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