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The Engagement Game by Joi-Marie McKenzie

What will women do to get a ring? How many of you are dating someone and doing whatever to please him just to get married? Women will try many schemes to get to the altar. Have you heard of the engagement chicken? It is a roasted chicken cooked with lemon and herbs.

Kim Bonnell created the recipe, and Kathy Suder made it famous after she prepared for her boyfriend and soon afterward, he proposed.

The engagement chicken became very popular after it got published in Glamour magazine in Dec 2003. Many women claimed that they got engaged right after they cooked their boyfriend the roasted chicken.  There are other countless methods  women are using these days, and unfortunately, some have failed (often miserably) to get them engaged.

The Engagement Game

In the novel, the “Engagement Game” by Joie-Marie McKenzie is a genuine and heartbreaking story about her journey toward finding her fairy-tale-ending and lastly, recognizing living her life on her terms.  Her book leaves you with insights and lessons learned on love and life.

This book is a form of therapy for Joie-Marie to spill her guts about her outlook on a five-year relationship. It is not an original story. Tons of books about relationships are available on Amazon.

However, in The Engagement Game, Joie-Marie reveals the measures she went through for her boyfriend Adam to realize she is the “wifey material.”

To what extent does she go to get married:

joie-marie-engagement-gameHe doesn’t like her belly ring; she gets rid of it. He hates her clothes; she wears the clothes he buys for her. She reaches over to open his car door when she gets in because he tells her about the “car door test” from the movie A Bronx Tale. Surprisingly, Adam’s mindset is still old-school—he “expects his [wife] to cook and takes care of the household.” Joi-Marie hates being in the kitchen cooking for hours, but she tries her best to be a good cook. She will prepare her five tasty dishes to please him.

She will do anything to keep the relationship “afloat.” When Adam breaks up with her over a silly argument (overcooked noodles), she calls him every week to see if he changed his mind.

She attempts to cook the “engagement chicken,” or what she refers to as her “happily ever after,” to make him propose.  She’s the one who asked him to be her boyfriend. She fails to recognize the signs. When her mom told her “he never looks happy with you, and I don’t think he’s the one.” She ignores her mom’s instincts and brushes them off.

Sadly, she comes back with the excuse, “He doesn’t like to take pictures; we’re getting married.”

Adam will spend New Year’s holiday with his friends. After two years of dating, he told her he was already “burned out.” She still did not get the signs that the relationship may or will not go anywhere. After five years of devoting her time, heart, and soul to the relationship, Adam told her, “The type of household I want to run requires a certain type of woman.”

Then, he put the nail in the coffin. “I just don’t know if I could run a household with you.”

After five years, he makes that statement. Ruthless!

To me, each word feels like a bullet. I painstakingly tried to imagine myself in Joie-Marie’s shoes; I couldn’t do it. It was too depressing.

What would you do if you realized your Cinderella story would not come true; you will not have the husband, kids and career after five years being in a relationship?

Suicidal thoughts slowly seep into Joi-Marie mind especially, when friends post their engagement pictures and cute family photos on Facebook. She starts to doubt her worth as a woman. Asking herself  why me and where did she go wrong?”

In the end, Adam was only looking for a woman who sincerely likes to cook and take care of the house. He never expects Joi-Marie to strive to be that woman.

But Joi-Marie presumed that Adam needed her to be an independent woman, a great cook, sex kitten, and Michelle Obama type.

I ask what woman can live up to those standards?

Looking back at those five years, Joi-Marie came up with some advice to other women:

1.    Never try to convince a man of your worth.
2.    Never try to convince a man to stay with you when he wants to leave.
3.    Never lose yourself trying to become that imaginary “perfect woman.”
4.    Pay attention to that inner voice.
5.    Be yourself

In conclusion, Joi-Marie attempts to fill that void in her life going on exotic vacations with her girlfriends, burning the midnight oil at work, and dating various men. Her journey wasn’t only about putting the relationship behind her; it is how she evolves from it all.

She gains her confidence back. She can’t make a man marry her; he has to want it as much as she does. It was a marriage that would not have survived the test of time. Ultimately, Joi-Marie creates her list of qualities that she aspires to have as a wife. She is concentrating on herself until Mr. Right comes along.

Occasionally, we spend our energy holding onto a relationship because we are scared to be alone. When we finally realize that person is not for us, we see ourselves in a different light.

This book is a great read, get your copy from Amazon.

My Favorite Quotes from The Engagement Game: Why I said “I don’t” to Marriage and “I do” to Me by Joi-Marie McKenzie

“I robbed him of the opportunity to know the real me and robbed myself of a deeper, more understanding relationship with Adam.”

“Starting today, I will no longer be the woman who hides the very essence of myself to make someone else feel visible next to me.”

“Let the man chase you.”

“Life loves beginnings.”

Happy Reading,


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