I am a man of many, many skills. One of which is possessing a seemingly endless well of knowledge concerning matters of etiquette, manners, and expertise on a all subjects known to man. My days gradually became filled with requests to share said knowledge, so I've collected my wealth of mastery into one place: The Ricker's Guide.
I'll be sharing random chapters here. Behold one of the most sought-after areas of my knowledge:
CHAPTER 27: WEDDING ENGAGEMENT ETIQUETTE FOR WOMEN
SECTION 1: Engagement!
Congratulations! It finally happened! You’re engaged! OMG! ROTFL! AARP!
You’ve just experienced the most romantic moment of your life. Your man probably took you on a walk in a poppy field, got down on one knee, and said the 14 words every young woman waits her whole life to hear: “Well Sarah, you’re seven months pregnant. I guess we should give this a shot.”
Once you’re engaged, the first thing you’ll want to do is tell all your friends and family. There’s nothing better than hearing the squeal of elation from your best friend, the scream of murderous rage from your other boyfriend who is just now finding out you’ve been cheating on him, and the disapproving sigh from your mother when she finds out you’re marrying a black guy.
But you can’t just blurt out the news to everyone. That wouldn’t be etiquett-arian! (a real word I just made up.)
If you or your fiancé has been married before, it is polite to call your ex-spouse and let them know you’re remarrying. If you are currently participating in a polygamist marriage or a weird cult thing – a text, tweet, or hand-written note on the refrigerator is sufficient.
If you or your groom–to-be has children, you should take special care while telling them the good news.
Be prepared for any concerns or questions your children may have about having a new father in the house. Who will tuck me in at night? What will I call my new daddy? Does this guy like drunkenly shooting guns in the air as much as your previous 3 husbands?
Your children may also wonder what to call their new stepfather. This should be left up to the child so they can choose what they’re most comfortable with. One child may want to call his or her stepfather “Dad,” while another may want to call him “Scott.” This is mainly because 98% of all stepfathers are named “Scott.”
Don’t let your feelings be hurt if your child isn’t initially excited about your engagement. Time, love, and sneaking Prozac into their Fruity Pebbles will work things out.
SECTION 2: An Engagement Party!
An engagement party is a great way to simultaneously celebrate this new chapter of your life and make your single friends want to kill themselves.
And engagement party allows your loved ones to gather in one place, congratulate you, and say in one voice “sure half of marriages don’t work out – but maybe you guys will be ok. Probably not -- but maybe.”
At one point during the party, a friend may propose a toast to you and your beau. Etiquette dictates that whenever a toast is done in your honor, you must not raise your glass or even take a drink. Just wait a minute and be patient you fucking wino.
But after that, it’s customary for your fiancé to toast you and your parents – and then all bets are off. Do shots, smoke blunts, do peyote and murder a convenience store clerk just to see what human blood tastes like. Once your fiancé has toasted you, no court can convict you, and no bridal etiquette book will frown upon you. Live a little!
During your engagement party, your soon-to-be mother-in-law may recommend you begin calling her something more informal like “Mom.” If she really identified with Jenna Elfman’s character from “Dharma and Greg,” she may even ask you what you’d like to call her.
The answer to this question should not be “How about ‘AIDS Mummy,’ you twiggy whore?”– unless, of course, your future mother-in-law is married to a member of the Wu-Tang Clan – in which case she will undoubtedly take this as a term of endearment.
SECTION 3: Other pre-wedding parties
Even though your wedding will be the biggest parties of your life (unless, of course, you are turning 16 and happen to be one of Puff Daddy’s two dozen children) – there are a number of pre-wedding parties you will be forced to participate in before the big day.
Why? Because this is America, and we will drink and give gift cards at the drop of a hat. Here’s what you can expect party-wise in the months leading up to your wedding.
The bridal shower is a time-honored tradition. While showers are normally thrown by sisters or best friends, feel free to seek sponsorship for your event. Nothing sets the tone of your shower better than a Monster Energy drink backdrop gracefully hung behind you while you're opening gifts.
This is the only occasion where it’s socially acceptable to drink out of a straw shaped like a penis outside of Paris Hilton’s funeral. Enjoy it!
Because this book is being written by a man, I’m required by the brotherhood to inform you that bachelor parties consist of nothing more than bible study and a rigorous round of cross stitching. "The Hangover" was a piece of fiction based on the actions of foolish men who don't care about their girlfriends, who are totally awesome just for the record. I love you baby. XOXO.
SECTION 4: How to handle references to the song “Single Ladies”
And now, onto the most asked about engagement etiquette quagmire of them all -- the phenomenon I call The Single Ladies Conundrum.
Once engaged, people around you will often quote the Beyoncé song “Single Ladies” during conversation. This is most frequently done by older members of your family and your most unfunny friends.
During your engagement, you’ll hear phrases like “I guess he liked it because he put a ring on it!” anywhere between one and 30 thousand times a day. This is to be expected, but by no means tolerated.
Maybe during the week Single Ladies came out, such a “joke” would be acceptable. But that was 2008, and according to my Black Eyed Peas wall calendar the current year is “2000 and late."
So when such an egregious insult to your intelligence occurs, the polite way to handle the situation is to give the perpetrator a “courtesy laugh.” However, to make sure said perpetrator never commits this act again, let your courtesy laugh get increasingly louder and more angry until they get uncomfortable and walk away.
This, by the way, is also the appropriate response when a grandparent gives you $5 in a birthday card.
SECTION 5: Broken Engagements
Breaking off an engagement is unfortunate and uncomfortable, but it does happen from time to time. This often occurs when the couple decides they’re not actually ready to take their relationship to the next level, or when the male decides he’s actually in love with the Applebee’s waitress he met last night during happy hour because she really understands him and she’s just doing the waitress thing right now until she can go to school to become a pediatric physical therapist because she loves kids and helping people – goddammit Jacob you’re such a fucking asshole. I hope you and Jayden are happy together you miserable prick.
Sorry. I blacked out with rage for a second. What were we talking about? Oh yeah! Lemon frosting is good on cakes.
Enjoy engagement while it lasts. It’s a special time that usually lasts only a year – unless you’re engaged to someone in a federal penitentiary for multiple homicide convictions. Then it lasts a lifetime!
And remember – make sure to invite a few rich people to your wedding. They give the best gifts and make your parents feel inferior.