You Betcha She Said “Yes”

My friend Christina was kind enough to contribute a post to IHGB today! She’s a wonderful storyteller, has a phenomenal sense of style and is one of a handful of people who can say, “I had Thanksgiving dinner with Lincee in Rwanda once. We introduced the locals to Rotel cheese dip. TEXAS FOREVER!”

Feel free to read more about Christina by following her blog –> (CLICK HERE)

Knowing you Bachelor fans love a good proposal story – “And then he fell from the plane and his parachute shot forth a thousand roses!” – you will no doubt be let down by this post.

It started last Friday. I leaned over the desk of the receptionist at work. She’s nearly a decade younger than I am so our conversations often drift toward worlds unknown to me.

“What are you up to this weekend?” I asked, resting my cheeks on my fists.

“My best friend’s getting engaged,” she replied, smiling.

I stared expectantly back at her. She continued to smile. Maybe she missed the question? Maybe she’s a smothery-type friend and since her BFF is getting engaged she has to stay at home and sulk and cry while watching rom-coms? Maybe her posse has a pact that if one gets engaged, the others all go out drinking? I didn’t get it. I made no more connection to the receptionist’s weekend and her pal’s engagement than I would have with her answering “My sister is getting a massage,” or “My dad’s buying a used car.”

Seeing my blank look, she continued. “Oh, I’m headed to Dallas for it and meeting all our other friends and family for the proposal and the party.”
The party? Who’s throwing a party? I thought someone is proposing? I quizzed her more.

And that’s when she enlightened me to the not-so-secret world of modern-day proposals. Turns out, these days, before a guy proposes, he enlists the trickery of all of his future bride’s girlfriends. Together, these folks plan an elaborate proposal which will involve marching bands or balloon rides or “Journey Through the Story of Us” tours that weave in and out of gazebos and gardens. Old college pals will fly in from out of town, grandparents will be signed out of nursing homes for the day, and frenemies will flock from near and far to hide in the bushes and take as many photos as possible. A surprise engagement party thus ensues four seconds after the bride-to-be says yes, and everyone drinks wine and eats cheese and cupcakes and sirloin steaks in celebration of the happy couple. Finally, Facebook friends the world over will drool over the “We’re Engaged!” album the following Monday. And this isn’t the wedding I’m talking about here; it’s the proposal. Actually, no – stop it right there.

“What if she said no?” I asked another young friend.

“They’ve already talked about getting married. I mean, she knows this is coming,” was the answer.

Wait a minute. Proposing means someone is proposing an idea. Like, “Hey Boss, I have a whip-smart business idea I’d like to propose at the next sales meeting.” See how I used that? And then at the sales meeting the boss can either embrace your strategy, or tell you he’ll think about it, or tell you to go talk to John, because John is the sales manager and he wants to make sure John agrees. Or, he can say no. But that’s not the case with these engagements. These couples have already decided to get married; it’s just a matter of the girl waiting patiently for the big reveal. In short, these men aren’t putting anything on the line in these “proposals.” They already have this deal in the bag, sealed four weeks earlier when they had the marriage talk with their girlfriend. Thus, the proposal becomes a formality, a very well-planned formality.

I continued to pick the receptionist’s brain through lunch. “So all the girlfriends are involved early on, huh?”

“Oh yeah, and now, when I hear about someone who proposes and it’s just them and nobody else there, I feel sorry for them. Like, aw, nobody else was there.” I almost spit out my fish taco.

Who the heck is the marketing genius who started this? Is she (bet you a dollar it’s a she) rolling in her bed of money right now, woo ha-ha-ing at all the young couples who are spending more on the engagements than most do on weddings? Half of me wants to ask if she’ll mentor me, and half of me wants to ask if she’s sold her soul.

When my engineer and I decided to get married, we literally just decided to get married. “When should we get married?” “Maybe next fall?” “Does this mean we’re ‘engaged’?” “Yeah, I guess so!” “Yay! We’re engaged!” And then we hugged. A week before the wedding we bought some gold bands. And three months after we celebrated our first wedding anniversary, he gave me an engagement ring and thanked me for marrying him. No parade. No party. Just the two of us and the cat on our futon.

That said, I still like a good engagement story. If my engineer would’ve asked me to marry him by having the Cirque du Soleil cast show up and contort their bodies to spell out “Will you marry me?” I’d have ordered them to contort to a striking “Yes!” in a heartbeat. And had Facebook existed back then, you better believe I’d be posting non-stop pictures of us and the contortionist crew and staying up half the night checking for likes.

Either way, I think there is something utterly romantic about a man truly proposing. Whether it’s planning the complicated 007-type scheme that involves half the state of Texas, or having no ring at all (like my precious engineer) and simply telling a girl he wants to spend the rest of his life with her. I just want these events to take place in a way that the man has to put himself out there. Not in a “I know you agreed to this last December, but will you marry me? Ha! Of course you will. Cue the parachute!” way, but a “I’ve been thinking about this for months. Will you marry me? Yes? Yes! Whew! Cue the parachute!”

Now, while you all thank your lucky stars that Lincee will be back for the next post, I’m going to climb off my soapbox and heat up a plate of green beans.

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March 21, 2013 12:27 pm

My husband proposed to me during a commercial as we were watching Law & Order: SVU. It was so us…and so perfect. He then made me dinner and took me for wedding cake gelato at Paciugo. If I remember correctly I was wearing yoga pants and a t-shirt. 🙂

March 21, 2013 12:37 pm

I actually asked my husband not to plan some big crazy surprise. I get super red and embarrassed when the center of attention so a big event wouldn’t have been a lot of fun for me. When he proposed, it was just us on the beach and it was truly our moment. I love hearing about fun proposals, just wanted ours to be a perfect private occasion.

March 21, 2013 12:47 pm

My proposal was just my husband and I, 2 o’clock in the morning after he had just driven 10+ hours to escape Hurricane Lily bearing down on the gulf coast. Me in my pjs, glasses and no make up – that’s how I knew he really did love me forever 🙂 And it was perfect. Love the sweet parties people do now but lord, the wedding itself cost a pretty penny, no reason to jump into the expenditures too early – oh and not to mention the ring 🙂

March 21, 2013 12:48 pm

When I met my now husband, I told him early on that I had some criteria for a proposal: 1. Twinkle Lights 2. Not in a stadium or a setting where there were a bunch of peeps we didn’t know 3. Not on Christmas, New Year’s or Valentine’s Day because I think proposing on one of those days is a cop-out and excuses men from being creative We had talked about it and looked at rings, but I was still completely surprised. He proposed on my parent’s pool deck one night in June after he and my dad spent the… Read more »

March 21, 2013 12:50 pm

I feel bad for guys these days…. SO many expectations!! Call me crazy, but it’s my pet peeve when the girl actually picks out the ring with the fiancé… Then waits for the “surprise” proposal so she can wear it. If you know has proposing & already picked out the ring, where is the surprise? My hubby picked out the ring all by himself & Id like it anyways but I love it even more for the fact that he did his research, shopped around, & picked out something he thought I would like! 🙂

March 21, 2013 12:56 pm

My husband pulled out all the stops, but kept it between the two of us. He booked me an afternoon at the spa, bought me a new dress ( with shoes to match ) and we enjoyed a fancy dinner before he walked me down to the lakeshore where candles and roses and the ring were waiting! I love remembering that story.

even more than that, I love that you posted something pro-green bean, just cause! 😉

March 21, 2013 1:00 pm

Great writing Christina! Just one more expense for a fresh out-of-college grad to incur on top of the Jcrew bridesmaid dress and expensive matching shoes…throw an engagement party!

March 21, 2013 1:50 pm

I guess this younger generation needs to do something to top the “will you go to prom/homecoming with me?” stunts I remember seeing about 4-5 years ago. I guess these kids are now of marryin’ age?

I’m glad there was no jumbotron, hot air balloon or marching band when my husband proposed. He asked, I said yes. Then we told our friends and family, found a place to live together, moved, found a place for a wedding and had the ceremony all in the span of 100 days!

March 21, 2013 2:09 pm

You all are so fun to write to! I was afraid I’d get hate mail because I’m not as nice as Lincee.

March 21, 2013 2:31 pm

When my fiancee proposed I only had one wish…to get a photograph of the moment. Here’s my story! I honestly could not have asked for a more romantic day and am very much looking forward to our wedding day! Loved the blog post Christina!!

March 21, 2013 3:04 pm

My fiance proposed on a Thursday morning around 8:30 a.m. He knew I had Thursday and Friday off from work, just for fun, and he knew that I thought it was lame when guys proposed on Christmas, Valentine’s Day, etc. just like another Katie said. So he bought the ring on a Saturday, told his family of his plan on Sunday, picked up the ring on Monday, make a weekend getaway reservation at our favorite hotel (the hotel where we’ll be married this June) on Tuesday, and told his friends on Wednesday. He proposed on a Thursday morning, 20 mins… Read more »

March 21, 2013 3:41 pm

I don’t think any of us are going to beat the “he asked during a commercial break in Law and Order” – that’s the best thing I’ve heard all week! I read it to my engineer (the one who didn’t propose at all) and he laughed too. Love it!

March 21, 2013 5:35 pm

Loved this post! Needed a good laugh and got one while I was reading. Good work Christina!

March 21, 2013 6:16 pm

Agree – really funny post! I loved the part about how you almost spit out your fish taco. Lol!

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