In the movie Steel Magnolias, Olympia Dukakis’ character, Clairee, says that “the only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.” I would also add that as far as females are concerned, we are also defined by our ability to squeal with delight upon hearing someone has received the ultimate accessory, the engagement ring.
Recently, I have had the pleasure of being on the receiving end of said squeals. For it was November 5th at around 6 pm that Jerome asked if I might want to be his wife. He was more eloquent than that, but it was all a blur, literally, as I somehow managed to fog up my glasses while bursting into tears. (Spoiler alert: I also said yes.)
Cut to Saturday night when I went out for my sister’s birthday. Not wanting to steal the birthday girl’s thunder, I kept my mouth shut about my engagement until Kelli announced to her girlfriends that I had “news.”
So I did what any betrothed girl might do — I held out my left hand. When there’s a diamond ring involved, this gesture quickly becomes the universal sign for “I’m engaged.” This led to squeals of delight, so much so that it caught the attention of the gaggle of girls sitting next to us. After a friend exclaimed, “She just got engaged!” the entire group of girls, total strangers, erupted in cheers. This got the attention of our waitress who, once she knew what all the commotion was about, brought over a round of shots.
It was like a veritable Rube Goldberg of joy. One squeal led to another, which led to, well, free drinks.
Having never been engaged before, I had no idea how excited people got over proposals, marriage and love. And by “people,” I mean women. Sure, we have male friends and relatives who are genuinely and enthusiastically happy for us, including a few who insisted on details about the proposal, but nothing gets someone with two X chromosomes more excited than news of an engagement. Nothing. Or so says the girl who has never announced that a baby is on the way.