Thursday, November 6, 2014

Can Viral Proposals Lead to Marital Sniffles?

I keep seeing these articles and posts about the "most amazing" boyfriends in the world and how elaborately they proposed to their girlfriends. Some guys jump out of planes; some guys propose on the Monstervision at baseball games; some guys hire entire flashmobs; some guys write "Will you marry me?" in fifty foot block letters on Hawaiian beaches and fly their girlfriends over them in dirigibles; some guys get Justin Bieber to ask from the stage...the list goes on.

I get it. Dudes have been doing variations on this for ages, except, now, it all seems so uncomfortably public. "Viral proposal" is, in and of itself, a disturbing (and possibly prophetic) phrase, is it not?

A historical mess, was Braveheart -- but, this...
Look -- people need to make their own choices and we all need to do, in personal matters, what feels right to us, but, to me, certain things are better kept private; even some things that don't fall into the category of obvious. For me, a proposal is something that ought to be private. The world seeps too much into our daily affairs; maybe we should keep it out of certain places.

I am known, among my friends and family, for being a tad strange. People know I am creative. But, the arts and creativity, to me, should make a comment on life or add a layer to it. Art is here so we can cope with the ugliness of the world or so we can underscore the beautiful. But some things are perfect as they are. Love, for instance. It took me years to admit it, but some things are more important than creativity and the arts. Some things are just better than art. Why mess with perfection?

That moment when a man tells a woman (or vice versa) that he wants to spend the rest of his life with her and that (by implication) he sees her as the finest person he has ever feels to me like it should be part of the quiet quickening of a relationship...eyes locked; two people enveloped in the portable paradise their bond can be. Why light off fireworks where there are already shooting stars?

I'm not trying to tell anyone what to do or not to do. I'm just saying how it felt to me. I do know, though, that one of the strengths of our marriage is that Karen and I fit together like the bricks of a Incan wall. Could that have started with a quiet night, with no fanfare -- with just a sincere, unadorned statement that was too pure for embellishment? It might have been a small part of it -- a small part of a bigger philosophy -- at least.


  1. I have no idea at all.

    But a friend worked with a fellow who said that he, like most of his high school classmates, had married right of of high school; he and his wife were at that point (maybe 15 years out) among the few still married; and that the duration of the marriage was generally in inverse proportion to the money spent on the wedding. I wish the Jumbotron couples the best, but I hope that they aren't disappointed to find that marriage isn't all excitement.

    1. Yeah, it does sort of crate an "it's all downhill from here" sort of scenario, doesn't it? Here's hoping.