Something I’m not great at is breaking news, good or bad, to other people.
Whenever I tell Parker bad news, I’m always like, “Bad news. I mean, nobody died. It’s still bad, well, not that bad, but…you know what? I’ll just tell you.” Which means that I amp up the anxiety factor. For me, if no one else. I don’t know if he even gets anxious when I start saying I have bad news at this point. He knows when something really bad happens, because I just say it. Or I start crying. Or both. Which is probably why he gets really concerned when I cry.
My good news telling is mixed so far. In high school, I used to tell my friends when I was dating someone, but I always forgot to tell one of my best friends, because I never knew how to tell him. So he always was the LAST to find out. When he mentioned this to me, I promised myself that no matter how awkward, I had to tell people important things.
A few weeks ago was the anniversary of our engagement which got me thinking about it. When we got engaged, I actually was pretty great about breaking the news to our friends. First, I called my mom, who was NOT surprised, but it was really better that way. When I picked my bridesmaids, she said that I had told her the first week Parker and I started dating that I was going to marry him (she asked if I was serious which is one of my pet peeves). I have no recollection of that, probably because it’s a weird fucking thing to say the first week you’re dating someone.
Anyway, back to the engagement story. After I called my mom, we went out to eat with some of our friends, which was already a planned thing, so it wasn’t suspicious. None of them knew. Then, I stealthily hid my hand. For like, half an hour. Which took some doing.
Then, I was like, “I have something to say.”
And someone, I think Frost, yelled, “You’re pregnant!” And I was like, “No…but thanks for THAT!” I talked about how we went to the beach, and then I just pulled out my hand with my GORGEOUS ring on it (I had already gotten my happy crying out of the way) and yelled. Probably because I couldn’t think of a segue. And everyone got really excited, congratulated us, and someone probably asked if I was pregnant again (I later burned that sweatshirt).
Then Wifey, my ex-roommate, who I love to pieces and had not been paying attention, realized seconds behind everyone else that I was engaged. I think the ring caught the light, and she was all, “What’s THAT!? Is that a RING? YOU’RE ENGAGED?? WHAAAAT!?” And then she jumped across the table, almost knocking over drinks and food to hug me. It was pretty epic and awesome.
But when I called my dad to tell him, he started talking about how he was going to need minor surgery. He was scared and kind of freaking out. But we had a birthday party for my grandpa in a DAY. We only get together with his side of the family twice a year, and the next family gathering was going to be an additional one…at my wedding. I debated putting it off, but I knew I couldn’t. It could only get more awkward, like, “I have a party. You have to be there. No pressure. Just…okay, not so much a party as a gathering…in a church, with a priest, where I marry my boyfriend. Who’s my fiance.” Plus, if I told him in ONE DAY when it was my Grandpa’s birthday, in a room with everyone else, it would break his heart. And he might need twice the surgery, which I did NOT want. I had to tell him before that. I let him talk for awhile.
“I’m sorry,” I said, and I was, for both him undergoing surgery and the news he was NOT prepared to hear right now. “I love you, and you’re in my prayers.”
He said, “Thanks. I love you too. Soooo how are you?”
Me: I’m good. I’m…getting married.
The only time in recent memory this was ever NOT a problem was when I had to put in my resignation from work. I handed my boss the letter, and since he was relatively uncomfortable with personal interaction anyway, it was short, which was GREAT. He also said, “Thank you for giving me a month and a half notice.” So, there’s that. Really, I just wanted to tell everyone I was quitting as soon as possible so they could find a replacement for me. Then I was going to take a month off work to relax before I moved many states away.
There are things I miss about leaving home, but having to quit my job was NEVER one of them.
Anyway, I think in addition to cards, there should be some sort of counseling on how to tell your family/friends big news. No one ever told me how to tell my family I was getting married and avoid all the awkward questioning. Maybe I’ll find a way to perfect this and write a book?
Fortunately, I have no news to break to anyone right now. WOO HOO! Crisis averted.
In the meantime, I have television to watch and a dog to entertain.