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Ladies In Waiting

January 18, 2010

To be quite honest, the “feminist” in me finds it hard to come to grips with the “waiting” portion of the engagement game. At the WeddingBee Board, there is an entire section dedicated to ladies waiting on their men to propose.

Waiting on a man. Any man. Severely gets my goat. I was not even very patient with Santa Clause (I think my parents doped me up with Benedryl to make sure I slept). Shoestring Boy distained all my help with the ring. With the proposal. With everything. This and this alone was his and he took great pleasure in it. So, if a girl knows it is coming what else is she suppose to do? Twiddle her thumbs and try not to hold your breath everytime he tells you he is in the mood for steak?

As someone on the other side, it seems too easy to disapparage, the “waiting” ladies. To me, ‘waiting’ is one of those things that women do but pride (at least on my part) would never let me ‘fess up to. No woman wants to be labeled with that other D-word: desperate. We shake our heads at the friends who post up pictures of engagement rings they desire on their Facebook. “Oh my gosh, how sad” we say. Everyone who is anyone knows that you email the pictures to your boy not publish it out for the world to see. Now people are actually going to know that you want to get married. No. You are independent. You are smart. You don’t need a man to want to marry you.

Some would sagely reply, “you know, if he isn’t proposing to you, maybe it’s because he thinks you are not the one for him”. We have this image, of the “waiting” woman who is consistently and constantly bring up marriage. The engagement. The wedding, when she actually gets to plan it, what it is going to look like. While the long-suffering boyfriend wearily nods wondering maybe he should just give her the darn ring so she will stop nagging.

I wonder what exactly gives us this cringable portrayal of the “waiting woman”? Social expectations? Movies like “Leap Year” where the woman so anxious for her boyfriend to propose that she takes matters into her own hands? (I really hate Hollywood’s portrayal of woman and weddings but we shall wait a little longer for that diatrible!) Or is it that we deplore most in others what we hate in ourselves?

What do you think of the idea of the “waiting”? I assume very few women are caught by complete surprise anymore when they are proposed to. You might not know when he is proposing or how but you know it is coming. Chances are the both of you probably looked at a few rings and the two of you have talked about marriage. How did you do while you were waiting? Did you join waiting forms to assuage the waiting? Did you grit your teeth and go on with life as normal? While I was waiting I felt irritatingly like the traditional pre-social reform woman. Just give me the gosh darn ring, already! The waiting irritated me.

What do you think about the waiting woman?

Picture credited to Cartoon Stock

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 18, 2010 1:01 pm

    I was a lady in waiting. It was assumed by all we would finally marry. I did search for things privately (and with Bean). I am already quite dominant and felt it would be entirely emasculating to ask myself.

  2. barbride permalink
    January 18, 2010 7:29 pm

    I totally agree with you on this topic. I guess I was a lady in waiting – knowing it would happen sometime soon but not when – but I gritted my teeth and went on with life as normal. I didn’t even find out about WeddingBee until after he proposed! And I probably wouldn’t have joined any kind of waiting forums out of 1) pride and 2) not wanting to jinx anything. I guess I felt annoyed that it was all up to him when/where he proposed, instead of it just being up to us as adults to decide to get married. Maybe that’s the feminist in me.

  3. Jesselyn permalink*
    January 19, 2010 2:11 am

    Ya. I am in two minds about this too. On one hand I wanted the elaborate proposal: the one where all your girlfriends gush “how romantic!” and on the other I just wanted to be a grown up and make a mutual decision together to get married. Get the ring. Call it good. Jeez.

  4. January 21, 2010 6:52 pm

    I guess I was a lady in waiting too.

    We were only together just over 2 years when he proposed, but he had moved across the world with me before we’d known each other a year. The only thing that made me crazy was that everyone thought it was appropriate to say things like “Oh, you’ll be next” and “When do you think you’ll get engaged?”

    That makes you feel as though you should be, you know? Then you think, if everyone else thinks we should get married, why doesn’t he?

    Stupid, yes. But I NEVER would have joined a forum or anything like that. I didn’t know they existed anyway.

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