Would you like to be the last to know?

Yesterday my children were told by someone in the neighborhood that her sister was getting engaged that day. Take note of the tense there. She told them this in the morning because, apparently, the young man her sister was seeing announced that he was going to pop the question that day. Perhaps this was in order to give them time to plan an apparently impromptu party. They seem to do this in this particular social circle. A couple of years ago, the same neighborhood person told us of a friend whose young man also told everyone of their acquaintance in advance to gather for an engagement party. Now, if I were in the kallah's shoes, my reaction to this would be very negative. I would not like for my mother, my sister, and all their friends and neighbors to know that I was becoming engaged before I did. I would want to be the first to know -- not the last. Happily, that event took place for me quite a number of years ago. I am now closer to the stage of warning my own children off such plans than to worrying about this for myself -B'H.

Comments

SephardiLady said…
And what happens if the girl is not quite ready?
Ariella said…
That is what I would object to -- taking it for granted that she'll agree as soon as he decides to go forward.
SephardiLady said…
There is a danger of putting the potential kallah into a situation where she feels little choice but to say "yes." And then what. . . . .

Personally, I'm really not into these engagement parties. I think it is a lot of show, often before the "real fun" starts.
Lion of Zion said…
SL:

my understanding is that in these circumstances, the engagement has already been discussed between the boy and girl. she knows he will propose, but it's just a matter of when and how. (often even the when is not a surprise either.)
Ariella said…
I'm certain that they had reached some level of understanding. But from what I heard, it sounds like the young man is the one who decides exactly when it will become public by letting family and friends in on it before presenting the ring for a formal proposal. Personally, I wouldn't like it. And I really believe that with something as big ticket as a ring, one is better off allowing the wearer to select her choice (within the budget) than to guess what she would like and just find out her size. There was just a posting today from someone seeking to sell his "chosson cufflinks" valued at $600. He doesn't wear French cuff shirts. Wouldn't it have made sense for his kallah to look into this before shelling out (or rather having her parents shell out) that kind of money? Engagement rings usually cost quite a bit more.
Gila S said…
When my husband proposed, I didn't even tell my parents (with whom I am quite close) until the following morning - I wanted to have the time to just be happy by ourselves, without inviting the whole world into our relationship just yet.

But then, I think engagement parties are mostly silly.
Josh M. said…
When I became engaged, I asked my kallah what type of diamond she wanted, chose one that fit my budget, and then took her to a jewelry store to choose a setting that she liked. I don't know why, outside of the Hollywood stereotype, a man would try to guess at his kallah's preferences on something this important.
Lion of Zion said…
JOSH:

"on something this important"

or rather on something that expensive

anyway, i proposed with a kotel ring (she had lost her teenage kotel ring) and later went shopping together for the "real" ring.
Ariella said…
The advice in the spring issue of Kallah Mag was for the chasson to allow his kallah to pick out her ring and not to make the element of surprise central to the event. See http://kallahmagazine.com/DatingAdvice.htm
SephardiLady said…
Gila S-We also kept our engagement quiet initially and only after we absorbed occassion were we able to share.

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