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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