lose 10 lbs? Salad’s on me! I guess those are attainable goals… for me. Love? Romance? I’m a cynic through and through.

Anyway, I know my engaged friends read this blog, and so to you I want to apologize. You are my sisters and my friends. I love you so dearly. You will all be beautiful, perfect brides.

And as you all know, I do great at weddings 🙂


Trackbacks & Pingbacks


  1. * Laundro says:

    Totally with you. The whole “engaged” thing is lame. I think your response was perfectly reasonable.

    PS. Lily misses pooping while you hold her. 😉 (PPS. You’d know if she was pooping. You can hear it zipcodes away!)

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  2. * Arjewtino says:

    “I’m good.”

    That’s my line when someone invites me to a baby shower or offers me coconut.

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  3. * Ibid says:

    I’m much the same way.

    When someone says “I’m pregnant” instead of automatically saying “congratulations” and faking excitement I ask “How do you feel about that?” I often have to ask more than once when they start telling me how their husband and parents and friends feel.

    “My birthday is tomorrow.”
    “Oh. Congratulations on not dying for another year.”

    “I’m engaged!”
    “Yeah, but I think I still have a chance with you” nicely covers my true feelings of “yeah? and?”

    The problem is that I’m not expressive. I’ve been doing major renovations of my place by my own hand. I’m rather proud so I mention it. I don’t get visibly excited. The fact that I mention it and not other stuff I’m doing is the only hint. The expected response is an equally flat “cool. You’ll have to show me when you get done.”

    And as for rings… when I get married… IF I get married I’ll be making the ring and using a perfect laboratory grown diamond instead of something from DeBeers. And when I show it off I”ll be showing off my handiwork instead of “that’s twelve paychecks wrapped around that finger.”

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  4. * milano miss says:

    I bore wittness to the birthing of my nephew…you know, the miracle of life? Well when my sister ask me about all I said was “the doctor just about dropped your kid cause he was slimy”

    Luckily, with my family, these are common observations rather than “sentimental emotions”

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 2 months ago
  5. * the princess says:

    I really am happy about babies and birthdays, but engagements…not so much. Not girlie enough to be happy about it, except for my best friends. And it’s not for the ring, it’s for their happiness. Or something.

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 1 month ago

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