This is a guide of 5 things not to do when your younger sister/cousin/friend/co-worker gets engaged before you. We all know what it feels like when a younger loved one “beats you” to the altar. The movie Baggage Claim which stars Paula Patton explores this very touchy topic. When her character’s younger sister gets engaged, she and her friends concoct a plan to find her the perfect date for the wedding – and of course shenanigans ensue.
You’re kind of left feeling that if it isn’t a younger person beating you to the altar, it’s the “holy smokes, who do I bring as a date?!”, when you actually can’t bear the thought of bringing your girlfriend to yet another function. It strikes fear into the heart of even the bravest and most fearless spinster.
This situation plays out across movies and TV where single are the focus of the plot, I suppose because there is some truth to that feeling of seeing people in your life move on/forward. In the 2005 movie, The Wedding Date Debra Messing’s character withdraws money from her 401k to hire an escort to be her date to her sister’s wedding. Luckily, I’m not that stupid but I have had a pity-party or two when someone younger has gotten engaged and married. Side note: funny how none of the wedding movies are about single men feeling bad or desperate at weddings… but that’s another blog post all together.
Recently a very dear and younger friend got engaged to her even younger boyfriend, and it jump started a “why not me? pity party”. Not that I wasn’t thrilled for her, I was just sad for myself. It’s kind of like the way you feel when your work friend who has been with company years less than you, gets an awesome promotion and you think “Ummm, I’ve been with company longer than her so why didn’t I get that promotion?”
The pity party didn’t last very long. I came to my senses when our group of friends met for an impromptu engagement party with lots of wine, laughing, and excitement as they recounted their beautiful and fun proposal. I couldn’t be happier for them, and look forward to their nuptials this fall. I’m just very thankful, she doesn’t want any bridesmaids.
Here are 5 things NOT to do or say when your younger sister/cousin/friend/co-worker gets engaged before you:
#1. Don’t be passive aggressive when you get the good news by screaming with an oddly high-pitched “OMG! Congrats girl! I’m so happy for you ….but so soon? I mean what’s the rush – you’re not preggars are you? Or “Yeah girl! I’m so psyched for you guys! So glad you gave up dating hot guys. Ted is such a keeper. He’s stable and sooo nice. I think it’s so cool how you don’t care about height.”
#2. Don’t say yes to being a bridesmaid if you can’t or aren’t willing to do all those fun and costly bridesmaidy things that are supposed to make the future bride feel special. The bridesmaid duties require serious financial and time commitments. Politely decline if you can’t honor them without any snark or shade, but be sure to offer to help do something and/or give a really nice and thoughtful wedding gift.
#3. Don’t under any circumstances bring up her “slutty” past, famous ex or anything she said to you about the groom in confidence to him, other bridesmaids or wedding guests. And, whatever you do, DO NOT let it work its way into your toast at the reception. BTW- getting drunk at any of the wedding related functions is NOT an excuse to have loose lips.
#4. Don’t have have a memory lapse and start trying to rewrite your history with your unemotionally available ex. Don’t call, reconnect, have sex with or worse try to resurrect the horrible and doomed relationship that you stuck around about 3 month too long. Remember, there are a thousand reasons didn’t work and there is 99.99 percent chance it won’t work the 5th time.
#5. Finally, don’t make this about you! There aren’t a finite amount of engagements or love in the world, so by the younger person or anyone for that matter getting hitched before you doesn’t mean your magical time has poof disappeared. Be genuinely happy for your friend that she found her terrific guy and soul mate. Like attracts like, therefore, love attracts love. Plus, you never know what brother/cousin/friend/co-worker might be at the wedding meant just for you.