Field Guide to Newly Engaged Friends

The newly Engaged Friend (amicus betrothus) is an entirely different species from the Single Friend (amicus singularus). Single Friends have diverse characteristics, but in general their conscious states are fully present, their habits are relatively reliable, and they have a stable personality.

Upon engagement, however, the Single Friend goes through an astounding transformation. The Engaged Friend lapses into a dreamy state of semi-consciousness at frequent, albeit unpredictable, intervals. These catatonic states may be triggered by anything that reminds the Friend of her significant other; however, almost everything does.

For the same reason, the Engaged Friend will begin many sentences with, “My chosson says…” or “I was talking about that with my chosson…” This is simply continuity from the state of Almost Engagement, when the Almost Engaged Friend frequently says things like, “Someone told me…” and “I was just talking about that with someone…”

The Engaged Friend looks at her hands a lot. She enjoys the sight of her wrist and ring finger. The bracelet is good for playing with in class, while the ring… well, it keeps flashing light in her eyes. She is not yet used to these new adornments, so they get in the way and catch her eye frequently. It is totally accidental that they also catch your eye frequently.

The Engaged Friend soon ceases to talk about tests, pizza, and shoe shopping. Her mind is cluttered with a new set of interests: entrees, white sneakers, professional makeup jobs, and basements for rent. Any attempt to engage her interest in something as mundane as her term paper will inevitably land her in the aforementioned catatonic state.

This is why amicus betrothus is often mistaken for amicus unreliablus. If you want something done right, do it yourself. If you want it done in general, find a Single Friend. If you don’t want it to get done, but need someone else to carry the blame for not doing it, assign it to an Engaged Friend. She won’t notice it if anyone is mad at her anyway.

However, the most annoying habit of the Engaged Friend is doubtless her habit of repeating this promise:

“Me and my chosson are going to match up all our friends. I already have some ideas for you.”

This line has led to much polite smiling, eye-rolling, and attempted homicide (and occasionally, suicide) on the part of Single Friends. Therapists advise Single Friends to practice entering a catatonic state of their own whenever Engaged Friends begin any sentence with “Me and my chosson” to minimize the damage to their sanity….


– Excerpted from The Field Guide to Humanity by I. Nowemal


29 thoughts on “Field Guide to Newly Engaged Friends

  1. Not fair!!!
    I just got engaged and I promised I would’nt all of a sudden become a floating ditz – and I’m not.
    This just sounds like a cynical jab from those who are not yet engaged to those who have already found their bashert.
    You could do better than putting down others.

  2. Oh yes, I nearly forgot that one.
    The Engaged Friend always insists that she is sooo down to earth and not at ALL floating up anywhere…
    Get over it, Anonymous. It’s a friendly jab. Like teasing. We have to do *something* for entertainment. 😛 Besides, you’re not supposed to know the difference. So get back into the troposphere and disregard us single people rolling our eyes below.

  3. About the friends promising to come up with guys for you, I can serve as witness, victim whatever you want to call it. I have heard that so many times, it’s about a cliche by now, and I still haven’t had a Kalla redt me a shidduch. Oh, and I have many married friends. More than you can count on your fingers.

  4. Hey, it’s Anonymous again – I beg to differ – maybe it’s the typical 18 year old girl who just came back from seminary who shrieks in the halls of touro who is up in the troposphere. I happen to have just come back from seminary as well, and i happen to be in touro too, but i’m not the typical. I had cancer twice and did not expect to suddenly b’hashgacha meet my bashert now.(Long story) I have had to grow up quickly in my life and I realize that being engaged is not just about diamonds, gowns and having a muttar “boyfriend.” The same way you don’t want to be stereotyped as the bitter, jealous single girl in Touro, don’t stereotype all the engaged girls. Some are ditzes, granted, but come on, be fair. See you in the student lounge tonight 🙂

  5. I don’t know typical Touro girls – they make me feel ill. I base this on my personal experience with non-typical Touro girls. Granted, not all of them exhibit all the symptoms, but this is a field guide, after all. It has to cover all bases.

    A typical conversation with one of my most down-to-earth engaged friend inevitably would be interrupted after 10 minutes of wedding plans with her saying, “Oh I’m blabbing on about me again. So, how’s things by you?” My most-down-to-earth engaged friend became the worst case of amicus unreliabus I’ve ever met. And both swore they’d have me married off in a few months. I’m not blaming anyone. It just happens that way. 🙂 Please don’t take it personally.

    Maybe you’re an exception? You’re certainly not a a typical case. How about if I change it to the Common Newly Engaged Friend, or Newly Engaged Friend, Garden Variety? 😀 That will be politically correct and protect me from all lawsuits. (“Oh you? You’re a Superior Engaged Friend. Or a rare Grounded Engaged Friend. This post was not referring to you at all. So can you take that scary looking lawyer away?”)

    Student lounge? Try the computer lab. I’ll be busy moderating your comments. 😉

  6. nothing to do with this post perse
    its funny…everyone things “yenim” is a typical touro girl. You/we are all inidivids and we think the next is but really everyone has more beneath that black pleating skirt and ballet flats, yup- even beneath those pearls.

    I think all my friends are so deep and we connect so well. my mother thinks they are ditzes….
    HER friends on the other hand…
    my sister too…she thinks I have the shallowest relationship with e.o I know
    you dont want to know whatI think her of buds…
    but im learning theres so much more to ‘that touro girl’

  7. NewKallah18, Firstly- Mazel Tov on your engagement. May you be zoche to happiness, health, wealth, shalom bayis and a bayis neeman. Also, I have to agree with b4s. You are not the typical. Of course you are more sensitive to your friends. You have a whole lot of life experience behind you which most of us don’t. I have had so many friends get engaged on me. They were all just as b4s described. Completely absorbed in themselves and would only remember 10 minutes into the conversation that they were talking to a human being.

  8. Oh my gosh, so totally true. I swore I wasn’t going to be like that, that I wouldn’t lose touch with my friends after I got married, that I would set my friends up with my husband’s friends, etc.

    Yeah, I haven’t done any of that.

    Good luck, newly engaged peoples. You’re going to do everything you say you won’t! But don’t feel bad, it comes with the territory.

  9. I’ll agree to a large extent with your analysis, B4S. While I have known some exceptions (for instance, the girl that called me the day sheva brachot were over to set me up with a friend of her new husband), your description is by and large the rule, and right on the money.

    Marriagenewbie, why shouldn’t a newly engaged or married girl feel bad for not keeping any of her well-meant promises? Personally, I think that if more girls DID feel some measure of guilt, they’d feel more of an achrayus to keep those promises. Instead us single gals are left to eat the dust of our suddenly-ditzy friends running away.

  10. Oh no, I totally feel guilty. Really, I do. It’s just that….I’m busy. I know that sounds like a total-cop out, and I hated it when my newly married friends did it to me, but it’s just the way it is. You kinda lose track of life when you first get married.

  11. Hi it’s anonymous/newkallah18 again
    (-thanks for that idea!)I was thinking about this business all day while i was teaching – it really bothers me, im not sure why – i think it’s because i feel like i excused myself by saying i had cancer 2x, and e/o else is as described. not true, you dont have to have been really sick to get your head straight – im sure there are plenty “regular” girls out there who remain normal after their engagements and consequent marriages.

  12. well well well what have we here ;0. can u believe that every SINGLE one of my friends that i wanted to set up with his friends has turned us down by saying that we are to young to make shidduciim and if it is a really serious suggestion then get a professional to suggest it. I have been engaged not that long and this has happened to me 3 TIMES already.

    The funny thing is that when i was single and most of my friends engaged (and i had already made 2 shidduchim by then) not one of my married friends wanted to suggest shidduchim for me. Oh they had a 1000 excuses that may did or maybe didnt make sense but i took it in my stride. The day after i got engaged my chussen turns around to me and tells me that the gedolim said that its up to the young married people to make shidduchim so lets get cracking. So i start thinking, and ask him about his friends and off hand we came up with one shidduch. Very nice. we were told to go to a professional. We didnt give up we still tried to push it. when we realized it was a lost case we DID indeed go to a professional but low and behold cause of some RIDICULOUS reason if i may say so myself the shidduch didn’t go through. Would you believe this has so far happened to us 3 TIMES. Kein zan its the the European additde to life, but even when i was single i didn’t have this much hassel!

    Thats the end of my rant but sorry you touched a REALLY raw nerve!!!

  13. and why is it that when the engaged friends are so careful not to act like the engaged friend in the article above, no one even notices?

  14. lol, my significant other probably wishes I acted like that! most of the time i feel like everyone surrounding me is more excited than i am. but then my siblings and myself were always taught that although this is a lifetime commitment, that does not negate the other commitments we have. i think a big part of the problem lies in the generally accepting attitude within the community that once someone gets engaged everything else kind of falls away. i have not backed out on any of my promises or commitments to date and i dont intend to because a responsibility is a responsibility. and as for the “lalaland” state, i find that it is a pain to be in. there are too many serious things to think about and while there is definitely joy, those things temper it to the point that i don’t act like a scatterbrained moron. If anything i wish my friends would shut up about my newly acquired state cuz i’d like to get back to what we always do best- yapping about nothing in specific. but again, i’m sure “my chosson” (first time that term has come out of my fingers, and it will never cross my lips!) would be delighted if I mooned around about him and spoke about him all day. I just let him think I do, and what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him, right? 😉

  15. Wow. I totally agree with B4S, I have had about ten friends get engaged in a short amount of time, and every single one of them is as you have described. You forgot to mention that they throw their right hand around every five minutes. Or is it seconds? Now, I am so happy for them, and it is exciting to plan their wedding and lives. But they do tend to get a little bit “in the clouds.” And thats ok, I mean, it comes with the territory.

    But of course there has to be girls who get engaged and do not do the above. But they are the outliers, the yotzei min ha’klal, and not the general, average population. May we all be above average when we get engaged, i”yh at the right time.

    See you all in the student lounge 🙂 Or maybe in the group of chairs on the second floor…

  16. “Did you meet my (pet) chosson?”

    The way people talk about their engaged counterparts! By any chance, does the guy have a name? Just curious…

  17. Brilliant! Though by judging from the comments I think the genius of the post was lost on people who read it for its surface gratuities. Will you evolve yourself, once you find your mate? That is the test, or will you foresake Darwinism and become one of those Intelligent Designers?

  18. Brilliant! Though by judging from the comments I think the genius of the post was lost on people who read it for its surface gratuities. Will you evolve yourself, once you find your mate? That is the test, or will you foresake Darwinism and become one of those Intelligent Designers?

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