As evidenced by the recent rash of celebrity engagements, we’re officially into engagement season (which is a season that lasts all year, apparently). If you want to get through it without requiring a lobotomy, you
regoing to need to fake your enthusiasm when you start seeing the dreaded “she said YES” statues popping up.
Weddings, engagements, and all that jazz can be awesome if you like the couple to begin with, but if it’s someone like an awkward work acquaintance or overbearing distant cousin, you’re forced to be involved without having any real interest. Here’s how to fake it.
1. Coo over the ring
Say things like “it’s absolutely perfect for you” or “I can’t believe how shiny it is!” When you start to feel dizzy and sweaty, excuse yourself to the bathroom where you can splash water on your face and hide forever, if need be.
2. Listen attentively to the proposal story
You will probably hear this story about six thousand times over the next 15 years, so it’s a good idea to plan a few tv shows to play in your head or gruesome tragedies to contemplate. Just make sure you don’t replay The Notebook or some equally emotional sham in your head too much, because your tears will be perceived as emoting over their story, which will lead them to believe you want to hear it again. You’ll want to have an expression of love-filled wonder, which you can slap onto your face while planning your next bikini wax or something.
3. Offer a celebratory dinner
If you want to appear supportive and like you care about their engagement, a nice gesture is to take the couple out to dinner (this also works if you actually care about the couple and want to celebrate, or if you just like dinner). If you’re concerned that the conversation will be inane, overly affectionate, and proposal story-based, I’ve heard a vodka-soaked tampon does wonders (don’t do this).
4. Ask questions
You aren’t going to get to talk about your promotion, debilitating illness, book deal, or love life until the honeymoon’s over, so don’t even try. The newly engaged will panic when they stop having things to talk about that are them-centric, so you should feel free to say “Now I know it just happened, but do you guys have any wedding plans yet?” You’ll be good for an hour or so. Nod, smile, and remember the enormous bottle of wine waiting for you at home.
5. Decline to be a bridesmaid
Look, if these people suck so much that you have to fake enthusiasm for their engagement, you really don’t want to be in what I can only imagine would be a giant bridal party. Send gifts, be happy for them, but say that you can’t swing it with your work/life/balance whatever. You owe it to yourself.
Now just cross your fingers and hope the next engagement isn’t from an insufferable couple, and you can do all of these things sincerely and with joy. But until then, just remember that God made flasks for a reason.