Same Auld Lang Syne, Please


| 12/30/2014 10:50:00 AM


Tags: advice column, relationship advice, social advice, etiquette advice,

New Year's Eve

Tim White, PhD, LPC, NCC offers advice on family planning and parenting, LGBT issues, disability issues, education and work issues, relationships, ethics and "unusual" social issues. Send questions to Tim for future columns through his website.

Hi Tim,
I'm a woman, 30, and I have dated the same man for 3 years. He's the best, we're in love and I couldn't be happier to marry him. I once told him that if he ever proposed, it's been a long-time fantasy of mine to be proposed to on New Year's Eve, exactly at midnight, then be married on the first of the next year. He gets carried away sometimes and he's currently planning to propose to me as a surprise. This is no surprise, he thinks I don't know however I've heard him on the phone and talking to others; he's planning on doing this downtown on a rooftop with a close-up view of fireworks, videotaping, a three-piece band and our friends and family there. My best friend and brother have other plans, and it has gotten awkward. However, the planning and trying to get everyone together while still keeping it a secret has him so stressed out he's cranky all the time, and I wish he would just propose at Starbucks or something, because I don't really care about all that staging, it was just a fun fantasy. How do I get him to tone it down to our usual, simple New Year's Eve without hurting his feelings? — Simple Simone

Hi Simple Simone,
If you want to continue to be “Simple,” set this guy straight before you exchange vows. The thing about big reveals and memory-makers is that memories do not have to be manufactured. Special things are imprinted on our memories all the time, without fanfare, and cannot always be engineered. We do not have to design memories by trying to outdo a Hollywood producer/director/actor just to mark a special event. They have bigger budgets than most of us, and a lot more helpers.

Take your fellow aside and tell him to tone down the New Year's plans. Remind him that you appreciate simple things the most. You do not have to mention that you know about the proposal. Refer to the over-planning and let him know that you are fine with just the two of you celebrating and not so much company. That lets the audience off the hook, but given this late hour you may still have to listen to the band play on under the fireworks. Congratulations!

Bored Reviewer

Hi Tim,
I'm a woman in my 30’s who recently joined a fiction book club. I enjoy the ladies in the group and have a great time with them socially, but the selections they make are truly mind-numbingly boring. I gather that the more intellectual the book is reviewed to be, the more popular it is with my group mates. I, however, am bored to tears. So, it is my turn to make a nomination and I finally have a chance to suggest something that I find engaging, but now I feel like I will appear less brainy and therefore disappoint these women. How do I lighten our choices without getting uninvited to the group in the future? — Bored Reviewer