Monday, February 25, 2008

Sticking the landing

It turns out you're not supposed to congratulate women on getting married. Did you know this?

I have received, and happily - oh so happily - a number of congratulations.

Practically everyone I've told has congratulated me. Personally, I've always congratulated anyone who has ever gotten engaged, woman or man.

On Friday evening I was at Nick's office, and saw, for the first time since we got engaged, one of his colleagues. I like him. He's very kind. He's also very socially correct, very proper.

We really don't know each other. He has no idea what a Philistine I am.

And so, when he saw us, he kissed me on the cheek and said, "Best wishes! I congratulated Nick but I haven't seen you!"

I said I'd just heard that it was proper to congratulate men, while you're supposed to give women best wishes. And I was just wondering why.

So he said, "Well, you're essentially congratulating the man on having gotten the woman to marry him."


"But you wish a woman well because you don't want to suggest that she's been working to get married. You don't want the implication to be, 'Congratulations! You finally got a husband!'"

Now, anyone who knows me knows that it hasn't been my life goal to get married. And truthfully, I'd almost given up on it, I'd gotten so jaded. But I do feel like I've worked for this. I want all the congratulations anyone is offering.

And I said, "Oh, but that's how I feel! Yay! I am so lucky! I got a good one!"

I put my arms up in the air, like a gymnast at the end of a routine. I mean, like a gymnast wearing high heeled boots and a bright pink winter coat and pink flowery hat and carrying a big orange bag. So maybe like a brightly clad, winterized, graceless gymnast. But still.

As I did this I said, "I do! I feel like I finally stuck the landing!"

He giggled. Because what else can you do when faced with this kind of behavior?


  1. Oh, I love you. That pic is exactly how I feel. :)

  2. I can totally see you doing that! The orange bag makes the look!

  3. you know... you stop reading blogs for a while and then folks just up and get engaged...

    congratulations!!! i wish you both well and much, much happiness! may you be the nadia comaneci of marriedness :)

  4. That's hilarious -- but in your shoes I'd totally feel the same way!

  5. I giggled while reading then burst into laughter at the pic in Jordaan's comment.

    A gymnast from a tropical country might wear a pink and orange, flowery leotard. Might!

  6. I like the theory of congratulating the man on getting the woman to marry him. I think I'll remember that! I guess sometimes over the top PC is useful!

  7. that's craziness! since when did "congratulations!" start to mean "thank god you finally landed a guy!"?

    lol :-)

    if that's the case, couldn't "best wishes!" mean "good luck with that one!"?

  8. I totally do the gymnast who stuck her landing arms in the air thing too when I'm excited or proud or just plain happy over something!

  9. I have an Australian perspective on this, but your colourful (note the 'u' in colour...) description makes me think Soleil Moon Frye just got engaged.

    Whatevever happened to Punky Brewster...

  10. Oh, I love that kind of thing. I'll be sure to follow etiquette from now on.

  11. I have heard about this and I kinda like it. But I love anything old-fashioned and proper. I would probably love to lunch with this guy and enjoy every carefully-chosen, grammatically-correct word of our conversation.

  12. DCup - I treat that orange bag as a neutral. The orange and pink are pretty alarming together. And even more so with my turquose gloves. Heh.

    Jess - Ooh! Thank you! I love that! I do want to be the Nadia Comaneci of marriedness!

    Beach Bum - I'm glad to hear that!

    HKW - I know - isn't that picture hilarious? As for the leotard - it would probably look fruit-salady and scary, quite frankly. :)

    Canaan - I like it, too!

    MrsMac - I dunno. And ha! As amazing as he is, I'd be happy to be wished good luck with this one. :)

    Sarah - I got this move from my friend Jen and I just love it.

    GaryQ - Colourful! With a U! Heh!

    Rich - It's the kind of thing I'll probably forget immediately.

    Amisare - I like this guy very much. I'm sure he'd be fun to have lunch with.


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