I'm engaged! Now, how do I keep it a secret from my co-workers?

Yes, Mr. Oreo finally popped the question, and I said yes. Whoopee! I’m estatic, on cloud nine, and deliriously happy. I’ve called all my friends and family and spread the happy news, and I’ve already got my china and silver picked out.

That said, I need advice on how to handle this at work.

See, I work at a company that is largely female-dominated. They LOVE having birthday parties, baby showers, wedding showers, etc. We have, on average, a party a week. There are three pregnant women here at present, and two others who are engaged besides myself. I’m always being invited to chip in on a gift and to attend the festivities (which take place during the lunch hour.)

I HATE THIS!

I hate feeling obligated to buy gifts for people I barely know, and I hate wasting my precious lunch hour oohing and ahhhing over dishes and baby bibs. I think it’s really tacky to invite the entire company (and it’s not a small company–there are about 75 people working in this office) to a shower during work hours just to up the number of gifts given.

So how do I keep them from doing this for me? I’ve been keeping the ring hidden this week because I’m sick and I just want to hide at my desk and not be the center of attention.

But I’m going to have to tell them sometime, especially when I ask for a couple of weeks off for the wedding and the honeymoon. And when I change my name, I think they might suspect something.

Is there any tactful way of saying, “Please don’t throw me a shower, and don’t get me any gifts?” I can’t tell them I think it’s tacky, because they’ve all participated in these things, so it would be the same as calling them tacky to their face.

I refuse to become a part of this vicious cycle! I really don’t want anyone to feel obligated to get me anything (especially all the people here I barely know). If they decide, on their own, that they want to get me something, fine.

I need advice! I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, and I don’t want to seem like a bitch, but I also want to stand by my principles, which are that it’s just plain wrong to coerce gifts out of people.

So Dopers, what do you think? Anybody else face this kind of problem?

Don’t tell them.

You only have to get permission from your boss to have the time off. Tell that person the reason, but that you don’t want your co-workers to know so you’d appreciate it if he/she would not blab to the office.

When you get back and people ask, tell them. “I was on my honeymoon.” Period.

Accept all the congratulations, etc.

You aren’t obligated to spare peoples feelings at the expense of your own.

Hee hee. Your situation reminds me of the episode of Seinfeld where Elaine’s coworkers have cake for every reason imaginable… birthday, going away party, hope you get well soon, etc. She finally blew up at them and said she wasn’t going to participate in them anymore but she missed the 4:00 sugar rush.

You’re not obligated to tell them anything. Keep it to yourself and if they find out anyway and ask why you didn’t say anything, you can tell them you were afraid they’d throw a party for you and you don’t want one!

In my personal experience, being less than honest almost always bites you in the ass. So I’d caution against not telling them. They will over hear phone conversations and whatnot. It will slipout some how and people will feel hurt and that in turn will hurt you.

Tell them, but tell them instead of parties and shower gifts you’d appreciate a donation in your name be made to the charity of your choice. They get to give. You don’t feel like a gift grabber. And as a possible bonus someone else may do the same thing in the future thus reducing the number of future parties and showers.

I guess I should also add that I do pal around with a couple of girls here at work, and they’re two of the biggest “party organizers” here. It will be very, very hard to not tell them without outright lying, since they know all about Mr. Oreo and that I was anticipating this. They ask me about it every Monday.

I really wish now I had never said anything to them at all, but now the damage is done.

Oooh…Jimson Jim…that’s a wonderful idea!

Now I just have to decide on a charity…

Don’t tell them. Worked for me.

I got married over Thanksgiving weekend and didn’t tell anyone at work; we took a short honeymoon and I was back at work on the next Wednesday. Somebody who had pulled my name from the hat for the Christmas gift exchange wandered into my cube to pump me for information so she could figure out what to buy me; she asked, “So, you married?”

Yes, I said.
How long? she asked.
I looked at my watch to check the calendar…