My new least favorite words in the world are "You're Next!" Mind you, I already hate the words "satchel," "slacks," and "moisture." I just don't like they way they feel when I say them - like they are trying to be dirty or bad or something. I've got some other word-nemesis - "amphitheatre" (which I can't say without dropping an 'L' in the middle) and "confiscate" (which I want to add an extra "N" to)....but these have all jumped down on the list to bearable - at least for today.
Now, to understand where my day took a turn, we have to review the last few months. November: Friend A gets engaged. December: Friend B gets engaged. Today: Friend C gets engaged. About an hour later...someone posts the latest switch-you-picture-on-Facebook craze to 'Post a picture of you and your spouse in honor of Valentine's Day!' Oh yes, shall we?
The engagements - I can almost live with. It is reassuring that women my age (just short of Cougarville) can still dream about white dresses, flowers girls and, in my case...how I will get a Clay's Cake to North Carolina.
Here's where I jump ship - it is never, ever, ever, ever, EVER okay to say the words, "You're Next!"
I'm even having trouble this very minute trying to describe how it feels to have those words thrown at you. I've heard these words before. Outside the Principal's Office after I faked a sprained arm in fifth grade thus creating a scandal involving my teachers, the nurse, my parents...or at the pharmacy as the clinicians are sharpening the next round of flu shot needles.
Yet the connotation when those words follow 'Hey, I just got engaged!" is totally different because they also carry an insult, albeit unintended. Newsflash..."You're Next!" is basically a flat out cover story. It's really just code for "Wow, I'm so glad I'm not pathetic anymore and you still are." or "I really dodged a bullet by getting engaged. Thank God it was me and none of my other girlfriends."
It's also code for "Now that I'm engaged, I'm going to hang out with my married and engaged friends because now I have more in common with them than you - but I'll call you if I need any opinions on single people stuff." or "Make sure you come to the wedding because I need an even number at the tables and my cousin Jiffy's husband can't make it."
The funny thing is that what sparked a very heated phone rant to my Lake View, Oregon friend today wasn't even a "You're Next!" It was an "Isn't that great?" It referenced another friend's engagement. And for the first time in my life, I really wanted to answer, "You know what? No. It isn't great. In fact, it sucks. It sucks that she met someone a half hour ago and now they are getting married while I sit here reorganizing my 2010 budget to afford all these registries."
So by now, you might have the impression that I'm a bit, um....selfish...I swear...that's not it at all. I do love my friends. And I am excited for them. And I am glad they are all starting new adventures. And I will stand up for them and behind them and by their sides throughout the whole process.
This round of engagements has actually been really nice actually. Back in my early twenties there was a rash of weddings - dress shopping, menu planning - heck that was before you could point and shoot your registry into a magic database. This time it's different. My girlfriends all know who they are and don't apologize for it. I see a lot more solidity in their relationships than those in my twenties because of that. Their future husbands really do know exactly what they are getting - and couldn't be more happy.
And really, by now in our lives we've all been to so many weddings that putting together our own is a snap. Dress, check. Church, check. Reception Hall, check. Clay's Cake, check.
So friends...I am happy for you - and anxious for all this wedding mumbo-jumbo to be over. It is hard work for you, which makes it hard work for me. Soon, we can sit around and review who did the dumbest thing at your wedding. I pledge for it not to involve me taking off my pants or throwing up. Well, I'll try.
But, let's face it - I'm not next..and that is great. I'm fine where I am.