It’s been two weeks since we got engaged, and the business of spreading the news is now over…more or less. Turns out, it’s not as straightforward an operation you think it’s going to be, and the aftermath is not necessarily what you think it’s going to be either.
1. News spreading
There’s a touch of project management when it comes to news spreading. There’s tasks that can’t be done before other tasks are done, and there are delays that stop one series of linear tasks from progressing, while another branch of tasks speeds ahead and is waiting on you to catch up and do the next one. That sort of thing.
The essential thing is that the gossip radiating out from you spreads out evenly at an equal pace in all directions – I don’t want it to have reached an outer layer on my left when I haven’t yet reached the second layer on right. Make sense? 😉
We wanted it to go more or less in this order: Parents & immediate family, close friends, extended family, other friends, office people, facebook. Facebook comes last because you do not want your brother hearing about it via his girlfriend’s facebook account. Speaking of facebook, has anyone else noticed how it fills the role that newspapers used to? Does anyone put announcements in the paper anymore?
At E + 48 hours, the news still hadn’t even penetrated all of Layer 1 (parents). Such is the nature of everyone changing countries all the time. We got 3 out of 4 down on skype within 24 hours, but had to wait to tell my Dad because he was travelling, and it’s not news you want him finding out on an email for the 10 minutes at the airport he has internet access.
So Monday morning starts and I can’t keep myself from telling my colleagues, but my poor Dad is oblivious. That night after I let my Dad know, we crossed quite a few more off the list: skype to Granny and to Aunt C, which also necessitated immediate messaging of cousins in UK so that Aunt C could discuss the latest with her daughters.
Meanwhile on the friend front, I emailed my besties (bearing in mind they are in different countries from me and it was not weekend, couldn’t call them boo), considered the option of waiting to tell our local friends in person, but then sent them facebook messages because I COULD NOT HOLD IT IN. But it’s ok, I got to the loo in time. Just kidding, I never made it. Just kidding just kidding…
By the end of the workweek I was bursting to announce it on fb but we still hadn’t crossed off some South African extended family, they in the land of Not Everyone Has Internet. Finally 10 whole days after being engaged, I updated my relationship status.
It’s interesting how varied the reactions are. Some people are all “LET’S DRINK CHAMPAGNE ASAP” and other people are more “Meh”. Once our wider community found out, we got messages from some that went “Wooohoo I’m so happy for you!”, to clicking Like on fb. Or not.
You know what the first question people ask is? How did he propose! And then you know what they ask next? When is the wedding! And then they say, Let me see the ring!!! So I’ve told the story of the island, the beach, and the sunset a bunch of times. And we’re getting used to explaining why there is no ring. I want just a wedding ring, so that I only have to wear one ring forever (I wear other rings, just not the same one everyday). And I want to wait until the wedding before I wear it.
Meanwhile things are feeling maybe just a tad anti-climactic around here. There will be no engagement party – all our people are on other continents. We almost had a very casual get together last weekend with our local circle, but then decided to take a nap instead for a change after the crazy month. And then there’s the whole stalled wedding planning thing.
Still, we continue to be happily in love, and our favourite people continue to be thrilled for us. And if that’s not nice, Mr Vonnegut, I don’t know what is.