Chapter 6– …But Before I Post on Facebook…
My subconscious is a sadistic bastard. I was back at home, and I had told my parents, but I was still having nightmares. The nightmares were very sadistic in nature, in one case, I ended up ruining my wedding plans by accidentally having a sexual encounter with Mr. Bean. Palucid, sensitive and compassionate soul that he is, laughed near hysterically when I told him about my nightmare. He also offered to buy me a Mr. Bean Pez dispenser.
Upon solitary-Palucidless reflection, I suspected my subconscious was passively aggressively nagging me to hurry up and tell my siblings, and their kids, so that I could enjoy the glamour and relief of posting a change in relationship status on Facebook. It was August in Manitoba—the magical time of year when Manitobans load their vehicles with beer and bug repellent and head to the lake for a campout. According to my mom, my siblings would be in between summer follies thus they were planning to show up, on Sunday, at my parents, for a belated birthday dinner for me.
In the meantime I had to wait. It wasn’t that bad, after all, I had to unpack, and tidy up my house. One of my friends from Alberta was scheduled to arrive in a day or so. She was in town for a course, and staying with us for a couple of days. Even though we had just visited with her a few days ago while we were in Alberta, I was still excited to extend our visit. She would be in town by Sunday, and we would be bringing her along to take in the whole wonder of my siblings hearing our news.
My sister was in the midst of an intense game of cribbage with our parents when we first arrived. When Palucid and I walked in with my friend from Alberta, both my parents dropped everything to visit with her. My sister looked up from her cribbage and advised me that our parents had been acting a little strange all day. Palucid and I giggled and offered a hypothesis: perhaps they were a little distracted with the news that their daughter was getting married.
Kudos to my sister, it would have taken me a moment to get what we were getting at, but she teared up, threw down her cribbage hand, and hugged me: hard. It was at that moment I realized my sister had inherited our dad’s “bear hug” gene. She also seemed to inherit my mom’s ability to swiftly shove me aside to hug Palucid. As I fell down, I used it as an opportunity to visit with my mom’s two cats who were hanging out under the dining room table—that way it sort of looked like I intentionally, albeit dramatically, made time to visit with them.
As soothing as hiding under a dining room table with two cats can be, people soon started to wonder where I’d gone off to. My dad, in particular, was looking for me. He bent down and dragged me up by my left hand—rag doll style. As he was dragging my hand over to my sister, he was asking her if she had seen my ring yet? It was at this point I realized that things were going much smoother than I would have originally anticipated. My sister was understandably awestruck by my ring.
Palucid came along and regaled my sister with the story of how my ring came to be. This led the conversation into a bit of a dialogue about diamonds and engagement rings in general. Palucid snuck away just in time—he narrowly escaped a conversation where women were comparing engagement rings offered by former husbands. Both my brother and my nephews had just showed up. Palucid and I managed to tell them all at once. My sister-in-law warmly congratulated us and instantly started inquire about possible dates and locations. While we were chatting, my left arm started travelling away. It would seem my arm was making its way towards my brother thanks to my dad and his bear paw grip.
My brother watched my hand approaching with a certain stoicism. He looked at me and I tried to shrug, but it was more of a lopsided shoulder wobble, so I winked instead. It was brother-sister code for “let him have this moment”. My brother acted surprised—for the second time in five minutes. Before my dad could drag my left hand across the house to my nephews, my mom alerted us all that it was time for dinner. My dad agreed to let me have my left hand back so that I may eat.
Over dinner, my dad did a bit of head count—everyone present knew about our engagement. For the moment, my left hand was safe. I was doing a headcount myself. Both sets of parents, all siblings (respective spouses included), and nieces and nephews all knew. Earlier in the day I finally decoded my cryptic email for my future maid of honour and she more than happily agreed to be our witness. Aside from our work colleagues, both Palucid and I had told all those we agreed to tell first. I could feel my double-clicking thumbs twitch—it was very nearly Facebook relationship status update time!!
It was quite late, or should I say “early” (in the morning) by the time I logged on to Facebook and updated my relationship status. It only took a second or so, and since it was so late, few people were on line to notice. I was tired and eagerly anticipated my first thoroughly restful sleep in a long time. I woke up the next morning to fifty “notices”, forty-nine of those notices were people either liking and/or commenting on my relationship status update. The other notice was a really funny picture of a cat.