Chapter 3— Engagement Announcements…
We agreed to tell immediate family first and in person. In other words, there was to be no Facebook postings until parents and siblings were informed. For Palucid that was easy, for me that was easier said than done. I was in the BC interior and near bursting with the news. My left finger donned this amazing ring, and my imagination was chalk full of ideas and images of all things bridal. We talked about bridesmaids and groomsmen. Palucid and I agreed that all we needed was one witness each.
For me, while I had many options within my family, I just couldn’t choose between my sister, sister-in-law, or nieces. I had to “outsource”. Truthfully, for as much as I adore my female family members, my choice in maid of honour was a bit of a no-brainer. Amongst my many friends, there was one who had known me since high school, and was thoroughly familiar with not only my special brand of crazy, but also that of my family’s. She was cool, calm, collected, gentle, and jonesin’ to have a shot at being a maid of honour. She was one of my closest friends, and I couldn’t think of a better person to “have my back” as I embarked on this adventure.
Looking back, I don’t know how my head didn’t explode. Here I was, ecstatically engaged and answering “Happy Birthday” emails. Yet, as I described to my friends and family the details regarding how my birthday ‘went’—any references to our engagement were temporarily verboten. My friend, and future maid of honour, sent me an email wishing me a happy birthday, and promising a lunch and movie to posthumously honour said event. I answered the email with an emphatic acceptance of her offer and mysteriously suggested that we had much to talk about at such time. She was my friend, she knew me well, and she was brilliant. Surely she would figure it out without my technically breaking any promises I made to Palucid about waiting to tell people.
Within a couple of days of our engagement, we were back at Palucid’s parents. They would be the “first” to hear our news. A couple of years earlier, when Palucid gave me a promise ring for my birthday, his mom was nonplussed, and his dad was nearly devastated that the ring was only a promise ring. This time I was curious to see their response. True to form, his mom smiled and implied that not only was it about time, but that she knew it was just a matter of time. His dad, was much more outwardly expressive regarding his joy and delight. There was laughter and hugs all around.
Palucid’s sister, husband, and boys were due to arrive within a day or so, and shortly after them: Palucid’s aunt and uncle. As we waited for them, Palucid’s mom and I set about to do some grocery shopping. Palucid’s parents live in a small town in the Rockies, and while they had only been there a few years, they managed to make quite a few friends and acquaintances. Any trip into town, and we would bump into someone. In all cases, I was proudly introduced as the “future daughter-in-law”.
Just prior to Palucid’s sister’s arrival, Palucid had decided he wanted to ask his brother-in-law to be his best man. While I would have been happy with anyone of Palucid’s friends as best man, I had to admit, I didn’t envy Palucid’s task of choosing just one. He had many wonderful friends, all of whom were very easy for me to take an instant liking to. Palucid’s brother-in-law, however, had become very much like a brother over his ten year marriage to Palucid’s sister. They shared a many interests, and had a very strong love and respect for each other. With all that in consideration, why wouldn’t we ask him?
Telling Palucid’s family was both a joy and a relief—at least during my waking hours. However, it was at this point a bit of a monster, deep within my subconscious, began to stir. This monster’s name was “Social Anxiety”. He masqueraded for many years as a gimpy and reasonably harmless little affliction I called “Flirting Impaired”. Now, with my dating years placed firmly behind me, this monster seemed to feel compelled to “level up”.
It started with dreams, or as some people call them: nightmares. At night, spooned and snuggled in alongside my fiancé, I would fall into a blissful and deep sleep. Once asleep, the monster would wake and start his fiendish plotting. By dawn I would start awake with a racing pulse and in a cold sweat. Some dreams had me being tricked into marrying another man, while other dreams Palucid would calmly inform me that the wedding was off because there were too many people to invite. Each and every dream pushed heavily on any residual abandonment issues I have. At the time, I blamed it all on the fact that we had only told Palucid’s family, and my family had nary a clue. It seemed a valid and simple theory…